Mari Kraus Gives Verbal Commitment to South Carolina Gamecocks

Photo Courtesy: Mari Kraus Twitter (@marikraus_)

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Mari Kraus (Mariana in the USA Swimming database) announced her verbal commitment to swim for the University of South Carolina. A USA Swimming Scholastic All-American from Oswego, IL, Kraus swims for Delta Aquatics. She’ll head to Columbia once she graduates from Oswego East High School in 2018.

Kraus is primarily a backstroker and a strong freestyler as well. Her best times are:

  • 50 Back 26.59
  • 100 Back 56.81
  • 200 Back 1:57.86
  • 200 IM 2:01.70
  • 200 Free 1:50.80

At the 2016 Illinois Girls High School state championships in November, Kraus finished third in the 200 IM. She was also a key piece of Oswego East’s relays. She split a 51.63 on the third leg of the team’s bronze medal earning 400 freestyle relay. The team’s 200 freestyle relay finished fourth. Kraus split a 23.86, going second in that relay.

To report a verbal commitment email

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Arena Pro Swim Series to Wrap Up With Fast Santa Clara Meet

USA Swimming has announced several of the participants for the final stop of the arena Pro Swim Series, which runs June 1-4 in Santa Clara, Calif. A host of typical suspects and Olympic gold medalists will be in town, including Katie LedeckySimone Manuel and Nathan Adrian.

Among those expected to compete is Elizabeth Beisel, a three-time U.S. Olympian competing for the first time since the Olympics in Rio.

Current women’s series leader Melanie Margalis is not listed on the press release, and with Katie Ledecky closing in on the top spot with strong performances in both Mesa and Atlanta, she could end up passing Margalis for the overall win.

Read the full press release from USA Swimming here:

Many of the United States’ top swimmers – including several Bay Area Olympic medalists – will be in action at next week’s arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara for a final tune-up ahead of next month’s Phillips 66 National Championships.

Olympic champions Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash./California Aquatics), Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif./SwimMAC Carolina), Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Stanford Swimming), Simone Manuel (Sugar Land, Texas/Stanford Swimming) and Ryan Murphy (Jacksonville, Fla./California Aquatics) are expected to highlight the field for the June 1-4 event at Santa Clara’s legendary George F. Haines International Swim Center.

The four-day meet opens Thursday, June 1, with a 5 p.m. PDT timed-final, distance freestyle session and continues throughSunday, June 4, with daily prelims at 9 a.m. PDT followed by finals at 5 p.m. Single- and all-session tickets are on sale now online.

Among the additional Team USA Olympians slated to swim include men’s individual medalists Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill./Trojan Swim Club), Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatic), Cullen Jones (Irvington, N.J./Wolfpack Elite), Chase Kalisz (Bel Aid, Md./North Baltimore Aquatic Club) and Josh Prenot (Santa Maria, Calif./California Aquatics). On the women’s side, Cal standout Kathleen Baker (Winston-Salem, N.C./SwimMAC Carolina) and Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, R.I./Bluefish Swim Club) are individual medalists expected to compete.

Three days of television coverage from Santa Clara will air on NBC Sports Network, including live telecasts at 8 p.m. EDTon Friday, June 2 and Sunday, June 4. The Saturday, June 3 action will be broadcast on delay at 1:30 a.m. ET on June 4. All three finals sessions also will be streamed live via NBC Sports. A live webcast also will be available at

This event is the fifth and final stop of the 2017 arena Pro Swim Series. The men’s lead is shared by U.S. Kalisz and Prenot with 38 points, while Olympian Melanie Margalis (Clearwater, Fla./St. Petersburg Aquatics) tops the women’s standings with 39 points.

The arena Pro Swim Series scoring system awards eligible swimmers prize money and points based on first-, second- and third-place performances at each meet in the Championship final only. The prize money and scoring system is as follows: First place, $500 (five points); second place, $300 (three points) and third place, $100 (one point).

At 2017 Phillips 66 Nationals, the point totals will double to 10 points for first place, six for second and two points for third place. The final series tally will be computed after the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships, slated for June 27-July 1 in Indianapolis, and the prizes will be awarded at that time.

The top eligible male and female overall point total winners in the series will earn a one-year lease of a BMW vehicle, as well as a $10,000 series bonus.

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6 Tips for an Easier Transition From College Swimming to Club Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Kalina DiMarco

By Katie Lafferty, Swimming World College Intern.

As the college school year comes to an end, many student-athletes are heading back home for the summer. As we pack up our dorm rooms we may be asking ourselves “What’s next?”.

At school our schedules are pretty much set for us. We have two workouts a day, classes, study table, and team meetings. There isn’t much time to sit down and decide how we want to spend our time.

When we get home we have the freedom to choose what we want to do. We have that freedom that was dreamt about all season long during those grueling workouts. However, with that freedom may come anxiety of how to stay in shape and make the transition from swimming at college back to swimming with a club team.

Here are six ideas to make that transition a little more smooth:

1. Talk to your college coach.


Photo Courtesy: Katie Lafferty

Talking with your college coach can help you to find out what their expectations of you are. Do they want you to keep the same practice schedule as you had in season back at school? Do they want you to swim in meets? 

2. Make a plan.


Photo Courtesy: Ernest Tiberino

Having a plan before transitioning back to a club team can make things easier. It is important to find a schedule that works for you while also completing all of the practices you need to complete. A plan holds you accountable, as well as giving you that schedule that you are used to from being at college.

3. Stick with it.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Training with a new group of people and new coaches after spending nine months with your college team can be challenging. However, it is important that you stick with the plan you have previously made. Some days will be harder than others, but at the end of the season when it comes down to conference time, you will be glad you stuck with the plan you made over summer.

4. Interact with your teammates on your club team.


Photo Courtesy: Jennifer Podlin

Whether you are joining a new club team for the summer or going back to the one you have been with for years, interacting with your teammates will make training easier and much more enjoyable. When you’re in the middle of a brutal set, having people next to you that you talk with will make it easier.

Irish Aquatics head coach, Matt Dorsch, said, “It’s always great having those members of the club who have gone off to swim collegiality come back and train with the team in the summer.” You bring a new energy and presence to the training group.

5. Swim in a meet.

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Saint Francis University Head Coach, Rory Coleman, said that swimming in meets over summer can help with motivation.“It let’s you know where your training is. Hopefully, you [will] see that you are getting faster,” he shared.

Having a meet to look forward to makes training easier. Swimming in a meet breaks up the training cycle and gives you an opportunity to track your progress. Along with swimming in meets, this gives you a chance to spend more time with your teammates and support the younger swimmers.

6. Share your experiences with the people around you.


Photo Courtesy: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Swimming in college is an amazing experience. Being able to share you experiences of swimming at college with your club teammates is a great way to feel at home with your club team.

“These are the former leaders of the program whom the younger swimmers looked up to and seeing them back at practice is a great thing. The college swimmers also provide some great help and inspiration to those just starting their college search, sharing with them what will be expected in a program like theirs” Dorsch said.

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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Arizona All-American Taylor Garcia Announces Transfer to Michigan

Photo Courtesy: Brooke Wright

Arizona junior-to-be Taylor Garcia announced she would transfer to Michigan. Garcia announced her decision on Facebook and Instagram.

“In March, after NCAA’s, I had to make a very difficult decision to leave the University of Arizona. It has been an arduous journey to say the least. However, I have much to be thankful for. I am so thankful for the great friends I have made in AZ. I know they will be my sisters for a lifetime, and their support is what has gotten me through this process.

I am also grateful for all that I have learned about myself and others during this time. My parents have been my rock for my whole life, encouraging me to follow my dreams. The amount of love and support they have shown me as I struggled out here is unimaginable and simply cannot be matched. I truly have the BEST support system. Thank you for everything Shawnda Garcia and Chevy Garcia.

It is with MUCH excitement and gratitude that I announce that I will be transferring to the University of Michigan. The academic and athletic support offered to their athletes is something I have been direly looking for, and I cannot wait to be a part of the team. I’ve always been a B1G DreaMuh.

It’s time to go home and Go Blue!”

Garcia, a native of Holland, Michigan will move back to her home state where she joins a Michigan squad that has won two straight Big Ten titles.

Garcia’s decision comes just one day after Arizona head coach Rick DeMont announced his retirement.

Garcia led off Arizona’s sixth place 200 medley relay team at the recent NCAA Championships. Garcia was a couple tenths faster than Clara Smiddy last year in the 50 backstroke, and was a 51.87 in the 100 backstroke, which would have won the Big Ten title last season. Garcia also anchored Arizona’s fifth place 200 free relay team at NCAA’s with a 21.68 relay split, which would have been the fastest split on Michigan’s fastest 200 free relay from last year. Garcia was 47th at NCAA’s in the 50 free (22.68) and 22nd in the 100 back (52.21).

Garcia will join an already stacked Michigan team that finished 11th at NCAA’s. The Wolverines will see the arrival of All-American breaststroker Miranda Tucker in the fall of 2017 after she announced she would transfer out of Indiana last summer. Tucker sat out the 2016-2017 season.

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Arizona Head Coaching Job: Who’s Next In The Swim Legacy?

Commentary by Michael J. Stott, Swimming World staff writer. 

Each summer from 2007-2011, I spent one week in June working in Tucson at the Arizona Swim Camp. Hillenbrand Aquatic Center became my home away from home. There I became acquainted with Frank and Augie Busch, Rick DeMont, Greg Rhodenbaugh, Whitney Hite and Roric Fink, each of whom I have since used as sources for stories I have penned for Swimming World.

I read with surprise when Swimming World broke the news that Rick DeMont had elected to retire.  My mind quickly shifted to “who will replace him?” If this were a NFL position we’d have a panel of seven former players and a loquacious moderator beating this subject to death. Lots of names out there, but probably far fewer options for a program that once was a permanent resident in the NCAA top five (and double NCAA champs in 2008) but has slipped a bit (men and women 24th and 16th at NCAAs  2017) since Frank Busch took the USA Swimming National Team Directorship in 2010.

So, who is next? All of the above names, former Wildcat coaches each, may seem like obvious candidates.

Let’s start with them.

Frank Busch relinquishes his position in Colorado Springs as of September 1 – and he’s moving back to Tucson where his roots run deeper than those of his native Northern Kentucky. He could step in and not miss a beat. He doesn’t mind the 323 days of Tucson sun, he can navigate his McKale offices with ease. He knows the administration. What’s not to like? One problem. As Frank has said publically, “I don’t want to be in charge anymore.” And to be honest, he has earned the right to enjoy his family on his own terms.

His return raises one spector. With Frank back and DeMont still in town are they the elephants in the room, looming large over any candidate? Perhaps not if its Frank’s son Augie who, after success with the women at the University of Houston and Virginia, and lesser with the men, could also effect a seamless transition. He recruits well, certainly knows the Arizona traditions, the Wildcat Code (“Honor your team with your effort”) and has proven he can handle a head job. Coming home might have great appeal, especially if he could bring his assistant and former All-Americans Cory Chitwood and his wife Ellyn Baumgardner Chitwood with him.

Greg Rhodenbaugh, head coach at Missouri, was at Arizona for 11 years. He has done an exceptional job growing the Mizzou program. He has the Tigers on an ascendant path. At the 2017 NCAAs the men finished eighth, the women 11th. He is developing domestic recruits quickly, enticing international Olympians (Dominique Bouchard, etc.) and attracting scoring transfers like Fabian Schwingenschlogl. Plus his aquatic venue is state of the art. Columbia has become home to him, his wife and eight children. Greg Rhodenbaugh is an outstanding breaststroke coach but he’s not crazy. Why move?

Whitney Hite just finished his sixth year at the helm with the men and women of Wisconsin. He has the swimming chops. He swam for Eddie Reese at Texas, he was head man at the University of Washington until the school folded the women’s team and spent two years in Tucson. Badger teams have improved since his arrival. He had a NCAA champion in 2013 with Drew teDuits, 2016 Big Ten Swimmer of the Year in Matt Hutchins, developed two-time swimmer of the Big Ten Championships in Ivy Martin and recruits well having attracted Beata Nelson and transfer Cierra Runge to Madison. Hite also loves the Colorado Rockies and Denver is closer to Tucson than Madison.

How about Roric Fink, assistant to Frank Busch, head coach of the very successful Tucson Ford USA Swimming juggernaut? For the last five years he has assisted Carol Capitani at Texas, helping boost the Lady Horns to a fourth place NCAA finish this spring. Prior to that he spent two years with Rhodenbaugh at Missouri and 11 years at Arizona. Fink clearly knows the territory and has worked with world class swimmers Gary Hall, Jr., Jeff Rouse and Klete Keller in addition to the decorated athletes at Arizona. Surely he is ready for a top spot. This needs to be a name on Wildcat athletic director Greg Byrne’s list.

That takes care of the home grown. What about the free agent name on everybody’s list — David Marsh. What’s not to like? 12 NCAA men’s and women’s titles at uber-competitive Auburn, 2016 Olympic coach, head Team Elite USA Swimming’s enclave at SwimMAC in Charlotte. He knows everyone in swimming worldwide. Name a better international recruiter (well, maybe not better than Brian Reynolds at Drury). He has an excellent rapport with swimmers, has trained the best in the world and is available. But on what terms?

Question, if Marsh located to Tucson would the collegiate aquatic landscape take a seismic shift westward? You’d have both 2016 head U.S. Olympic swim coaches in Arizona, 112 miles apart. Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps reside in Tempe and are quickly resurrecting a moribund (the men went from 44th to 14th in one year) Sun Devil program. With Marsh in Tucson and one who have a lot of residual knowledge of a returning Busch and resident DeMont. Bring back the recently departed Bob Gillett and Arizona Desert Fox and swimming might displace football and softball as the state’s favorite sport.

Want to shake things up? Bring back Dick Jochums, the former Arizona coach who became the USA’s middle distance guru, placing swimmers on every major USA international team from 1973 through 1988.  He was assistant or head coach of eight major USA National Teams. Among his swimmers are two hall of famers: Tim Shaw and Bruce Furniss. At one time, Shaw simultaneously held the world record in the 200m, 400, 800m and 1500m freestyle.

Just a thought. What’s yours?

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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Here We Go Again – FINA Disregards High Temperature Rule In Open Water

Commentary by Brent Rutemiller

The swimming community should never forget the tragic death of USA Open Water swimmer Fran Crippen who died in 2010 during an Open Water competition due to excessive water temperatures.

A FINA task force was established. Changes were made and new temperature rules were put into place.  Crippen’s tragic death alerted the swimming community that changes needed to be made regarding safety regulations for open water races. Following his death, FINA implemented rule OWS 5.5 stating that the water temperature cannot be below 16 degrees Celsius (60.8 F) and cannot be above 31 degrees Celsius (87.8 F).

But FINA continues to hold competitions that violate temperature rules in ways that are dumbfounding and irresponsible.  Steve Munatones wrote extensively about recent infractions in his latest article on

Swimming World encourages those who are concerned about the governance of aquatics sports to read the article.   Munatones points the finger at officials and specifically calls out a decision by Ronnie Wong for allowing the recent 2017 Asian Open Water Swimming Championships 10K race to be held in unsafe conditions.  Shockingly, Wong served as chairman of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee during the establishment of FINA OWS 5.5.

The temperatures at race time warmed to a hot 31.9 degrees Celsius (89.42 F) before the start of the 10K race.

Japan complained about the ruling to continue with the race.  Taking safe precautions, Japan pulled its entire team from the event, placing the lives of their athletes ahead of the medals at stake.

Does another life have to be taken before FINA and Officials take responsibility and understand that the safety of athletes must always come first and that the world is closely watching how they govern the sport?

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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Mehdy Metella Among Victors at Day One of 2017 French Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 2017 French National Championships began today in Strasbourg with Mehdy MetellaJordan Pothain, and Anna Santamans each grabbing victories.

Jordan Pothain delivered the top time for finals of the men’s 400 free, stopping the clock at a time of 3:50.06. Joris Bouchaut and Damien Joly completed the podium with close times of 3:50.65 and 3:50.80. All three athletes landed between the FINA ‘A’ and ‘B’ qualifying standards, but with only one swimmer allowed per ‘B’ qualifying time the World Championships land within Pothain’s reach.

Fanny Deberghes led a trio of 1:09s to the podium in finals of the women’s 100 breast. Deberghes claimed gold with a time of 1:09.18, followed by Charlotte Bonnet and her time of 1:09.57. Solene Gallego rounded out the top three with a time of 1:09.69. Similar to the men’s 400 free, all three women on the podium of the women’s 100 breast finished above the ‘A’ cut and below the ‘B’ cut, leaving a spot on the Worlds Champs roster open to Deberghes.

The men’s 200 back was dominated by Geoffrey Mathieu as he rocketed to a first place finish of 1:57.04. His time moves him to 13th in the world rankings for 2017 and beat the competition by over three seconds. Mathieu finished well beneath the FINA ‘A’ cut of 1:58.55 earning him a ticket to Budapest.

Picking up second was Paul-Gabriel Bedel with a time of 2:00.46, just ahead of Christophe Brun’s third place finish of 2:00.48.

Fantine Lesaffre unleashed a 4:41.64 on the competition in the women’s 400 individual medley, touching four and a half seconds ahead of the competition. Lesaffre’s time falls under the ‘A’ cut of 4:43.06, earning her a spot on the World Champs roster. Cyrielle Duhamel took second overall with a 4:46.11, while Coralie Codevelle was third with a 4:51.10.

Olympian Mehdy Metella flew to victory in the men’s 50 fly with a top time of 23.61, sitting just off his 2017 best of 23.58. Fellow Olympian Jeremy Stravius settled for second and a time of 23.88, making Metella and Stravius the only two athletes beneath the 24-second mark. Metella just barely squeaked beneath the ‘A’ cut of 23.67, qualifying himself for Worlds, however Stravius missed the ‘A’ cut.

Paul Pijulet rounded out the top three with a time of 24.12.

Anna Santamans sprinted her way up the world rankings with a top showing of 24.71 in finals of the women’s 50 free. Earlier in the day Santamans had clocked a 24.93, tying her for tenth with Italy’s Silvia di Pietro in the world rankings, but now moves to ninth overall. Melanie Henique picked up second overall with a time of 25.11, while Beryl Gastaldello was third with a 25.22.

Both Santamans and Henique stopped the clock below the FINA ‘A’ cut of 25.18, earning tickets to the World Championships in Budapest.

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Friendly Competition: Revelry and Rivalry

Photo Courtesy: Brian Jenkins-UVM Athletics

By Maddie Strasen, Swimming World College Intern.

Although there’s debate on whether or not swimming is the toughest sport out there, there’s no arguing that it’s difficult when your teammates are also your competition. As your team works towards one common goal, we each work towards our own goals, striving to improve ourselves as individuals. This means battling your own teammates and friends throughout a close race, or even a tough practice, but also means pushing each other to the limit, leading to improvement on both ends.

Having teammates who see your potential is uplifting in both training and competition. This means it’s likely that your best friends are those who you’re in the pool with and possibly swimming the same events as. Those who train for the same events every day gives you the people who most understand you, but your best friend being your competition can have its downsides.

Swimmers naturally have a competitive edge, and being plotted against the person you consider your best friend can cause frustration, self-doubt, and jealousy. You might find yourself questioning why you can’t train as hard or race as fast as the same person who have endless movie nights with, cheers you up when you’re sick, and consoles you when all you want to do is cry.


Photo Courtesy: Brian Jenkins-UVM Athletics

It’s easy to get frustrated with yourself. Some days, you’ll see others have an amazing practice as you’re left in the dust (or bubbles), just barely making the send-offs. You’ll ask yourself where you went wrong, what’s holding you back, or why you aren’t as strong as your teammates. Keep in mind that they have these days too. You might have forgotten the great practices you’ve had where your teammates might not have been doing so well, but still supported you and were happy for your accomplishments.

Don’t get angry or take your self-loathing out on those who performed better than you did. Although it feels defeating to see your competition get one step closer to their goals, they’re also your teammates and more importantly your friends. No one likes to see themselves fail, but it does happen and doesn’t give you an excuse to feel angry at those who did not fail at the same time you did. Failing sometimes is important for personal and athletic growth. Remembering that it happens to everyone at some point or another can help you move forward.


Photo Courtesy: Hannah Dahlin

Comparing yourself to others comes with the nature of a competitive sport, but can get to a point where it becomes unhealthy. Pushing each other in practice is one thing, but you should never try to one-up your competition. Although you might share similar individual goals, everyone has different strengths, weaknesses, mentalities, and insecurities. Because of the endless differences among two or more people, constant comparison isn’t beneficial and is often invalid.

Over-analyzing and comparing yourself to others can deteriorate mindsets and weaken friendships. It’s always best to think about how you as an individual can improve yourself and get to the next level. Swim for yourself, not anyone else. Use others as support and motivation rather than using them to talk yourself down or up.

Most importantly, be there for each other. Lift each other up when you’re down. Admire them for their hard work. Be happy for each other when you have a good practice or reach a goal. Talk to each other about how you’re feeling—be open and honest if you’re struggling. In the end, no one will remember who had a higher number of good practices or who out touched the other at a meet. They’ll remember the laughs (or tears) during practice, the cheering so loud that you could hear it from under the water, and the support you gave each other both in and out of the pool.


Photo Courtesy: Hannah Dahlin

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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NHSCA Announces Academic All-Americans

The National High School Coaches Association, NHSCA, is proud to announce the 2017 High School Academic All-Americans for the 2016-2017 school year. This marks the 24th year in which the NHSCA has honored those who triumph both in and out of the classroom.

This year’s selection totals 163 Academic All Americans. These student-athletes hail from 30 states. This year’s honorees excel in 12 different sports. The total breakdown is as follows: 4 freshman, 31 sophomores, 42 juniors and 86 seniors.

“This year’s Academic All Americans are the epitome of what a student-athlete is. Not only do they excel on the playing field, mat, court, pool, and track, but they also excel in the classroom”, stated NHSCA CEO Bobby Ferraro. “These student-athletes are leaders in and out of the classroom and are the future leaders of tomorrow. We are proud to deem them Academic All Americans.”

This year Arizona led the way with 26 Academic All Americans, followed by Virginia with 16. Pennsylvania followed closely with 15 and Massachusetts with 12. The student-athletes averaged a 3.9 GPA, with 50 students coming in with a 4.0 or better.

All honored Academic All Americans will be recognized in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Virtual Museum, which is currently in the planning stage.

Below is a list of all the swimmers and divers that made the list.

Class of 2019

Cora Dupre (Ohio) competes in the sport of swimming at Mariemont High School for coach Kevin Maness. She is a three-time state place winner, finishing 4th in the 200 Freestyle as a freshman, 1st in the 200 Freestyle as a sophomore and 2nd in the 100 Freestyle as a sophomore. She received All State honors in both her freshman and sophomore years. Cora has a current GPA of 3.7.

Kathryn Lyons (California) competes in the sports of Water Polo and Swimming at Miramonte High School for coach Noel Murphy. She finished 7th in the 200 Freestyle and 13th in the 400 Freestyle in her state swimming championships. Kathryn has a 4.0 GPA and is in the top 5th of her class. She hopes to compete in Water Polo at a Division 1 college.

Class of 2018

Olivia Grossklaus (Arizona) competes in the sport of women’s swimming at Red Mountain High School for coach Michael Peterson. She finished 1st in 100 Fly and 3rd in 50 Freestyle this year at her state swimming championships. Olivia has a 3.9 GPA and is ranked #35 in her class of 868 students.

Helen Schawe (Texas) competes in the sport of swimming at Veterans Memorial High School for coach Dee Hargis. She placed 22nd in her state championships this year in the 400 free relay. Helen has a 4.0 GPA and is ranked #25 in her class of 500 students. She would like to major in civil engineering in college.

Class of 2017

Faith Anderson (Ohio) competes in the sport of diving at East Palestine High School for coach Ron Navarra.  She is a four-time state place winner, finishing  19th as a freshman, 15th as a sophomore, 9th as a junior and 6th as a senior.  Faith has a 4.0 GPA and is ranked #1 in her class.  She will pursue Diving and Honors College at James Madison University.

Peter Baltes (Pennsylvania) competes in the sport of swimming at Central Bucks High School West for coach Zachary Wilson. In his 2016 state swimming championships his 200 Freestyle Relay placed 16th. In 2017 his relay placed 8th in the 200 Freestyle Relay and 10th in the 400 Freestyle Relay. Peter has a 3.9 GPA and is ranked #34 in his class. He will attend the University of Notre Dame.

Dylan Kemp (Oklahoma) competes in the sport of swimming at Guymon High School for coach Hope Kemp. He finished 9th in breaststroke his freshman year, 4th in breaststroke and 6th in butterfly his sophomore year, 2nd in breaststroke and 6th in butterfly his junior year and 2nd in breaststroke and 4th in butterfly his senior year. He was also named to the Oklahoma All State Team. Dylan has a 3.9 GPA and is ranked #1 in his class. He will attend Texas Christian University to study political science and pre-law.

Mykenzie Leehy (Iowa) competes in the sport of swimming at Lewis Central High School for coach Bruce Schomburg. She competes in the freestyle stroke and is a four-time state place winner, finishing 2nd as a freshman, 1st as a sophomore, 2nd as a junior and 1st a senior. Mykenzie has a 4.0 and is ranked #55 in her class. She will attend the University of Houston.

Benjamin Loutzenhiser (Pennsylvania) competes in the sport of swimming at General McLane High School for coach Benjamin Loutzenhiser. He competes in the 400 freestyle relay and the 200 freestyle relay. He is a two-time state place winner, finishing 14th as a junior and 20th as a senior. Benjamin has a 3.8 GPA and will attend SUNY Maritime College.

Greg Reed (Virginia) competes in the sport of swimming at Hidden Valley High School for coach Danielle Dillon. He has multiple state placements, finishing 1st as a freshman, 2nd as a sophomore, and 1st as both a junior and senior. Greg has a 3.8 GPA and will attend the University of Georgia.

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10 Books to Deepen Your Appreciation of Water Sports

By: Samantha Dammann, Swimming World College Intern.

Contrary to popular belief, not all popular swimming books are biographies about modern Olympians.

Many swimming related books feature events and people who have conquered waves and waters across the world. Read about Lynne Cox’s daring open water swims, big wave surfers like Laird Hamilton, the first man and woman to ever swim across the English Channel, and the man that spread surfing across the world.

Water-related sports have played a huge role in America’s history, and here are ten books that highlight the accomplishments of many swimmers and surfers across time.

Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer

By: Lynne Cox

Book 1

Photo Courtesy:

Lynne Cox is a long-distance open water swimmer from Boston, Massachusetts. In her book Cox tells the stories of her greatest open water swims, including 1.22 mile swim in the icy waters of Antarctica, and her swim across the Bering Strait from Alaska’s Little Diomede to the island of Big Diomede, which was then a part of the Soviet Union.

“Swimming to Antarctica” is a motivational read that also examines the political effects of Cox’s international swims.

Waterman: The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku

By: David Davis


Photo Courtesy:

“Waterman” covers the life of Duke Kahanamoku, a Native Hawaiian swimmer, surfer, and Olympic gold medalist who popularized both competitive swimming and surfing. Kahanamoku lived during Hawaii’s transition from an independent kingdom to an American state, and Davis captures the importance of this period in history.

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean

By: Susan Casey

The Wave

Photo Courtesy:

A detailed and mesmerizing look into the world of giant waves and the community of people that spend their lives chasing after these mountains of water. Casey travels with Laird Hamilton and dives into the world of big wave surfing. She also spends time with scientists who are deeply concerned by what the presence of these giant waves means for the planet.

The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory

By: Julie Checkoway and Alex Chadwick

three year

Photo Courtesy:

The remarkable story of a group of impoverished Japanese-American children living on Maui who became elite competitive swimmers under the guidance of their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto. This story, like “Swimming to Antarctica” and “Waterman,” shows the social and political impacts that swimming has had on the world.

The Crossing: The Curious Story of the First Man to Swim the English Channel

By: Kathy Watson

The Crossing

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“The Crossing” tells the story of Matthew Webb, who, in 1875, became the first person to ever swim the English Channel. The book is wonderfully detailed and shows just how unconventional Webb’s swim was. Watson goes on to recount the remainder of Webb’s life, which became crazier and more recklessly adventurous as the years passed.

Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America

By: Jeff Wiltse

contested waters

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Wiltse recounts the development of public pools from the nineteenth century to present times, and consequently the development of modern America. As centers of social activity, swimming pools have seen culture transformed.

Fighting the Current: The Rise of American Women’s Swimming, 1870-1926

By: Lisa Bier

fighting the current

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Gertrude Ederle brought women’s swimming to the public’s eye in 1926 when she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel, but women had been swimming for 50 years before Ederle. Bier traces the origins of women’s competitive swimming up to the Ederle’s time and examines the barriers these early swimmers had to break through.

The Pal Effect: A Faroe Islander’s Quest for Swimming Glory

By: Rod Gilmour

the pal effect

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Gilmour believed that the Faroe Islands had never produced an elite athlete, but Pál Joensen proved him wrong. “The Pal Effect” tells the story of how Joensen became an elite competitive swimmer and inspired his country.

The Great Swim

By: Gavin Mortimer

the great swim

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Mortimer tells the stories of the four women who strove to become the first woman to cross the English Channel during the summer of 1926. “The Great Swim” is a look into how Gertrude Ederle, Mille Gade, Lillian Cannon, and Clarabelle Barrette changed the way the world viewed women.

Find a Way: The Inspiring Story of One Woman’s Pursuit of a Lifelong Dream

By: Diana Nyad

find a way

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Becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protection cage had been Nyad’s dream since she was 28 years old. She finally achieved her dream and conquered the swim when she was 64. This book inspired Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign, and is sure to inspire anyone else who reads it.

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