USA Swimming has released its psych sheets for the 2015 Senior National Championships, with many of the nation’s Pan Ams and World University Games stars included.
Though the U.S. World Championships team won’t be making any appearances (the World Championships overlap with U.S. Nationals from Kazan, Russia), a number of the biggest names from the summer’s other major international teams will be back for a second go-around at a championship meet.
Pan American Games breakout stars Kelsi Worrell (Louisville) and Katie Meili (SwimMAC) will be some of the more intriguing swimmers to watch. Both had huge swims at Pan Ams that will perhaps stack up among the best swims by American athletes at any meet all summer. They’ll both be able to swim more expanded lineups as well, with Worrell adding the 100 back, 200 fly and 50 free to her 100 fly, and Meili taking on the 200 IM and 50 free along with the 100 breast.
Pan Ams 200 free champ Allison Schmitt will also be competing in San Antonio, as will 17-year-old Pan Ams 800 free champ Sierra Schmidt and 200/400 IM winner Caitlin Leverenz.
On the men’s side, 100 back winner Nick Thoman and 50 free champ Josh Schneider are entered, as is 100 fly gold medalist Giles Smith, who has actually been faster back in the States in the past few weeks than the 52.0 that won him the Pan Am title.
That men’s 100 fly might be one of the meet’s high points, with perhaps a better field of flyers than even the American contingent at Worlds. The legendary Michael Phelps will be entered, as well as current national leader Jack Conger.
A note on Phelps – he’ll swim the 100 fly and 200 IM, as expected, plus the 200 fly, which has looked a bit long for post-comeback Phelps, but is still an event he ruled internationally for much of his career. Interestingly enough, he’ll also swim the 200 breaststroke – perhaps a training event to help round out arguably the weakest stroke of his 200 IM?
Some of the top World University Games team members are gold medalists Jacob Pebley, Josh Prenot, Lindsey Vrooman, Lisa Bratton and Sarah Henry.
Then, too, there’s a contingent of swimmers who have popped major times this summer while being left off national teams based on last summer’s results. That list includes 48.8 100 freestyler Michael Chadwick and 1:00.0 100 backstroker Hannah Stevens, both Mizzou Tigers.
And, of course, there are a number of junior swimmers taking a pass on Junior Nationals (or swimming both meets back-to-back), including Cal commit Andrew Seliskar, young pro Michael Andrew and 15-year-old Reece Whitley.
For those still in mourning that Andrew and Whitley won’t swim head-to-head in a breaststroke race at Juniors, one interesting tidbit: barring any changes to the current psych sheet, Andrew and Whitley are slated to swim in the same heat of the 100 breast on day 1 of Senior Nationals.