By Emily Sampl
BOULDER, Colorado, June 25. THE British Gas International, Fran Crippen TYR Swim Meet of Champions and Australian Grand Prix are the headliners this weekend as the tune-up meets for major championships this summer continue. The British Gas meet got underway this morning, while the Fran Crippen memorial meet begins tomorrow afternoon. Here’s a brief look at these and other meets to keep an eye on in the coming days.
1. British Gas International Meet
With the Commonwealth Games now only a month away, several members of Great Britain’s Commonwealth Games squad will suit up for a final tune-up at the British Gas International meet, which gets underway today at the Manchester Aquatic Centre in Great Britain. Michael Jamieson, Francesca Halsall, Ross Murdoch, Sophie Allen, Ben Proud, Liam Tancock, Jaz Carlin, Gemma Lowe and Hannah Miley are among the top names competing for the home country, while Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte headlines the short list of non-British competitors. Ireland will bring a small contingent to the meet, including Brendan Hyland, and Denmark will have a few swimmers in attendance as well. With only a few weeks till the major meet of the summer for most of these athletes, be on the lookout for some quick times.
2. Fran Crippen TYR Swim Meet of Champions
The Fran Crippen TYR Swim Meet of Champions kicks off tomorrow afternoon in Mission Viejo, Calif., with a lot of great swimmers from California and elsewhere in attendance. Olympic gold medalist Jessica Hardy is probably the biggest name at the meet, and will contest her usual sprint lineup that includes the 50 and 100 free and 100 breast. She’ll contend with a couple of up-and-coming sprinters in Abbey Weitzeil, Katie McLaughlin and Jasmine Mau in the freestyle events. A few collegiate standouts highlight the men’s lineup, as Cal will bring several members of its men’s team, including Seth Stubblefield and Tyler Messerschmidt. USC’s Cristian Quintero and Arizona’s Giles Smith are also scheduled to compete. It should be another great meet honoring one of the United States’ great long distance swimmers in Fran Crippen.
3. Australian Grand Prix #3
Australia’s third and final grand prix meet is slated for this Friday and Saturday at the Chandler Aquatic Centre in Brisbane. As was the case in the first two grand prix meets, the meet will feature a non-traditional racing format that includes 25s, 75s and 150s of each stroke, a 300 IM, 600 free and 4×25 freestyle and medley relays. Those events will take place on Friday, with a more traditional event lineup on Saturday. The meet will serve as a final “stage” meet for Australia’s Commonwealth Games squad that will travel to Glasgow in a couple of weeks for final preparations.
4. Bolles TYR Summer Classic
In addition to the larger, higher-profile international and national meets every week, there’s no shortage of age group meets each weekend during the summer. One to watch this weekend is the Bolles TYR Summer Classic in Jacksonville, which will feature a lot of young talent, including national age group record-holder Caeleb Dressel. Dressel, who set a bunch of 15-16 age group records last summer, is 17 now and will have a new set of records to go after. This weekend, he’ll swim the 50 and 100 free, 100 fly and 100 breast.
5. Jenny Thompson/Speedo Invitational
Another meet recognizing one of the country’s great swimmers is scheduled for this weekend, as the Jenny Thompson/Speedo Invitational comes to the Jenny Thompson Pool in Dover, N.H. Thompson was a staple on American relays for more than a decade and won 12 Olympic medals over the course of her career, which included four Olympics (1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004). There won’t be any big name swimmers at the meet, but the event has become a great tradition in the northeast honoring one of the greatest U.S. Olympians in history.