June 10th, 2015

 

Missy Franklin - by Peter BickMissy Franklin - by Peter Bick

With the World Championships in Kazan creeping closer, the world has caught a glimpse of what the majority of nations will bring to the competitive table. The United States, though, hasn’t shown its hand as of yet, largely due to the fact that it held its Trials for the World Champs last year. Next week, some clues should surface.

The final stop of the USA Swimming Pro Series is set for June 18-21 in Santa Clara, the George Haines International Swim Center serving as the venue. The best field of the six-stop series is expected at the California meet, with Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps standing out as the headline athletes. While Franklin will be making her first competitive appearance since reuniting with coach Todd Schmitz, Phelps will be embarking on the latest meet in his return.

Tabbed to race the 100 and 200 freestyles, along with the 100 and 200 backstroke events at the World Championships, Franklin will use the meet as one of her final tuneups for Kazan. Franklin is just a few months removed from capping hercollege career in epic fashion at the NCAA Championships, where she won three individual events. More, Franklin is again training with Colorado Stars and Schmitz, the man who developed Franklin into an international talent.

It will be interesting to see where Franklin stands just two months shy of the World Championships and where her times rank on the global scene. While she may not challenge some of the top marks in the world, since they were produced by athletes in peak form at their national trials, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Franklin deliver some world-class performances.

As for Phelps, he won’t be in Kazan for the World Champs. Yet, he is prepping for his big meet of the summer, the United States Nationals in San Antonio. The times Phelps produces in Texas will certainly be compared to what comes out of the World Champs and will also be used as a gauge for where he stands a year shy of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

More than 50 members of the United States National Team are expected to be in attendance in Santa Clara, which annually features the best field of the Pro Series, formerly known as the Grand Prix Series. Also expected at the meet are Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, Natalie Coughlin, Tyler Clary and Matt Grevers. Meanwhile, Conor Dwyer and Katinka Hosszu enter the event leading the Pro Series points standings and will be looking to lock up second consecutive titles.

 

Source : Swim Vortex