PHOENIX, Arizona, January 17. AFTER one week of dual meets so far in 2013, the University of Southern California women's team still stands at the top of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America's poll. The Trojans first landed there after posting fast times at the USA Swimming nationals and stayed there after winning three dual meets this month. The Georgia Bulldogs moved up from third to second after also posting wins in three dual meets, while the California Bears jumped from fourth to third thanks to their divers. Berkeley hasn't swum in a meet since mid-December, but their divers' performances at the Bruin Diving Invite gave them a boost.
Auburn made the biggest jump in the poll, from eleventh to fifth after beating Texas and Texas A&M, both of whom were previously ranked higher than Auburn.
This morning, Garrett Weber-Gale told Swimming World that he's going to compete in the Maccabiah Games in Israel in July, saying if he makes the world championship team at nationals this summer, he will skip worlds for the opportunity to swim at the Maccabiah Games.
The Arena Grand Prix gets underway in Austin tomorrow morning, with this being the first meet offering per-race cash prizes to the top three finishers. The money is being made available thanks to the new partnership between Arena and USA Swimming, and we're bound to see some pro swimmers racing harder this weekend for a piece of the pie. Some of those swimmers will be Chloe Sutton and Kate Ziegler in the women's distance events and a team of Canadians coming down south to earn a little cash and race among the best. The men's side of the meet is packed with Olympic star power, including Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, Tyler Clary and Clark Burckle. Missy Franklin won't be able to accept any prize money, but she'll no doubt be at or near the top of the medal podium in many events. We'll be bringing you full coverage of the meet throughout the weekend on swimmingworld.com.
While we sleep tonight in North America, the Aquatic Super Series will begin in Perth, Australia, with swimmers from Australia, China and South Africa will race for cash prizes. Australia and China will be fielding impressive teams, including a few Olympic medalists, while South Africa will be without superstars Chad Le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh in the country's effort to give younger swimmers the opportunity to race against the world's best. On the women's side, Ye Shiwen and Alicia Coutts will likely renew their rivalry in the 200 IM, while James Magnussen is likely to be the star of the sprint freestyle events. We'll be bringing you results from that meet on swimmingworld.com.