INDIANAPOLIS – A number of countries have already held their Olympic Trials and swimmers have posted some blazing fast times heading into the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
With the U.S. Olympic Team Trials still three months away, many American swimmers are in the midst of heavy training. This week’s Indianapolis Grand Prix offers them an opportunity to race against some of the top swimmers in the country, but because of where they are in their training cycle, many won’t be at their fastest.
We asked some of America’s top swimmers what it was like to see the rest of the world swim fast while they are still training for their big day in the sun.
Here’s what they had to say:
“When we were at NCAAs, I was checking Australian results from their Trials, and it makes me really excited to get back into long course swimming. I love college swimming, and swimming for my team, but I’ve always liked long course swimming more. So I’m really excited about getting back into swimming long course and seeing where I’m at, because it’s hard to compare (short course to long course times). I swam my best times by a lot in short course, but how that compares to the rest of the world, I’ll just have to see.”
- 2011 U.S. World Championships Team member Caitlin Leverenz, who won titles in the 200-yard IM, 200y breaststroke, the 200y medley relay and the 400y medley relay earlier this month at the NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving Championships. She also set three American and three NCAA records.
“I love looking at their times and seeing what they’re doing, but I never really let it get to my head. All I need to be focused on is myself, what I’m doing, my teammates and motivating them, and having them motivate me, and just working together. It’s awesome to see what everyone else is doing, and they’re posting incredible times. That’s great for them, but right now, I just focus on what I’m doing.”
- World Champion Missy Franklin
“It’s kind of motivating to see people go so fast. A month or so ago, I went to the Missouri Grand Prix, and some Canadians were there. There were a few flyers who beat me in the 100 fly. It was kind of cool to just race against them and see how well they do. It’s just motivation to train harder and do better, because my main goal is Olympic Trials and hopefully the Olympics, but the first thing is Olympic Trials, so I’m just focusing more on that." - Claire Donahue, Pan American Games gold medalist in the 100m butterfly and 400m medley relay.
“I rarely look at results, whether it’s college swimming or international. The only results I really follow are the Texas guys. I did watch the 100 freestyle at the Australian Trials, and it’s incredible. (James Magnussen) is swimming super fast, but I think it’s good that we’re watching that, because it just makes us more excited for swimming fast and for getting ready to do what we need to do. It’s kind of like in diving – you always want to go in the end so you can see what people are doing. It just gives us a good idea of what people are doing and what’s possible.” - Olympic gold medalist Garrett Weber-Gale
“It’s definitely motivating. Any time you see a fast time pop up, no matter when it is in the season, I think it’s motivation. We’ll see. We’re training hard, and come June we’ll be ready to post those fast times and even faster times at the Olympics." - Olympian and world champion Kate Ziegler