5 Stories To Watch
Courtesy of: SW
By Emily Sampl

BOULDER, Colorado, May 16. IT'S another busy weekend of swimming in the United States and internationally as the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte continues through Sunday, California's high school section meets get underway, and the Russian, Chinese and Belarus national championship meets wrap up. Here are a few storylines for the five major events of the weekend.

1. Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte

The Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte moves into its first day of prelim/final action this morning after the men's 800 free and women's 1500 free kicked off the meet last night. Today's events include prelims and finals of the 200 free, 100 breast, 50 back, 100 fly, 400 IM and 50 breast. Michael Phelps swam the 200 free in prelims but scratched the final, and will also race the 100 fly this morning. He'll have to wait for a rematch against good friend and rival Ryan Lochte, though, who had to withdraw from the meet as a result of his injured knee.

2. High School Championship Meets

Four major California high school sections will hold their championship meets this weekend -- the North Coast Section, Southern Section, Central Coast Section and Sac Joaquin Section. Some of the top recruits in the country will be representing their high schools for the final time, including Ally Howe, Leah Goldman, Brooke Lorentzen, Catherine Ladd, Heidi Poppe, Kyle Gornay, Andrew Liang, Curtis Ogren, Corey Okubo, Nicholas Silverthorn and others. Keep an eye out for some very fast times and potential national high school records.

3. Russian Nationals

Russia's national championships got underway Tuesday and continue this weekend. A couple of notable performances have gone down already, as Veronika Popova broke the national record in the women's 200 free with a 1:56.39, Nikolay Skvortsov topped the 200 fly in 1:56.98 and Vlad Morozov touched first in the 100 free in 48.31. Daria Ustinova, 15, has also established herself as a contender in the backstroke events with a 2:08.02 in the 200 back. The meet concludes tomorrow evening.

4. Australian Grand Prix

More than 80 of Australia's top swimmers that have been named to the Commonwealth Games, Australia A and Junior Pan Pacific teams will compete beginning tomorrow at the Australian Grand Prix in Canberra. The swimmers will be divided into three teams, which will be led by Australian Olympians Ashley Callus, Petria Thomas and Bill Kirby. The meet should feature some fast times and exciting races as the meet will be contested in a tri-meet like format with the three squads racing against one another.

5. Belarus and Chinese Nationals

After several days of fast swimming, China's national championships will conclude Saturday. A lot of head-turning times have been posted so far in Qingdao, highlighted by Fu Yuanhui's 59.59 in the women's 100 back, Ye Shiwen's 4:30.84 in the 400 IM and Sun Yang's 3:45.12 in the 400 free. Chen Xinyi also had a strong performance in the women's 100 fly with a 57.54, while Li Xiang won the men's 200 breast in 2:10.84. China looks to be in great shape for a strong showing at the Asian Games later this year. In addition, Belarus' national championships started on Wednesday and continue through Saturday.