After a week of speculating and pulling names from various news reports, we finally got the full roster for USA Swimming for the 2011 Pan American Championships, that will be held from October 15-21 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
There are a few overlaps in this roster with the 2011 World Championships roster, including Liz Pelton, who will swim the 100 and 200 backstrokes; Alex Meyer, the first American to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, who will swim the open water 10k; and Scot Robison, who only had one swim in Shanghai (a relay prelims spot), but will have at least 4 in Mexico: the 100 free, 200 free, and the pursuant free relays. Conor Dwyer, who also saw limited relay duty in Shanghai, will swim the 200 and 400 IM’s in Guadalajara, though neither event seems to be his best event at an Olympic team. Amongst pool swimmers on the men’s side, Charlie Houchin is the only entrant in this meet who will repeat an individual swim as he will go the 400 free, which is the same race he competed in at Worlds.
Overall, this is a very young team, including a slew of swimmers who are working double-duty with the World University Games roster (like former USC Trojan Lyndsay DePaul and former Michigan Wolverine Bobby Savulich).
There are many young swimmers on this team too. Rachel Bootsma, a high school senior in Minnesota who is sitting out her final season to train for the Olympics before heading to Cal in the fall of 2012, will compete in the 100 back. She’s going to have a tough battle to make the U.S. Olympic Team behind Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin, but this meet will give her an opportunity to show that she could be one of the best swimmers in the world who can’t crack their country’s top 2. Gillian Ryan, who tore up USA Nationals and the recent FINA Junior World Championships, will be the youngest member of the team at only 15. On the men’s side, high schooler Ryan Murphy, a National Age Group Record holder, will lead the charge for the youngsters with his swim in the 200 back.
There are a few current college stars that this is going to be a great experience for as they look to make their transition into international swimming. That includes Indiana’s Allysa Vavra, LSU’s Amanda Kendall, Minnesota’s Ashley Steenvoorden and Michigan’s Dan Madwed. These swimmers will have a special challenge in this meet. They tapered for US Nationals only a few weeks ago to make this team, one might presume they will rest for Pan Ams, then they will have NCAA’s in March and the Olympic Trials in June. They will then have a meet at the end of that summer, probably, in either the Olympics or more likely US Nationals/the U.S. Open. That could be as many as 5 training peaks and tapers in a single year, so it will be interesting to see how those swimmers approach their season.
In all, these Pan Ams rosters are amongst my favorite in the sport. Moreso than any other international meet, they bring together an incredibly wide diversity of swimmers at different ages, from different parts of the country, and at different levels of their careers. This is a great way for budding leaders of USA Swimming to step up and take a leadership role (whereas on bigger teams they might defer to the Natalie Coughlin’s and Jason Lezak’s of the world), and an excellent opportunity for young swimmers to get their feet wet in international swimming without the ultra-pressure theatrics that surround a World Championship or Olympic meet.
Check out the full roster below, including the coaching staffs that will be led by Dick Shoulberg of Germantown Academy in Pennsylvania (men’s), and Chuck Batchelor of Bluefish (women’s).
Rachel Bootsma Eden Prairie, Minn. Aquajets Swim Team 100 back
Bonnie Brandon Centennial, Colo. Mission Aurora/Colorado Swimming 200 back
Catherine Breed Pleasanton, Calif. Pleasanton Seahawks 200 free
Elaine Breeden Lexington, Ky. Stanford Swimming 100 fly
Annie Chandler San Antonio, Texas Tucson Ford Aquatics 100 breast
Lyndsay DePaul Orange, Calif. Trojan Swim Club 200 fly
Claire Donahue Lenoir City, Tenn. Western Kentucky Swimming 100 fly
Erika Erndl Naples, Fla. T2 Aquatics 100 free
Eva Fabian Keene, N.H. Greenwood Memorial Swim Club 10K
Lara Jackson El Paso, Texas Tucson Ford Aquatics 50 free
Christine Jennings Longmont, Colo. Mission Viejo 10K
Amanda Kendall Fairfax, Va. LSU 100 free
Madison Kennedy Avon, Conn. Unattached 50 free
Michelle McKeehan Greenwood, Ind. Athens Bulldogs 200 breast
Whitney Myers Oxford, Ohio FAST 200 IM
Chelsea Nauta Tampa, Fla. Athens Bulldogs 200 free
Elizabeth Pelton Ruxton, Md. North Baltimore Aquatic Club 100, 200 back
Gillian Ryan Kutztown, Pa. Parkland Aquatics 400, 800 free
Julia Smit Mt. Sinai, N.Y. Stanford Swimming 200, 400 IM
Haley Spencer O’Fallon, Mo. Minnesota Aquatics 200 breast
Ashley Steenvoorden East Brunswick, N.J. Minnesota Aquatics 400 free
Ashley Twichell Fayetville, N.Y. Mission Viejo 800 free
Kim Vandenberg Moraga, Calif. New York Athletic Club 200 fly
Allysa Vavra Coaldale, Pa. Indiana Club Paradise 400 IM
Ashley Wanland Long Groove, Ill. Wisconsin Aquatics 100 breast
Matthew Bartlett Atlanta, Ga. Athens Bulldogs 200 fly
Chris Brady Wilmington, Del. North Baltimore Aquatic Club 100 fly
Clark Burckle Louisville, Ky. Tucson Ford Aquatics 200 breast
Will Copeland Lexington, Va. Cal Aquatics 50 free
Conor Dwyer Winnetka, Ill. Gator Swim Club 200, 400 IM
Ryan Feeley Rye, N.Y. Club Wolverine 1500 free
Arthur Frayler Ambler, Pa. Germantown Academy 1500 free, 10K
Eugene Godsoe Greensboro, N.C. SwimMAC Carolina 100 back, 100 fly
Tyler Harris Richmond, Va. Trojan Swim Club 200 IM
Charlie Houchin Raleigh, N.C. FAST 400 free
Bryan Lundquist Marietta, Ga. Stingrays of Georgia 50 free
Dan Madwed Stamford, Conn. Club Wolverine 200 fly
Sean Mahoney Rio Vista, Calif. Cal Aquatics 200 breast
Robert Margalis Flushing, N.Y. FAST 400 IM
Alex Meyer Ithaca, N.Y. Crimson Aquatics 10K
Ryan Murphy Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Bolles School Sharks 200 back
Matt Patton Matthews, N.C. Club Wolverine 200, 400 free
David Russell Wellesley, Mass. California Aquatics 100 back
Scot Robison Charlotte, N.C. New South Swimming 100, 200 free
Bobby Savulich Edison, N.J. Club Wolverine 100 free
Kevin Swander Carmel, Ind. SwimMAC Carolina 100 breast
Marcus Titus Tucson, Ariz. Tucson Ford Aquatics 100 breast
Rex Tullius Port Orange, Fla. Daytona Beach 200 back
Head Men’s Coach: Richard Shoulberg Head Women’s Coach: Chuck Batchelor
Assistant Men’s Coaches: Mark Bernardino, John Morse, Bill Rose Assistant Women’s Coaches: Kelly Kremer, Kate Lundsten, Steve Morsilli