PHOENIX, Arizona, October 22. FROM the FINA World Cup to the college dual meets in the United States we had plenty of great swims to applaud. Sometimes I equate this task to picking the winners of the Academy Awards. What makes on performance better than another? In the end, there will be disagreement, and that’s the type of discussion we hope our Performance of the Week honors generate.
In honoring our Performance of the Week, we go to last weekend’s SMU Classic in Dallas, where six teams raced in a unique format that had one swimmer from each team in the final heat racing for the win. Only one person was able to win three events in the meet, and that was Louisville’s Tanja Kylliainen. The junior won the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 fly, but winning three events isn’t what gives her this award. She wins because of her amazing double on Saturday night, winning the 200 fly with a 1:54.99 and then 10 minutes later, winning the 200 IM in 1:58.31. Her 200 fly time was just six tenths off her lifetime best, and her 200 IM was about a second off her lifetime best.
To do a double like this in-season is not out of the ordinary, but to do it so well shows a lot of promise for this rising star, and for that, Tanja, you’ve won the Speedo Performance of the Week.