PHOENIX, Arizona, November 15. IN just a few hours, Leisel Jones will announce that she is retiring from swimming, ending a 12-year career that includes multiple world records in the breaststrokes and nine Olympic medals. Jones had been unable to win a world or Olympic title until 2005, when she captured gold in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at the world championships. She won individual Olympic gold in 2008 in the 100 breast, and stayed in the sport through the 2012 Olympics, where she closed out her career with a fifth place in the 100 breast and a silver medal in the 400 medley relay. By our count, Jones is the most decorated female swimming Olympian in Australia, tied with Ian Thorpe.
A few college invitational meets start today in around the country. The Stanford men's team and the California women's team are competing in the Arena Invite in Long Beach, California, where the Cardinal usually posts some strong mid-season times. Arizona State will also be competing in Long Beach, and this will be Alex Coci's first major competition as a Sun Devil. The Romania native transferred this season from Alabama, and will be one to watch in the butterfly events. Coci was a championship finalist in the 200 fly at the 2012 NCAA meet.
The Tennessee men's and women's swim teams are likely to dominate the Tennessee Invitational, which was already underway this morning. Tennessee put up six of the top eight swimmers for tonight's final in the men's 500 free, and Kelsey Floyd is putting up an impressive double, going into finals as the top seed in the 500 free and 200 IM.
Virginia Tech is hosting the Hokie Fall Invitational, and Michael Flach is primed for a good swim tonight in the 500 free. He swam a 4:20.33 in prelims today, five seconds off the automatic NCAA qualifying time.
A big in-state dual meet is set to take place today, with Florida and Florida State doing battle in Tallahassee. Florida State's men's team has Mark Weber, who is tied as the second-fastest swimmer in the country right now in the 50 freestyle, while Florida boasts a big roster of Olympians that includes Sebastien Rousseau and Marcin Cieslak. On the women's side, Elizabeth Beisel will be the headliner, though the Seminoles will ride the wave of Tiffany Oliver, who has been posting fast sprint freestyle times so far.
We'll have results for you from these meets on swimmingworld.com today and throughout the weekend.