- Day 1 - Erik Vendt Breaks American Record at 2008 Toyota Southern California Grand Prix of Swimming
- Day 2 - Seven Meet Records at 2008 Toyota Southern California Grand Prix of Swimming
- Day 3 - Joyce and Grevers Win Twice, Six Meet Records Fall at 2008 Toyota Southern California Grand Prix of Swimming
- Day 4 - Phelps Wins Double Gold on Final Night of the 2008 Toyota Southern California Grand Prix of Swimming
- 2007-2008 Toyota Grand Prix Swim Meet Series Schedule
A talented field of top American swimmers, including 23 members of the U.S. National Team, are expected to compete at the Toyota Southern California Grand Prix of Swimming in Long Beach, Calif., Jan. 18-21. This event, which will be held at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, is the second stop in the eight-meet Toyota Grand Prix Swim Meet Series.
World record-holder Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) and Olympic medalists Erik Vendt (North Easton, Mass.), Kaitlin Sandeno (Lake Forest, Calif.) and Jason Lezak (Irvine, Calif.) will swim in their first meet of the new year in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Team Trials - Swimming, June 29 to July 6 in Omaha, Neb. Adding to the stacked field in Long Beach are Olympians Tara Kirk (Bremerton, Wash.), Peter Vanderkaay (Rochester, Mich.), Margaret Hoelzer (Huntsville, Ala.), Klete Keller (Phoenix, Ariz.), Kara Lynn Joyce (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Larsen Jensen (Bakersfield, Calif.).
USA Swimming announced Monday that the top medal-winner at the culmination of the eight-meet Toyota Grand Prix Series will be awarded $20,000, courtesy of Toyota and USA Swimming. A leaderboard can be found at www.usaswimming.org.
The Toyota Grand Prix Series serves as an opportunity for athletes to race against top-notch competition as they continue their preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Other stops in the series include Columbia, Mo.; Columbus, Ohio; Santa Clara, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C. and Omaha, Neb. the last which will take place at the same location of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Swimming.
Things to Watch at the Meet
- Locals in Action: It will be a short trip for several top Olympic hopefuls competing in the Toyota Southern California Grand Prix. Among them, Long Beach Wilson grad and World Championship gold medalist Jessica Hardy, Irvine's Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak and Bakersfield resident and Olympic silver medalist Larsen Jensen.
- A First Purse: For the first time, Toyota and USA Swimming will team up to award a substantial purse to the top medal winner at the end of the eight-meet Toyota Grand Prix Series. Points will be awarded for each medal as follows: five points for gold; three points for silver and one point for bronze. The prize will be given to the highest-scoring swimmer at the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational in Omaha, Neb., June 5-8.
- Short Course Warm-Up: The Toyota Southern California Grand Prix will serve as accurate training ground for the U.S. Team headed to the FINA Short Course World Championships this spring. World Champ team members competing in Long Beach include Olympians Margaret Hoelzer and Larsen Jensen, and Club Wolverine's Chris DeJong.
- Phelps' Lucky Number Eight: The number eight has a special meaning for both the Beijing Olympic Games and Michael Phelps. While the Olympics will kick-off at 8 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2008, Phelps will look to qualify in eight Olympic events at Trials. If Phelps qualifies for eight, he will have a chance to break Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals at one Olympics. His appearance in Long Beach, Calif. will be his first meet of the new year.
- Toyota's Engines of Change with Kaitlin Sandeno: When she was 12 years old, Olympic gold medalist Kaitlin Sandeno (Lake Forest, Calif.) was diagnosed with asthma. Despite severe attacks, she continued training and competing and with new medication and more active care, Kaitlin's symptoms improved and so did her swimming. Now, as an "Engine of Change" for corporate sponsor Toyota, Kaitlin gives hope to others with asthma by working to raise funds and building awareness about the dangers of asthma and how to live with them.