By Emily Sampl//Contributor | Monday, July 23, 2018One of the biggest swim meets of the summer – the Phillips 66 National Championships – gets underway July 25-29 in Irvine, Calif., and the top names in USA Swimming will be competing. Why is this meet such a big deal? Here are five reasons to tune in!
1. The Phillips 66 National Championships will serve as the selection meet for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan, held August 9-12. The 2019 FINA World Championship team will then be selected based on combined results from nationals and Pan Pacs. Swimmers looking to be a part of the next two major international competitions before the 2020 Olympics need to make a statement in Irvine.
2. Where else can you see this many top swimmers in one place? The psych sheet is full of Olympic gold medalists, world championship medalists, world record holders and American record holders. With names like Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, Simone Manuel, Nathan Adrian, Missy Franklin and Ryan Murphy slated to compete – just to name a few – there’s no better time or place to see the top Americans compete on U.S. soil.
3. You never know who will come out of the woodwork and qualify for a major international team. We’re two years out from the 2020 Olympics, and the race is on for both veterans and up-and-comers to solidify themselves as contenders. Traditionally, the summer nationals meet that’s halfway between Olympic Games has featured some quick times and breakout swims from swimmers flying under the radar.
4. Any time there are spots on the line and teams to qualify for, the top swimmers are going to bring their A game. Keep an eye on the world, American and U.S. Open records – you never know when one might go down. With fast times already having been posted at the Pro Swim Series meets this year, some record-breaking swims could definitely go down in Irvine.
5. Nothing says summer like fast swimming on TV and Rowdy Gaines. Five straight days of action-packed racing from the comfort of your couch, with the best commentating in the business – why wouldn’t you tune in?
Make sure to check the full webcast and TV schedule for ways to watch.