The 38th edition of the NBAC Christmas Meet will be Michael Phelps’ last, and the parting will be such sweet sorrow. Given that he didn’t compete for his high school or college teams, and focused so heavily on long course swimming throughout his career, this meet is one of the few chances that we got throughout his career to see him do amazing things in yards. It was throughout a bit of a benchmark for the rest of the country to chase in the short course pool.
Phelps is obviously unrested for his final version of the meet, but even unrested, with a renewed refocus on training, he was able to put up strong times. That includes a 1:33.30 win in the 200 yard free and a 1:43.85 in the 200 yard IM.
His teammate Allison Schmitt, taking a year off from Georgia to train for the Olympics, looked very good on Friday night. She, in fact, went a lifetime-best time in the 200 free in 1:41.90, which is about two tenths faster than her time that won last year’s NCAA Championship meet. She also blew away her best time in the 100 fly with a 53.23.
Gillian Ryan made her semi-major NBAC debut at this meet after beginning her life in Baltimore following a transfer from the Parkland Aquatic Club. The 16-year old’s training so far seems to be going well, despite a unique situation where her parents split time commuting to live with her in a Baltimore apartment, as she won the women’s 1000 free in 9:32.71. That’s 14 seconds faster than she’s ever been before. Rachel Zilinskas of Germantown also had a strong swim to touch 2nd in 9:36.32.
In the men’s version of the 1000, Germantown’s Arthur Frayler, who will head to Florida next year, swam a lifetime best of 8:52.88 in the men’s 1000. He basically even-split this race.