(Video Interview) Zach Apple Explains Whirlwind of Successful Summer

Zach Apple’s breakout summer brought him a fourth-place finish in the men’s 100 free at U.S. Nationals and then to the World Championships, where he received a relay gold medal for his role on the U.S. men’s 400 free relay team.

At Golden Goggles, Apple discussed how he’s still processing the emotions associated with his ascension into the country’s categories of elite swimmers, and he also explained why he was worried he would not recognize half of the U.S. women’s team at the event.

Watch more video interviews from the red carpet at Golden Goggles.

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(Video Interview) Kelsi Worrell & Mallory Comerford Experiencing Golden Goggles Together

Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

Louisville teammates Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford both are coming off impressive seasons in 2017, with Worrell winning her first individual medal at a World Championships and Comerford emerging as one of the country’s top freestylers, and the two chatted together on the red carpet prior to Golden Goggles.

Worrell and Comerford both explained the essence of their Golden Goggles experience and what they had enjoyed about Los Angeles, and they also discussed some updates in their life: Worrell explained what married life was like, having recently tied the knot with Thomas Dahlia, while Comerford discussed what it’s like to be a junior in college.

Watch more video interviews from the red carpet at Golden Goggles.

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(Video Interview) “Surreal” for True Sweetser to be at Golden Goggles

Photo Courtesy: David Rieder

True Sweetser qualified for his first World Championships team this summer with a win in the 1500 free at U.S. Nationals. Making his first appearance at Golden Goggles, he discussed that experience and this one celebrating with the team in Los Angeles in a red carpet interview with Swimming World.

Sweetser explained why it felt “surreal” to attend Golden Goggles after he grew up admiring photos from the event, and then he discussed what he learned from his first experience at a meet like the World Championships, where he did not swim until day seven and the race did not go as he hoped.

Watch more video interviews from the red carpet at Golden Goggles.

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Team USA Women’s Water Polo Team Returns to Pool with December Exhibition

Photo Courtesy: Peter Neushul/USAWP

The USA Women’s National Team, 2017 FINA World Champions, will be back in the water this December for the first time since earning gold in Budapest, Hungary this past July. Team USA will take on China and the Netherlands in a four game series in Southern California this December 14-19.

The United States will kick things off with match against China at UC Irvine on December 14 at 7pm pt. From there things head north to Santa Barbara High School in Santa Barbara, CA for a meeting with the Netherlands onDecember 16 at 2pm pt. The next day the two teams return south to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for a meeting on December 17 at 2pm pt. The action closes at Foothill High School in Tustin, CA on Tuesday, December 19 at 7pm pt when Team USA and China square off. In addition, on Friday, December 15 China and the Netherlands will meet at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, CA at 7pm pt, admission for that match is free.

Team USA is currently the number one ranked team in the world and holds every major championship including titles at the Olympic Games, FINA World Championship, FINA World Cup and FINA World League Super Final. Netherlands earned silver at the 2015 FINA World Championship while China won gold at the 2016 Asian Champoinships.

Tickets for three of the four matches are on-sale and can be purchased by clicking here. Tickets for the match at UC Irvine will go on sale shortly. Full team rosters and live streaming information will be announced closer to the beginning of competition.

2017 USA Women’s National Team Series – December 14-19
December 14 – USA vs China – 7pm pt (UC-Irvine – Irvine, CA) – Tickets On-Sale Soon
December 15 – China vs Netherlands 7pm pt (Joint Forces Training Base – Los Alamitos, CA) – Free Admission
December 16 – USA vs Netherlands – 2pm pt (Santa Barbara, HS – Santa Barbara, CA) – Tickets
December 17 – USA vs Netherlands – 2pm pt (Loyola Marymount University – Los Angeles, CA) Tickets
December 19 – USA vs China – 7pm pm (Foothill HS, Tustin, CA) Tickets

Press release courtesy of USA Water Polo. 

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UCLA and USC Tied for First in Collegiate Water Polo Association Week 12 Poll

The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) releases the Men’s Varsity National Top 20, Division III Top 10, Northeast Water Polo Conference (NEWPC) Top Five and Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Top Five Week 12/November 22 Polls for the 2017 season.

In the aftermath of the league championship tournaments, the water polo world is turned upside down with four teams taking over the No. 1 spots in three polls this week with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship looming in the next week and a half.

In the wake of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) tournament, the No. 1 position in the National Top 20 is assumed by a pair of teams with the University of Southern California and the University of California-Los Angeles taking over the berth from Stanford University.

In the final Division III Top 10 Poll of the season, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges wraps up the year at No. 1.

In the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Top Five, regular season runner-up George Washington University shatters a season-long run by Bucknell University at No. 1 in the wake of taking the league championship tournament at the United States Naval Academy over the weekend.

Harvard University, which won the 2017 Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) Championship over the weekend at home in Blodgett Poo;, follows a similar path as the Crimson took down previously No. 1 Princeton University for the league crown and top spot in the final NWPC poll of the season.

Voted on by a panel of coaches from the MAWPC, NEWPC, Golden Coast Conference, Western Water Polo Association (WWPA), Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), SCIAC and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the polls will be compiled and released on Wednesday during each week of the season through the week following the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship.

2017 MEN’S VARSITY NATIONAL TOP 20 (WEEK 12/NOVEMBER 22)

Following the regular season and the league championship tournaments it will take the 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship to determine which team is No. 1 on paper and in the water as both the University of Southern California and the University of California-Los Angeles assume the top spot in the Week 12/November 22 Men’s Varsity National Top 20 Poll.

The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Champion Trojans (96 points) and runner-up Bruins (96 points), who ranked at No. 4 and 3, respectively, last week, dislodge previously top-ranked Stanford University (88 points) who finished in Fourth-Place at the MPSF Championship behind formerly No. 3 the University of California (91 points).

Change has been a constant at No. 1 in the National Top 20 Poll over the course of the season as the top spot has changed hands four times in the past four weeks as Stanford (Week 11), California (Preseason, Week, 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 10), USC (Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9) and UCLA (Week 4) have each previously ranked at No. 1 prior to the Trojans and Bruins both climbing up the ranks this week.

Behind USC and UCLA, California and Stanford at No. 1-to-4, the University of the Pacific (80 points) is the only team in the Top 10 to retain its position from last week’s rankings.  The University of California-Irvine (74 points) and Long Beach State University (70 points) trade the No. 6 and 7 spots, while the University of California-Davis (64 points) assumes sole possession of the No. 8 position after tying with the University of California-Santa Barbara last week,

Pepperdine University (61 points) rises to No. 9 with UC-Santa Barbara (55 points) backsliding to No. 10.

San Jose State University (49 points) continues at No. 11, while the University of California-San Diego (43points) and Harvard University (43 points) are now tied at No. 12. Princeton University (35 points) and Brown University (28 points) both backup one slot to No. 14 and 15, respectively, with California Baptist University (17 points) rising in the ranks to take over at No. 16.

The lone newcomer to the Top 20 compared to last week’s poll comes at No. 17 as George Washington University (16 points) jumps from receiving votes to tying with Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (16 points).

St. Francis College Brooklyn (11 points) and Bucknell University (7 points) complete the Top 20 with the final positions.

2017 MEN’S VARSITY TOP 20 (WEEK 12/NOVEMBER 22)

Rank Team Week 11 Poll Points
1 (T) University of Southern California 4 96
1 (T) University of California-Los Angeles 3 96
3 University of California 2 91
4 Stanford University 1 88
5 University of the Pacific 5 80
6 University of California-Irvine 7 74
7 Long Beach State University 6 70
8 University of California-Davis 8 (T) 64
9 Pepperdine University 10 61
10 University of California-Santa Barbara 8 (T) 55
11 San Jose State University 11 49
12 (T) Harvard University 15 43
12 (T) University of California-San Diego 12 43
14 Princeton University 13 35
15 Brown University 14 28
16 California Baptist University 17 17
17 (T) George Washington University RV 16
17 (T) Pomona-Pitzer Colleges 19 16
19 Saint Francis College Brooklyn 18 11
20 Bucknell University 16 7
RV United States Air Force Academy RV 5
RV Wagner College NR 5
RV Whittier College RV 3
RV Concordia University RV 2
RV Fordham University 20 1

2017 MEN’S VARSITY DIVISION III TOP 10 (WEEK 12/NOVEMBER 22/FINAL)

The Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges conclude the season at No. 1 in the Week 12/November 22/Final Men’s Varsity Division III poll.

Pomona-Pitzer (99 points) leads a Top 10 which experiences significant changes in the middle portion of the rankings.

Johns Hopkins University (90 points) holds at No. 2, while Whittier College (88 points) takes sole possession of the No. 3 position.  Chapman University (82 points) rises to No. 4 with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (81 points) falling back to No. 5.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (80 points), the University of Redlands (72 points), California Lutheran University (68 points), the University of La Verne (59 points) and the California Institute of Technology (45 points) hang on at No. 6-to-10 to complete the Top 10.

2017 MEN’S VARSITY DIVISION III TOP 10 (WEEK 12/NOVEMBER 22/FINAL)

Rank Team Week 11 Poll Points
1 Pomona-Pitzer Colleges 1 99
2 Johns Hopkins University 2 90
3 Whittier College 3 (T) 88
4 Chapman University 5 82
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3 (T) 81
6 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges 6 80
7 University of Redlands 7 72
8 California Lutheran University 8 68
9 University of La Verne 9 59
10 California Institute of Technology 10 45
RV Connecticut College RV 11

2017 MEN’S VARSITY MID-ATLANTIC WATER POLO CONFERENCE TOP 5 (WEEK 12/NOVEMBER 22/FINAL)

2017 Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Champion George Washington University concludes the year at No. 1 in the Week 12/November 22/Final MAWPC Top Five Poll.

GW (99 points), which downed Wagner College by an 8-5 final score for the league championship, shatters a season-long top ranking for the Bison of Bucknell University dating back to the Preseason Poll.  Overall, Bucknell was a unanimous top selection in the Preseason, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10 and Week 11 polls leading up to the MAWPC Championship.

Bucknell (93 points) and Wagner (93 points) wrap-up the year tied at No. 2 with Fordham University (86 points) and the United States Naval Academy (80 points) remaining at No. 4 and 5.

2017 MEN’S VARSITY MID-ATLANTIC WATER POLO CONFERENCE TOP 5 (WEEK 12/NOVEMBER 22/FINAL)

Rank Team Week 11 Poll Points
1 George Washington University 2 99
2 (T) Bucknell University 1 93
2 (T) Wagner College 4 93
4 Fordham University 3 86
5 United States Naval Academy 5 80

2017 MEN’S VARSITY NORTHEAST WATER POLO CONFERENCE TOP 5 (WEEK 12/NOVEMBER 22/FINAL)

Harvard University takes over at No. 1 in the Week 12/November 22/Final Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) Top Five Poll after capturing the league title at home over the weekend with a 12-11 sudden death defeat of former No. 1 Princeton University.

The Crimson’s rise continues a trend of change in the poll as Princeton (Week 6, Week 8, Week 10, Week 11), Harvard (Week 9) and St. Francis College Brooklyn (Week 7) traded the top berth back-and-forth over the past seven weeks.

Overall, the teams consistently exchanged the No. 1 slot all season as Harvard (98 points) ranked at No. 1 in the Preseason, Week 1 (with Princeton), Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4 polls prior to Princeton running off back-to-back top nods in the Week 5 and 6 polls to initiate the back-and-forth string among the Tigers, Crimson and Terriers.

Princeton (97 points) slides to No. 2 this week, while Brown University (89 points) rises to No. 3 after downing St. Francis Brooklyn (96 points) by an 11-9 score in the NWPC Championship Third-Place game. Iona College (48 points) finishes the year at No. 5 after topping the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by a 10-9 score in overtime in the Fifth-Place game of the NWPC Championship.

2017 MEN’S VARSITY NORTHEAST WATER POLO CONFERENCE TOP 5 (WEEK 12/NOVEMBER 22/FINAL)

Rank Team Week 11 Poll Points
1 Harvard University 3 98
2 Princeton University 1 97
3 Brown University 4 89
4 St. Francis College Brooklyn 2 86
5 Iona College NR 48
RV Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5 32

Press release courtesy of the Collegiate Water Polo Association. 

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Q&A with Leslie Cichocki and Scott Erdman

Photo Courtesy: Julie Kolar

By Jamie Kolar, Swimming World College Intern.

American records are hard to come by, but not for Leslie Cichocki. In one weekend, at the Maverick Roundup meet, Leslie smashed eight Paralympic American records. She broke the 50 free (27.32), 100 free (59.21), 200 free (2:06.69), 500 free (5:43.41), 50 back (32.81), 100 back (1:06.43), 200 back (2:25.36) and 200 IM (2:28.43) records in the Paralympic S-14 division.

In 2016 Cichocki became the first intellectually disabled swimmer to represent team USA at the Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro. She recently moved back to her hometown of Chicago, Illinois and has started the journey to Tokyo 2020 with her new club, West Swim Club. Swimming World caught up with Cichocki and her coach, Scott Erdman, to check in on training and her goals for the future.

Leslie C

Photo Courtesy: Julie Kolar

Swimming World: You just moved to Chicago full time and transferred clubs, what inspired the move?

Leslie: I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life. I trained at another facility because they offered more training times and had a 50m pool. I came back because I felt I was no longer making improvements.

SW: What events led up to these eight American Records?

Leslie: I swam on the US Paralympic team. I was a part of the 2015 Para Pan American team where I placed first in the 100m back. In 2016 I was the first intellectually impaired swimmer to represent USA at the Rio Paralympic games where I placed seventh in the 100m back.

SW: Any changes in training that have seem to have made the biggest difference for you?

Leslie: My coaching staff takes the time to help me fix my stroke and to push me when needed. I have an intellectual disability which makes it more difficult for me to understand directions. I am thankful that the coaches take the time and extra effort and believe in my abilities.

Leslie close up

Photo Courtesy: Julie Kolar

SW: What is the next step? What are you goals for the rest of the year?

Leslie: I will be competing at the INAS (International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sports) World Swimming Championship where I hope to drop more time and medal.

Scotty Erdman high five

Photo Courtesy: Julie Kolar

SW: As a coach, how does it feel to watch one of your swimmer break eight American records?

Scott: It was amazing to watch and extremely gratifying, for myself to some extent, but more so for Leslie. Since coming to the team she has put in a tremendous amount of time and hard work and has been a role model for how a swimmer/athlete should operate. When swimmers like that have great achievements, that brings me to the pinnacle of coaching happiness.

SW: What gives Leslie the special ability to break all those records in one weekend?

Scott: I think a couple factors went into Leslie having the special ability to break all eight records in one week. First, she is extremely athletic. At times, some of the high school boy swimmers she was training with would have trouble completing sets that she was able to complete. But the other main ingredient that I have already mentioned is her untiring work ethic. From the beginning of the season, Leslie did not miss one workout that she was able to be at. She swam doubles two days a week and when she couldn’t make practice she asked for sets so she could swim remotely. There was also only one time she missed one repeat and apologized to me about it after (when clearly no apology was necessary). That is the type of drive that makes the great ones great.

SW: What is it like to coach Leslie? What sets her apart from the other swimmers you have coached?

Scott: It is honestly just a pleasure to coach Leslie.  She wants to be good and does whatever you ask of her. She makes the journey an easier one because she brings her A-game every day. I think the thing that makes her different than a lot of swimmers that I have coached is that she does follow through on what she says she is going to do. She is not just all talk about putting the work in and doesn’t allow any distractions to get in her way.

SW: Leslie is still new to the team, where do you see her going with this sport in the next few years?

Scott: Well I think she has one thing in mind – Tokyo!! After her experience in Rio and other International competitions, she is zeroed in on preparing to tryout for the US team again for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At this current rate, I certainly think she has a really good chance.  There are many things we are working to improve and so hopefully she will be peaking for the 2020 US Paralympic Trials.

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

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Psych Sheet Released for USA Winter Nationals

Olivia Smoliga. Photo Courtesy: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

USA Swimming released the psych shed for next week’s 2017 AT&T Winter National Championships in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday.

The short-course meet begins Nov. 29.

Click here for the entire psych sheet for winter nationals.

Some of the biggest big-name battles look to be on the women’s side.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford is the top seed for the 500-yard freestyle (4:36.16). She also is the second seed in the 50 freestyle (22.04) behind Olivia Smoliga (21.27). Comerford is the top seed for the 200 freestyle (1:40.36) ahead of Melanie Margalis (1:43.19).

Margalis is the top seed in the 200 IM (1:53.16) and will be in a battle in the 100 breaststroke. She is the second seed (58.09) behind Breeja Larson (57.60). Smoliga is the top seed in the 100 backstroke (50.04) and 100 freestyle (46.30). Larson is the top seed in the 200 breaststroke (2:04.71).

Indiana’s Marwan El Kamash is the top seed in the 200 and 500 freestyles. Other top seeds include, Chase Kalisz in the 400 IM (3:33.42) and 200 butterfly (1:40.38), Michael Chadwick in the 50 freestyle (18.97) and 100 freestyle (40.95), Kelsi Worrell in the 100 butterfly (50.46) and 200 butterfly (1:53.45), Noah Lense in the men’s 100 butterfly (45.71), 17-year-old Reece Whitley is the top seed in the 100 breaststroke (51.84) and 200 breaststroke (1:52.37), Ryan Murphy in the 100 backstroke (43.99) and 200 backstroke (1:36.75), Zane Grothe in the mile (14:29.05) and Alex Galyer in the 200 backstroke (1:50.53).

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Olympians Highlight 2017 USA Swimming Winter National Championships

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Short-course national titles will be on the line for many of the United States’ top swimmers next week at USA Swimming’s Winter National Championships, set for Nov. 29-Dec. 2 at Ohio State University’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

The meet opens Wednesday, Nov. 29 with a relay-only session at 6 p.m. ETThursday, Nov. 30, through Saturday, Dec. 2, prelims will be held at 9 a.m. ET, followed by finals at 5 p.m. ET. Tickets are on sale now at usaswimming.org.

All sessions of the meet will stream online and via the NBC Sports app. NBC will air exclusive television coverage from Columbus on Sunday, Dec. 10 from noon-1 p.m. ET.

Among the stars expected to compete include Olympic champions Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash./California Aquatics) and Ryan Murphy (Jacksonville, Fla./California Aquatics), as well as individual Olympic medalists Chase Kalisz (Bel Air, Md./North Baltimore Aquatic Club), Cody Miller (Las Vegas, Nev./Badger Swim Club) and Josh Prenot (Santa Maria, Calif./California Aquatics).

Women’s standouts expected to swim in Columbus include 2016 Olympians Melanie Margalis (Clearwater, Fla./Saint Petersburg Aquatics), Olivia Smoliga (Glenview, Ill./Athens Bulldog Swim Club) and Kelsi Worrell (Westampton, N.J./Cardinal Aquatics). The Breakout Performer of the Year winner from Sunday’s Golden Goggle Awards, Mallory Comerford (Kalamazoo, Mich./University of Louisville), also is slated to compete.

About USA Swimming

As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.

Press release courtesy of USA Swimming.

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LumaLanes Performance of the Week: Katie Ledecky Drops AR at Art Adamson

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week’s Performance Of The Week, sponsored by LumaLanes, goes to Katie Ledecky, who lowered her own American Record in the 1650 free at the 2017 Art Adamson Invite this weekend.

The Stanford sophomore continued to push closer to the 15 minute mark, dropping .61 off of her original American record from the same meet almost exactly one year ago. Holding 27’s throughout the race, Ledecky split 9:09.34 at the 1000 (a new pool record in the event) before touching the wall in 15:03.31 to set the new record in the event. That time won the women’s event by 54 seconds, and would have won the men’s event by more than 15 seconds. You can see her full splits below:

1 Katie Ledecky    SO Stanford          9:18.00   15:03.31!A       20  
   r:+0.71  25.96        53.46 (27.50)
       1:21.39 (27.93)     1:49.32 (27.93)
       2:17.27 (27.95)     2:45.10 (27.83)
       3:12.99 (27.89)     3:40.76 (27.77)
       4:08.54 (27.78)     4:36.35 (27.81)
       5:03.81 (27.46)     5:31.30 (27.49)
       5:58.94 (27.64)     6:26.28 (27.34)
       6:53.60 (27.32)     7:20.72 (27.12)
       7:47.98 (27.26)     8:15.04 (27.06)
       8:42.18 (27.14)     9:09.34 (27.16)
       9:36.52 (27.18)    10:03.68 (27.16)
      10:30.97 (27.29)    10:58.42 (27.45)
      11:25.92 (27.50)    11:53.48 (27.56)
      12:20.91 (27.43)    12:48.43 (27.52)
      13:15.94 (27.51)    13:43.34 (27.40)
      14:10.79 (27.45)    14:37.64 (26.85)    15:03.31 (25.67)

Speaking at the Golden Goggles the day after her swim, the Stanford sophomore was typically humble, saying she was “a little bit” surprised about breaking the record but that training has been going well through the fall. Well indeed – that swim leaves Ledecky as the fastest performer in that event by 21 seconds (the second fastest is Katie Hoff with a 15:24.35) and shows that even after taking a month away from the pool in August any record should be on notice when she dives in the pool.

Congratulations Katie Ledecky on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

Special Thanks to LumaLanes for sponsoring Swimming World’s Performance of the Week.

Learn More About LumaLanes

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(Video Interview) Nic Fink Back on Worlds Team, Back at Golden Goggles

Nic Fink got back on the World Championships team this year, finishing second in the 200 breast at U.S. Nationals after finishing well out of contention at the Olympic Trials last summer. He later made the final in the event at Worlds.

Earning an invitation to Golden Goggles, Fink showed up in a sharp American flag bowtie and then explained on the red carpet in an interview with Swimming World how it felt to make a triumphant comeback in 2017, how he felt more confident this year and how he feels going into his third year as a post-grad swimmer.

Watch more video interviews from the red carpet at Golden Goggles.

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