COLLEGE PARK, Maryland, December 5. AN Olympic champion and a national high school record smasher are two of the swimmers to watch this weekend in SwimmingWorld.TV's live stream of the 2012 Tom Dolan Invitational.
The short course yards meet is hosted by Nation's Capital Swim Club, and its most prominent swimmer, Katie Ledecky, is scheduled to line up for four events in the four-day meet. Of the four, the 500 and 1000 freestyles are bound to be spectacular to watch, with the 15-year-old bound to chase Katie Hoff's American records.
Ledecky made a run at the 500 free American record last week at the USA nationals, posting a time of 4:34.53. Hoff's record stands at 4:30.47. While the American record might be a tall order this weekend, Ledecky has a legitimate shot at Hoff's 15-16 national age group record of 4:34.21. In the 1000 free, Ledecky has a best time of 9:22.35 from her 1000 split in the 1650 free at last week's nationals, and though she has been dropping extremely large amounts of time recently, it would be a major feat if she can drop 12 more seconds and break Hoff's American record of 9:10.77.
Ledecky is also scheduled to race the 200 free and 200 fly this weekend — unfortunately, we won't see another blazing-fast swim from Ledecky in the 1650 free this weekend. She is one of many superstars that have emerged from this meet in the past few years, including Allie Szekely of the Central Bucks Swim Club. Szekely, now 14, has improved almost as rapidly as Ledecky, and has gone from also-ran in the breaststroke events to major presence since becoming a fan favorite at the Olympic Trials. She'll have no problem winning her events in the 13-14 age group, and we'll see if she can approach the national age group records held by Megan Quann (100 breast) and Katie Hoff (200 breast).
Another youngster to watch on the women's side is 14-year-old Megan Byrnes from the host team. She had an incredible meet at the winter nationals, dropping 26 seconds from her seed time to place eighth in the 1650 free overall.
Jack Conger is the most established name on the men's side at this year's Tom Dolan Invitational, and he mentioned in a recent interview on “The Morning Swim Show” that he's planning on a full taper for this weekend. He's only entered in three events — 100 fly, 100 back and 200 back — and will undoubtedly have Ryan Murphy's 1:38.15 from the 200 back at last weekend's nationals on his mind. Though the 200 backstroke is Conger's top event, he could post something special in the 100 butterfly and backstroke events as well.
Also primed to swim well in the men's division is Michael Domagala of Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics. Domagala impressed last summer with a win at junior nationals and broke the national age group record last weekend with a 1:35.49. Can he lower his record even further in College Park? Watch for him also in the 100 fly and 100 free.
Andrew Seliskar of Nation's Capital also had a standout meet at nationals, making the championship final in the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 fly. He nearly claimed the 15-16 national age group record in the 200 IM, getting within .04 with a 1:45.21. Seliskar won't get another chance in 2012 to chase that record, as he is scheduled to swim in the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 freestyles, as well as the 200 back and 200 breast, this weekend.
SwimmingWorld.com and SwimmingWorld.TV will present the live stream of each finals session of the Tom Dolan Invitational beginning Friday. Finals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Don't miss a minute of this great meet!