AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 15 – With the U.S. Olympic Trials just a few months away, American swimming hopefuls are working hard to get prepared. Seventy members of the U.S. national swimming team, including Avon’s Madison Kennedy, are in Austin this weekend for the second leg of the Arena Pro Swim Series.
Racing began Friday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas.
Among the competitors are three-time Olympian Natalie Coughlin and 2012 Olympic champions Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and Ryan Locthe.
Kennedy, 28, is scheduled to swim in three events. She competed Friday morning in the 100 freestyle. She was seeded 13th in the field and finished 14th in qualifying with a time of 55.59 seconds, earning a spot in the B final where she was 10th with a time of 54.78.
Coughlin finished ninth with a time of 54.40 seconds. Katie Ledecky was the top American in second place with a time of 53.75 seconds. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum, 22, won the race in 53.12 seconds.
Kennedy is scheduled to swim in her best event – the 50 meter freestyle on Saturday morning. She is the No. 6 seed in the field with a time of 24.71 seconds. There are three international swimmers ahead of Kennedy, which makes her the third seeded American.
On Sunday, she is scheduled to compete in the 100 meter back stroke, where she is seeded 73rd.
Phelps, an 18-time Olympic gold medalist who is attempting to make his fifth U.S. Olympic Team, is the top seed in the men’s 100 and 200 butterfly, and 200 individual medley. Eleven-time Olympic medalist Lochte will battle Phelps in the 200 IM and 100 fly, among other events. He is seeded second in the 200 IM.
Franklin’s planned events include the women’s 100 freestyle and 200 backstroke, where she is the second seed. She is the third seed in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
A webcast of the complete meet will be available at usaswimming.org. It will also be broadcast on Universal Sports Network, which isn’t available on any Connecticut cable networks.
The series provides the nation’s best swimmers the opportunity to face top-flight competition on U.S. soil.