In the first day of action at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions, which this year has been turned into a Fran Crippen Memorial meet by his former club at Mission Viejo, the host Nadadores were none too friendly to their guests in the water by sweeping the finals.
Day 1 was distance day, and Chloe Sutton took a big victory in the women’s 800 free in 8:26.31. That time moves her into a tie for 7th in the world this year (with Aussie Katie Goldman). That was her best time this year by three seconds, and is almost as fast as the mark she put up at Pan Pacs last year. Her efforts in the pool, after dropping open water swimming, are really starting to pay off. Not only is Sutton young in age (she’s only just 19), she’s young in her development as a pool swimmer, which is what makes her so dangerous for London next year.
In the first meet that we’ve seen them at in a while, swimmers from the FAST National Center of Excellence took 2-3 in this race, with 1500 World Record holder Kate Ziegler placeing 2nd in 8:30.34 and former Michigan star Emily Brunemann placing 3rd in 8:36.70.
The men’s 1500 was won by another Mission Viejo swimmer: Chad La Tourette. He won with relative ease in 15:08.82, which is the 17th-best time in the world this year and easily the best by an American. La Tourette has a mounting level of pressure on him as 2012 draws near. After his performance at last year’s Pan Pacs, he’s the great young hope to revive the American distance crew that hasn’t won gold in this event since the 1984 games in Los Angeles.
The runner-up in the 1500 was Polish swimmer Mateusz Swrymowicz, who is trying to revive his raceer with the Olympic group at USC. It’s shocking that Sawrymowicz is only 24, though he seems like he’s been around forever. You will recall that at the 2007 World Championships, when he was only 19, he became the first swimmer in 10 years to knock off Grant Hackett in this distance. Though USC is most well-known for their breaststrokers and sprint work, he trains alongside Ous Mellouli, which means an elusive Olympic medal is still within reach for him in 2012.