2022 CA MVN Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions
March 31 – April 3, 2022
Marguerite Aquatic Center, Mission Viejo, CA
Hosted by Mission Viejo Nadadores
NCAAs are over, but boy, the world of swimming just does not slow down! This week, we of course have the TYR Pro Swim Series in San Antonio, YMCA Nationals, and U.S. Open Water Nationals. Additionally, Mission Viejo’s annual Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions is set to kick off Thursday, featuring a multitude of Olympian, U.S. National Team members, and rising junior stars. The meet serves as an important tune-up, as for many competing here this will be their final chance to race before the U.S. International selection Trials at the end of April.
The meet will also mark former U.S. National Team member Grant Shoults‘ retirement. Shoults, who competed at the Men’s NCAA Championships last week, announced via Twitter today that he will be retiring following this meet.
This Friday will mark my last race as a competitive swimmer and I am incredibly excited to do so at my home pool in Mission Viejo (SMOC). Thank you everyone for the amazing support throughout my career and I can’t wait to be light it up in my 1st and last day as a Pro Swimmer! pic.twitter.com/TjnIKbTFzv
— grantshoults (@grantshoults) March 29, 2022
It’s a poetic ending for Shoults’ competitive career, as he competed for Mission Viejo Nadadores growing up, and as he notes in his tweet, the meet is being held at his “home pool.” Shoults is entered in one race at the meet, the 400 free, where he is the top seed. The 400 free is Shoults’ best event, the event in which he qualified for the U.S. National Team in 2018-2019 after finishing 2nd at U.S. Nationals in 2018. Shoults also won Gold at the 2016 World Junior Championships in the 400 free.
Outside of Shoults, World Record holder Ryan Murphy is set to compete this week. Murphy is entered in the 50 back, 100 back, 200 back, and wait for it… the 100 fly! Yes, Murphy is seeded 2nd in the 100 fly behind Cal pro teammate Tom Shields, who holds the top seed with a 51.03.
Another American backstroke star, Kathleen Baker, is set to race, entered in the 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM, and 100 free. This will mark Baker’s first LCM meet of the year, and it’s an important one. With the rise of all the young women’s backstrokers in the U.S., plus swimmers such as Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh in the 200 IM, Baker will have her hands full in attempting to qualify for the U.S. World Champs this summer.
One such young backstroker is also going to be competing at this meet. Unattached 15-year-old Teagan O’Dell is entered in the 50 back, 100 back, 200 back, 50 free, 100 free, and 200 IM. O’Dell made waves last summer as a 14-year-old when she broke 2:10 in the 200 back at the Speedo Summer Championships West meet.
U.S. Olympian Abbey Weitzeil is slated to race in the 50 and 100 free this weekend. The 50 free ought to be an exciting race, as Weitzeil is seeded 2nd behind Polish sprint star Kasia Wasick.
13-year-old Kayla Han out of La Mirada Armada is set for a very heavy event schedule this week. Han had an exceptional 2021, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials as just a 12-year-old, and breaking the 11-12 National Age Group (NAG) Records in the 400 IM and 400 free. This week, Han is set to race both IMs, plus the 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles.