PHOENIX, Arizona, June 10. MANY of the top swimmers who have already earned selection to the world championships had a field day with the world rankings last weekend. The first meet on the Mare Nostrum circuit in Monaco produced several top times, including a European record by Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte in the 100 breaststroke. Meilutyte swam a 1:05.20 in the 100 breast on Saturday to break her European record from the 2012 Olympics by one hundredth of a second. Meilutyte almost made it two European records last weekend with a 30.11 in the 50 breaststroke, just two hundredths off Yulia Efimova's record.
France's Camille Muffat also swam her best 400 free of the season with a 4:02.84 to lead the world rankings in pursuit of her first world championship title to go with last year's Olympic gold medal in the 400 free. The next stop in the Mare Nostrum tour begins tomorrow in Barcelona, the site of this summer's world championships, though the meet tomorrow won't be held in the swimming venue. Meilutytye will get another chance to set European records, which carry a cash prize of 1,500 Euros. Joining the Mare Nostrum tour will be Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia, the two-time Olympic medalist, as well as Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh and Aya Terakawa, the fastest 100 backstroker in the world so far this year.
Back here in the States, Canada's Katerine Savard surprised herself with a lifetime best in the 100 butterfly at the Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, California, breaking her own Canadian record of 57.80 with a 57.40. Savard has been having a great couple of weeks in the pool, first beating Olympic champion Dana Vollmer at the Arena Grand Prix in Santa Clara and now a national record. Her time from Sunday stands as the second-fastest in the world for 2013 so far.
Emily Seebohm had a much better meet in Mission Viejo than she did in Santa Clara, posting a 1:00.03 in the 100 back and 2:12.7 in the 200 IM. Seebohm will be racing both of those events at the world championships in Barcelona.
The Texas senior circuit meet in College Station, Texas, was an opportunity for some Olympians living in the Lone Star State to get in some racing, but no times out of the ordinary were posted. Ricky Berens showed some consistency in the 200 free, posting his second 1:48-mid of the year, but not enough to beat Conor Dwyer's 1:47.1 from last week. Breeja Larson is still one of the top breaststrokers in the United States, but wasn't able to match Jessica Hardy's 1:06 from last week with a 1:08.09.
On Friday, Grand Canyon University head swim coach Steve Schaffer sent a letter to the collegiate swimming community in the United States to let them know about a new championship swim meet for those teams and swimmers in Division I who fall short of qualifying for the NCAA championships. The meet will be held in late March and will feature swimmers from Grand Canyon University and University of the Incarnate Word, two schools starting four-year transitions to Division I, as well as several mid-major schools that will have the opportunity to give swimmers a post-conference championship meet. The competition will be held in Dallas.