2012 Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte is continuing her training globe-trek with her next spot coming in San Diego, California with David Marsh and Team Elite. Marsh was the head coach of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Meilutyte, a Lithuanian who has spent most of her young career training in the UK, rose rapidly to prominence in 2012 when she surprised for gold in the 100 breaststroke at just 15-years old. A year later at the World Championships, Meilutyte broke the World Record in the 100 breaststroke in long course with a 1:04.35. Later that year, she also broke the World Record in the 100 breaststroke in short course meters (1:02.36), and the 50 breaststroke in long course meters (29.48).
Thereafter, though, her progress stalled. She’s only swum a best time in one sprint breaststroke event since 2013 (the 50 SCM in 2014), or the IMs (where she’s been 57.68 in the 100 and 2:12.32 in the 200 LCM). She’s made some progress in the 200 breaststroke (2:25.62/2:22.21), but otherwise has largely stalled out in all events that are even within scope of her primary events.
Since her head coach Jon Rudd left Plymouth Leander to take over the Ireland program, Meilutyte has hopped around to several different training regimes. Early in 2017, she returned to Lithuania for a period of training; she then spent time training with Michael Bohl in Australia, who even talked her into swimming a 1500 free. Now, at only 20-years old, she’ll head for a training block in the United States – saying that her plan currently is to be there for a month.
“I still vividly remember meeting David at a BBQ restaurant in the Olympic village as a 15 year old shortly after arriving at the London Games,” Meilutyte said. “From our initial conversation to my first gold medal and beyond, David has always been a great encourager, advisor, and sounding board for me in addition to his global reputation of helping top swimmers get even better. This will be my first time training with him so I’m really excited to spend the next month here in San Diego getting stronger with Team Elite.”
“We’re honored to have Rūta train with us at Team Elite in San Diego,” Marsh said. “Ruta is respected throughout the world for her competitive spirit and prowess. She possesses the highest in character and integrity. The first day she arrived she was already out surfing and then was ready to go at morning practice!”
Among the currently-listed members of Team Elite’s squad includes NCAA Swimmer of the Year Kathleen Baker (who spends much of the year training and competing for Cal’s college team), Michael Chadwick, Olympic champion Anthony Ervin, Dutchman Dion Dreesens, 3-time Olympic medalist from Japan Ryosuke Irie, Madison Kennedy, Katie Meili, Hellen Moffit, Tim Phillips, and Matheus Santana. U.S. World Championship team member Sarah Gibson is also training with the team. \
While members of the group have a great deal of specialties, there’s only 1 other breaststroker in the group – Katie Meili – who is spending most of her year training remotely while attending law school at Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Meili was in San Diego training on-site during the winter break and lead-up to the Pro Swim Series meet in Austin, however. While training with Marsh, she won a gold medley relay medal and bronze individual medal in the 100 breaststroke at the Olympics, and turned that 100 breaststroke medal to silver at last year’s World Championships.