USA Swimming's Grand Prix of Swimming series is kind of like NASCAR in pools with its multi-race format, in which competitors earn points that are then tallied for a cumulative score at the end of the season. But this Grand Prix has no rednecks or car crashes. Each competitor is awarded points for finishing in the top three of each stroke, and the swimmer with the most accumulated points after 6 events is crowned the champion, winning a $20,000 payday. The Grand Prix at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center is the first of 6 meets that will bring together the nation's top swimmers, including the American national team, for head-to-head competition with their goggled eyes focusing squarely on the green. Last year was the first time USA Swimming tried this format, and the result was an exciting three-way shootout between Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff, and Mary DeScenza. Phelps, surprise surprise, took the crown. This year, there will no doubt be plenty of up-and-coming swimmers looking to knock off the world's most famous one. Visit www.tc.umn.edu for complete schedule.
Nov. 14-16, 9 a.m., 2008