Four Questions To Be Asked Before the Columbus Pro Swim Series (PSYCH SHEET)

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

With the Columbus Pro Swim Series wrapping up the “regular season” next week, many swimmers will be shifting their focus to the US Nationals July 25-29 in Irvine, California. But for now, we have the Columbus Pro Swim Series to focus on.

The psych sheet is out and a lot of big names are missing, as we are less than four weeks away from Irvine. Superstars Katie LedeckyCaeleb DresselNathan Adrian and Kathleen Baker will not be in attendance in Columbus, but a good amount of the national team is, and we have five questions swimming fans should be asking themselves as they watch the Pro Swim Series conclude next weekend.


1. Are these the event lineups for each swimmer?

Is Chase Kalisz going to do the 200 breast? Will Kelsi Dahlia do the 200 fly/100 free double or will she choose one or the other? Will Leah Smith swim every distance event imaginable?

These are all valid questions because 1. Kalisz has done the 200 breast at Indianapolis, Santa Clara and Austin; 2. Dahlia has a chance to finish top four at Nationals in both events but is not guaranteed in either; and 3. Smith won the 400 IM unexpectedly last summer at Nationals, and decided to drop the 1500 because it was going to be too much.

Kalisz has been a 2:09 in the 200 breast already this year, which is the fourth fastest time by an American this year. Kalisz usually doesn’t swim the 200 breast at Nationals but could this be the year? He is the top seed for Columbus next week.

The 200 fly and 100 free are on the same day, and Dahlia could be a favorite in either if she decided to swim them. This weekend they are on different days so this could be the deciding factor for her.

Smith is capable of qualifying for Pan Pacs in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 frees. She isn’t doing the 1500 but she is doing the 400 IM and the 200 fly, as well as the aforementioned free races, so could she end up swimming every hard event in Irvine.

2. Is Zane Grothe “the guy” in the distance events now?

The United States has a tortured history in the men’s distance events. 1984 was the last time the US won the 400 and 1500 free gold medals at the Olympics, and 1975 was the last time they had a gold medalist at the World Championships.

Grothe isn’t quite ready to be the best in the world, but is he the face of distance swimming in the US after the retirement of Connor Jaeger? Grothe is seeded fourth in the 1500, second in the 800, second in the 400 and second in the 200 next weekend.

3. Which swimmer will break through this summer?

At the 2014 US Nationals, Kathleen Baker, Leah SmithRyan Murphy and Abbey Weitzeil made their first major international competition when they were not far removed from the junior team. Who will break through and make their first team this summer? Patrick Callan and Carson Foster represented the US in Indianapolis last summer at World Juniors and have shown they are knocking on the door to make the senior team. Callan is seeded fifth in the 400 free and fourth in the 200. Foster is seeded third in the 200 back, fourth in the 200 fly and fifth in the 200 IM.

Also last summer, Asia SeidtAli DeLoof and Kaersten Meitz made their Team USA debuts at World University Games and have shown this summer they could also knock on the door for the national team. Seidt is the top seed in the 200 back and fourth in the 100 back. DeLoof is the top seed in the 100 back and Meitz is sixth in the 400 free.

4. Is Michael Andrew the real deal?

Michael Andrew has been steadily improving each year but has yet to make that final push from the junior team to the senior team. Andrew had the second best time last summer for Team USA in the 50 free (yes, ahead of Nathan Adrian), and is the top seed there next week. He is also the second seed in the 100 fly and 100 breast, and is fourth in the 200 IM. Could Andrew finally make a major international meet? This could be the summer to do it as the 19-year-old is looking to live up to the major expectations put upon him as a kid.


  1. avatar
    Bobby mcgee

    Dahlia is not a threat to simone, Mallory, Neal, or Geer in 100 free. She should stick with the weakest event in US-200 fly.