U.S. swimmers find different pools for training; USA Swimming adjusts schedule

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With Stanford’s primary aquatic facility closed, it appears Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel found a different pool two miles up the road.

“So proud that Menlo Circus Club offered its pool while the world adjusts,” longtime commentator Ted Robinson tweeted, accompanying a photo of the swimmers. “A shining example of the generosity of community that will be our strength.”

Menlo, reached Monday, said the facilities, including a 25-yard pool, were made available to swimmers who were guests of a member.

This came after pools at some of the nation’s top swimming hubs were closed due to coronavirus concerns. This includes the University of Texas, the University of Georgia, the University of Florida and Stanford.

“Not too much to share other than the majority of our team has gone home to be with family,” Greg Meehan, the Stanford head coach and the U.S. Olympic women’s team coach for the Tokyo Games, said in an email Sunday. “We have a very small group here, including [Ledecky and Manuel], and we are utilizing local pools for the time being until we establish a long term plan. Things are very fluid and the groups done a great job of being patient and going with the flow.”

On Monday evening, USA Swimming announced the cancellation of the next-to-last Tyr Pro Series meet before June’s Olympic Trials. The meet was scheduled for Mission Viejo, Calif., from April 16-19, flipping the finals to the morning to mimic the Tokyo Olympic schedule.

The last Pro Series meet before trials — May 6-9 in Indianapolis — is still scheduled, though that could change in the coming days and weeks. On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended not holding gatherings of 50 or more people for eight weeks, which would run to May 10.

The U.S.’ best swimmers use the Pro Series to prep for trials and major international meets. For now, some are just looking to find a consistent training base.

“It just has been a waiting game and things are changing each hour,” Stanford senior and world 200m butterfly bronze medalist Katie Drabot said, according to Swimming World. “It is weird. My bags are packed and I am waiting to know where to go.”

Swimmers often spend weeks at a time at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s training center in Colorado Springs for high-altitude camps. A USOPC spokesperson said Monday, after speaking with national governing bodies, “at this time, there is no pathway to the OTC for anyone that’s not on the campus” though there have been other considerations “on a rolling basis.”

Pro swimmers who usually train at Indiana University, including Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Lilly King, and the University of California were either at the OTC already or en route late last week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

David Boudia, a four-time Olympic medalist diver, said Sunday he was still allowed to train at Purdue but believed the facility may close.

“Safe to say there are a number of NGBs and athletes groups that are being impacted by campus closures,” the USOPC spokesperson said.

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