Hannah Foster Announces Verbal Commitment to Tennessee Vols

Photo Courtesy: Hannah Foster (Twitter – @fosterhan3)

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Hannah Foster of Cincinnati, Ohio recently announced her verbal commitment to swim for the University of Tennessee. Foster would start as a freshman beginning with the 2018-19 season.

Currently, she is a junior at St. Ursula Academy and swims year-round for the Mason Manta Rays.

She announced on her Twitter account,

“I am so extremely excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim at the University of Tennessee!! GO VOLS!!!!” – Hannah Foster

Foster will begin her collegiate career with the Vols with a wide range of talents, having placed in the top three in the 50 free, 100 free, and the 200 IM at the OHSAA Division I Swimming & Diving State Tournaments. In 2015, she placed third in both the 50 and 100 free, before exchanging the 50 free for the 200 IM in 2016, where she finished second.

As a member of the Mason Manta Rays, Foster finished in the top eight in the 200 free at the 2016 Winter Juniors East. She also made finals in both the 100 free (18th) and the 200 IM (11th). Some of her most recent accomplishments hail from the 2017 Dolfin ISCA Junior Championship Cup, where she finished first in the 200 IM, second in the 200 free, and third in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 breast.

Foster’s top times include:

  • 50 free ( 23.14)
  • 100 free (49.95)
  • 200 free (1:47.49)
  • 200 IM (1:59.32)
  • 400 IM (4:17.67)
  • 100 breast (1:03.17)
  • 100 back (56.00)

To report a verbal commitment please email HS@swimmingworld.com.

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5 Ways to Stay Connected While Studying Abroad

Photo Courtesy: Allen Rich

By Abby Bergman, Swimming World College Intern.

One of the most valuable aspects of collegiate athletics is the opportunity to experience the world while being part of an amazing college team. Yet this opportunity also presents tough choices for athletes who must balance their commitment to their teams with their choice to study abroad. To maximize both the study abroad and athletic experience, traveling athletes can work to stay connected to their team, even while on the other side of the world.

I spoke to several student athletes about their study abroad experience and compiled a list of five ways to stay connected to your team while studying abroad:

1. Join a team.

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Photo Courtesy: Cokie Lepinski

Living away from friends and family can sometimes feel jarring but seeking out a familiar place and rhythm can help. Smith college swimmer Sophie Shapiro describes how finding a masters team helped her adjust to life abroad as well as find a team atmosphere: “Swimming has definitely had a positive impact on my study abroad because I joined a team at my university. It wasn’t anything like the frequency or intensity I’m used to but it was a good way to get in the water and a great way to meet people who had a common interest with me.” Joining a team not only fosters team spirit, it also maintains structure and discipline for when an athlete returns to their college team.

2. Follow results.

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Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

While being abroad can mean missing out on team triumphs in person, technology can help bridge the distance. Especially because watching meets live can be challenging due to time difference, posted results can help you feel more a part of the team and cheer on your teammates. Former Smith College captain Hannah Francis describes, “I would follow the results of every meet. I generally knew what times my teammates were going for, and I tried to send messages whenever something cool happened during a meet.” By staying updated on the performances taking place at home, athletes who are abroad can feel connected and involved in their team’s success.

3. Stay in shape.

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Photo Courtesy: Maddy McDonnell

Swimming is a demanding sport that requires consistency and continuity. By finding ways to stay in shape while abroad, athletes can ensure a smooth reentry upon their return. “I found a local pool in Rome and enjoyed meeting local swimmers there, while staying in shape,” former Wellesley College swimmer Rebecca Nevitt detailed her experience. “My teammates welcomed me back in January and I picked up where I left off.” Even if structured swimming is not available in a particular locale, any type of exercise can help keep an athlete on the path to achieve their goals when they return to school.

4. Communicate with the team.

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Photo Courtesy: Pexels

Something as simple as talking to the team can really improve an athlete’s engagement with teammates back at school. Simple things like text messages and emails can go a long way toward maintaining relationships. “Facebook is an awesome tool for keeping up with people and their important milestones while I’m away,”Smith College captain Maddy McDonnell explained. “I love hearing about my friends and what they’re up to while I’m away, but it also makes me miss them and the team immensely. I’m having a blast studying abroad, but I’m also super excited to come back to my favorite place and my favorite people.” By staying updated on the performances taking place at home, athletes who are abroad can feel connected and involved in their team’s success.

5. Show team spirit.

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Photo Courtesy: Abby Bergman

There is no better way to feel connected to your team while abroad than to unofficially represent your school by wearing team gear at every opportunity. Swimming in the team cap and taking photos in team apparel at exotic locales can be a fun way to feel a part of your team even though you are hundreds of miles away. Whenever I travel, I make a game of seeing how many international pools and beaches I can swim in wearing my team cap. By using these strategies, athletes abroad can feel a little closer to home.

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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USA Swimming Open Water Nationals Start Friday at Castaic Lake

Photo Courtesy: Sergei Grits

Team USA 2016 Olympians Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif./Trojan Swim Club) and Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Team Santa Monica) highlight the field of the 2017 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships, set for Friday through Sunday at Castaic Lake, California.

More than 200 entries are expected across three days of competition, which will determine a number of Team USA international rosters for this summer.

The action begins Friday with men’s and women’s 10-kilometer events beginning at 11 a.m. PT, followed by Saturday’s first-ever Open Water Junior National Championships 5-kilometer event beginning at 8 a.m. and Sunday’s 5K senior-level national championship at 8 a.m. A live webcast of each race will be available online at usaswimming.org.

In addition to Anderson and Wilimovsky, fellow USA Swimming National Team members slated to compete this weekend include Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif./Unattached), Eva Fabian (Keene, N.H./Unattached), 2012 Olympian Andrew Gemmell (Wilmington, Del./Nation’s Capital Swim Club), David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./University of Tennessee), Taylor Pike (Bentonville, Ark./Razorback Aquatic Club Aquahawgs) and Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y./North Carolina Aquatic Club)

This weekend’s races will serve as qualifiers for the 2017-18 National Team and National Junior Team, as well as a number of international events, including the 2017 FINA World Championships, 2017 World University Games and a junior FINA World Cup trip. Six men and six women will qualify for the National Team and National Junior Team. Complete selection procedures are available at usaswimming.org.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with USA Swimming. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact newsmaster@swimmingworld.com.

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Swimming Australia Announces Bidding for Future Domestic Championships

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia is excited to announce it has opened its bidding process for the next four years of domestic events, following the best-ever Australian Open and Age Championships held last month in Brisbane.

A revitalization of the sport was evident at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships in April, which garnered impressive broadcast ratings and attendance figures for the five-day event.

This was followed just days later by the biggest Georgina Hope Australian Age Championships in history with over 1,850 competitors and 304 total clubs participating in the meet.

All across the country people tuned in for the start of the journey to Tokyo, witnessing the next generation of swimmers announce themselves on the domestic swimming scene LIVE in front of a home crowd at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre, or LIVE on Network Seven.

Strong broadcast ratings at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Championships were met with innovation on pool deck including the introduction of the legends relays and medal ceremony interviews, and across five nights of fast-paced competition, over 2.9 million people tuned in.

There was also innovation at the venue; fans could lap up the action poolside or venture outside into the brand-new Centre Lane Precinct, which offered a range of gourmet food trucks, an arena pop-up-shop, Optus fan zone, entertainment and even the opportunity to snap a selfie with the athletes or retired legends like Dawn Fraser and Ian Thorpe.

This new precinct, together with some incredible racing, saw attendance figures reach over 12,000 for the event.

With community engagement a key priority for Swimming Australia, the event provided over 230 children the opportunity to participate in the Optus Junior Dolphin or Junior Excellence swimming clinics with Olympians Libby Trickett, Matt Abood, Bronte Barratt and David McKeon all lending a hand.

Straight off the back of the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships, the next generation of young swimmers took to the pool to compete in the largest ever Georgina Hope Australian Age Swimming Championships.

A highlight being that this record also comprised of the largest number ever for Multi Class age group participants, increasing by 330% in just five years. Combine the success of these events, with an increase in membership numbers, and it is clear that swimming is a sport on the rise and as of March 31, Swimming Australia has seen a growth in every membership category.

Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said the increase in attendees and membership, record race entries and strong broadcast ratings was a really positive sign for swimming’s future.

“The success of our two major domestic events in the first year of a new cycle following the tremendous success of our domestic events last year leading into Rio is extremely encouraging,” Anderson said.

“Swimming is entering an exciting era and it is encouraging to see continual growth across all areas.

“Right now we have the high performance and grass roots areas of the sport being complemented by a united organisation working collaboratively with state associations and the wider industry.

“This is a fantastic position for the sport to be in as we open for submissions to host Swimming Australia events during the next four years,” Anderson said.

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

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FINA Int’l Swim Clinic – Swimming for All, Swimming for Life Promotes Aquatics Development and Safety

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

From May 15-17, Bangkok, Thailand will play host to the first ever FINA International Swim Clinic – Swimming for All, Swimming for Life. The event includes representatives from 49 countries across 5 continents. The goal of the program is to teach and promote water safety so that people of any age, ability and residency can take swim lessons.

A clear representation of the campaign is shown in the video below, which features some familiar faces such as Katinka Hosszu and Ryan Lochte:

According to the World Health Organization, there are over 370,000 deaths from drowning every year. Through the help of their member organizations, FINA hopes to make swimming more accessible by providing the necessary tools for swimming safety. FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione explained these goals in the manual for the Swimming for All, Swimming for Life program.

Water is Our World may be our slogan, but water is part of the world and of all humanity, constituting 75% of our planet (with its great virtues and great dangers), which is why we must help children, young people, adults and people with different capabilities who might face the misfortune of drowning. It is our duty to help reduce the high rates of death by drowning recorded around the world.” – Dr. Julio C. Maglione

The manual includes the development of a universal plan with standard criteria for teaching people how to swim under any circumstance in any infrastructure. It highlights both technical and practical information.

For example, the manual begins with techniques to reduce fear in new swimmers to ensure that they feel safe at all times. It explains that tension, awkwardness and doubt are created in the water because our motor actions change based on our position.

“What was above is now behind, what was below is now in front, and so on, always with reference the original framework of bipedalism,” the manual reads. It then provides techniques for both shallow and deep water pools or beachfronts, to give a vast amount of detail for all options.

Aside from these adaptions for the swimmers, the manual also includes guidelines for teaching principles. It focuses on basic knowledge that all swim instructors should know, as well as multiple-day adaption plans for getting swimmers adjusted to the water and also teaching them proper swimming technique.

“Our federation is known for its memorable sporting events and its major stars in six disciplines across five continents and 207 Federations but as the organisation responsible for water sports, we are also conscious of having a crucial social responsibility to all those who are not familiar with our great natural element, water,” Maglione said. 

Additionally, FINA also had motivation from UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, who highlighted swimming as a priority in their 2015 version of the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport. The document sets standards for all governments regarding these entities.

Article 2.2.2 of the Charter reads: “Physical education, physical activity and sport can play a significant role in the development of participants’ physical literacy, well-being, health and capability by improving endurance, strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and control…the ability to swim is a vital skill for every person exposed to risks of drowning.”

As the only sport specifically mentioned in the article, FINA saw this as an opportunity to do their part to help people around the world maximize their swimming abilities. They believe that everyone should have the chance to learn to swim.

Since this document changed in 2015, FINA has done campaign work with the Swimming for All, Swimming for Life program around the world. The three-day event in Bangkok marks the first ever clinic-style program with various countries participating at one time.

More information, including all participating nations can be found here.

FINA contributed to this report. 

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IOC Extends Olympic Partnership with Official Timekeeper Omega to 2032

Photo Courtesy: IOC/Philippe Woods

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently announced an extension of the global Olympic partnership with Omega.

Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games since the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, with the extension highlighting a 100 years of partnership and making Omega the first Worldwide Olympic Partner to commit through 2032.
The announcement was made in in Lausanne, Switzerland where leaders of both the IOC and Omega gathered. Thomas Bach, IOC President; Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch Group and Chairman of Omega; and Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega were all present at the meeting at the Olympic Museum.

IOC President, Bach, expressed enthusiasm over the extended partnership,

Omega is the world’s leader in sports timekeeping, and the extension of our agreement through to 2032 means Olympic athletes will continue to be able to rely on Omega’s expterise. 2032 is an important milestone, as it will mark 100 years since the Olympic Movement was first able to count on Omega’s timekeeping solutions.

Hayek, the CEO of Swatch Group, added,

The Olympic Games is one of the most emotionally-stirring events in the world, with an Olympic medal was the ultimate sporting dream. Its message of unity through sport is deeply compelling for people everywhere. From whichever media platform available, people tune in and cheer for their favoured athletes. We at Omega are honoured, that since 1932 we have been part of creating this emotion by measuring the fractions of a second or the distances that will decide between gold, silver, and bronze. We are happy and proud to continue this tradition until 2032, which will mark one hundred years of partnership between Omega and the Olympics. 

Omega has a rich history of developing and introducing cutting-edge timekeeping equipment, including the starting pistol, touch pads for swimming, and most recently, the Scan ‘O’ Vision MYRIA photo-finish camera. The MYRIA photo-finish camera has the ability to capture 10,000 digital images per second, and made its Olympic Games debut in Rio.

More can be read about the extended partnership here

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Dive Into Summer With Swim for MS

Begin your warm weather festivities this summer with the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America’s Swim for MS fundraiser! Swim for MS is a do-it-yourself fundraiser where participants create their own Swim challenge and recruit donations online to support the MS community.

Examples of Swim challenges from past participants include swimming one lap for every dollar donated, cannonball jumping contests, backyard pool parties, water polo games, and more. MSAA’s Swim for MS motto is, “Any Pool, Any Time,” so MSAA encourages anyone with an interest in swimming to get creative with their swim challenges and raise funds, which allow MSAA to provide free programs and services to the MS community.

Signing up for an individual or team Swim challenge provides direct services to people like Simone, one of MSAA’s past swim participants, who has multiple sclerosis. Simone created her own Swim for MS challenge as a way to raise awareness for MS while enjoying the benefits of aquatic exercise. Simone said, “Living with multiple sclerosis on land is rough. I walk slowly. My hands and feet are numb and tingling. My vision is blurred from optic neuritis. I am tired all of the time and my brain is sometimes in a fog. But I am free in the water… In the pool I am not disabled. When I am swimming, I am enough. In a race against MS, I win.”

MSAA’s programs, such as Swim for MS, provide hope to so many people living with MS on a daily basis. To create your own swim challenge with family, friends, teammates, and more please visit  SwimforMS.org.

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including MSAA’s magazine, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website (at mymsaa.org), featuring award-winning educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.® program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™ (named one of the best multiple sclerosis iPhone & Android apps by Healthline.com); a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; safety and mobility equipment distribution; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational programs held across the country; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; a clinical trial search tool; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. MS damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves of the CNS, and can potentially injure the nerves as well. This damage causes reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common MS symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, depression and cognitive issues, and various levels of impaired mobility. Many experts estimate that 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with this disease, and most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 50. MS is not contagious and researchers continue to look for both a cause and a cure.

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Ollie Carter Breaks Para Record In Scotland

Photo Courtesy: Josh Dobson

Carnegie swimmer Ollie Carter had a record-breaking weekend at the 2017 British Para Swimming International Meet. Swimming at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, Carter broke his own Scottish record in the men’s S10 100 freestyle.

Carter had previously broken the Scottish record at the Scottish Senior Championships where he had picked up five total titles. His national record time in the S10 100 freestyle was 59.75 at that meet, which he bettered in Sheffield with a 59.13. Carter was the first Scottish swimmer to break 1:00 in that event for his class.

The 17-year old is now set to compete at the World Para Swimming World Series in June, which will be held in the United States in Indianapolis, as he continues to work towards a potential Paralympics birth in 2020. You can read more about Ollie Carter’s meet here.

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Michael Phelps Appears in Commercial for Movie Baywatch

Michael Phelps made an appearance in a promotion for the new movie Baywatch, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In the commercial, Johnson puts Phelps through a series of tests to join an elite group of lifeguards.

The movie features a group of elite lifeguards, so Phelps has to pass some intense tests in order to join. “This is not some kiddie pool in Rio,” Johnson points out. Phelps does use his Olympic medals to good affect, though, as Johnson lets him skip the doggy paddle test.

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