We’re a week out from kicking off the 2017 Arena Pro Series competition, and today USA Swimming released the initial psych sheet.
Rio individual gold medalist Penny Oleksiak of Canada is the very first name on the list, as the 52.70 she swam to tie Simone Manuel for the 100 free title gives her the top seed in that event. Oleksiak is also slated to swim the 100 and 200 fly and the 50 and 200 free.
Other international Olympians on the psych sheet include 16 year-old Taylor Ruck of Canada, (50/100/200/400 free, 100/200 back, 200 IM), Japan’s IM dynamo, Daiya Seto (100/200 fly, 200/400 IM), and Lithuanian Simonas Bilis (50/100/200 free, 100 fly).
NC State standout and Rio gold medalist in the 4×100 free Ryan Held is scheduled for a program that includes the 50/100/200 free, 100 fly, and interestingly, the 200 IM. Rio teammate Melanie Margalis, who picked up a gold in Rio as part of the USA’s 4×200 free team, will swim six events: 200/400 free, 200 IM, 100/200 breast, and 200 back.
Four other Team USA Rio olympians appear on the psych sheet: 200 breast silver medalist Josh Prenot (100/200 breast, 200 IM), 4×100 free relay silver medalist Amanda Weir (50-400 free), Jacob Pebley (100/200 free, 100/200 back), and Hali Flickinger (100 fly, 200/400/800 free, 100/200 back, 200 fly).
London gold medalist Matt Grevers is the top seed in the 100 back, where he finished a heartbreaking third at this past year’s Olympic Trials, and he will also be swimming the 50 free. Grevers hinted strongly at retirement immediately after missing out on Rio, but decided to stay with the sport for the time being, and at the age of 31, is one of the most experienced active USA swimmers.
Conspicuously absent from the psych sheets are the Texas Longhorns, despite the meet happening in their home pool. Both the men’s and women’s teams are on the road next week, swimming at Auburn on Thursday and at Georgia on Saturday.
There will be plenty of top age group swimmers to watch as well, including Eva Merrell, (100 free, 100/200 fly, and 100/200 back), Michael Andrew (50/100 free, 100 breast, 100 fly, 200/400 IM), Sean Grieshop (200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free, 100/200 back, 200/400 IM), and Trey Freeman (100/200/400/1500 free, 200 fly and 400 IM).
Direct your web broswer to SwimSwam for live recaps of each session of this meet next week, as well as continuing coverage of the series between now and USA Summer Nationals in June.