LOS ANGELES, California, July 15. THE psych sheets for this weekend’s L.A. Invitational on the campus of the University of Southern California reveals a Who’s Who of top names on the West Coast of the United States, including Olympic champions Missy Franklin and Nathan Adrian.
The meet will also feature a small group of Australians who will attempt to qualify for the Pan Pacific championships, which will be held next month in their home country. Swimming Australia designated the meet as a “last chance” competition for these athletes to post a time that will allow them a chance to swim tapered against a strong international field. Ashley Delaney, Katie Goldman and Kylie Palmer look to be the ones with the best chance to improve on their times. Delaney will race all three backstroke events against the likes of Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers, while Goldman and Palmer will face off against each other in the distance freestyle races.
Franklin is set to swim in her typical events (100 and 200 back, 100 and 200 free) with a 50 freestyle thrown in. Franklin will square off against Natalie Coughlin and Yolane Kukla, an Australian teen who is looking to fulfill the potential she first showed in 2010. Kukla could also put up a good time that might qualify her for relay duty at Pan Pacs.
On the men’s side, the Cal men’s group will likely dominate in events 100 meters and shorter. Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin, as expected, are the top seeds in the 50 and 100 freestyles. Kevin Cordes will square off against Kosuke Kitajima in the breaststroke events as Kitajima looks to find his way back to the top of the Japanese ranks after a couple of years of falling behind some rising talent.