2017 Men’s Water Polo Preview: Northeast Water Polo Conference

Harvard’s Noah Harrison celebrates 2016 NCAA win over UC Davis. Photo Courtesy: Harvard Athletics

Swimming World contributor Michael Randazzo will provide previews of the conferences that will send teams to the 2017 NCAA Men’s Water Polo Tournament to be held December 2 and 3 at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Teams arranged by projected order of finish.

Rankings are from the 2017 Collegiate Water Polo Association’s Men’s Preseason Poll.                                                        

2016—the first year of existence for the Northeast Water Polo Conference’s (NWPC)—was a banner year for Eastern water polo. The NWPC and the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) came about as a split in the Collegiate Water Polo Association, providing both conferences a pathway to the NCAA Men’s Water Polo Tournament.

Last year also saw an historic run by Harvard, which won the NWPC’s first-ever championship and advanced to an NCAA play-in game against Bucknell, the MAWPC winner. A thrilling 14-13 overtime victory gave the Crimson an NCAA win for the first time ever, followed by an equally compelling 16-15 overtime win against UC Davis at Cal’s Spieker Pool, sending Harvard to its first-ever Final Four.

What will 2017 provide as an encore?


Following his team’s 14-13 semifinal loss to Harvard in the NWPC tournament, #11 Princeton (18-9, 8-2 NWPC) head coach Luis Nicolao (19th season; 1994 U.S. Naval Academy) realized that depth was critical if his Tigers were to make a run to the top of the East. He returns his two top scorers—junior Matt Payne (69 goals) and senior Jordan Colina (56 goals). Sophomore Sean Duncan, fully recovered from a late-season injury, should therefore improve on a NWPC Rookie of the Year performance. The addition of five freshmen should provide the depth necessary to get Princeton to the top of the NWPC in 2017.

Returning in net is senior Vojislav Mitrovic, who two years ago was the most valuable player at the CWPA Championships, propelling the Tigers to the 2015 NCAA tournament. If he’s on his game there’s no better team in the East. Major Loss: Jovan Jeremic.

Key Matchup: Harvard, Saturday, September 30, Princeton, NJ


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By some measures, #15 Brown (22-8, 8-2 NWPC) just can’t catch a break. Felix Mercado’s (11th season; 2006 American Continental) team came into last year’s NWPC tournament as regular season champs with wins over all its conference rivals, including a 9-7 decision over Harvard In Cambridge and a 13-9 win over Princeton two weeks before the playoffs. But a hot Harvard squad beat them 11-7 for the NWPC’s first-ever championship title; just like that it’s the Crimson who make a storybook-run to the Final Four.

Don’t sleep on these Bears. Despite losing five starters from last season, they return seniors Tyler Kirchberg (44 goals), Tommy Bush (29 steals) and Rico Burke (22 goals, 33 steals), core members of the 2014 squad that broke a 24 year NCAA drought. Major Loss: goalie Luke Weiser.

Key Matchup: St. Francis, Saturday, October 28, Providence, RI


Last season #10 Harvard (27-7, 7-3 NWPC) enjoyed as good a post-season as any Eastern team ever has. Thrilling NCAA wins over Bucknell and UC Davis marked the Crimson as a team of destiny.

Unfortunately, that magic is gone —along with Harvard all-time career goal leader Noah Harrison—leaving Crimson head coach Ted Minnis (8th season; 2005 San Jose State) to look to a crop of four newcomers to push his team again to the top of the East. Returning to lead the offense are seniors Colin Chiapello (46 goals) and Harry Tafur (25 goals, 46 assists), junior Nick Bunn (44 goals). Junior Anthony Ridgley will again anchor the Crimson in goal.

Major Losses: Harrison and Joey Colton

Key Matchup: Princeton, Sunday, October 29, Providence, RI


Thanks to a seemingly unlimited supply of international talent, over the past decade #19 St. Francis Brooklyn (13-14, 5-5 NWPC) has had some of the best results in Eastern polo. Due to inconsistent recruiting—and a fluid coaching situation—the past three seasons have not been kind to the Terriers. There’s been a shake-up in Brooklyn Heights, with former player Bora Dimitrov (1st season; 2015 St. Francis Brooklyn) ascending to the top spot, just two years removed from representing Terrier red, navy and white.

With guidance from former head coaches Igor Zagoruiko (2014-16) and Carl Quigley (1975-2009), a healthy dose of confidence and a roster stocked with talent from both Europe and the U.S., Dimitrov should improve on last year’s lackluster campaign.

Captain Nikita Prohkin—fresh off a trip to the World University Games with Canada—has improved each of his two years as a Terrier, and his international experience should continue that progress. Add in a return to health by junior Bogdan Kostic, and a year of U.S. experience by goalie Victor Klauzer, and St. Francis will definitely be much improved in 2017. The question is: will their freshman coach have the ability to get the most out of a skilled roster—or are the Terriers simply a year away from contending for an NCAA berth? Major Loss: Ilija Djuretic, leading scorer in 2015 and captain in 2016.

Key Matchup: Princeton, Wednesday October 11, Brooklyn Heights, NY


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Iona head coach Brian Kelly’s (23rd season; 1994 Iona) deep roster the past few years has not paid off in results, and the move to the NPWC has not made it any easier on the Gaels. Facing the East’s best two or three programs twice a year has meant that when it comes to NCAAs, Iona (10-21, 1-9 NWPC) has been on the outside looking in.

With 23 players on the 2017 roster, Kelly will again have lots of depths and also experience to help propel the Gaels. Ten upper classmen provide experience for a group of eight sophomores headlined by Lloyd Quinn, third last year with 33 goals. All-American Honorable Selection Mark Stauble—first in assists (46) and second in goals (55) in 2016—returns to for his senior year to anchor the offense.

Goalie Jorge Andres Torres, who as a freshman started 28 of Iona’s 31 matches, returns to improve a Gaels’ defense that was all-to porous last year (421 goals allowed). Major Loss: Zack Roper (58 goals).

Key Matchup: Fordham (Judge Cup) Thursday, October 26, New Rochelle, NY


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By some measures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology head coach Dave Andriole (4th season, Yale 1986) has the toughest recruiting assignment in men’s varsity polo. One the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, MIT is entirely focused on attracting the absolutely best students, meaning athletics are often a distant second.

Andriole engineered a breakout season two years ago when his team produced a 14-15 record and beat St. Francis for the first time in 22 years. Last year the Red and Gray won 10 of 25 matches, going 1-9 in NWPC play. With 14 underclassmen—including six freshmen, MIT is likely to spend another year rebuilding. Junior Luka Knezevic (31 goals) and sophomore Clyde Huibregtse (32) return to lead the offense. Major Loss: goalie Nolan Kruse.

Key Matchup: Harvard, Saturday, October 7, Cambridge, MA (MIT)

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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Why have so many escape groups survived in the 2017 Vuelta a España?

Riders and team staff give their views on why so many escape groups have evaded the peloton during the 2017 Vuelta a España

This 2017 Vuelta a España is “open to successful escapes” with its staggering nine summit finishes and many other mountain days.

The Vuelta’s first 12 stages have seen an escapee win a stage on six occasions. Chris Froome (Team Sky) fought to keep his red leader’s jersey on Thursday while Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal) won the day from the early break.

“The reason? It’s easy, because the finals have climbs or downhill finishes,” said Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), who won one stage from a sprint and one from an escape.

“The sprinters are dropped, the guys who can climb are allowed to go free in the escapes. If you look, there are many stages in the Vuelta like this and it opens up the race to escapes. I hope this is the new way of cycling.”

>>> Vuelta a España 2017: Latest news, reports and race info

Unlike the Tour de France this year, which featured nine sprinter-friendly stages, the Vuelta a España only included four days. Several top sprinters, and their teams that would normally pull escapes back, turned their back on the Spanish tour.

BMC Racing Sports Director Max Sciandri says that his team have been riding for the overall, but sending men like Alessandro De Marchi in the escapes.

“It’s good this way, it’s fun,” Sciandri said. “We were speaking about it yesterday in the bus. I remember the other year at the Giro d’Italia, there was the team with Damiano Cunego and he was going for the mountains classification. Every time he didn’t make the escape, the team would chase back the escape. They were breaking people’s balls.

“Here in the Vuelta, the second division teams are not going crazy if they don’t make the escape. They try and if they make it, great, but if they don’t, they just continue.”

An early mountain stage on day three in Andorra sorted the classification and Chris Froome claimed the red jersey. Since then, his Sky team have controlled the race with little interest in bringing back an unthreatening escape.

>>> Chris Froome grateful to come away uninjured from Vuelta stage 12 crashes

“We have such a hard race especially the last week and the GC teams are saving their legs,” Dimension Data sports director Alex Sans Vega explained.

“And plus, there are already big gaps in the classification that made some groups safe for the favourites. They would let the group right away. And the difference here, there are only four days for the sprinters, and that is not many days, so there are not many teams to control the groups.”

“What’s happened so far is that big groups have gone free and Team Sky keeps them close and then it’s up to the others, but there’s not many teams with interest to close them,” sports director at LottoNL-Jumbo, Addy Engels added.

“It’s really hard to control a stage, but if it’s totally flat everybody knows the sprinters teams will control it. And it makes it easier for the breakaways.

“And then it works the other way around, men see opportunities and jump free in a big group and it’s hard to control a group like that. So we see many escapes.”

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Team Sky sign British under-23 road champ Chris Lawless

The rider will leave development team Axeon-Hagens Berman to join Team Sky for the 2018 season

Team Sky have secured yet another up-and-coming talent in Chris Lawless from developmental team Axeon Hagens Berman for 2018.

Lawless, who is the current British national under-23 road race champion, will be in good company alongside Owain Doull and Tao Geoghegan Hart, who were both crowned British national under-23 road race champions, in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The young rider’s palmarès also includes victory at the ZLM Tour 2017, a race won by the likes of Fabian Cancallara and Luke Rowe (twice) in the past. Lawless also added a stage at this year’s Tour de l’Avenir to his wins, a coveted victory for any up-and-coming racer.

Axeon team manager, Axel Merckx, had a lot of praise for the young Brit.

“I think the results speak for themselves,” Merckx said. “Chris was a nice addition at the end of last year we got him on the team and to give him a good schedule and right away proved his value.

“He’s taken a lot of responsibility on the bike, he captained with guidance and motivation and helping his teammates out on the race. He got a lot of second places early in the season and was able to change that to wins in the latter part.”

Team Sky secured the transfer after also signing Pavel Sivakov, Kristoffer Halvorsen and Egan Bernal in a move that shows Team Sky’s willingness to think about an era without Chris Froome.

Lawless’ addition wasn’t a rash decision though with Rod Ellingworth, Team Sky’s performance manager, signalling him out before his stellar 2017 season.

“We first saw Chris a couple of years back and he is someone we’ve been keeping an eye on,” Ellingworth said.

“He put in a really good ride at the nationals earlier in the year, not just in terms of the result but also in the way he rode. He’s strong and fast, and he attacked it from the gun which was impressive.

“He’s a British talent with lots of potential, and he has the capability and capacity to learn and develop with us” he said.

After gaining the attention of Team Sky and securing a dream move to one of the most dominant stage-race teams in the WorldTour today it seems Lawless’ work has just begun.

“I want to improve in every area. I’m hoping to become a more all-round bike rider and Team Sky is going to be the best place for me to do that” the young rider said.

Team Sky are currently taking part in the Vuelta a España which continues with stage 13 from Coín to Tomares over 194km.

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Pat Guyton – Stomach Massage Progressions (15 mins) – Level N/A


Why is Stomach Massage an exercise that many people dislike? In this tutorial, Pat Guyton looks at how we can progress this exercise so we can find the correct placement for our bodies so we can enjoy it more. She shares a basic movement called Happy Dog, Naughty Dog, and shows how this concept can be used in each position of the exercise.

What You’ll Need: Reformer

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Four Inducted into American Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame

Jonty Skinner — Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

The American Swim Coaches Association announced its Hall of Fame inductees Thursday evening in a banquet in Washington, D.C. The inductees included Charlie Hodgson, Bob Mattson, Jonty Skinner and Jill Sterkel.


Charlie Hodgson — Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

Hodgson coached for the University of Miami and the Nashville Aquatic Club, and world record-holders he coached included Matt Gribble and David Wilkie, and he also coached American Olympians Michele Richardson and Jesse Vassallo.

Hodgson also founded and programmed the now-commonly-used Hy Tek swim meet software.


Bob Mattson — Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

Mattson founded the Wilmington Aquatic Club and Wilmington Swim School, and he coached Olympians Dave Johnson, Jenni Bartz and Steve Gregg, along with world record-holder Seth Van Neerden and American record-holder Jenni Franks.

Skinner, considered one of the greatest scientific minds in swimming history, was the head coach of the USA National Resident Team in Colorado Springs, Colo., from 2994 to 2000, and he was also Director of National Team Technical Support for eight years.

Before he was in Colorado, Skinner was the head coach of the University of Alabama in the early 1990s, and he currently serves as Associate Head Coach under head coach Dennis Pursley, who introduced Skinner Thursday evening.

Skinner has coaches Olympians Troy Dalbey, Jon Olsen and gold medalist Amy Van Dyken, and he was a world record-holder in the men’s 100 free. He never competed in an Olympic Games, however, since he hailed from South Africa, then banned from the Olympics for political reasons.


Jill Sterkel — Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

Sterkel was a three-time Olympian, a gold medalist and world record-holder before going on to be head coach at the University of Texas from 1992 to 2007. She coached 1996 U.S. Olympian Whitney Hedgepeth and 2000 Olympian Erin Phenix.

Rob Norman of the TAC Titans in Cary, N.C., was named the Fitter and Faster Age Group Coach of the Year.

The other nine finalists for the award included Clovis’ Mark Bennett, Nation’s Capital’s Sue Chen, King Aquatics’ Tommy Cunningham, Westchester Swim Club’s Carle Fierro, Irvine Novaquatics’ Rod Hansen, Tidal Waves’ Nancy Hooper, Brea Aquatics’ Jim Johnson, Aquajets’ Kate Lundsten and The Fish’s Matt Pelletier.

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Ray Looze Named ASCA Coach of the Year – Video Interview

Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

Indiana University head coach Ray Looze was named George Haines Coach of the Year Thursday evening by the American Swim Coaches Association. Looze coached four swimmers onto the U.S. World Championships team this summer, including world record-setter Lilly King.

Looze was a women’s assistant coach on the USA staff in Budapest, and he led the Hoosier men to a seventh-place finish this summer at the NCAA championships, and his women took eighth.

King won four gold medals at the World Championships this year and set (or helped set) world records in all four events: the 50 breast, 100 breast and both the women’s and mixed 400 medley relays.

Looze also put Cody Miller, Blake Pieroni and Zane Grothe onto the World Championships roster, and all won at least one relay medal in Budapest.

After receiving the award, Looze spoke with Swimming World about what it meant to be honored by his coaching peers, whether he was surprised by his swimmers’ efforts this year and how he thinks they can maintain the Hoosiers’ momentum over the next few years.

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Britain’s best bike shops 2017 – Voting is now closed

Britain’s Best Bike Shops is a UK wide poll to find the best bike shops in partnership with Lezyne, Muc-Off and BikeZaar.

This summer we’re celebrating bike shops by looking for the best in the country. Our Britain’s Best Bike Shops poll, in partnership with Lezyne, Muc-Off and BikeZaar, allows you to vote for your favourite shop, and tell us why it’s so good. It’s your chance to give your local bike the recognition it deserves.

Every rider needs a good local bike shop. As places to go to buy, or just gaze at, new kit, get your bike fixed, get advice and generally have a chit-chat, bike shops are an essential part of any local cycling community.

Bike shops have also played a part in the careers of many aspiring young cyclists. There are even a few pro riders out there who once had a Saturday job in their local shop. Cleaning the boss’s bike and making tea before being let loose on the customers; that was a key part of my early career in cycling and it has served me very well.

But shops are having to change. While we all shop online sometimes, a good local bike shop is as essential as ever, it’s just what they offer is very different to that of 20 years ago.

Now they’re as much a destination as they are a shop. Somewhere to grab a coffee or a cuppa, get a bike fit, do a spinning session or meet others for a ride… All that and you still get to squeeze the tyres, flick the top tube and gaze longingly at the bike that’s just out of your price range.

If you run or work in a bike shop click here for information on how you can get involved in ‘Britain’s Best Bike Shops 2017’.

Every voter will enter a prize draw to win goodies worth over £600 including a subscription to either Cycling Weekly or MBR, a Lezyne Super GPS Navigate computer bundle and enough Muc-Off product to get you through the season.

Winners will be announced in September. Both an overall winner for a standout road and mountain biking store will be chosen, as well as regional badges of honour for Scotland, the North East, North West, Yorkshire, the East Midlands, West Midlands, Wales, East of England, London, South East and South West.

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Doug Made Fitness His Top Priority And Lost 136 Pounds!

Busy doesn’t even begin to describe daily life for Doug Boitnott. Between running a cattle farm and raising his teenage daughter, it was hard to find the time to take care of himself. Add to that foot surgery for plantar fasciitis, and he had plenty of excuses to let fitness fall by the wayside. Unable to train like he had before, he saw his weight creep up.

Once he was healed, Doug knew it was time to get to work. Nothing in his transformation process was revolutionary; he relied on a simple meal plan, streamlined supplement stack, and basic lifts. His magic formula? Motivation and hard work.

Doug says transforming doesn’t have to be rocket science. You just have to find what drives you and show up, day after day.

This is Doug’s story.

Doug Boitnott Before

Age: 38, Height: 6’3″, Weight: 336 lbs., Body Fat: 50+%

Doug Boitnott After

Age: 40, Height: 6’3″, Weight: 200 lbs., Body Fat: 11%

What Made You Decide to Transform?

In 2013, I had surgery on my foot and gained a significant amount of weight. When my brother got engaged the next year, I made the decision to lose the weight by the time I stood next to him as his best man in November of 2015. Not only did I hit my target weight, I surpassed my goal by 15 pounds!

Now I have a much more active lifestyle and the weight loss has made physical activities so much more comfortable. Running around and playing with my daughter is no longer a chore!

Doug Boitnott transformation

How Did You Get Yourself Back On Track?

For the first few months I started out slowly with just walking and then jogging on the treadmill. Eventually I incorporated more of the strength training that I did back in my 20s. Each week I would increase the intensity of the cardio and weights.

Some days I was not as motivated, but quitting was never an option for me. Once I started seeing the positive results, I felt the drive and inspiration to keep improving myself. Some of that inspiration came from a high school friend I reconnected with. Seeing how she lived a healthy lifestyle and was a great example for her kids lead me to want to do the same.

What Supplements Helped You?

What Diet Plan Guided Your Transformation?

I try to eat every three hours, and base my meals around my protein intake. The following meal plan puts me around 1900 calories for the day.

Meal 1
Protein shake (with added Creatine)

Protein Bar




(or fish, beef, or pork)


(with Parmesan cheese)

Protein Powder

(mixed with black coffee and ice in a shaker cup)


Cottage Cheese


Protein Bar


What Training Regimen Kept You On Track?

I work out in my basement, so I typically use a 12-week training program centered around my home equipment. For the first 12 weeks I strength train seven days a week, working each muscle group twice. For the next 12 weeks I do weights every other day and cardio on the days in between.

Doug Boitnott transformation

I also train abs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday by performing 6 sets of various exercises.

Day 1: Chest/Triceps

Day 2: Cardio


or outdoors

Day 3: Biceps/Back

Day 4: Cardio

Day 5: Shoulders/Legs

Day 6: Extra day, based on goals


  • Chest movement of choice: 6 sets to failure of light weight
  • Biceps movement of choice: 6 sets to failure of light weight
Day 7: Rest

What Challenged You Most?

This might not come as a shock, but the things that challenged me the most were making the time for meal prep and adjusting my schedule to fit my workouts in. I try to devote Sunday to cooking and preparing my meals for the following week. As for my workouts, if I have to wake up two hours earlier than usual in order to train, then that is what I’m willing to do!

What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?

I simply plan on continuing to stay healthy and set a good example for my daughter. I also try to help those around me with training and nutrition advice.

Doug Boitnott transformation

What Suggestions Do You Have for Others Who Want to Transform Their Bodies?

I would have to say that there are two major variables in any fitness journey. The first is being motivated to make a lifestyle change. The second is consistency in your daily routine. You don’t have to eat like a rabbit or become a gym rat, you simply have to stay motivated and be consistent. It’s that easy.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

I go to Bodybuilding.com for all of my supplements, protein powders, and workout gear. I also check out the many articles on healthy meal plans and workout routines. The site is very informative and motivational.

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Your 4-Week Plan For Guaranteed Muscle Growth!

Struggling to add size? Get ready to earn it—fast.

As any natural bodybuilder knows, you’ve got to lift some serious weight for serious volume to pack the kind of muscles you’ll see on Anthony “Ant Gainz” LaVigne. Luckily, the man himself is here to share his complete plan to get you going.

It definitely won’t be easy, but if you put in the effort, energy, and focus, you can pack on as many as 8-10 pounds of muscle in just four weeks. Want to gain more than that? Just keep following the plan!

Demolish Your Expectations

LaVigne knows how to pack on muscle fast. Follow his hardcore training, nutrition, and supplement plan to get some serious gainz of your own.

Your Four-Week Plan for Guaranteed Muscle Growth
Your Four-Week Plan for Guaranteed Muscle Growth!Bust out of your hardgaining ways and pack on lean mass faster than you thought possible, with this intense month-long training program!

Your 4-Step Nutritional Gainz Plan
Your 4-Step Nutritional Gainz Plan A normal approach to nutrition will leave you under-fueled to maximize muscle growth during this high-volume blitz of a workout. Fortunately, LaVigne shows you how to get all the energy and nutrients you need for some major gains!

The Top 3 Supplements for Gaining Mass
The Top 3 Supplements for Gaining Mass
There are a million supplements out there, but which ones are right for you when you’re trying to gain mass? Every lifter is different, but these three supps have helped a lot of people get big the right way.

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Federer beats Youzhny in five sets to reach third round

Breaking news

US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 Aug-10 Sept
BBC coverage: Live radio and text commentary on selected matches every day.

Roger Federer was taken to five sets for the second time in three days before overcoming Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny at the US Open.

The five-time champion was two sets to one down but eventually came through 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 4-6 6-4 6-2 in New York.

Federer has now won all 17 matches against Youzhny, a year younger at 35, since the pair first met in 2000.

The Swiss third seed goes on to face Spanish 31st seed Feliciano Lopez in round three at Flushing Meadows.

More to follow.

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