Stanford Awards Katie Ledecky Prestigious Al Masters Award

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

A few days after being named the 2018 Google Cloud At-Large Division I All-America Team Member of the YearKatie Ledecky has won another prestigious award – Stanford’s Al Masters Award.

The award, which is presented annually at the Stanford Athletics Board Awards ceremony, is named after 1924 graduate Al Masters, who served as the athletic director at Stanford University from 1925-1963. The award made its debut in 1963 and is presented to athletes that the highest standards of academics, leadership, and athletic performance.

2018 marks the first year since 2012 that the award was not given to multiple athletes.

To say that Ledecky has made an impact in her time at Stanford is an understatement. As a member of the Stanford Cardinal, Ledecky has been named a Scholar All-American and a Pac-12 All-Academic first team honoree; she was a member of the NCAA National Championship team in both 2017 and 2018; has downed 11 American records, 15 NCAA records, and 6 NCAA meet records; and has maintained a GPA of 3.99.

More about the Al Masters award and Ledecky’s win can be found at Stanford news

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The Week That Was: International Stars Throw Down At Mare Nostrum Stops

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week saw tons of fast swims as the 2018 Mare Nostrum series continued at the European stops of Barcelona and Monaco this week, with plenty of the fastest times so far this year being thrown down in addition to a few close calls with world records.

The Week That Was #5 – Former Rowan Coach Tony Lisa Passes Away

DCIM101GOPRO

Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

This week the swimming world lost Tony Lisa, the former long-time head coach at Rowan University. Lisa was the head coach at Rowan for 35 years and also served as the president of the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) from 1998-2001. The head coach was also awarded the Richard E. Steadman award from the CSCAA in 2003, which is given annually to the coach who has done the most to spread joy and happiness within the sports of swimming and diving. During Lisa’s time at Rowan he won nine consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference titles between 1991-1999 and coached numerous National qualifiers and All-Americans. You can see the original posting about Lisa’s passing here.

The Week That Was #4 – Dana Vollmer Likely Skipping 2018 Nationals

dana-vollmer-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Three-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer announced this week that she will most likely be missing this summer’s 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships. While Vollmer has been in the pool training with a focus on qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games since the birth of her second son, Ryker, last summer, she explained in a social media post that she will be taking the summer to continue focusing on improving her health and strength in the water. Vollmer has battled numerous injuries throughout her career and said in her post she will focus on “retraining movement patterns” that she knows will benefit her in the long-term. Vollmer has competed this year as part of the TYR Pro Swim Series, however skipping Nationals this summer will leave her without a chance to qualify for the next two years of international teams. You can read Vollmer’s full post here.

The Week That Was #3 – John Carroll Removed As Head Coach Of Jersey Wahoos

jersey-wahoos-coaches-2016-cerave-invite

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

John Carroll, the long time head coach for Jersey Wahoos, was released from his position for non-coaching related reasons a source close to the situation revealed to Swimming World this week. In a statement that appeared on the Wahoos website from the club’s Board of Directors, the club will be initiating a national search for a new Director of Competitive Swimming while Karen Clemens will take over as the interim Director during the search.  Swimming World reached out to Carroll for comment but has yet to receive a response. You can read the full statement on Carroll’s departure from the Wahoos here.

The Week That Was #2 – Justin Ress Second Fastest American This Season In Charlotte

justin-ress-usa-2017-world-champs

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

While international stars were battling it out in Europe, the 2018 Charlotte Ultraswim played host to a number of U.S. national stars. NC State had a strong contingent at the meet and had some of the most impressive performances of the meet. World Championship medalist Justin Ress had the standout performance of the meet in the 100 back, becoming the second fastest American so far this year (53.67) in what is always a crowded event for the American men. Other notable swims included Anton Ipsen’s 3:50.51 in the 400 free and Madison Kennedy’s win the 50 free (25.13). You can check out all the recaps and full coverage of the meet here.

The Week That Was #1 – International Stars Throw Down Fast Times At Mare Nostrum

rikako-ikee-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The European stops of the 2018 Mare Nostrum Tour came to close this week with the second and third stops in Barcelona and Monaco featuring many more fast swims. Plenty of swimmers were rattling world records this week, with a few rocketing their way to the top of the world rankings for 2018 in the process. In Barcelona Japanese world record holder Ippei Watanabe swam to #1 in the world in the 200 breast with a 2:07.74, making him the sole swimmer un 2:08 so far this year. Countrymate Rikako Ikee also moved past world record holder Sarah Sjostrom in the 100 fly to record the fastest time in the world this year (56.23) and also move up to 5th all-time in the event. Finally, Andrey Govorov was just off of the world record in the men’s 50 fly, which he won in 22.53 to earn the fastest time in the world so far this year. You can check out all of the fast swims from the last two stops of the European Mare Nostrum circuit here.

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Missy Franklin’s Victory at Mare Nostrum Series Was Simply Her Return

Missy Franklin. Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

By Dan D’Addona. 

Missy Franklin didn’t win any events during the Mare Nostrum Swim Series — she really didn’t come close.

But Franklin had the biggest victory of the three-country series last week: She was back in the water.

Franklin hadn’t raced since the 2016 Rio Olympics. Since then, she has dealt with severe depression issues as well as surgery on both shoulders.

Either one of those situations could have easily ended a career. But having to battle through both — especially at the same time — is something that was even more detrimental.

Franklin was against the ropes.

But she fought back.

The first step was admitting that she was not 100 percent physically or mentally. That is a terrifying thing to admit to a world-class athlete, even to themselves — especially Franklin, who is known for her infectious smile and bubbly, up-beat personality. Those characteristics became synonymous with Franklin, making it extremely difficult to separate herself from what the public sees.

It would be easy to feel like she let her fans down by admitting depression, but in fact, it made Franklin more identifiable — and even more of a role model.

The instant she came to grips with her own depression, the tide began to turn.

Franklin did everything she could to keep that tide turned back in her favor. She moved to a new setting, took care of her physical injuries and began the long road to recovery.

Training with coach Jack Bauerle in Georgia, she got a fresh start, both in the pool and at school.

The only thing that remained was getting back in the water competitively.

After nearly two years away from racing, Franklin made her return at the Mare Nostrum Swim Series, with stops in Canet-en-Roussillon, France, then Barcelona and Monte Carlo.

Her first race back, she finished ninth in the 200 free prelims in France, finishing in 2:00.51. She then won the B final in a much-faster 1:58.91. Franklin then made the 200 back final and finished sixth in 2:13.14.

On the second day, she took 12th in the 100 free in 56.32 and also finished 18th in the 100 back prelims (1:03.48).

Moving to Spain, Franklin scratched the 100 back and competed again in the 200 free, finishing fifth in 1:59.25.

In her last stop in Monaco, Franklin earned her highest finish, taking third in the 200 free in 2:00.36.

It was far from her best race ever — it wasn’t even her fastest swim of the series — but it capped what could turn out to be the most important swim meet of Franklin’s career.

Missy is back, and that is more of a victory than anything anyone could have done in the water.

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Queen's Club: Andy Murray says his injury return against Nick Kyrgios 'is not about winning'

Andy Murray

2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC
Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app.

Andy Murray says it is “not about winning” at the moment as he prepares to make his long-awaited comeback from a hip injury at Queen’s on Tuesday.

The former world number one, returning after a year out with a hip injury, meets Australian Nick Kyrgios at the Fever-Tree Championships.

“I’m not putting pressure on myself to win,” said the Briton. “I’m more concerned with how I feel on court.”

Murray’s match is third on Centre Court, with play starting at 12:00 BST.

Kyle Edmund, who has replaced Murray as British number one, starts his Queen’s campaign against American Ryan Harrison on the same day.

Twelve-time major champion Novak Djokovic also plays on Tuesday, facing Australian qualifier John Millman.

Fifteen of the world’s top 30 male players, plus Murray, Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, are competing in the west London tournament, although 18-time Slam champion Rafael Nadal and world number four Juan Martin del Potro have withdrawn.

Two former Queen’s champions, Croatia’s 2017 Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic and reigning ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, are among the top-10 players appearing.

Britain’s Dan Evans, who has been awarded a wildcard as he continues his return after a year’s ban for taking cocaine, also plays on Tuesday against France’s Adrian Mannarino.

You can follow all the action on BBC television, Red Button, BBCiPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.

Tuesday's order of play

Murray nervous before return

Cameron Norrie and Andy Murray

Scot Murray, who has dropped to 157th in the world rankings, has not played competitively since Wimbledon last year and had hip surgery in January.

He admitted he would be nervous when he returns at a tournament he has won a record five times.

“There are a lot of doubts when you’ve not played for a long time,” he said. “I’m expecting to be very nervous when I go back out there.

“Coming back from injury you’re always kind of second guessing yourself. You never know exactly when you’re going to be ready, but I’m looking forward to getting back out there and competing, and hopefully playing well.

“I’ve obviously got lots of great memories from here, from winning the tournament and playing here the first time when I was 18. I’m sure I’ll have the same nerves and stuff as I did all those years ago.”

I’m the best guy for Murray to play – Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray

Murray has been given a tough draw against world number 21 Kyrgios, who had a good run at the Stuttgart Open last week before losing to Roger Federer in the semi-finals.

“Nick is a brilliant player on all surfaces but particularly on grass because of the way he plays and serves,” said Murray.

“When he is mentally switched on he is one of the best players in the world.”

Kyrgios, who is a good friend of Murray, is also continuing his own comeback from injury after missing the French Open with an elbow problem.

He insists he is now “pain-free” and believes Murray, who he watched practice on the court next to him on Monday, looks “fine”.

“I was excited by the draw and I’m excited to see him back competing. He’s awesome for the tour,” said 23-year-old Kyrgios, who has lost all five of his previous matches against Murray.

“I’m the best guy for him to play coming back after injury. I’m very encouraging and playing someone you know and are good friends with is easier when you’re coming back.

“But obviously I want to win.”

Edmund on British ‘buzz’

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The tournament sees Kyle Edmund play the British grass-court events as the home number one for the first time, having replaced Murray in March.

“Throughout year we travel so much so it is nice to be home and play in front of a home crowd and get that support. It’s a real buzz,” said Edmund, 23, who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open in January.

“Attention has picked up,” he added. “You get used to it and learn how to deal with it in your own way, but I get on with it and see it is a good problem.

“Look at Andy who has done it for so many years and is able to get the results like he has. That shows there are ways of doing it that help you.”

Djokovic back at Queen’s

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic is playing at the Queen’s Club for the first time in eight years, having suffered injury problems this season.

The former world number one had said he might skip the grass-court season after losing in the French Open quarter-finals to Marco Cecchinato.

But he has now accepted a late wildcard for Queen’s and said it would be “great preparation for Wimbledon”.

The Serb also said he hopes to see Murray, against whom he has played seven Grand Slam finals, return to the top of the game, adding that “tennis misses” him.

Queen’s coverage on BBC TV

All times BST. Matches and coverage times are subject to late changes. The BBC is not responsible for any changes that may be made.

Tuesday, 19 June

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:00 & 17:15-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Wednesday, 20 June

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:00 & 17:55-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Thursday, 21 June

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:15 & 17:45-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Friday, 22 June

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:15 & 17:55-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Saturday, 23 June

13:00-17:00 – BBC Two

15:00-19:00 – BBC Red Button

13:00-19:00 – Connected TV & Online

Sunday, 24 June

14:30-17:30 – BBC Two

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‘Froome is favourite for the Tour de France, but we have a big advantage,’ says Movistar boss

Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué says his three-pronged attack at the Tour will give his team the advantage over Chris Froome

Chris Froome is the favourite to win the 2018 Tour de France this July, but Movistar say they have the advantage of three leaders.

Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué said on Monday he will lead the Spanish team with Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, and new signing from Team Sky, Mikel Landa. His aim is to stop the streak of Team Sky’s Froome and win with one of his three options.

“We have an option A, but also a B and another C,” Unzué told EFE news agency. “It’s a big advantage. We’ll see if that first part of the race treats us well, then we’ll enter the terrain where our three move very well and we’ll see what happens.”

The Tour de France starts on July 7 with a flat road stage and continues until the first rest day, with a cobbled Roubaix stage beforehand.

Alejandro Valverde wins the summit finish in the Route d’Occitanie (Credit: Route d’Occitanie)

Quintana twice finished second overall, but was off his best in 2017 with a 12th place behind Froome. Landa finished fourth overall working for Froome’s win, while Valverde crashed out on day one, but appears back at his best for this July despite being 38-years-old.

Team Sky too has its options. Boss David Brailsford will lead keep recent Critérium du Dauphiné winner Geraint Thomas protected alongside Froome.

“We have to wait a bit for the first rest day to take stock, the road will help us decide who’s the best,” Unzué said. “We can’t ignore Nairo’s consistency, Alejandro has shown his trajectory and Landa gives us reasons to keep hopeful.”

Valverde just won the mountain stage of the Route d’Occitanie and the overall classification. Landa and Quintana struggled somewhat in the Tour de Suisse, but Quintana did threaten the eventual overall victory of Richie Porte (BMC Racing) with a solo mountain stage win.

“I don’t think taking the three will be a problem for Team Movistar, it’ll be more an opportunity,” rival manager at Astana, Giuseppe Martinelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Taking all three to the Tour should be considered a smart decision once you consider that Froome will have the Giro d’Italia in his legs. They just need to have clear ideas and I don’t believe that Unzué lacks those.”

Despite their youth, Martinelli sees 38-year-old Valverde leading Movistar through the three weeks to Paris.

“Who’s going to be the captain? I have to say that I’ve never seen Valverde so convinced like this year that he can go well in Grand Tours. He could win it. In my opinion it’s him who they are aiming for.”



Unzué said that he is unsure if Froome will be at the Tour de France with his ongoing case for asthma drug salbutamol. Froome, though, is free to race in the meantime.

“The whole cycling world would have loved that this case would have been cleared up some time ago, we do not know what’s going to happen to him,” Unzué continued.

“He can ride the Tour without any issue and if he does, he will be in great condition and around him there will be a great team, experienced and with high quality riders.

“If he is on the starting line, he will be the big favourite. Hopefully we have this problem of managing which one of our three we can win the Tour with, but first we have to survive the first nine days. It’s going to be more important than the rivals that we avoid the innumerable traps. The luck factor will be decisive.”

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3T offers unfinished framesets, so you can create your own design

New ready-to-paint 3T framesets let you choose your own finish

3T says that the RTP (that’s ready to paint) version of its Exploro and Strada framesets will allow you to choose your own custom frame painter and design to produce a completely unique design. The frame comes already prepared for painting.

3T says that it will showcase some of the paint jobs on its RTP framesets on its blog, in a section called “Get Creative”. Its first entry features a 3T Exploro frameset custom painted by Dario Pegoretti in Italy.

There’s another custom painted Exploro Flatmount in the works for US road race champion and Aqua Blue Sport rider, Larry Warbasse.

Larry Warbasse’s off-duty 3T Exploro (Photo Marc Gasch)

As well as individual consumers, 3T suggests that the approach might be of interest to dealers who want to make small runs of special framesets and other brands who want to offer a distinctive product.

>>> 3T Strada Team review

3T’s approach goes one step further than many brands, like Wilier, Orbea and recently Ribble too, who offer you a choice of colours when they paint your machine themselves, but usually still with standard panel lay-out.

Haute Route edition of the 3T Strada Team comes with THM cockpit and cranks

3T can make suggestions of custom frame painters you might like to use, if you’ve got an idea for a design but need someone to execute it for you.



And 3T has also recently announced its own custom colour option, with a limited edition Haute Route version of its Strada frameset, which you can buy as a package with entry to the Haute Route itself. It comes in a front-to-rear fade orange, that 3T says is really striking in the bright sunlight of the high Alps. The Haute Route version of the 3T Strada comes with 3T’s new Torno chainset and a THM carbon cockpit.

>>> New 3T Strada Pro brings 3T’s aero machine to a lower price point

Along with the race entry fee, the Haute Route Strada Pro costs €5000, while a Strada Team with race entry and full hotel accommodation comes in at €7800.

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Queen's Club 2018: Britain's Cameron Norrie loses to Stan Wawrinka

Cameron Norrie

2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC
Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app. Coverage times

British number two Cameron Norrie was knocked out of the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club in straight sets by three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.

Wawrinka, 32, won 6-2 6-3 against the world number 80.

The Swiss, who has dropped to 261 in the world after injury, meets either British teenager Jay Clarke or American San Querrey in the second round.

Andy Murray makes his return to competitive action on Tuesday.

Earlier, Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller won 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (8-6) against Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov.

Wawrinka too strong for Norrie

Norrie has enjoyed a rapid rise this year, climbing into the top 100 for the first time and reaching his first ATP Tour semi-final on the clay in Lyon.

On his way to the last four he earned the biggest win of his career against American world number 10 John Isner, then pushed French number one Lucas Pouille in their French Open second-round match.

But going into Monday’s match against Wawrinka, Norrie had only won two tour-level matches on grass.

Wawrinka, himself, does not have a good record on the surface in recent years, winning only one match on grass in the past three years.

However, his greater pedigree – and power – told as Norrie was far from his best.

Norrie saved a break point in his first service game, only for the powerful Wawrinka to take another opportunity for a 3-1 lead.

Wawrinka dominated the first set, based on some big serving and dominant groundstrokes, and broke again in the final game to wrap up the opener in just 27 minutes.

And the former Australian Open, French Open and US Open champion broke again early in the second set, going on to seal a comfortable win in less than an hour.

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Comeback Kid: How Skyler Fish Overcame Injury to Serve His Team

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

By Nick Pecoraro, Swimming World College Intern.

No athlete writes “injury” on his season goals list. Typically, that word is a harbinger of a long road of recovery ahead, marking the time when you were pushed to the sidelines to allow others to fill your role. Injuries can end athletic careers as quickly as they began, leaving swimmers feeling hopeless and defeated. However, defeat does not have to be your fate – everyone likes a comeback story.

Skyler Fish, a senior at Calvin College, endured a mid-season injury in 2016 that could have cost him his entire swimming career. Being in the water was his world, and he couldn’t imagine life on dry land: “Jumping off the blocks, hitting the water, and just swimming is my passion. There isn’t anything like it. When it’s taken away from you, it’s heart-wrenching.”

Losing your passion is devastating to any person. However, this Fish out of water found the right motive to pull himself out of this low to defeat the odds and contribute to his team. How?

Let him tell you from his perspective.

Finding Purpose

Starting out his freshman year in 2014 at Calvin College, an NCAA Division III school, Fish’s team had one goal: Get to nationals. He wasn’t quite fast enough to swim on the relays, so qualifying for nationals didn’t really seem to be in reach.

“At conference championships that year, many of the relays fell short of qualifying. On the other hand, I performed better than expected, breaking a 20-year-old school record in the 200 back. So, I was selected to time trial the 400 medley relay,” Skyler recalls.

With that boost of confidence under him, the team ended up finishing the time trial with a national qualifying time. “One of my teammates pulled me out of the water with tears of joy in his eyes, thanking me,” Fish says. “Looking back, qualifying for nationals wasn’t the thing I remembered the most: It was discovering my purpose on the team.”

Sudden Halt In Battle

Skyler wiped out

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

Fast-forward to fall 2016, Fish’s junior year. Fish was ready to fight at a very close conference championship meet that year. However, he started to feel a twinge of pain in his shoulder toward the beginning of the season that progressed so far as to press the pause button on training.

After seeing a doctor, this “little twinge” had turned into a major injury – Fish had tendonitis in the rotator cuff and severe tearing in the labrum on his right shoulder. Surgery was necessary, but he had a choice of when.

Fish faced two options: Get surgery immediately, or take a gamble and have surgery after the season. The first option would cause him to lose the rest of season but be ready to complete by the end of the next season. His coach urged him to choose the second option: Swim this season and have the surgery afterward in hopes that it would be ready to go by next season.

Fish opted for immediate surgery, banking on getting at least one last good season out of his shoulder after recovery.

The First Step is the Hardest

By getting the surgery, he felt that he had abandoned the team. It was difficult to be left behind when the team departed for training trip; however, instead of feeling sorry for himself, he rallied behind his teammates to propel them to success. Fish knew that he needed to do everything possible to help outside of the pool since he couldn’t help inside of it. 

When conference championships came in February 2017, Fish watched Calvin’s rival team continued to win event after event. Calvin ended up losing the meet by about 90 points, and he couldn’t do anything in the pool to help.

“Not being in that pool killed me. Watching our rival beat us put a fire in me that I hadn’t had before,” Fish says.

Re-Entry

With renewed focus and end-of-the-season goals etched in his mind, Fish returned to training fall 2017. He’d love to say that it went well, but it was a difficult transition. “When I got back in the water [after recovery], I noticed that something was very different. Once I started back in the pool, my right arm was completely useless. I felt cut off from my speed in the water,” Fish says.

After practice, it would be nearly impossible to even lift up his backpack. “My arm hurt so bad that I was terrified it was still injured. It seemed like I wasn’t making any progress. Many nights, I laid awake wondering if it was worth it,” Fish describes the re-entry process.

Other than for his teammates, Fish didn’t see any other reason to stay: “Every time I got out of the pool early, I hated myself for not finishing practice for my team and with my team. I felt so frustrated, sad and angry. Swimming was my safe place where I worked through things and relaxed my mind. But now, it was gone.”

Yet amidst his downfall, one person reminded him of his true place on the team.

Persevering Through the Pain

Skyler BK

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

During Fish’s sophomore year, Calvin recruited another stellar backstroker, Ben Holstege. They pushed each other and fought it out in the pool, becoming fast friends. The pair was next to unstoppable when racing against opponents.

One of the most memorable moments during Fish’s tough time happened after congratulating Holstege after one of his races. Holstege then turned to Fish and said, “There isn’t any honor in winning a race without competition and no honor taking a record from someone who couldn’t defend it.”

Right then, Fish knew that if he gave up swimming, he would have failed Ben and the whole team as a teammate and friend. “That’s why I decided to stay for sure. If it weren’t for a teammate who valued me as a team member, I would have been done. I decided to push on, but it wasn’t easy,” Fish says.

Fish made a plan with his coach to stop the day at a certain yardage or time in order to have a meaningful practice instead of enduring a full-length painful practice. This strategy helped him perform at his best while maintaining optimum condition in this recovery phase.

“The first dual meet back, I just let go and had fun. I swam times that I went mid-season my sophomore year and was back to my normal swimming self. I shocked everyone around me: my coaches, my teammates and even myself. I felt good that I could still swim fast!” Fish recalls.

Putting Courage to the Test

After shocking everyone around him, his coach decided Fish would score at the 2018 MIAA Conference Championships to win back the title.

“My first event was the 50 free. I was expected to do well, and I did! I aided in a 1-2-3 finish with two of my teammates. Next was the 100 back. I got a personal best and second place behind Ben, creating the unstoppable backstroke duo once again,” he says.

Fish’s last event was the 100 free, and tensions were high between Calvin and rival Albion College. “Going into the last wall, I saw my rival building speed and my teammates slowing. Before the race, I told them not to worry – I had their backs,” Fish says. As he pushed off the final wall, he accelerated down the pool faster than ever to touch the wall first: “I won the event: not for myself, but for my team.”

Due to that performance, Fish was selected last-minute to swim on the final relay – the 400 freestyle relay. “I finally felt whole again. This is the situation in which I thrive: where I get a sense of accomplishment and purpose. I was ready to finally compete for my team again and win one of the closest MIAA Championships in history,” Skyler fondly recounts.

Reflecting on the Journey

Skyler and Ben post-race

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

When reflecting on Fish’s comeback, it was his selfless mission to compete for his team that gave motivation to fight past his injury. When facing his season-halting injury, he had to be reminded of the positives of being on a team to finally overcome his emotional battle.

In the words of Fish himself:

“Recovery is a slow process, there will be challenges. Work what you can, physically and mentally. Make a plan not just of what you have to do in a practice but also how to make it each week. And, believe in yourself. ”

Commentary: All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff. 

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Final Tour de France mountain stage may have to be re-routed after landslide destroys road on descent to finish

Major damage to descent off Col d’Aubisque will cause headaches for organisers

The route of the final mountain stage of the 2018 Tour de France may have to be modified after the road down a crucial mountain pass was destroyed in a landslide.

Heavy rain and flash floods hit the western Pyrénées last week, causing damage to infrastructure across the region, with some of the most serious damage coming to the road down the Col d’Aubisque.

As reported by regional newspaper La République des Pyrénées, there has been seriously damage in the area around the ski resort of Gourette, with the road on the descent of the Col d’Aubisque being partly destroyed in a landslide.

The Col d’Aubisque is due to be the final classified climb of the Tour de France, taking its place with just a handful of kilometres remaining on stage 19 between Lourdes and Laruns which will take place on July 27.

>>> Tour de France 2018 route: stage details of this year’s race complete with Alpe d’Huez and Paris-Roubaix cobbles

Gilbert Payet, state prefect to the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, confirmed that authorities had not yet requested a diversion to the route of the Tour’s stage through the area, preferring to work to find a technical solution to repair the road in the next 39 days, but were working with race organiser A.S.O. to create an alternative route should repairs not be possible.

However given the relative dearth of roads in the area, it would be difficult for organisers to finish the stage in Laruns without adding significant distance to a stage that is already more than 200km in length.

With the Tour’s visit to the south-west of France still more than a month away, race organisers ASO have a bit of time to decide whether a diversion will be necessary, as was the case in 2015 when landslides forced amendments to the route in Dieppe and the removal of the Col du Galibier.

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