Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doubling Up for the World Championships

The USA Swimming 10K National Championships and World Championship Team Trials will be held in Ft. Myers, Florida on June 14th. The trials are held concurrently with Swimming Canada's World Championship team trials, so the competition should be good.

The Open Water Festival, run by Gregg Cross, includes a US Masters Swimming 5K Open race, the USA Swimming National 5K Championships, US Masters Swimming one-mile race, Florida Swimming's 800-meter 10&U Open Water Junior Olympics, 1.5K 11-12 Open Water Junior Olympics, 2.5K 13-14 Open Water Junior Olympics, 2.5K Senior Open Water Championships and a Duathlon (1.5K run + 400-meter swim + 1.5K run) and the USMS Masters Mile (Florida vs. Florida Gold Coast Challenge).

In addition to the top Canadian swimmers, there will probably be at least four experienced open water swimmers in the women's 10K lead pack. Olympian 10K swimmer Chloe Sutton, who is swimming extraordinarily well in the pool nowadays, will probably push the pace with Kirsten Groome, Eva Fabian and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Ashley Whitney fighting for a berth on the world championship team. We have heard of a few other top swimmers who will enter, but whose coaches wish their participation to be kept confidential until the entry list is made public.

With such a competitive group of Americans and Canadians, maintaining a good position within the lead pack is going to be tough, but it will be good preparation for the world championships in Rome.

What is interesting is how each of the swimmers will view the 5K and 10K races. The 5K race is on Friday and the 10K race is on Sunday. Most Europeans double-up on the 5K and 10K at the world and European championships, believing they are well-prepared to perform well in both races with two days rest.

However, with so much on the line at the trials, we wonder if the top swimmers are going to go all-out in the 5K - or just get a good feel for the course. With such a competitive group and so few top open water races in the US, it is our guess that no one will want to simply concede the 5K with plenty of time to recouperate for the 10K. But, we'll see.

No comments: