April 30, 2011
Elite Grand Prix event likely to return to Ann Arbor next year
Although the final dates of next season's Grand Prix series aren't expected to be finalized until later this summer, USA Swimming would like to come back to Canham Natatorium in the spring of 2012 -- possibly late April -- if dates can be worked out with the University of Michigan, said Bailey Weathers, executive head coach of Club Wolverine.
The U.S. Olympic trials for the London Summer Games are June 25-July 2, 2012, in Omaha, Neb.
The three-day Namesnik Grand Prix, named in honor of Eric Namesnik, the two-time Olympic silver medalist and Michigan graduate who died in a car accident 2006, concluded Sunday night.
Returning to Canham for the first time in four years, the event attracted capacity crowds of just under 1,000 fans for the finals the first two nights. More than 50 people who were waiting in line for tickets Saturday were turned away, Weathers said.
Former U-M men's swimming head coach Bob Bowman, who coaches Phelps, said he was impressed with the organization of the meet.
"Look at the crowds, it's been great," Bowman said.
Weathers said: "If it can work out, we'd love to have it again."
Weathers said dozens of volunteers from Club Wolverine helped run the meet. USA Swimming -- the sport's national governing body -- was also pleased with Domino's sponsorship of "Project Detroit," a program that assisted youth swimmers from the city of Detroit to come to Ann Arbor over the weekend to attend the competition, Weathers said.