Meet organizers tell us that Michael Phelps and the North Baltimore Crew will be heading to Athens, Georgia for the Bulldog Grand Slam July 10th through July 13th. This meet was conceived to fill the “void in the racing schedule between the final stop on the Grand Prix circuit in Santa Clara in mid-June and USA Swimming’s National Championships.” SwimMAC star Ryan Lochte is also entered in the meet, and meet organizers say that he will be expected to compete.
There is a strong connection between the University of Georgia and North Baltimore Aquatic Club. Chase Kalisz and Allison Schmitt, two of NBAC’s top dawgs, have done very well for both squads.
Megan Romano is another Georgia swimmer that has worked with Bob Bowman and NBAC. She has developed into a world class sprinter over the last few years. Between the Charlotte GP and the Santa Clara GP, Romano was with NBAC at their altitude training camp in Colorado Springs. Before that, she actually spent time training with SwimMAC Carolina as well, and so should have a lot of familiar eyes watching her races in Athens next week.
She is back in the water with the Athens Bull Dog Swim Club for now and is planning to stay there until nationals and Pan Pac’s if she qualifies. After those meets, however, she told us she is undecided about whether she should stay in Athens or find a new home with another team. The situation is still very complicated with Jack Baurle, as no one exactly knows what is going on. On the UGA website, Baurle is still pictured, but there is not a job title under his name. Harvey Humphries’ job title still reads “Acting Head Coach” while Jerry Champer and Brian Smith are both listed as associate head coaches.
Back to the Grand Slam; the meet was originally for Athens Bull Dogs, North Baltimore, SwimMAC, and SwimAtlanta. However, a release from ABSC tells us that in the time since it was announced at the Charlotte Grand Prix, it has grown to include world class athletes from over a dozen teams.
“All Session Passes for the Grand Slam Passes are available, and will be sold online from June 30th – July 8th. Passes are $35 each and include a Heat Sheet. To purchase a pass online, click this link.
Single session tickets will be sold on a first come/first served basis. Tickets for individual sessions will be available at the Ramsey Center ticket booth at a cost of $5.00 for Prelims and Timed Finals; $10.00 for Finals. Individual session ticket sales will be cash only. Ticket windows will open 1 hour prior to each meet session.
For more information, see the Bulldog Grand Slam updates in the Hosted Meets section of this website.”