FINA Releases World Short Course Championships Psych Sheet: Pellegrini Back in 200 Free

FINA has released the entry lists for the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships that will begin Monday night in the United States. The meet will be held in Hangzhou, China with some of the best swimmers in the world set to attend. USA Swimming is sending a very strong team with the likes of Ryan MurphyLeah SmithCaeleb Dressel and Kathleen Baker set to attend.


Men’s Top Seeds:

  • 50 Free: Vladimir Morozov, Russia
  • 100 Free: Vladimir Morozov, Russia
  • 200 Free: Danas Rapsys, Lithuania
  • 400 Free: Aleksandr Krasnykh, Russia
  • 1500 Free: Mykhailo Romanchuk, Ukraine
  • 50 Back: Guilherme Guido, Brazil
  • 100 Back: Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia
  • 200 Back: Radoslaw Kawecki, Poland
  • 50 Breast: Fabio Scozzoli, Italy
  • 100 Breast: Kirill Prigoda, Russia
  • 200 Breast: Kirill Prigoda, Russia
  • 50 Fly: Nicholas Santos, Brazil
  • 100 Fly: Chad Le Clos, South Africa
  • 200 Fly: Daiya Seto, Japan
  • 100 IM: Michael Andrew, United States
  • 200 IM: Wang Shun, China
  • 400 IM: Peter Bernek, Hungary
  • 4×50 Free: Russia
  • 4×100 Free: Australia
  • 4×200 Free: Australia
  • 4×50 Medley: Russia
  • 4×100 Medley: Australia

Women’s Top Seeds:

  • 50 Free: Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands
  • 100 Free: Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands
  • 200 Free: Federica Pellegrini, Italy
  • 400 Free: Wang Jianjiahe, China
  • 800 Free: Wang Jianjiahe, China
  • 50 Back: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
  • 100 Back: Emily Seebohm, Australia
  • 200 Back: Emily Seebohm, Australia
  • 50 Breast: Alia Atkinson, Jamaica
  • 100 Breast: Alia Atkinson, Jamaica
  • 200 Breast: Ye Shiwen, China
  • 50 Fly: Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands
  • 100 Fly: Kelsi Dahlia, United States
  • 200 Fly: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
  • 100 IM: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
  • 200 IM: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
  • 400 IM: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
  • 4×50 Free: Netherlands
  • 4×100 Free: China
  • 4×200 Free: China
  • 4×50 Medley: Netherlands
  • 4×100 Medley: China

Mixed Relay Top Seeds:

  • 4×50 Free: Netherlands
  • 4×50 Medley: Netherlands

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Top Instructors Recognized by National Swimming Pool Foundation

The National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF) has announced the winners of its annual Instructor Awards, presented to active NSPF Instructors whose diligence over the previous year marked a significant contribution to advancing NSPF’s mission. Just prior to the 2018 World Aquatic Health™ Conference (WAHC) in Charleston, South Carolina, NSPF formally recognized the top instructors and companies in this very competitive field.

Photo Courtesy: NSPF

Among the portfolio of programs taught by NSPF Instructors is Certified Pool Operator® (CPO®) Certification, the world’s leading verifiable pool and spa training credential. According to CEO Tom Lachocki, “NSPF Instructors are responsible not just for extending the reach of NSPF’s mission and brand, but for bringing a measure of reliability and safety to the local communities they service. They’re ambassadors of a message of safety in pool operation, and it’s our pleasure to honor their high standards and hard work.”

The following instructors and companies were recognized this year:

Photo Courtesy: NSPF

Most Certified Individuals in First Year as an InstructorBrian Alexander Stewart of Pool Training Academy received the award after certifying an impressive 508 new students in his first year. Roberto J. Marquez and Scott A. McElroy of Leslie’s Poolmart, Inc.—who certified 152 and 130 new students, respectively—were also recognized in this category.

Most Certified Individuals by a Company – Two companies were recognized for their outstanding work in the past year: Pool Operation Management, which certified 1,712 people, and Leslie’s Poolmart, Inc., which certified 1,018 people. Founded in 1980, Pool Operation Management offers consulting, training, education, and management services for residential and commercial pool clients. Leslie’s Poolmart, Inc. was founded in 1963 and, in addition to certifying pool operators, runs over 900 retail centers and five distribution centers throughout the country.

Photo Courtesy: NSPF

Most Certified Individuals in a Blended Format – Receiving this award for the second year in a row was Ecolab, Inc., which certified 374 students in an online format, more than doubling the number of students they taught using Pool Operator Primer™ during the previous year. Ecolab’s pool and spa solutions include a wide range of support services and programs, as well as products and equipment for safe pool operation.

Most Certified Individuals by a Company in SpanishAsociación de Profesionales de la Piscina (APPAC) of Mexico certified more students in Spanish (372) than any other company outside the USA. APPAC has been using NSPF educational programs since 2011, elevating the aquatic field in Mexico by teaching CPO® Certification courses.

Additionally, two U.S. instructors were recognized for their many Spanish-language certifications. José Miguel Torres—owner of Paraiso Pools in Debary, Florida—certified 273 students. And Josep M. Veciana of Miami’s Dadeland Pool Plus certified 204 students.

The Milestone Awards – NSPF’s Milestone Awards honor active instructors with the highest total number of certifications during the year. Steve Scheuer of Certified Pool Trainers, Inc. topped the list, receiving a Milestone Award for certifying 804 students. Instructors who certified more than 200 students were recognized by NSPF with an honorary Milestone plaque. The top ten instructors all certified over 500 students this year: For a full list of Instructor Award winners, view this release on our news page.

About National Swimming Pool Foundation®

We believe everything we do helps people live happier and healthier lives. Whether it’s encouraging more aquatic activity, making pools safer, or keeping pools open, we believe we can make a difference. Founded in 1965 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, NSPF proceeds go to fund education, research, and to help create swimmers. The NSPF family includes Genesis and the California Pool & Spa Association. Visit or call 719-540-9119 to learn more about the NSPF family of products, programs, and services.

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The Walsh Sisters and the Standout Swims of Junior Nationals

Photos Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By David Rieder.

A 17-year-old girl, a high school junior, swam a 1:53.69 in the 200 IM. With that time, she would have placed sixth in the event at last year’s NCAA championships, and she now ranks 19th all-time in the event. Oh, and it wasn’t even the most impressive swim by a member of her family that night.

The first of these swimmers is Alex Walsh, well-known at this point after swimming in the 200 IM final at summer Nationals each of the past two years. The other is her 15-year-old sister Gretchen, who qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials as a 13-year-old and made her first Nationals final in this year in the 100 free, finishing eighth.

This weekend, at the eastern edition of Junior Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., Gretchen upstaged her older sister during Nashville Aquatic Club’s 4×100 medley relay at the end of the Thursday night session. Gretchen anchored in 46.78, which would have been the fourth-fastest freestyle split at the entire NCAA championships last year.

Check the results: Only Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil and Mallory Comerford were faster. Two of those three have Olympic gold medals, and the other was fourth in the 100 free at the 2017 World Championships. Go back another year, and you will find only two others, both Olympic medalists (Lia Neal and Chantal Van Landeghem) who beat Gretchen Walsh’s split.

Walsh wouldn’t get close to that time in the individual 100 free a few days later, but she still won that event in 47.79. She also won the 50 free in 21.82—which would have made the A-final at last year’s NCAA championships—and posted a 21.52 relay split. And yes, she is a freshman in high school.

Alex, meanwhile, finished the weekend with three individual wins. In addition to the 200 IM, she posted a 50.88 to win the 100 back and a 2:06.03 in the 200 breast. Looking to the age-inclusive all-time list, Alex ranks 23rd all-time in the 100 back and 20th in the 200 breast.

From a swimming perspective, the sisters are almost nothing alike, with Gretchen almost exclusively excelling in freestyle and Walsh pulling off the rare backstroke-breaststroke combination to great success. Both should get an opportunity to swim at next year’s Pan American Games in Peru, should they choose to accept it.

When it comes to No. 1 national teams—including the Olympics in 2020—Gretchen’s path to that point is clearer, with six swimmers likely to be taken to Tokyo for the 4×100 free relay. Alex faces a tougher test in the extremely deep 200 IM, by far her best event to long course at this point.

Meanwhile, around the pool…

For two years, the world has seen what Regan Smith can do in the backstroke events: a World Championship final at 15, several world junior records, a Pan Pacs bronze medal at 16. She’s the 14th-fastest woman in history in the 100 back and the 15th-fastest in the 200-meter event.

Regan Smith — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

She can swim some butterfly, too—hence, her third-place finish in the 200 fly at Nationals. She will finish 2018 as the 10th-ranked swimmer in the world in that one. And as we saw this weekend at Junior Nationals West in Austin, Texas, her freestyle isn’t half bad either.

Smith won three individual titles in Austin, with exactly zero of them coming in the backstroke events. In the 500 free, she swam a time of 4:37.10, which would have placed her seventh at last year’s NCAA championships. In the 200 free, her winning time was 1:43.20, bettered by just four women in last year’s NCAA final—Comerford, Siobhan Haughey, Manuel and Katie Drabot. Her freestyle time drops were enormous—more than a second in the 200 and a whopping 4.5 seconds in the 500.

Finally, there was the remarkable 200 fly, where Smith demolished Mary T. Meagher’s 37-year-old National Age Group record with a 1:51.24. She now ranks seventh all-time in the event, and only one swimmer (Ella Eastin) swam faster at last year’s NCAA championships.

Not bad for one of the best backstrokers in the world.

*Speaking of backstroke, Katharine Berkoff posted a huge weekend at the Austin meet, winning both backstroke events in Smith’s absence. Her times were 50.72 in the 100 back and 1:50.16 in the 200, both of which would have placed in the A-final at last year’s NCAA championships. Berkoff recently committed to NC State, a program that will have a hole in the backstroke events following Elise Haan’s graduation this spring.

The daughter of two-time 100 back Olympic medalist Dave Berkoff, Katharine has posted some major time drops over the past few years. Over the past three seasons, her short course times have dropped from 52.65 to 51.93 to 50.72 in the 100 back and 1:53.64 to 1:51.40 to 1:50.16 in the 200. In long course, she improved from 1:01.55 and 2:13.86 in 2017 to 59.59 and 2:09.84 in 2018.

*A quick scan of the University of Georgia team record book shows that no Bulldog has ever broken 59 in the women’s 100 breast. Kristy Kowal still owns that team record at 59.05—and no one has been particularly close since Melanie Margalis graduated in 2014. But one of next year’s incoming freshmen might have something to say about that.

Zoie Hartman swam a 58.94 to win the event at the Austin meet, a time that would have placed fifth at last year’s NCAA championships. She also posted A-final-worthy times of 1:54.62 in the 200 IM and 2:07.52 in the 200 breast, both more than a second under her previous lifetime best

*To this point, the entire column has covered performances from Junior Nationals on the women’s side. That’s largely because no male swimmer this weekend swam a time that would have qualified for an NCAA A-final last year. That’s not because the men’s high school ranks are lacking in swimming talent. Male swimmers just tend to develop at a later age and post larger time drops once they get to college, particularly in short course.

Even Carson Foster and Luca Urlando, elite prospects by anyone’s measuring stick, would not have qualified for championship finals with their times from this weekend. In Greensboro, Foster’s 1:42.52 in the 200 IM would have placed him 12th at last year’s national championships, and his 3:40.86 in the 400 IM would have been good for 13th. His 1:41.20 in the 200 back would have left him out of scoring territory.

Luca Urlando — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

For Urlando, his 45.62 in the 100 fly and 45.66 in the 100 back—both improvements of more than a second from his previous lifetime bests—would have put him in consolation finals last year. Even Urlando’s 1:40.91 in the 200 fly, which broke a Michael Phelps National Age Group record, would have just missed the A-final at last year’s Nationals.

But Urlando is 16, Foster 17. Urlando is already committed to Georgia for the fall of 2020, and Foster is going to Texas. Just like the Walsh sisters, Smith and plenty of other top performers from the Juniors meets this weekend, we will be seeing more from then.

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Tears of a champion – Emotional Oosthuizen wins home Open in South Africa

Louis Oosthuizen

Louis Oosthuizen was reduced to tears after claiming a record-equalling six-shot victory at the South African Open in Johannesburg.

The 2010 Open champion carded an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys on Sunday for a 67 on the final round to finish the week on 18 under par.

It is the first time Oosthuizen has won his home Open.

Matt Wallace was in with an outside chance ahead of the final day but the Englishman finished 10 shots behind.

Oliver Wilson finished in a tie for third on 10 under par, after carding 67 in the final round.

“I knew today was either going to be very special or heartbreaking,” said Oosthuizen.

“I wish my family was here.

“The crowd was great this whole week, and it was nice to do it for them.”

Oosthuizen, who was forced to withdraw from August’s PGA Championship just before his tee time due to a back problem, added: “I have been through injuries but my family and friends have been great.”

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Sunday trading: Save 41% on Giro Empire shoes, Continental tyres and more

Here’s our latest Sunday round-up of the best cycling deals from the online cycling retailers

It’s a bit of a bumper crop of deals this week, with over 40% off Giro shoes, Kask helmets and Garmin smart watches as well as big discounts across a range of clothing. If you’re stuck on what to buy the cyclist in your life for Christmas (but let’s be serious, if you’re stuck about what to buy yourself for Christmas) then this should help!

The products featured have been chosen because we know they’re good quality and are an excellent offer at the price we’ve included (at the time of writing). Our tech team have unrivalled expertise and years of experience testing new products, so you can trust our recommendations – and we also know what represents a good deal. Where we’ve reviewed the product we’ve included a link to it so you can read more.

With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.

Save 41% on Giro Empire ACC shoes

Partnering a good looking and supple upper with a stiff Easton carbon sole,  the Giro Empire shoes are some of the classiest – and best performing – footwear on the cycling market. These are now discounted by 41% at Tweeks Cycles in three different colours, including the reflective version.

Buy now: Giro Empire ACC shoes at Merlin Cycles for £154

Kask Valegro helmet was £168, now £99

Get the Team Sky look with this Kask Valegro helmet, now on a whopping 41% discount. The Valegro is the brand’s climbing lid, or lid for hot days. It has lots of vents, which also makes it light, and it uses a special HyVent structure that channels air inside the helmet for greater cooling.

Buy now: Kask Valegro helmet at Rutland Cycles for £99

dhb Blok bib tights were £70, now £40

If you’re looking for an affordable way to keep yourself warm this winter then these dhb Blok tights are worth a look as they offer warm and comfort due to their soft Roubaix fleece lining. All sizes are still available at a 42% discount.

Buy now: dhb Blok bib tights at Wiggle for £40

Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch was £279.99, now £176

Garmin Vivoactive 3 smart would be a great choice for triathletes, mountain bikers or someone who enjoys a spot of running on the side. It has a heart rate monitor built in, does health monitoring and you can even use Garmin Pay to pay for your mid-ride coffee.

Buy now: Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch at Amazon for £176

Garmin Forerunner 935 tri bundle was £569, now £499.99

I’m carrying on the triathlon theme here with this bundle, in which you get heart rate monitor and a swim heart rate monitor. The 935 is jammed full of Garmin’s top tech and is even able to do Strava Live segments or pair with your Garmin Vector pedals.

Buy now: Garmin Forerunner 935 tri bundle at Wiggle for £499.99

Continental GP4000s II bundle with inner tubes was £109 now £61.99

Continental GP4000 S II

Continental-GP4000 S

The release of the Continental GP5000 tyre has led to price slashes on the Continental GP4000s II tyres. They’re still some of the finest tyres on the market and this particular bundle comes with tubes as well.

Buy now: Continental GP4000s II bundle at Merlin Cycles for £61.99

More great deals:

Endura Pro SL bib shorts were £119, now £79.91

dhb Aeron rain defence jersey was £100, now £55

Fizik Arione Ki:um saddle was £104.99, now £74.99

Mavic Cosmic Pro  road shoe was £225, now £135

Gore Women’s ONE Shake-dry jacket was £239.99, now £143.99

Tacx Neo smart turbo was £1199, now £899.99

dhb Aeron Tempo 2 waterproof jacket was £90, now £54

Castelli Aero Lite was £175, now £87.50

That’s all for now, we’ll be back next week with more great deals

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FINA Signs Agreement With International Testing Agency

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

FINA has signed today an anti-doping service agreement with ITA, the International Testing Agency, a non-for-profit foundation which provides independent expert anti-doping services.

The ceremony was held at the conclusion of the “Anti-Doping – Ensuring fair play in Aquatics” topic at the FINA World Aquatics Convention, being held in Hangzhou (CHN), from December 8-10. Benjamin Cohen, ITA’s Director General, was one of the speakers in that panel and then signed the agreement with FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione.

“FINA is very pleased with this partnership. Our International Federation is at the forefront of the fight against doping, and our co-operation with ITA will reinforce our strength and leadership in this area. Together, we will decisively be stronger in this continuous war against cheaters in our Sport”, considered Dr Maglione.

“The ITA is honoured to have been entrusted with the management of several areas of FINA’s anti-doping programme. We look forward to this partnership and the ITA will will work hard, in close co-operation with FINA, to ensure that the Sport of Aquatics and its athletes are clean”, Mr Cohen said.

Within this agreement, FINA will keep under its scope the in-competition testing at FINA events, while ITA will be responsible for the out-of competition procedure and the biological passport programme.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with FINA. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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Tom McCook – Balancing the Hip Flexors (20 mins) – Level N/A


How do you know if you are stretching your hip flexors correctly? In this tutorial, Tom McCook looks at the anatomy of the muscles involved with hip flexion so that you can improve their function. Using the Franklin Method with Pilates and Anatomy in Motion, he shares exercises that will make you feel longer and more open in your body.

What You’ll Need: Mat, Franklin Ball (2)

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FINA Responds to Lawsuit by Athletes, ISL

FINA responded to the recent lawsuit filed by Tom Shields, Michael Andrew and Katinka Hosszu, as well as ISL.

Below is their statement:

FINA would like to underline that respect for its rules—concerning the establishment of a coherent international calendar, the protection of athletes’ rights, and the development of the sport’s structure and organisation—are of paramount importance for the promotion and popularity of our six disciplines on a global scale.

As the world governing body for aquatic sports, FINA takes great pride in its proven ability to deliver events of the highest quality for swimmers from all over the world. Coordinating events in order to ensure a coherent competition calendar adds an extra level of complexity and this is a key criterion for FINA’s sanctioning of international competitions.

The project of the Italian Swimming Federation to organise a swimming competition in Turin at short notice did not meet all the necessary FINA rulebook requirements. These requirements are in place to ensure that international competitions provide the best possible conditions to all participating athletes while maintaining a healthy calendar.

The FINA competition calendar has evolved over many years through the active participation and collaboration of the National Federations. Changes to the calendar, received on short notice, are not consistent with FINA’s long-standing agreements and precedents, and undermine existing high-level competitions.

Aquatics athletes are at the core of FINA’s activities. They fully deserve all our respect for their effort and their devotion to the sport we all love. In recent years, FINA has been actively increasing recognition for athletes’ efforts at FINA events, by raising the prize money for those competitions, and by providing their respective National Federations additional tools for progress under our Development Programme.

On prize money, FINA can recall the 2017 edition of its World Championships in Budapest (HUN), where US$ 5.8 million were distributed to the best athletes, and the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), where US$ 2.1 million will award the top swimmers in the competition. Concerning FINA’s Development Programme, the budget allocated for the different projects in the four-year cycle 2018-2021 will ascend to US$ 38 million.

FINA will continue developing appropriate business platforms to provide an attractive calendar of events, with the participation of the best athletes. Moreover, we continue welcoming any positive approach by a partner or sponsor to improve the value of the Aquatic disciplines.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with FINA. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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Team Australia Settling In At World Short Course Championships

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia/Delly Carr

The Australian Dolphins have settled into a snowy Hangzhou in China ahead of the FINA World Short Course Championships beginning on 11 December.

Braving the near freezing outside temperatures, the team has hit the training pool and checked out the impressive facilities that await them at the competition pool.

The Dolphins team has a total of seven debutants, including Bond University’s Jenna Strauch who said it was a great experience being on the team for the first time.

“Being on team for the first time means there are a lot of firsts, so a bit more sentimental for us.

“It is nice to be here and soak it all in and learn from other more experienced athletes.

“The pool has been good, and training has been going really well so overall it has been great and this is also the first time I have seen snow so that is pretty cool.”

Triple Olympian Matt Dunn visited the team to share some of his experiences as an Australian Dolphin and present the debutants with their Gold Caps.

Strauch said it was special to be presented her cap by Dunn.

“That is my moment in history and was nice to hear Matt’s story and hear his experiences as well,” she added.

Double Olympian Cameron McEvoy will be swimming in his second World Short Course Championships, previously representing Australia in 2014 in Doha.

McEvoy’s advice to his new teammates was to enjoy the whole experience.

“Enjoy the experience of being away with the team and the daily routines you get into.

“Thinking back to my first team at the 2012 Olympics, I look back on that and remember vividly the racing but also have really fond memories of spending time with the other athletes and going through the motions of what it was like to be on a tour with the swim team.”

McEvoy said gaining international racing experience at competitions like the World Short Course is invaluable as they build towards Tokyo.

“It gives you that experience in uncharted waters in a way because it is so infrequent to race internationally.

“Getting exposure to all those different types of experiences at an international competition is going to help.

“The more surface areas of experience you get to uncover means by the time to get to one of the more important competitions such as the Olympics you have a bigger toolkit to work with as you go into that competition.”

Heading into the World Short Course Championships McEvoy currently sits in the top five rankings in both the men’s 50m and 100m freestyle.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Swimming Australia. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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USA Swimming Names Captains For World Short Course Championships

Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming

USA Swimming announced the five captains that will lead the team for the upcoming FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Leah SmithKelsi Dahlia and Madison Kennedy were selected to lead the women’s team, while Matt Grevers and Ryan Murphy were selected to lead the men’s.

USA Swimming is sending a talented team of 35 total swimmers to the World Short Course Championships. The meet will start Tuesday morning in China (Monday night in the United States).

Kelsi Dahlia

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Events: 50/100/200 Fly

Kelsi Dahlia was a captain for the last World Short Course Championships team in 2016.

Matt Grevers

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Events: 50/100 Back

Grevers was a captain for the 2017 World Championship team in Budapest, which was the United States’s most successful World Championships of the century thus far. He was also a captain for the 2018 Pan Pac team this summer, and the 2015 World Championships team.

Madison Kennedy

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Events: 50 Free

Kennedy was a captain for the 2016 World Short Course Championships team that went to Canada.

Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Events: 50/100/200 Back

Leah Smith

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Events: 200/400/800 Free, 400 IM

Leah Smith was a captain at this summer’s Pan Pacific Championships in Japan.

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