Denver’s Own Blayze Jessen Verbally Commits to the Hilltoppers

Photo Courtesy: Jenny Jessen

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NEW COMMIT: Blayze Jessen has verbally committed to swim for the University of Denver. Jessen should feel right at home when he moves into a dorm next fall. The JK Mullen High School senior is from Denver, Colorado, and swims for the club team University of Denver Hilltoppers.

Jessen told Swimming World,

“I’m excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim for the University of Denver. I couldn’t ask for a better school academically & DU’s swim team is on the rise and I’m grateful to be a part of it. I want to thank Coach Schrader & Coach Maguire for this opportunity and to my family and friends who have helped me on this journey. LET’S GO PIOS!!!”

A USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, Jessen is fairly versatile, excelling in breaststroke, distance free, and IM. His best times include:

  • 200 Breast 2:04.68
  • 200 IM 1:52.49
  • 400 IM 3:58.31
  • 1650 Free 15:58.72

Jessen has made great strides throughout high school. Since 2015 he’s taken 11 seconds off his 200 breaststroke time and another 11 from his 400 IM. He’s also knocked four seconds off his 200 IM in that same time.

At the 2017 Colorado 4A High School state championships Jessen finished third in the 200 IM (1:53.87). He was also fourth in the 100 breaststroke.

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22nd Annual Pentathlon to Kick Off 2017-18 Northern Arizona Swim & Dive Season

Northern Arizona swimming’s 22nd annual Pentathlon on Friday will have a different feel as compared to the previous 21 installments, but will nonetheless kick off the 2017-18 NAU swimming & diving season. The Pentathlon is free for all fans to attend and will start at 2 p.m. in the Aquatic and Tennis Complex.

The Pentathlon – traditionally an intrasquad swimming-only meet – will also feature swimmers from Arizona Christian for the first in the history of the season-opening meet. The Firestorm swimming program is entering just their second year and will provide an added element to the NAU swimmers.

“We’re happy to help out Arizona Christian by giving them a racing opportunity,” said head coach Andy Johns. “This is an easy travel for them and it makes it a little more real for our girls when there is someone else to race against. The Pentathlon is a traditional way to start the season and we’ve got some girls who we think can have a great year and take down some of these records that have been around for a while.”

The Lumberjacks will have a total of 24 swimmers competing on Friday headlined by the defending Pentathlon champion, redshirt junior Monique King. King won last season’s meet with 3,530 points and is ready to be a full-go this season after having to redshirt last year. She narrowly edged out senior Audrey Mann for the title with senior Kimmy Richter placing third. Sophomore Kate Bier and senior Alina Staffeldt placed fourth and fifth respectively.

The Pentathlon will consist of five events – the 200m individual medley, 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke and 100m freestyle. Athletes will score points based on their finishing times in each event to determine the overall champion.

While the top five finishers from a year ago return, a host of newcomers will be aiming for one of those spots. A newcomer (Hayley Edmond in 2015, King in 2016) has won the last two Pentathlons.

Nine new swimmers including freshmen Niamh McDonagh, Sam Seiber and Maddie Seidl will be making their NAU debuts. The trio will be among those to watch out for as all have individual medley experience which suits the Pentathlon well.

“We’ve been building towards this with a lot of things outside the pool – spinning and lifting,” Johns said. “It’s the first opportunity to see our newcomers race.”

Four of the five event winners from last year’s Pentathlon return including Mann in the 200m IM, Staffeldt in the 100m butterfly, senior Claire Hammond in the 100m backstroke and Richter in the 100m freestyle. Staffeldt also set a new Pentathlon butterfly record last year.

Press release courtesy of Northern Arizona University. 

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Carolina Gets Verbal Commitment From Tar Heel Tucker Burhans

Photo Courtesy: Tucker Burhans

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NEW COMMIT: North Carolinian Tucker Burhans will stay in the Tarheel State, making the move from Clemmons to Chapel Hill, with his verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina.

The two time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American is a senior at West Forsyth High School. A sprinter, Burhans trains with Enfinity Aquatic Club.

His best times include:

  • 50 Free 20.94
  • 100 Free 45.28
  • 50 Back 23.39
  • 100 Back 49.90
  • 100 Fly 49.97

All of those times were swum last season. At the 2017 North Carolina 4A High School Championships Burhans was runner up in the 50 free (21.05) and snagged bronze in the 100 free (45.78). As a sophomore in 2016 he was fourth in the 50 free (21.44) and won the consolation final of the 100 free (46.91).

Burhans told Swimming World,

“I am so excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim at UNC!!! As soon as I walked on campus in Chapel Hill, I knew this was the place for me. I want to thank my family and friends that have helped me get to this point! Go Tar Heels!!!! #UNC22”

His club teammate Olivia Carter is verbally committed to the University of Georgia.

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Olympic Women’s Hockey Coach Daniele Sauvageau Joins Swimming Canada Board of Directors

One of Canada’s most accomplished and respected Olympic coaches, Danièle Sauvageau, will bring her leadership and vision to Swimming Canada’s Board of Directors. Sauvageau was named to the Board during the organization’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday along with Cheryl Gibson, who returns as president, and Yves Lorange, who begins another three-year stint as secretary.

A police officer by trade with more than three decades of experience with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Montreal Police Service, Sauvageau brings a wealth of leadership skills to the Board having coached or managed Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team to a first-ever gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, a silver medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, in addition to seven world championship titles.

“Danièle is a passionate, decisive and pragmatic leader who has played a key role as an executive and coach while creating one of Canada’s most successful sport dynasties,” said Cheryl Gibson, who will return to lead the Board of Directors of Swimming Canada as president and chair for a second three-year term. “Danièle is a proven performer throughout her sport and professional career, and will be counted on to provide a critical voice in setting Swimming Canada’s strategy over the next three years.”

Sauvageau has guided countless coaches and national sport organizations to international, national and provincial competitions and multi-sport games. She also served as a member of the Sports Review Committee (now known as Own the Podium) and has helped shape the strategic path to excellence while consulting many clients in the public and private sectors.

“This is an exciting challenge for me to work with Swimming Canada’s leaders to develop strategies that will achieve our shared goal – to put more athletes on the international podium at all levels,” said Sauvageau. “The world is not standing still. I look forward to playing a small role to build on our successful past and push forward. We must continue to be innovative and focused on maintaining Canada’s position as a top nation in the pool.”

With its sights clearly set on adding new success stories to its growing repertoire of medal-winning performances, Gibson will continue to lead the Board of Directors through 2020. Originally named president and chair in 2015, the Edmonton-based lawyer and chartered accountant has been instrumental in delivering the resources Canada’s swimming athletes have required to achieve unprecedented Olympic, Paralympic and world championship performances.

Combining strong business acumen with a keen understanding of what athletes need to win, Gibson was a member of the Canadian swim team for 11 years where she competed and won a silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Summer Games. Gibson was also a medallist while representing Canada at world Championships, Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games. A member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, Gibson has served on the Board since 2012, and previously served from 1983 to 1994.

Yves Lorange (Sainte Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson, Que.) also begins another three-year term as secretary. Bringing more than four decades of experience in strategic management, finance and accounting, the member of Quebec’s Order of Chartered Professional Accountants became an active Board member of Swimming Canada in 2014 where he has chaired the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee in addition to the Human Resources Committee.

Sauvageau, Gibson and Lorange join incumbent Directors: Dean Crawford (vice-president); Leslie Cliff; Doug Bird; Elizabeth Burke-Gaffney; Michael Edgson; and Peter Szmidt to complete the nine-member Board.

Press release courtesy of Swimming Canada

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Air Force’s Colleen Murphy Announced as New Member of Alliance of Women Coaches Council

Photo Courtesy: Twitter @AFAWomenSwim

Colleen Murphy, first-year head coach for the Air Force women’s swimming team, was recently announced as a new member of the 2017-18 Coaches Council for the Alliance of Women Coaches.

Murphy joins a council of 15 coaches from various sports of different levels from division one to high school sports. The Coaches Council is a sounding board for the Executive Director to ensure that the Alliance is thoughtfully and strategically serving women coaches from all sports and all levels. Additionally, members serve as ambassadors for the Alliance in their respective coaching communities and networks. Each member will serve a two-year term.

Murphy will be entering her sixth year with Air Force after serving as an assistant coach her first four years and was the team’s associate head coach in 2016-17. The Falcons host their annual Blue/Silver meet on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 9 a.m. in Cadet Natatorium and officially open the season at the Colorado Mesa Invitational on Friday, Oct. 6.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit here.

The above press release courtesy of Air Force Athletics.

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Commit Swimming Set Of The Week: Running Dive Sprint Circuit

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

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Welcome to Swimming World’s Set of the Week sponsored by Commit Swimming.com! This week’s set is a very short running dive sprint set that is easy to do even with larger numbers. Take a look at the set below and the description that follows:

Multiple Rounds:

25 w/ a running start to a fast flip

→ slide one lane over

25 build to a fast finish

commitswimming

The circuit itself is pretty simple: it’s 2 x 25’s, one from a running dive into a fast flip and the other a build to a sprint finish. The idea is to rotate continuously through this circuit, getting as many sprints in as you need.

The 25 from a running dive should be from along the side of the pool (obviously using an end lane). Have your athletes start as far back as they need to get up to speed and perform a running dive by the halfway point of the length. The running dive should be as fast and smooth as possible, and many of your athletes will only take a couple strokes before they have to flip at the wall.

Instead of pushing off, have your athletes stop following their turn and slide one lane over, taking only :05-:10 rest before they push off for a 25 that starts easy builds into a sprint finish. Tell them to get up to full speed at least ⅔ of the way through the length so that they are finishing fast through the flags. Once they finish the second 25, have them hop out and start over again.

This is an easy sprint set to organize at the end of practice that is engaging for your athletes and can also accommodate larger groups while giving everyone room to sprint. Happy swimming!

LEARN MORE ABOUT WORKOUTS FROM COMMITSWIMMING.COM

Commit Swimming’s Mission

Commit Swimming builds innovative software for our sport, bringing 21st-century tech to swimming.

Every dang day Commit strives to improve technology in swimming, pushing the boundaries of what has been done before. For far too long swimming software has lacked creativity and simplicity. It is our goal to change that by delivering products that dazzle you with their simplicity and elegance.

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All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

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Lochte Rule Modifications Approved by USA Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Kara Sekenski

As previously reported, there has been a rules clarification for the freestyle turn in individual medley races that USA Swimming will officially add to medley swimming rules on September 21, 2017. The change was made during the July 21 FINA Swimming Technical Congress in Budapest, Hungary, editing the so-called “Lochte Rule.”

Previously, at no point during the freestyle portion of an IM race could a swimmer be on their back. That rule has led to several controversial disqualifications, including several in the 400 IM at the most recent U.S. Nationals that left would-be qualifier Ella Eastin off of the United States World Championship team.

The new rules are copied below with the changes underlined:

“The stroke for each one-fourth of the designated distance shall follow the prescribed rules for that stroke, except in the freestyle, the swimmer must be on the breast except when executing a turn.

“Intermediate turns within each stroke shall conform to the turn rules for that stroke, except that in the freestyle turn, the swimmer must return to the breast before any kick or stroke.

Jay Thomas, the Chairman of the USA Swimming Rules Committee, had previously told Swimming World that this change was likely back at U.S. Nationals. In the interview, Thomas explains that rule change would allow “a swimmer to be towards their back, provided they are not kicking or stroking, to give them the time to roll,” Thomas explained.

You can see the official rules on the USA Swimming website here.

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North Carolina Grad Hellen Moffitt Now Training with Team Elite

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Hellen Moffitt, who swam for the United States at both the Short Course World Championships last December and the World University Games last month, is now training in Charlotte, N.C., as part of Team Elite.

Moffitt won gold in the 100 fly at WUGs and has also won medley relay medals on the international level. She competed for years of the University of North Carolina and finished off her NCAA career with the Tar Heels with a runner-up finish in the 100 fly at the NCAA championships.

Team Elite announced Moffitt’s addition to the squad in a press release.

“I’m thrilled to join Team Elite and begin this new chapter of my swimming career. I’m especially looking forward to competing internationally and continuing to improve under the guidance of Team Elite’s stellar coaching staff,” Moffitt said in the release.

With David Marsh, formerly the man in charge of the Charlotte-based squad, now coaching at the University of California-San DiegoJeff Dugale and Bob Groseth now handle day-to-day operations of the Charlotte squad.

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Video Interview: Catching Up with Anthony Ervin on Athlete Issues

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World TV

At the recent United States Aquatic Sports Convention in Dallas, Swimming World caught up with three-time Olympian and three-time Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin, in town as an athlete representative for the United States Olympic Committee.

Ervin discussed his reasons for being in Dallas, namely getting the pulse of athletes’ concerns so he could relay that message to the United States Olympic Committee. Doping, he explained, was No. 1 among those concerns, but other issues he could not yet give an opinion on were pressing as well.

Ervin then discussed his own swimming and explained how he is in a “steadying phase” of training right now, but he talked like a man preparing to ramp things up once again, even at 36 years old.

Watch the full interview below.

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Florida 1A State Champion Hayden Curley Verbally Commits to Louisville

Photo Courtesy: Louisville Athletics

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website AgonSwim.com.

To report a college commitment, email HS@swimmingworld.com.
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NEW COMMIT: The University of Louisville has received a verbal commitment from Hayden Curley to swim for the team beginning with the 2018-2019 season.

A distance freestyler, Curley trains with Highlander Aquatic Club. The NISCA All-American is a senior at Lake Highland Prep School in Orlando, Florida.

He wrote about his decision,

“I chose the University of Louisville for how welcoming the team was, the environment, the support staff, the available resources and of course the coaching staff. I very much look forward to joining the Cards in 2018. Go C.A.R.D.S!”

His best times include:

  • 200 Free 1:39.04
  • 500 Free 4:26.70
  • 1000 Free 9:22.58
  • 1650 Free 15:27.18

Curley was the 2016 Florida High School 1A state champion in the 200 free. At the 2017 ACC Championships Curley also could have made an impact for the Cards. His lifetime best 1650 time would have placed 16th.

Colton Paulson is also verbally committed to the Cards.

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