One of the premier swimming tours in the U.S.A wrapped up this past weekend in Santa Clara, California.
With multiple swimming stars, top-quality prizes, and a high level of excitement, the Arena Pro Swim Series was one of the most memorable events in recent memory.
New Records, Classic Excitement from California
The Pro Swim Series Finale Brings New Records
The Pro Swim Series is world-renowned for excellent competition and top-notch prizes, helping attract elite swimmers from all over the globe, including many Olympic gold medalists.
As the final stop in the 2014-15 Pro Swim Series, the weekend event in Santa Clara, California had some of the most exciting races by the world’s top swimmers. The event was able to attract elite athletes thanks to a high level of competitions and great prizes, including a one-year BMW lease for the top-finishing American man and woman.
Regardless of nationality, the event also included a $10,000 prize for the overall winners. Altogether, the whole series awarded roughly $300,000 in prize money.
With 61 points, American Connor Dwyer was able to win the cash and the car. Katina Hosszu of Hungary finished with 91 points to win the $10,000 prize, while Caitlin Leverenz, the top-placing American female, had 43 points to earn the BMW lease.
New 50-Meter Backstroke Record from Natalie Coughlin
Early in the event, Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin set a new American and U.S. Open record in the 50-meter backstroke with a time of 27.51. Coughlin, who is 32 years old and won Olympic gold medals at Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008), set the new mark on Friday night, creating an atmosphere of excitement that lasted through the entire weekend. She was also able to beat her previous best in the event by over half a second.
“I think it’s a good indicator that I’m headed in the right direction,” Coughlin said after setting the new record. “I’ve been really consistent and strong all season, and I never really swim the 50 back so it’s hard to say what’s good for me, but I’m happy with that.”
Michael Phelps Continues to Excel
Michael Phelps, an eighteen-time Olympic gold medalist and possibly the most famous swimmer in the world, continued to set personal marks throughout the competition.
On Saturday, Phelps won the 200-meter fly, finishing with a time of 1:57.62, barely edging out a hard-fighting Chase Kaliz, who finished at 1:58.6. The personal mark from Phelps was three seconds ahead of the time he set in the competition just a month before.
Phelps continued his success the next day, winning the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 1:59.39, becoming the only swimmer in the race to finish under two minutes. During the Santa Clara event, Phelps was able to set personal bests for 200-meter fly, free, and individual medley.
“That’s kind of what we wanted to do,” Phelps told the media after the event, “to be able to progress throughout the year. I’m happy where I am now.”
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