Ella Eastin Hopes To Push Through Mono, Compete For National Championship

Ella Eastin. Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

By Dan D’Addona.

It’s tough enough being one of the top swimmers in the country, but Ella Eastin always seems to have some added adversity going into a big meet.

The Stanford national champion has dealt with injuries, heat stroke and other issues before big meets in the past.

Next week’s national championships will be no different. She is entered in most of the butterfly and IM events.

Eastin has mononucleosis, which has threatened her chance to compete at nationals, but hasn’t stopped her.

“I put in a ton of work before this. It won’t come as easy. It is ultimately going to be my decision. I have to take into account the clinical information I received and the doctors. It will be my decision in terms of my short-term and long-term health, if I think my body is ready,” Eastin said. “I have to mentally be in that state to give myself the best opportunity. When the time comes I will have to do with the reality of possibly not swimming, but I have to be in the mindset to compete. It will be interesting to see how my body reacts.”

It hasn’t been easy.

Mononucleosis is a contagious illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Some cases cause liver inflammation and enlargement of the spleen, making it difficult for athletes to compete for fear of rupturing the spleen.

“It is getting a little bit better, but definitely not 100 percent. Just taking it day by day,” she said. “I felt like I had some flu symptoms. They did a blood test and it came back positive. It happened pretty quick.”

Eastin’s experience with adversity has helped her get through situations like this in the past.

“I know that the rest can definitely help. I am not putting excess strain on my body. That is something I have tried to figure out the past couple of years,” she said. “I am really sensitive to changes in training, so taper has been an experiment my entire career. Something always comes up. Before NCAAs I had the flu. Before long-course meets I have gotten heat stroke. This isn’t really anything new.”

That helps mentally, too.

“The biggest thing for me is making sure that I have long-term perspective on things, not getting caught up in the every day difficulties that come along with being this sick at a critical time of the swim season. I remind myself that it is something I will get over and it sis not a long-term health issues. It is not the end of my swim career, so that is something I have been holding with me. When it comes to my career, nothing has really gone to plan. This is not abnormal for me. I haven’t really been able to train, so all I have done was rest. I was on strict bedrest for a long time. I am kind of getting in the water to maintain my feel, but other than that, I am hoping for the best.”

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‘He has this lethal jump’: What it’s like to sprint against Peter Sagan?

The Tour’s remaining sprinters describe what it’s like to come up against the world champion in a sprint finish

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) with his “lethal jump” seems almost unbeatable, a “cannibal”, for his rivals in the Tour de France.

Sagan won three sprints so far in the 2018 Tour to build up an almost insurmountable green jersey lead. His rivals, the ones who could survive the mountains so far, have trouble finding ways to manage the three-time world champion when the finish line nears.

>>> ‘Everyone wants to sprint now’: Peter Sagan overcomes ‘messy’ finish to claim third 2018 Tour stage win

“Sagan is the complete package,” Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) told Cycling Weekly.

“It seems as though maybe he won’t be able to do it at times, but instead, he comes through the gaps at the last moment. He has this truly lethal jump. There’s a clear reason why he is three times the world champion.”

Colbrelli beat Sagan in a Tour de Suisse sprint this June, but it was one of the few if not the only time the Italian could do so. So far in the Tour, he counts two runner-up spots against Sagan.



“When Sagan is in condition, he’s a cannibal and wins everything. His name is known around the world for this,” Colbrelli said.

“There are not many [weaknesses], I don’t know them! Sometimes you can try to jump him early, anticipate him. But if you get the jump, he loses a few pedal strokes and maybe he’s not able to win. Almost 10 out of 10 times, though, he’s able to fire back when you try.

“You can beat him, for sure, he’s not unbeatable. You have to be 100 per cent to have a chance, though.”

The Alpine stages took their toll for the big sprinters. The abandons over the last week include Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates), with two Tour stage wins from 2014, remains. However, the Norwegians still struggles with Sagan even with the thinning bunch sprints.

“[Sprinting against Sagan is] difficult, he’s fast as a sprinter, but he also wins up hills and climbs very well so he’s one of the best cyclists in the history of cycling,” said Kristoff. “You see that because he’s been world champion three times in a row. He’s incredible.”

Peter Sagan wins the 13th stage of the 2018 Tour de France (Sunada)

Kristoff sprinted to second in Valence after surviving the Alps. Only one rider could edge ahead – Peter Sagan.

“How do you beat him? You should not ask me, I don’t beat him that often!” Kristoff said.

“If I sprint fast enough, sometimes he doesn’t manage to come around. He has a really good kick in the last 100 metres always, but if I manage to have a little bit more speed then maybe. Usually he just manages to come around me, but sometimes I manage to hold him behind me. It’s some time ago, though, that I could do that.”

Kristoff and Kittel often benefit from long sprint outs from their teams and high speeds.

“But then he just sits on the wheel and waits for the last 100 metres,” Kristoff added. “That doesn’t help. Maybe if I mange to come behind at bigger speed, but he’s always in the right spot and it’s difficult to beat him.”

Time to beat Sagan is running out for Colbrelli and Kristoff. Only two likely sprint days remain, the stage 18 finish in Pau and stage 21 in Paris.

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The Open 2018: Justin Rose shoots 64 at Carnoustie

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England’s Justin Rose shot a career-best round of 64 at a major to move up the third-round leaderboard at The Open in favourable conditions at Carnoustie.

Rose, 37, sneaked past the cut but sunk seven birdies on Saturday to go within two shots of the leaders at four under.

“I will need an even better final round to win but I have given myself a chance,” the world number three said.

Chris Wood looked set to match Rose’s round, but two late bogeys meant the Englishman signed for 66.

The 30-year-old, who was fifth as an amateur in 2008 and third a year later, is three under for the tournament.

Both players fell short of the course record of 63 set by compatriot Tommy Fleetwood – who tees off at 15:50 BST on Saturday – last year.

Rose carded the joint-lowest Open round at Carnoustie – matching Steve Stricker and Richard Green in 2007 – but fell short of Branden Grace’s major record of 62, which the South African recorded at The Open last year.

Rose’s dream ‘still alive’

Rose burst on to the scene as a 17-year-old amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998, memorably chipping in on the last hole to clinch tied fourth on his Open debut.

Twenty years on, the world number three is a US Open and Olympic champion but has not been able to better that debut performance at his home major.

It looked like he would miss the cut at Carnoustie, only to birdie the 18th on Friday to move to three over and ensure he would return at the weekend.

Rose took full advantage of his reprieve with a wonderful third round in serene conditions on the Scottish links.

He made a confident start with birdies on the first and sixth holes to turn in 34, then accelerated on the back nine with five more – including the final two holes – to better his second-round 66 at Birkdale.

“There is always an opportunity to get out early and post something – the course was fresh. It was relatively calm and benign,” he said.

“I thought the pins were a touch easier than in the first few days. There was no doubt there was a good score on today.

“The dream is still alive when you are here on a Saturday.”

Rose was one of the early third-round starters, with the overnight leaders aiming to move clear of the Englishman in conditions forecast to still be favourable.

Scotland’s Paul Lawrie came from 10 shots behind after 54 holes to win the 1999 Open at Carnoustie, while Rose himself overcame an eight-stroke deficit to win the WGC Champions title in Shanghai last October.

Analysis

Ken Brown, BBC commentator and former European Tour player:

Watching Justin Rose finishing last night when he knew exactly what he needed to do to make the cut was fascinating. He was grafting, struggling, not holing putts or even looking like he was going to make one before one finally dropped on the 18th.

This morning, he came out refreshed, birdied the first with a putt from distance – and boom, he was off and running.

He finished 3-3-3 and that won’t be bettered all week. His best-ever round at a major means, as things stands, he is two off the lead. I’m sure there will be some low scores this afternoon, but if the wind picks up, he might not be far off.

What sticks in my mind as I look out of the back of our studio is that I can see him on the putting green, an hour after he finished his round, still working on his game. I guarantee he is prepared better that anyone else and is reaping the rewards.

He might just be the winner, you know…

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2018 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics Begin Today in San Jose

Photo Courtesy: USA Water Polo/KLC Fotos

SAN JOSE, CA. The largest age-group water polo tournament in the world gets underway in San Jose at 8 a.m. (PST) this morning. The 2018 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics begins with games in 34 pools all over the Bay Area of Northern California.

Photo Courtesy: USA Water Polo/KLC Fotos

July 26-29 will see the girls compete in eight different brackets from 10-U to 18-U in two different levels: Championship and Classic. There is one coed level of play for 10-U boys and girls which also takes place from July 26-29.

Some of the top age group clubs in California—including Foothill, Rose Bowl, San Diego Shores, SETSHAQ, Trojan Cardinal, Vanguard and many others—will compete for the right to call themselves the nation’s best against clubs from all over the country, including the Midwest, the Northeast, the Southwest and more.

Swimming World will provide coverage from the different pools as it follows select teams progressing over the landscape of this massive event, with coverage of both the boys and girls 18-U Finals, to be held at Stanford’s Avery Aquatics Center; the boys final on July 24 and the girls final on July 29.

Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne

Can’t wait for us to post? for the first time in event history FloSwimming will live-stream the JOs, starting this morning and will cover up through the end of competition on Sunday, July 29. Live FloSwimming coverage is available all day long from three courses at the Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford. The Avery Pool, one course from the Baker Pool, and one course from the Belardi Pool will be streamed live to water polo fans for the duration of the tournament.

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