Five Storylines: LA Invite, Sectionals And Three National Championships Underway

Mar 31, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Katinka Hosszu wins the women's 200 meter butterfly during the championship final at the Indianapolis Grand Prix at the Indiana University Natatorium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

By Emily Sampl

BOULDER, Colorado, July 18. THIS weekend’s Los Angeles Invitational may be the top American meet on the schedule this weekend, but there are plenty of other meets to follow as well, as four different sectional meets are going on across the country and three different national championships are taking place internationally.

1. Los Angeles Invitational

The top American meet on the schedule this weekend is the LA Invite, which began yesterday with prelims of the women’s 800 free and men’s 1500 free. Some of the top US swimmers are competing, including Natalie Coughlin, Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy, Nathan Adrian, Matt Grevers and others. As nationals creep closer and closer, it’s another chance for these swimmers, and up-and-coming swimmers hopeful of making their first national or international team, to gain more racing experience against some of the top names in the sport. Keep an eye out for some fast times across the board.

2. Speedo Champions Series – Oregon, Iowa, North Carolina and Missouri

Four Speedo Champions Series sectional meets are currently underway, in Gresham, Ore., Iowa City, Iowa, Greensboro, N.C. and Columbia, Mo. The sectional meets always serve as a great tune-up meet for those moving on to nationals later in the summer, or for younger swimmers hoping to qualify for junior nationals next month. A lot of collegiate swimmers return to their club teams to train over the summer as well, which makes the summer sectional meets even more competitive and exciting than those in the spring.

3. Hungarian Open National Championships

Any meet Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu is entered in is worth following, as she regularly posts quick times and walks away with half a dozen titles. The Hungarian Open National Championships this week in Debrecen have been no different, as Hosszu has already garnered five individual national titles. If you haven’t been following this meet, now would be a good time, as several quick times have already been put up by Hosszu and others.

4. Canadian National Championships

The Canadian National Championships got underway Wednesday in Saskatoon and feature some of the top swimmers in the country, including Noemie Thomas, Eric Hedlin, Dominique Bouchard and Ashley McGregor. With Canada’s national team traveling to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in only a week, the meet has given some of the second-tier swimmers a chance to shine in a major national competition.

5. South Korean National Championships

South Korean Olympic champion Tae Hwan Park has already picked up a trio of individual titles at his home country’s national championships, which began earlier this week. Park has posted a 1:45.25 in the 200 free, 3:44.75 in the 400 free and a 2:00.31 in the 200 IM to stay right on par with his season bests this year. His 200 free time is the top-ranked swim of 2014; keep an eye out for more potential world-leaders in the coming days.