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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, May 17. AT the Arena Grand Prix Charlotte today North Baltimore coach Bob Bowman and SwimMAC Carolina coach David Marsh each confirmed plans to swim in an exclusive meet in Athens, Georgia, the weekend of July 11-13. NBAC and SwimMAC will join swimmers from host Athens Bulldog Swim Club and also several from SwimAtlanta and Dynamo.
Bowman indicated the meet would fill a void in the racing schedule between the final stop on the Grand Prix circuit in Santa Clara in mid-June and USA Swimming’s National Championships, which don’t begin until early August. Bowman said that his top group of elite swimmers, including Michael Phelps, would be in town for the event.
Marsh explained that the idea for the meet had come as a result of the limited schedule of meets available and his hesitance to take his top athletes to a meet such as Speedo Sectionals. He preferred that his elite swimmers not have to swim in overcrowded extended prelim sessions at Sectionals. He added that he would take up to 40 swimmers to Athens, while his other swimmers would probably swim at the Greensboro Sectionals.
This meet would give Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte an opportunity to face off, assuming that Lochte has clearance to swim given the knee conditions which have kept him out of the Charlotte meet. Marsh indicated that the meet will feature a three day event schedule similar to the Grand Prix as part of the final preparation for Nationals.