Some of the biggest names in international swimming, including four Olympic gold medalists, are hitting town for a long weekend of racing.
But get ready, the format for the TYR Pro Swim Series at the Jamail Texas Swim Center won’t be as conventional as past meets.
The meet will feature 50-meter races in all the strokes. Relay teams in the 400 medley will feature both men and women. There also will be a “mystery” 200 individual medley in which the order of the strokes won’t be announced until just before race time.
Plus, the meet features the women’s 1,500 free and men’s 800 free. Neither is an Olympic event.
There also will be a new team component to the series, which will be making six stops across the country. Four teams will be captained by former Olympic stars Natalie Coughlin, Lenny Krayzelburg, Jason Lezak and Kaitlin Sandeno. Each team will feature six swimmers who can score points.
The biggest names expected to race include Olympic gold medalists Nathan Adrian, sprint freestyle; backstrokers Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers and Dana Vollmer, butterfly.
Austin-based swimmers who are on the U.S. national team will be competing, too. They include Jack Conger, Madisyn Cox, Will Licon, Dakota Luther, Clark Smith and Andrew Wilson. All but Luther and Wilson were standouts for Texas.
Other top swimmers to watch are Chase Kalisz and Mallory Comerford. Kalisz won gold medals in both individual medleys at last year’s world championships. Comerford was a part of five gold-medal relays at the worlds.
The meet in Austin starts Thursday. Preliminaries are at 9 a.m., with finals following at 6 p.m.
Swimmers are awarded prize money and points for a top-three finish in an Olympic event throughout the series. At the end of the series, the top male and female swimmers will receive a $10,000 bonus and a year’s lease on a new BMW.
In the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series, swimmers may earn awards for top-three finishes in all individual Olympic