Update on Indiana Athletes

I haven’t lived in Indiana for over 30 years, but the roots run deep. I’ve been featuring Purdue and Indiana athletes in this blog. There is a good article in the Indianapolis Star that gets reactions from various athletes impacted by the postponement of the Olympics.

Check out the article here.

Swimming sport spotlight

Swimming tickets are a hard ticket to get, or at least it seemed so, and the price indicates they are popular. We managed to get tickets to session TOSWM04. There are 15 sessions of swimming, starting from July 25 through August 2. The events we will see in our session are:

  • Women’s 100m Butterfly Final and Victory Ceremony
  • Men’s 200m Freestyle Semifinals
  • Women’s 100m Breaststroke Semifinals
  • Men’s 100m Breaststroke Final and Victory Ceremony
  • Women’s 400m Freestyle Final and Victory Ceremony
  • Men’s 100m Backstroke Semifinals
  • Women’s 100m Backstroke Semifinals
  • Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final and Victory Ceremony

These events are finals and semifinals, so they will be highly competitive.

And, once again, one of the Purdue University spotlighted swimmers could be featured in the Women’s 400m Freestyle final, Kaersten Meitz. The US Olympic Team Trials are June 21 through June 28. In the 2019 World Rankings for LCM (50 m pool), Kaersten Meitz was 11th, with Katie Ledecky second ranked in the world and the highest American. Just behind was Leah Smith at number three. The top ranked in the Women’s 400m Freestyle is Ariarne Titmus of Australia.

The top performer in 2019 in the Women’s 100m Butterfly is Canadian Margaret McNeil, with Americans Kelsi Dahlia and Katie McLaughlin in the top ten.

Last year there were no Americans in the top ten Men’s 200m Freestyle. However, Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto was the fifth highest ranked swimmer so if he makes the finals the crowd will be crazy. American Andrew Seliskar is just outside the top ten.

Lilly King (from Evansville, Indiana and an IU grad) is the reigning world champion at the Women’s 100m Breaststroke, Annie Lazor had the third best time of the year, and Japan’s Reona Aoki had the fourth best time. More crazy fans likely for this event as well.

In the World Championships last year, Adam Peaty of Great Britian set the Men’s 100m Breaststroke world record, fellow countryman James Wilby (not this James Wilby) had the third fastest time of the year, Yasuhiro Koseki had the eighth fastest time, and American Andrew Wilson had the ninth fastest. Yet another chance to see a Japanese swimmer get a home country boost.

China’s Jiayu Xu had the top time in the 100m Backstroke, and three Americans, Ryan Murphy (not Indianapolis’ Ryan Murphy of “Glee” fame), Shaine Casas, and Matt Grevers were all in the top ten as well as Japan’s Ryosuke Irie.

The Women’s 100m backstroke top time of 2019 is held by American’s Regan Smith, who set a world record at the 2019 World Championships and will graduate from high school THIS YEAR. Three other Americans, Phoebe Bacon (another high schooler), Olivia Smoliga, and Kathleen Baker are also in the top 10.

Finally, the USA had the fastest Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay, followed by Russia and Australia. Japan was tenth.

Note to USA Swimming – hire a professional photographer to do your bio shots. Preferably someone who knows how to use the “focus” feature.

One swimmer we won’t be seeing in the Men’s 200m Freestyle event is Sun Yang. He was banned for eight years for his second doping violation.