USA Swimming announced some big changes to the upcoming season of the Arena Pro Series, unveiling a schedule that drops several long-time stops, adds another one, and now includes the Phillips 66 National Championships in the series points standings.
According to USA Swimming’s press release, the first stop will take place in Austin, Texas, January 13th-15th at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center, home of the Texas Longhorns. For the past several years, a meet late in the calendar year in Minneapolis had been the opening meet of the series, and was usually the only PSS meet held in yards (although it was in LCM this year, due to the upcoming Olympics).
Also no longer on the schedule is the Orlando stop. This usually had been a relatively poorly-attended meet, due to its proximity to NCAA’s. However, there will still be a Pro Series meet in March, only it will take place in Indianapolis, at the legendary Indiana University Natatorium, a pool that has hosted several Olympic Trials and National Championship meets. That pool will also host both the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I championship meets later on that month.
From Indy, the Arena Pro Series will travel to Mesa for some outdoor swimming in April, as it has the past few years. Next up will be Atlanta in May, where athletes will get the chance to compete in the 1996 Olympic pool at Georgia Tech, the site of this past year’s NCAA championships. For the past few years, the May meet was held in Charlotte, succeeding the long-running Charlotte UltraSwim. The series will travel back to a familiar location in early June, the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, California.
At each of those stops, swimmers who finish in the top three in individual Olympic events will earn points in the series standings, as well as cash prizes of $500, $300, and $100 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively.
In a new twist on the series, the Phillips 66 National Championship, which is scheduled for June 27th-July 1st, in Indianapolis, will also count toward the final tallies, but points will be doubled. Cash prizes will increase to $1200 for 1st place, $700 for 2nd place, $500 for 3rd place, and $200 for 4th place. Also at stake is a $10,000 bonus, as well as one-year lease on a BMW.
This year’s winners were Conor Dwyer and Katie Ledecky, although Ledecky could not receive the money or car lease in order to maintain her amateur eligibility for Stanford.
Here’s the full schedule:
Jan. 13-15, 2017: Arena Pro Swim Series at Austin (University of Texas)
March 2-4, 2017: Arena Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis (Indiana University Natatorium, IUPUI)
April 13-15, 2017: Arena Pro Swim Series at Mesa (Skyline Aquatic Center)
May 4-7, 2017: Arena Pro Swim Series at Atlanta (Georgia Tech)
June 1-4, 2017: Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara (George F. Haines International Swim Center)