As part of the new British Swimming maxim to race more, a team of six British swimmers is heading to the US this week to compete in the next round of the US Grand Prix series which takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina, from 15th to 18th May. Two of those six, Lewis Coleman and Jessica Lloyd, will make the trip to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games later in the summer, while a further three will have considered themselves unlucky to not also be making that journey, but are rewarded for their performances at trials with this stateside expedition.
Rebecca Guy, Chris Steeples and Charlie Boldison all finished in the top three at trials, but fell foul of the 36 swimmer limit and the selection cut off that entailed. They get the chance here to measure themselves against the best America can offer and gain valuable high level race experience. Steeples enters the breaststroke events with the highest seeding of any of the team and should feature in the medal shake up. Guy takes on a full sprint freestyle programme while Boldison does the same on backstroke.
Until additional swims in Glasgow are confirmed nearer the time, Lloyd and Coleman are officially relay team members only, but the latter looks highly likely to get an opportunity in the 200IM come the summer. Coleman takes on that event, along with 200’s of freestyle (for which he is a relay squad member) and breaststroke. Lloyd meanwhile, is the busiest of the British contingent, with 5 individual events to contest, being a full suite of freestyle up to 200m and 50’s of backstroke and butterfly. The wildcard British selection is Bath’s Jonathan Carlisle, who joins Boldison in the backstroke events.
Also entered, and making a rather shorter journey, are Florida based Brits Dan Wallace and Jessica Thielmann, here representing the Gator Swim Club rather than their university as this isn’t an NCAA competition. After a difficult week for Wallace, and assuming he is allowed to compete, this represents an opportunity to shift the focus back to the pool, where it should be. He takes on the events he’s likely to be swimming in Glasgow with 200m and 400m freestyle and IM, and adds to that 200 breaststroke and 200 backstroke.
Thielmann meanwhile has her usual complement of freestyle races from 200 to 800m, but adds the 400IM and intriguingly the 200 breaststroke.