Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel enter last Pro Series meet before world trials; broadcast info

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Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel headline the last Pro Swim Series meet before next month’s world championships trials, live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA this week.

The Pro Series stops in San Antonio, the last top-level meet before the world trials from April 26-30 in Greensboro, N.C. At trials, the top two in most events are in line to qualify for the world championships in June in Budapest.

This week in San Antonio, swimmers have the opportunity to post times that make them contenders to make the world team. The full entry list is here.

Ledecky already ranks No. 1 in the nation this year in her primary events: 200m freestyle (by 3.01 seconds), 400m free (by 3.78 seconds), 800m free (by 14.45 seconds) and 1500m free (by 41.18 seconds). The 400m is the longest race she entered this week.

Dressel, who like Ledecky is based at the University of Florida, ranks second, third and fourth in the nation this year in his three Olympic gold-medal events: 50m free, 100m butterfly and 100m free. Dressel has a well-earned reputation for significant time drops at major meets, so as of now there’s no reason to worry if he’s not a top seed in Greensboro.

All of the men who rank ahead of Dressel this season in those events are entered in San Antonio: Michael Andrew in the 50m free and 100m butterfly, Shaine Casas in the 100m fly and Maxime Rooney and Ryan Held in the 100m free. Casas is also ranked ahead of Dressel in the 100m free but didn’t enter the event this week.

Individual Olympic gold medalists Lilly King and Chase Kalisz are also entered.

Notably absent are two other individual Olympic champions. Neither Simone Manuel nor Allison Schmitt has competed since the Tokyo Games. Whether either enters the world trials has not been announced.

Pro Series San Antonio broadcast schedule (all times Eastern)
Wednesday: USASwimming.org, 5 p.m.
Thursday: Olympic Channel, 7-8:30 p.m.
Friday: Olympic Channel, 7-8:30 p.m.
Saturday: CNBC, 1-2:30 p.m.*
Saturday: USASwimming.org, 7 p.m.
Sunday: NBC, 12:30-2 p.m.*
*Delayed broadcast
Broadcast coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here with redactions.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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