2019 U.S. Open Swimming Championships
- December 4th-7th, 2019
- McCauley Aquatic Center, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia
- LCM (50m), Prelims/Finals
- Psych Sheets (Updated 12/1)
Psych sheets for the 2019 U.S. Open Championships, the rebranding of the meet formerly known as “Winter Nationals,” have been released, and a full complement of stars are scheduled to attend.
Ledecky is entered in 7 races at the meet, a list that includes her usual lineup of the 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyles. She’s also scheduled to race the 400 IMs, which is becoming a more-and-more frequent addition to her in-season lineup, and the 200 IM, which she’s already raced more in the 2019 season than she did in the 2017 and 2018 calendar years combined.
Manuel is entered in her specialty races, the 50 and 100 freestyles, as well as the 200 free, 100 fly, and 100 back. The 200 free is a pretty typical race for her as well, especially as the Americans will have their biggest challenge for Olympic gold in more than a decade after Australian won the World Championship.
Dressel is also entered in 5 races at the meet. 2 of those are events where he won the World Championship in Gwangju, South Korea this summer, the 100 free, and 100 fly. He’s also scheduled to race the 200 free, which will be a necessary swim for him at the Olympic Trials if he wants a spot on the U.S. 800 free relay and a chance at chasing Michael Phelps’ 8 gold medal records; the 200 fly; and the 200 IM – an event where he’s the fastest-ever in a yards course pool. He’s only raced the 200 fly 5 times in his career in long course, with a lifetime best of 1:56.29 from the Atlanta Classic last summer. He’s not entered in the 50 free, where he’s the defending World Champion.
Among the major absences from the meet are a significant portion of the swimmers who are scheduled to swim the International Swimming League final at the end of December. That includes most of the Cal men’s pro training group (Tom Shields, Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy, Josh Prenot). Also missing are the Team Elite swimmers who are racing in the ISL finals still (Kathleen Baker, for example), though most of the Team Elite swimmers from eliminated teams (like the DeLoof sisters and Lia Neal) will be present.
The ISL-U.S. Open conflict didn’t lead to universal absences from this meet, however. For example, Ella Eastin of the LA Current is scheduled to race in the meet, as are Louisville post-grad and Cali Condors teammates Mallory COmerford and Kelsi Dahlia. Olympic Champion, World Champion, and World Record holder Lilly King is also scheduled to race. So too is Melanie Margalis of the Cali Condors, who has broken short course meters American Records in the 200 IM and 400 IM already this season. In general, the Condors will be much-better represented at this meet (Olivia Smoliga is also racing) than will the Current – their finals foes.
There will also be a big contingent of collegiate swimmers at the meet. While there’s a huge University of Minnesota-hosted collegiate invite going on the same weekend as the U.S. Open, that’s far fewer meets than what usually see this scheduling conflict – as it appears that many top teams have opted to race early for their yards cuts and taking the long course opportunity this weekend in Atlanta. Virginia, NC State, and Tennessee will all have significant contingents present, including UVA’s breakout freshman star Kate Douglass. Douglass is scheduled to swim 6 races at the meet, including the 100 breast, 200 breast, 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, and 200 IM. She has gone lifetime bests in all of those events already in the collegiate season.
The meet will also mark the debut of the USA’s newest swimming superstar, Regan Smith, who made an impact at the World Championships via World Records in the 200 back, 100 back, and as part of the American 400 medley relay. She hasn’t raced since those World Championships, and actually won’t race the 200 back at this meet. Her event lineup includes the 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, 100 back, and 200 fly. This is something we’ve seen from Smith before – focusing on secondary events at mid-season meets – so it’s not a huge surprise, but it will leave a hole in the hearts of swim fans hoping to see a 200 backstroke follow-up.