Six Stories to Follow at the 2018 Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions (PSYCH SHEET)

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The annual Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions returns to the Marguerite Aquatics Complex from June 21-24 and will be hosted by the Mission Viejo Nadadores. With the start of the meet just two days away, the psych sheet has been released and features a multitude of talented swimmers from the United States and abroad.

Click here to view the full psych sheet. 

Here are six storylines to watch throughout the 2018 edition of the Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions:

Li Bingjie Highlights Chinese National Team Contingent

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Li Bingjie splashed into swimming’s spotlight at last summer’s World Championiships in Budapest, shocking the world as she kept close to Katie Ledecky’s heels in the 800 free and earning herself a silver medal for her efforts. She later added a bronze in the 400 free as well. Since then, Bingjie has continued to post impressive times for a 16-year-old and she enters the 2018 Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions with the potential to earn medals in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles.

The 16-year-old holds the top seed in the 1500 and is seeded second in the 200, 400 and 800. For each of the events that she is seeded second, a fellow teammate from the Chinese national team holds the top spot.

Blake Pieroni Adds Sprint Butterfly to Weekend Schedule

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2018 has been an exciting year for former Indiana Hoosier Blake Pieroni. At the NCAA Championships in March, Pieroni became the first man to break 1:30 in the 200-yard freestyle, transitioned into life as a professional swimmer, and swam in his first long-course meet since the World Championships at the Indy stop of the TYR Pro Swim Series.

This weekend, Pieroni has entered a total of five events testing his freestyle prowess and his sprint butterfly skills. He enters as the top seed in both the 100 (48.23) and 200 (1:46.30) freestyles and is seeded ninth in the 50 (22.70). He is entered tenth overall in the 50 fly and fourth overall in the 100 fly. He’ll face some veteran sprinters in the 50 and 100 free as both Vlad Morozov and Anthony Ervin are also entered.

Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell Trade Open Water for the Pool

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell are among the Queens of open water swimming for Team USA, with both athletes having already secured spots on Team USA’s Pan Pacs roster later in August. However, both Anderson and Twichell are also avid pool swimmers, entering and claiming victories in various distance events throughout the years.

This weekend, Anderson has picked up a full schedule of pool events, entering the 400, 800 and 1500 free, as well as the 200 fly and 400 IM. She is seeded among the top seven in each of her events with her highest entry being third in the 400 IM (4:49.54). Twichell, meanwhile, will participate in the mid to long-distance freestyle events and is entered in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles. Her highest seeds are the 400, 800 and 1500 where she is seeded third for each.

Anthony Ervin Getting Back in the Swing of Sprinting

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Sprint veteran Anthony Ervin has kept a relatively low profile over the last year, seldomly entering meets. The 37-year-old was recently seen at the 2018 Speedo Grand Challenge, where he placed 16th in the 50 free (24.13) and swam in the 100 free in prelims.

This weekend, Ervin will be swimming the same schedule and is entered in the 50 and 100 freestyles only. While he is seeded fourth and eleventh, respectively, in his two events, he will have strong competition from fellow sprinters Vlad Morozov, Yuri Kisil, Michael Chadwick, and more.

Katie Meili Returns from International Competition

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

After spending time abroad and swimming in the 2018 Mare Nostrum Series, Katie Meili has returned to the U.S. and will get some long course racing in California ahead of the upcoming Phillips 66 National Championships. While abroad, Meili faced strong competition from international rivals like Yulia Efimova, Sophie Hansson, and Kanako Watanabe.

Meili will stick to her usual sprint breaststroke events this weekend, entering as the top seed in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke, but is also slated to compete in the 50 free and 200 IM.

Abrahm DeVine Getting Re-Acquainted with Long Course Racing

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This upcoming weekend will be the second long course meet of the 2018 calendar year for DeVine as he recently swam at the Santa Clara stop of the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series. While there, DeVine swam the 200 back and 400 IM, finishing ninth and seventh respectively.

This weekend, DeVine is expanding his schedule and is entering the 50 free, 200 free, 100 back, 200 fly and 200 IM. His highest seed of the five is the 200 IM where he enters as the top seed at a 1:56.79.

2 Comments

2 comments

  1. avatar
    Jamie

    Who is coaching the Chinese nationals Li Bingjie and Ai Yanhan these days? Thieir previous coach, Liu Haitao, was reportedly suspended for two years in connection with the doping violation of their 16-year-old teammate Lin Zixuan who swam the second leg of China’s 4×200 Free Relay at 2017 Worlds.

Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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