3 Swimmers Who Stood Out In the Pool In Santa Clara

Editorial content for the 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series Santa Clara is sponsored by Arena. For full Swimming World coverage, check out our coverage page.

Commentary by Jeff Commings, Swimming World Senior Writer

The Arena Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara was one of the last opportunities to see so many of the world’s best in one place before this summer’s big competitions. With the exception of those looking to race in French Open a couple of weeks from now, everyone else is now ready to put in their final weeks of training before the crucial taper period for the World University Games, Pan American Games and world championships.

We got to see pretty much all the top Americans, except for Katie Ledecky, Elizabeth Beisel, Conor Dwyer and a few others. Katinka Hosszu, Vlad Morozov and Femke Heemskerk were a few foreigners who provided some great competition. While the times on the scoreboard weren’t expected to be spectacular, there were three athletes who got everyone talking about the possibilities for later this summer.

Yuliya Efimova

According to swimming superfan Bill Bell, Efimova’s sweep of the breaststrokes in Santa Clara was a first for the Arena Pro Swim Series and its previous iterations. It is indeed difficult to find someone with sprint and endurance talent in breaststroke. Efimova is on track to take all three breaststrokes in front of a home crowd in Russia, which would also be a first. She almost did it in 2013, winning the 50 and 200 breast while taking silver in the 100. Efimova’s race strategies in all three races in Santa Clara showed that she knows when to turn on the necessary gears and get to the wall first. All eyes will be on her as she comes off a 16-month doping suspension, but it appears any doubts about her ability to race after a long hiatus have been erased.

Jun 21, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Yulia Efimova (RUS) won the Women's 50M Breaststroke Final in a time of 30.37 during the Championship Finals of day four at the George F. Haines International Swim Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Robert Stanton/USA Today Sports Images

Cody Miller

The field of male breaststrokers in the United States continues to grow each year, and Cody Miller is working his way to the top of the heap. He’ll be racing the 100 breast at the world championships, and after swimming a lifetime best 59.51 in Santa Clara, he puts himself in a good position to qualify for the championship final in Kazan. Hopefully, his best swim of 2015 will happen in six weeks. But don’t pigeonhole him as just a sprinter. During his four years at Indiana University, he excelled in the 200 breast as well and could join the likes of Brendan Hansen and John Moffet as Americans who qualify for both breaststroke events at the Olympics.

Miller, Cody-86

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Ryan Murphy

After last March’s NCAA championships, it became apparent that Murphy was going to be a major force in backstroke this year and next. But his dominating swims in the 100 and 200 backstrokes in Santa Clara sent a very clear message: Murphy will be the one to beat in Omaha next year. He’s only swimming the 200 back at worlds, where he is a serious medal favorite. The ease in which he won both races in Santa Clara has to give him plenty of confidence as he heads into the final phase of training.

Murphy, Ryan-14

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

5 Comments

5 comments

  1. avatar
    Sigh

    Here’s the problem we have with cheating. Dopers get to come back and be praised like they never did wrong. The best way to send a message that they’re unwanted is to ignore them. Make it uncomfortable for them rather than making it business as usual. Efimova should never be allowed to swim again let alone get a positive headline.

    • avatar
      neverswimneverswam

      Thank you for saying it.
      Swimming is such a beautiful sport.
      One which I’ve learned to love through my kids.
      May it not become completely contaminated by dope.
      Step up swim organizations; demand cheaters be banned for life.

  2. avatar
    Eric Lahmy

    I dislike this extremism. Efimova has paid for her fault, and now I think she is able to return to competition and to be admired, and to pass more and more doping controls!!! Remember that Jessica Hardy who swam near Efimova had too a problem of this sort. I think there is a difference between being doped and being “positive”. To be doped is trying to cheat. To be positive is to have something in your system which is not supposed to be there. Doping is the only offence where no difference is made between the intention to dope yourself and the “accidental” doping. And when you see the sad story of what happens to this Australian girl, Kylie Palmer.

  3. avatar
    aswimfan

    Wow… two of the three outstanding swimmers has/had problem.
    Efimova had doping problem and Miller has extra dolphin kicks.

Author: Jeff Commings

avatar
Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for SwimmingWorld.com and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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