Demetrius Andrade outpoints Jack Culcay to win the WBA light middeweight title

12/03/2017 07:46

Demetrius Andrade (24-0, 16 KOs) outpointed defending champion Jack Culcay (22-2, 11 KOs) by a 12 round split decision to win the WBA light middleweight title on Saturday night at the Friedrich-Ebert Halle in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The Judges scored the fight 116-112, 116-112 for Andrade and 115-114 for Culcay.

Andrade won more rounds by being the busier fighter but the Germany-based Ecuadorian Culcay had his moments, and the American was hurt in the 12th from a barrage of punches.

With the win, Andrade captured his second world title having previously won the WBO 154lb belt, which he defended once before he was stripped of the title due to inactivity.

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Morning Splash: Embracing the Finality and Intensity of the NCAA Championships

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By David Rieder.

Exactly seven months ago, a teary-eyed Katie Ledecky stood in the mixed zone in Rio after winning her fourth gold medal at the Olympic Games. After a long but wildly successful week, the 19-year-old was reflective as her four-year journey to those Games had come to an end.

After a few minutes, one reporter asked Ledecky to comment on her future.

“I can’t wait to be part of the Stanford team, set some team goals and some individual goals and have a lot of fun,” she responded.

Getting back in the present, that’s exactly what has happened. Ledecky has already broken more records—four short course yards American records, to be exact—and the Cardinal team has already won a Pac-12 team championship. But the biggest goals for Stanford and every other Division I team in the country involve one of two upcoming meets in Indianapolis.

That would be the NCAA championships, March 15-18 for the women and March 22-25 for the men. The meets each begin with a Wednesday night cameo before three intense and emotional days of racing that can include up to 14 total races for some swimmers. And these championship meets have a sense of finality to them that nearly all other swim meets lack.

Well, you might argue, three-quarters of the swimmers competing are not seniors and will be back for another season. Yes, that’s true, and a small minority of the seniors will keep on competing through this summer’s long course season and beyond.

But that’s not the point. Almost every swim meet, even a championship meet, is a lead-up to something else. Not NCAAs.

In college swimming, that’s dual meet season, the mid-season invitationals and the conference championships, where athletes are focused on attaining for NCAA qualifying times. In long course swimming, anything aside from the Olympics—even a national championship or a World Championships—can be seen as a preparation meet for something.

Think back to the last significant meet held in Indianapolis—which took place all of eight days ago. At the arena Pro Swim Series event at the same IUPUI Natatorium, the places hardly mattered. Sure, prize money and series points were at stake, but history will have little room for who made the podium at a meet that didn’t even hand out awards.

Vladimir Morozov and Marcelo Cherighini missed the A-final of the 100 free? Okay, well they still had a shot to swim in the B-final, and they each finished in 49.56, a perfectly respectable effort for early March.

At the NCAA championships, second chances exist, but the consolation finals are not so forgiving. At the women’s meet last year, Olivia Smoliga finished tenth in the prelims of the 100 back, and that meant there was no way she could score more than nine points in the event. If she had made the A-final, anything aside from a disqualification would have resulted in 11 or more points.

Sure enough, Smoliga won the B-final in 50.58, faster than any swimmer in the A-final aside from Rachel Bootsma. Instead of the 17 points she would have received as the runner-up, she picked up nine.

That miss didn’t end up coming back to bite Smoliga’s Georgia Bulldogs, who went on to finish 19 points ahead of Stanford to win the national championship, the program’s third title in four years.

But it could have—in 2010, the Florida women won the national title by a mere 2.5 points.

Obviously, plenty of us analysts out there will put time and energy into trying to figure out how so-and-so’s short course yards time will translate into the long course pool, but that’s a conversation for much later.

During the meet, records are great—and undoubtedly, plenty will be broken over the next two weeks in Indy—but ultimately meaningless to the ultimate goal: the team race.

For the first time since the Olympic Games, the results—the places, that is—will matter above all for every single swimmer. Even during conference championships, this wasn’t the case, as plenty of swimmers were aiming for their NCAA qualifying times, and some teams (think Georgia and Missouri) deliberately held back on their tapers.

Stanford coach Greg Meehan even admitted that Ledecky swam a 400 IM-200 free double at Pac-12s with the future in mind, considering she might be placed into such uncomfortable situations at the World Championships.

No such chances taken at NCAAs. Ledecky broke the American record in the 400 IM at Pac-12s and would be seeded first in that event by almost three seconds at NCAAs. But instrad, she is entered in the 200, 500 and 1650 free, the events that Meehan believed would optimize the Cardinal’s point totals.

What the NCAA meets have that so many others lack is a sense of finality—no one is working for some other meet down the pipe. That was the case even last season, when Canadian swimmers were mere weeks away from the Olympic Trials. Just ask Brittany MacLean how much it meant to her to win the NCAA title in the 200 free or to lead Georgia to a team championship as a senior. (Answer: a lot.)

The points race even takes utmost importance for the Olympians that will be in action, and there will be many. Nine U.S. Olympians from 2016 will compete at the women’s meet, while 11 men will be in Indy a week later (up from the two male American Olympians that returned to the NCAA meet in 2013).

With the intensity, drama and level of competition of the NCAA championships, it figures to be a fun two-week stretch coming up in Indianapolis.

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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Paris-Nice 2017 queen stage ‘too hard’ and ‘unnecessary’

Team bosses question the need for a 177km mountain stage with a 16km summit finish so early in the season

After being battered by crosswinds on the opening two stages, the riders of Paris-Nice 2017 could have been forgiven for looking forward to three final days in the sun in the south of France.

However a three tough final stages included no fewer than five categorised climbs, with Saturday’s queen stage including a summit finish atop the 16km Col de la Couillole at the end of 177km in the saddle.

Dan Martin took third on the stage, joking after he crossed the line that the stage was “too hard for March”, a sentiment that seemed to be shared by many at the start line of the final stage.

“I think that stage was a bit unnecessary,” said Allan Peiper, the sporting manager of BMC Racing, the team that took victory on the stage thanks to Richie Porte.

“Paris-Nice is always hard,” Peiper continued, “but this one has been really hard.”

“Whether it’s because of the first flat stages with the crosswinds and cold weather, and then the hard hilly stages.

“And this one’s got a 1700m final climb on the second last day, with 4000m of climbing which is pretty much unprecedented for Paris-Nice.”

>>> Watch: Paris-Nice 2017 stage seven highlights

Peiper said that he hoped other organisers would not follow the lead of Paris-Nice organisers ASO and try and make their races progressively more difficult.

“If every organisers wants to make their race the hardest, and create the suspense by making it hard, then every season it just gets harder and harder.”

Peiper’s opinions were shared by Lorenzo Lapage, directeur sportif for Orica-Scott.

“It was such a hard stage, and very long. Probably too hard and too long,” Lapage said.

“It’s very early in the season, and I think the winner would have been the same if they’d have had one climb less and 20km less as well.”

Watch: Paris-Nice stage seven highlights

Lapage also criticised the choice of finishing location, with the remote summit finish and narrow mountain roads back meaning that some teams did not get back to their hotels until 9 or 10pm.

“At the finish there was a problem with the transfer. It was really badly organised in my opinion. Coming back to the hotel we didn’t get much information from the organisers.

“Thankfully we put the riders in the cars, but the bus wasn’t back at the hotel until 9.30.”

Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) was one of fifty riders to roll in with the gruppetto more than half an hour after Porte had crossed the line, suffering after having been in the breakaway on the previous stage to Fayence.

“My legs were pretty nailed because I was in the breakaway the day before,” Swift said.

“I really paid for that effort. I felt OK on that final climb, but it was such a hard stage.

“It’s definitely been the hardest Paris-Nice I’ve ever done. It’s been so much harder than the last couple of years.”

>>> Ben Swift: ‘Leaving Team Sky was a now or never. I have a massive opportunity to perform across the year’

Although agreeing that this has been a difficult week for the riders, Swift said that in his opinion this was more down to the conditions and the style of racing than the parcours.

“The conditions have made the riders race hard every day. With the weather at the start of the week, it made those stages much tougher than they should have been.

“I don’t think the parcours has been any harder than any other year, it’s just been that we’ve had the wind. That creates so much stress so everyone fights for position, which means it’s a hard day every day.”

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Nairo Quintana: ‘Tirreno win has little meaning ahead of the Giro’

Despite blowing his rivals away on the Monte Terminillo, Quintana says he’s still not in full shape ahead of the Giro d’Italia

Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) says that his Terminillo summit stage win in Tirreno-Adriatico yesterday, which brought him the overall lead, means little ahead of the Giro d’Italia.

>>> Geraint Thomas: ‘That was bloody hard, but encouraging’ (video)

He stormed away solo with two kilometres remaining on the 16.1km climb north of Rome. He left behind Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and other rivals he will face in two months in the Giro d’Italia.

“There’s little meaning, the Giro d’Italia will be different,” Quintana said bundled in blue and green team kit.

“I think my rivals are going well and arriving on time too. I have to prepare for them, they are hard rivals. I’m not going to under-evaluate them.”

His rivals in Tirreno-Adriatico are mostly the same that he will face May 5 to 28 when he tries to win his second Giro d’Italia title.

Foto LaPresse/ Gian Mattia D’Alberto

Thomas placed second at 18 seconds, Yates third at 24 seconds, and others – Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) – were scattered down the road in central Italy.

The “Quintana Show” – as Italy’s sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport headlined its article on Sunday morning – saw the most talented Grand Tour cyclists behind Sky’s Chris Froome do his thing.

He surged two or three times, the third finally broke Thomas, who said, “Quintana’s acceleration is phenomenal.”

With the win, Quintana took the overall lead by 33 seconds with three days to race. He must survive Sunday’s undulating stage through Le Marche to Fermo and the final time trial stage on Tuesday along Italy’s east coast.

Quintana, however, explained that it “means little” with the deck of cards to be slightly reshuffled before the Giro begins in Sardinia on May 5.

“My team-mates did well and brought me to the climb all together. Castroviejo was ahead and Amador and Moreno closed all the gaps. It helped me save my energy for the final attack,” Quintana said.

He added ominously that his “condition was not at its best” because he has been suffering from a cold.

Thomas and Yates will continue to race the Vuelta a Catalunya. Quintana will unplug back home in Colombia.

After the Vuelta a Valenciana win and the Tirreno-Adriatico’s Terminillo show, he will rest and train at altitude before returning to Europe just ahead of Giro.

He reflected over the last two years since he stormed away on the Terminillo and won the eventual Tirreno-Adriatico title. He said, “I have more experience now.”

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Andy Murray loses to Vasek Pospisil in Indian Wells second round

Vasek Pospisil and Andy Murray

World number one Andy Murray made a shock second-round exit at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, losing 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to qualifier Vasek Pospisil.

The Briton, who had a first-round bye, was sluggish throughout the match against the Canadian world number 129.

Murray, 29, was broken four times as he struggled with Pospisil’s serve-and-volley style.

It was the first victory for Pospisil, 26, in five meetings with Murray.

Although he is a qualifier here, Pospisil has been ranked as high as 25th in the world and beat both Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans in Britain’s Davis Cup victory over Canada in February.

After Murray took a 4-2 lead early on, the Canadian hit back to win six successive games, claiming the first set before finally winning the second 7-5 in a tie-break, hitting a cross-court winner on his fourth match point.

“It was obviously a disappointing one as I had opportunities in the first set but I didn’t serve well enough,” Murray told BBC Sport.

“I served a few double faults, especially in the first set at important moments, which didn’t help things.

“He definitely started to play better in the second set, he was being aggressive and coming to the net and played some great reflex volleys at important moments and deserved to win.”

Murray claimed his maiden Dubai Championships title last week, but defeat here continues a poor run for the Scot at Indian Wells, having lost in the third round last year. His best result at the tournament was when he was runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2009.

However, he remains in this year’s doubles alongside fellow Briton Evans as they face Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer and Romanian Horia Tecau in round two.

Evans plays Japanese fourth seed Kei Nishikori in the singles later on Sunday. Listen to the match live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online from 18:00 GMT.

Pospisil faces Dusan Lajovic in the third round of the singles after the Serbian qualifier upset 30th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-2 4-6 7-6.

Elsewhere, French seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was beaten by Italy’s Fabio Fognini but there were wins for third seed Stan Wawrinka, 10th seed Gael Monfils and 11th seed David Goffin.


BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller in Indian Wells

World number one or not, Murray has often struggled in the desert. His serve let him down – he hit seven double faults and was broken four times in a row – and was ultimately second best to a man who is having a great year against the Brits.

Pospisil may be a qualifier ranked 129 in the world but his serve-and-volley game is mightily effective, as Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund learned to their cost in last month’s Davis Cup tie with Canada.

Unusually for Murray, he is now out of the singles but still in the doubles so he will stay in Indian Wells to partner Evans and to spend “lots of time” on the practice courts.

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‘Leaving Team Sky was a now or never. I have a massive opportunity to perform across the year’

CW sits down with Ben Swift as he heads through his first season since leaving Team Sky, with an eye on a Monument win

Ben Swift‘s life changed drastically over the last few months. He left behind seven years in Team Sky to lead UAE Team Emirates and became a father. It all bodes well for Swift as he aims to win Milan-San Remo and to return to the Tour de France.

The baby-faced cyclist from Yorkshire sat back on a couch outside the Viceroy hotel in Abu Dhabi in the midst of the whirlwind to speak with Cycling Weekly.

Ahead of the Abu Dhabi Tour, the team welcomed new mega-sponsor Emirates Airlines. Swift, one of the team’s stars and one of two native English speakers, was pulled left and right for local television interviews. The next day, he began supporting Rui Costa to his eventual overall win.

The 2013 world champion Costa won the summit finish stage to Jebel Hafeet and kept the lead in the flat final stage on Abu Dhabi’s formula one circuit. It was a dream scenario for the UAE’s first professional team to win on home soil after announcing the Emirates deal.

Swift had little time to celebrate. He received a call from his partner after the stage saying she was on her way to the hospital to give birth.

Arthur Swift, just like dad, is fast. He arrived before Swift could travel home. He has his hands full and with a smile emoticon, he wrote a few days later saying he is looking forward to race again in Paris-Nice just so he can have a full night’s sleep.

Times truly have changed for Swift, who at 22-years-old in 2010, left team Katusha to join Sky in their debut year.

Ben Swift riding for Katusha at the 2009 Giro d’Italia (Watson)

“Everyone in the UAE team has been good to me, but it’s always going to be different to Sky because I was with my childhood friends there,” Swift says.

Swift grew through the British Cycling Academy and raced the track. He had a trainee period with Barloworld in 2007, the year Geraint Thomas was in the team, and turned professional with Katusha at 21 years old.

Talk of a new British WorldTour team proved true and for 2010, Swift left his contract to ride with his home team and childhood friends. He had his chances to sprint and race the Tour de France in 2011, but the focus changed quickly to Grand Tours with impressive helpers and star leaders.

Swift found some space. He placed third in Milan-San Remo in 2014 and second in it in 2016. Opportunities were limited, though. And as he began to climb better, the team needed him more and more to help its classification leaders.

“I was so fatigued, I didn’t have the power left [when the stages suited me] or I’d have to work for the leader to protect him. If I have the capability now to be in those 20-30 man groups and not have to ride for someone else, then it opens the doors up,” Swift continues.

“Regrets? I don’t think so. I had a lot of opportunities, but it started to change. It comes with the territory, that’s what Sky was all about, and you know that. I loved it, but when this opportunity came about, it was hard to miss. It was time to go full gas for myself.”

Ben Swift celebrates becoming a world track champion in 2012. Swift was one of a highly successful generation to come through the British Cycling academy

Swift recalls the cooling vests, the warm downs and training camps. Some said that going to a race after a training camp was almost a relief given how much effort that they invested in their build up.

“Sky made it much more scientific, much more attention to detail. They were innovators of the sport, everything from cooling down… Everyone looked at diets before, but the way that Sky did it so rigorously, eating this for that training or eating this for that training.

“I don’t think other teams ever went into that detail. Now, it’s across the board. When we wore our skin suits or aero helmets on the road, they laughed at us, but now others do it too.

“Sky learned as they were starting. When a new rider came to the team, they couldn’t believe how intense the training camps were. From what you heard, the other teams just rolled around in camps!

“That definitely got tapered off over the years, in the first couple of years, it was incredible the amount of training. With the innovation that they brought to the sport, they learned that sometimes less is better.”

Swift laughed because he didn’t know any better at the time. He had come from British Cycling’s Academy where they were training similarly. The same programme included professionals like Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard – Sky team-mates, and childhood friends, left behind.

He began looking with his agent in the summer of 2016 for a new team. Several teams were interested given his placings and WorldTour points, but UAE Team Emirates – or Lampre-Merida as it was then – kept calling back to convince Swift.

The opportunity to lead more, and to select and target specific stages from a Tour de France road book was too much to pass.

“It’s looking through the road book and picking the stages for myself. I’m able to plan my race days,” adds Swift.

“It was a now or never. I have a massive opportunity to perform across the year.”

‘They listen to what I want.”

Ben Swift wins stage five of the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country. Leadership opportunities would be harder to come by at Sky for Swift.

Swift debuted in Sky’s black colours in the Tour Down Under in 2010. Greg Henderson took the team’s first win in the opening criterium.

He helped in those early wins and then made his mark. In Sky’s long list of stage race titles – from the Tour de France to Paris-Nice to the Critérium du Dauphiné – Swift claimed the first one in the 2010 Tour de Picardie. He also took stage victories in the Tour Down Under, the Tour of California, the Tour de Romandie, Poland and País Vasco.

As Swift began to climb better, he helped his Sky team-mates defend their classification leads and limited his chances to only a handful of days.

In Sky, Swift’s one big appointment of the season became Milan-San Remo. He collected points everywhere else in 2016, for example, but his second place on Via Roma behind Arnaud Démare (FDJ) is what ‘Swifty’ supporters remember most.

The UAE Team Emirates team may seem an unlikely match, but with its Italian structure, after 20-plus years racing as Lampre, it knows races like Milan-San Remo well. That extends to manager Giuseppe Saronni. In addition to the Giro d’Italia and the Worlds in Goodwood, he won on San Remo’s Via Roma in 1983.

“They helped me focus on it and on the surrounding races, giving me the opportunity. They listen to what I want and then make decisions. I was able to do that in the past, but sometimes, it was spur of the moment, being pulled off to a race. Now we have a plan and we are sticking to it,” Swift says.

“The emphasis is on San Remo, but I can name 20 or 30 guys who have that on their list too. We are not under any illusions. I don’t like making a big song and dance, saying, ‘That’s the one I want to target.’ You’ll never hear me say, ‘That’s the one I’m going to win.’

“That aside, you have to have goals and ambitions. For me, I’ve proved in the past that Milan-San Remo is a race that suits me. It’s just a logical race that I can target. It opens up many other opportunities when I start to build for that race.”

Swift is racing in Paris-Nice ahead of Milan-San Remo and continuing to País Vasco and to the Amstel Gold Race. The Amstel Gold Race, with a hard parcours and new flat finish could be one of those opportunities.

Swift has had a decent record at La Primavera, but will be looking to one better in 2017 (Watson)

He says that he does not want to think too far ahead, but “with 90 per cent certainty” he will race the 2017 Tour de France. It would be the first time in six years, since 2011, for Swift. Even in 2014, he was not there when the Sheffield stage finished eight kilometres from his door step.

UAE Team Emirates has South African star Louis Meintjes, who placed eighth in 2016, to support. Swift explains that it will be much different, though, as the team will not be lined out on the front each day for its leader as Sky would for Chris Froome. It leaves Swift to thumb through the road book and pinpoint days.

“I haven’t looked in detail, but I heard that there are many intermediate transitional stages this year. There could be many opportunities.”

Opportunities ahead

Swift puts his hand on his knee. It still gives him a few “niggles” occasionally and reminds him how he almost fractured it last year in the Tour de Romandie. Doctors say that will pass in the next year.

He pays more attention to his shoulders and if needed, he visits British Cycling’s physiotherapists for help.

“I hope I won’t need that any more,” he says. “I’ve done both of my shoulders in twice. It’s a little genetic in that my shoulders aren’t completely round, but more oval that we’ve seen on the MRIs. If I crash on the wrong spot at high speeds, my shoulder dislocates straight out the back and does a lot of damage on the way out.”

The Barloworld period passed and so did the years in Katusha and Sky. Even though he has been professional for eight years, he is still only 29. “I’m coming into my prime,” he adds. He signed a two-year contract with Saronni and UAE to make the most of the period.

Swift rides alongside former Sky teammates Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas. Swift will be looking to take bigger opportunities at UAE Team Emirates (Sunada)

“The years are going by fast now, they tick by, and you have to focus on the now, but also with an eye on the next objective,” he adds.

“For the next couple of years, I’m going to be targeting those harder stages and those reduced bunch sprints. I may not be as fast as I was when I was younger, as I used to win bunch sprints in the past.”

At the 2012 worlds in Melbourne, Swift won the scratch gold medal and with Geraint Thomas, took a Madison silver medal.

“My training changed some without being on the track, but I’ve substituted that with climbing, looking for opportunities in harder stages,” he continues.

“That’s the direction that I need to keep pushing and pursuing.”

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7 Marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Days! -Interview with Michael Wardian

Michael Wardian set the record for fastest marathon time on seven continents in seven days. In this podcast interview we get a blow-by-blow of this epic whirlwind challenge plus some of his other recent exploits.

Michael Wardian is possibly the most prolific racers in the world. In 2016 he ran 47 events and had multiple wins and records including setting the fastest ever time for all the Abbott World Marathon Majors consisting of the Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, New York Marathon in an average time of 2:31:09.

The last time we had him on the podcast he had just set the record for fastest 50k time on an indoor 200 meter track. He also holds the record for fastest 50k on a treadmill.

I don’t know of anyone else who is so good at running back-to-back marathons. For example, he ran 2:21 at the US Olympic Trials in Houston and 2:31 at the Houston Marathon the next morning. He ran the legendary Badwater 135 called the toughest footrace on planet earth (he finished 3rd) and 4 days later he ran an indoor marathon and won it. Two week later he won the San Francisco Marathon despite having food poisoning the night before.

This year he set a record for fastest marathon time on seven continents in seven days -a feat that earned a lot of media attention.

The photos that follow are from Mike’s Instagram page. Follow him @mikewardian.

Day 1 Antartica

Day 2 Punta Arneas, Chile

Day 3 Miami, USA

Day 4 Madrid, Spain

Day 5 Marrakech, Morocco

Day 6 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Day 7 Sydney, Australia

Mike won every event and set a New World Record for fastest time on seven continents in seven days. He averaged 2:45:57.

For more context about the World Marathon Challenge, the race organizers, and the other participants there’s a good story in Competitor.

If you are interested in running the World Marathon Challenge it looks like it will only cost you EUR €36,000.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Whoop -A scientifically grounded system designed to help athletes get the best out of their bodies and optimize performance. Athletes overtrain, under train, misinterpret fitness peaks and often don’t really understand the importance of sleep and recovery. Visit to learn more and use code MTA for $50 off of your purchase.

Mike Wardian links!

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Brent Anderson – Am I Doing It Right? (20 mins) – Level N/A

What You’ll Need:

No props needed

It is common to ask, “am I doing this right?” when you are practicing Pilates at home. In this tutorial, Brent Anderson offers suggestions you can use to increase your awareness so you can move with efficiency. If we notice how things change and understand that there is no right or wrong to movement, we will be able to optimize our online practice.

(Level N/A)

(Pace N/A)

Mar 12, 2017

(Log In to track)

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Molacek and Howell Own Night 3 of Columbia Speedo Sectionals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Katie Wingert, Swimming World College Intern. 

Jacob Molacek touched out Michael Andrew twice, and Liberty Howell celebrated another distance title on the third night of Speedo Sectionals in Columbia.

The night started off with a strong swim by Greater Nebraska’s Caroline Theil, who demolished her competition with a serviceable 2:01.14. Fellow breaststroker Nicole Williams of Columbia Swim Club used her aptitude in the third leg of the race to eek out the silver and a 2:03.99. She touched out 13-year-old Kate McCarville of Springfield Aquatics, last night’s victor in the 400, by a mere hundredth of a second.

Meanwhile, the Race Pace Club’s Andrew blazed to predictable victory in the men’s 200 IM. His time of 1:43.27 is just shy of his best–1:42.77–but the swim still placed him a whopping six seconds ahead of the pack. Dane Florea of Columbia Swim Club, fresh off his win in the 400 IM last night, charged just ahead of Wichita Swim Club’s Benjamin Patton, who he had been trailing for most of the race, with an aggressive 25.52 freestyle leg. Florea squeezed in for silver in 1:49.86 and was tightly followed by Patton at 1:49.93.

The tight finishes continued in the women’s 50 freestyle. Iliana Jones of the University of Missouri topped the field with a 22.91. Close behind her, Bailey Grinter of Edwardsville YMCA, who has committed to Tennessee, stopped the clock in 22.96. Megan Keil of Wichita Aqua Shocks lost to Grinter by the blink of an eye; she earned bronze with a 22.98.

On the men’s side, Andrew dueled once again with Great Omaha’s Jacob Molacek. In a repeat of the turn of events last night, when Andrew swam the back-to-back 100 breast and 100 fly and lost his second race to Molacek, tonight Molacek once again beat out Andrew, fresh out of the 200 IM. Molacek dropped only a hundredth from the morning for a 19.08, while Andrew dropped 0.23 from the morning, for a 19.31. Oklahoma Baptist University’s Julien Goyetche closed in for the bronze with a 19.97.

In the 200 breaststroke, Hanna Newby looked for redemption after a close loss to Columbia Swim Club’s Nicole Williams last night in the 100. Despite being led for most of the race by Evie Pfeifer of Columbia, in the final fifty yards, Newby brought home the race for a 2:13.65. Despite losing out on the gold, the Columbia breaststrokers still came away with podium spots; Peifer was just behind Newby, in 2:13.82, and Williams hit the pad in 2:16.40 for third.

In the men’s race, Fernando Morillas, swimming unattached, held his top seed from the morning to dominate the field. His 1:58.46 was bolstered by consistent splits: 26.97, 30.09, 30.35, and 31.05. The University of Missouri’s Nick Staver, the runner-up in last night’s 100 breaststroke, once again claimed silver in the longer breaststroke event, in 2:00.82. Samuel Drew of Empire KC Swim Club rounded out the group in 2:02.54.

Kylie Dahlgren, swimming under the University of Missouri banner, led the way for the entire 100 backstsroke, for the race-winning time of 53.40. Her teammate, Samantha Wilts, held near, but it was Columbia Swim Club’s Pfeifer, just off the 200 breast, who closed the race for silver and a speedy 53.74. Wilts claimed third with a 54.27.

The men’s backstroke brought Molacek another victory, while Andrew showed the effects of his two prior races. Molacek won gold in 47.08, and Nick Alexander of University of Missouri nabbed the silver in 47.44, just ahead of Rockwood Swim Club’s Jack Dolan. Andrew barely snuck in for fourth.

In the final individual event of the evening, the 500 freestyle, it was SwimTulsa’s Howell who claimed gold and defended her title as the meet’s distance female distance force. Howell was threatened once again, just as in the 1000, by the Kansas City Blazers’ Katherine Sullivan, whose first three hundreds earned her a solid lead and an impressive end time of 4:51.97. Howell rallied in the final 200, however, for 4:51.81 and the gold. Katelyn Blattner of the Wichita Aqua Shocks was the next closest competitor, in 4:54.74.

The men’s field was more wide open, with Kevin Callan of Trident Aquatics blowing away his competitors for a final time of 4:14.66. While Callan caught his breath, Empire KC Swim Club’s William Bresette just touched out Columbia Swim Club’s Florea. Florea swam a strong back half for a 4:27.79, but it was Bresette who got his hand into the wall for silver and a 4:27.86.

In the women’s 400 medley relay, victory went to the Clayton Shaw Tideriders, in 3:46. thanks in no small part to an impressive breaststroke leg (1:02.45) swam by Pfeifer. Parkway Swim Club, bolstered by Karisa Franz in the butterfly leg (53.91) was good for silver, in 3:48.19. The host team, Columbia Swim Club, was not far behind, in 3:48.80.

The men’s 400 medley relay finished out the night with an upset; Oklahoma Baptist University (3:19.62) beat out Greater Omaha Aquatics (3:21.73) for gold. Greater Omaha had Molacek swimming backstroke, but OBU’s Goyeteche was better rested for the task. Thomas Peterson built on Goyeteche’s work with a 56.76 in the breast. GOAL’s Colin Lafave put in a valiant effort in the fly (57.67), but ultimately OBU’s Austin Saunders (45.63), in the anchor role, was able to put the cherry on top of OBU’s steady effort. Parkway Swim Club snagged the third rank, in 3:25.53, just ahead of River City Aquatics.

The Columbia excitement will reach its peak tomorrow, on the final day of the meet, with the 200 back, 100 free, 200 fly, 1650, and 400 free relay.

All results can be found on Meet Mobile – 2017 Speedo Sectionals Championship Series

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Queens Lowers Relay Record As Royals Win Third Consecutive Team Title

Photo Courtesy: Kyle Staggs

Women’s 400 Free Relay

Drury pulled off a win in the final event of the evening, with the team of Zuzanna Chwadeczko (50.30), Vera Johansson (50.53), Yekaterina Rudenko (50.61), and Bailee Nunn (48.59) finishing in 3:20.03 to take the top spot on the podium. They were followed closely by Wingate, who finished in 3:20.77 courtesy of a 48.88 anchor leg from Alexis Divelbiss. 

Queens finished 3rd in 3:21.30, but the Royals were already secured the overall team championship going into the final event. With their 3rd place finish, the Queens women won their third consecutive NCAA Championship with a total of 467 points, 82 points ahead of runner-up Drury.

 Event 41  Women 400 Yard Freestyle Relay
  Division II: R 3:18.75  3/14/2015 Queens (NC)
                          Castro Ortega, Gordy, Marshall, Arakelian
    School                              Prelims     Finals Points 
                           === Championship Finals ===                            
  1 Drury                               3:22.73    3:20.03   40  
     1) Zuzanna Chwadeczko JR         2) r:0.21 Vera Johansson JR     
     3) r:0.52 Yekaterina Rudenko JR  4) r:0.43 Bailee Nunn FR        
             23.96        50.30 (50.30)
        1:14.20 (23.90)     1:40.83 (50.53)
        2:04.89 (24.06)     2:31.44 (50.61)
        2:54.63 (23.19)     3:20.03 (48.59)
  2 Wingate                             3:21.24    3:20.77   34  
     1) Hanna Van Horen SO            2) r:0.25 Maria Madsen SO       
     3) r:0.24 Abby Kosic FR          4) r:0.20 Alexis Divelbiss JR   
             24.36        50.57 (50.57)
        1:14.48 (23.91)     1:40.96 (50.39)
        2:04.82 (23.86)     2:31.89 (50.93)
        2:54.87 (22.98)     3:20.77 (48.88)
  3 Queens (NC)                         3:23.79    3:21.30   32  
     1) Josephina Lorda SO            2) r:0.41 Kyrie Dobson SO       
     3) r:0.41 Lara Marshall JR       4) r:0.22 Mckenzie Stevens JR   
             24.19        50.25 (50.25)
        1:13.90 (23.65)     1:40.29 (50.04)
        2:04.32 (24.03)     2:31.10 (50.81)
        2:54.72 (23.62)     3:21.30 (50.20)
  4 West Florida                        3:25.36    3:23.03   30  
     1) Theresa Michalak SR           2) r:0.32 Danica Burnett JR     
     3) r:0.36 Tabitha Read-Cayton FR 4) r:0.46 Rebecca Halfast SR    
             23.98        49.07 (49.07)
        1:13.17 (24.10)     1:40.99 (51.92)
        2:04.82 (23.83)     2:31.73 (50.74)
        2:56.08 (24.35)     3:23.03 (51.30)
  5 Bridgeport                          3:24.18    3:23.11   28  
     1) Oksana Marchuk FR             2) r:0.34 Nina Stegu SO         
     3) r:0.47 Yekaterina Gakhidze SR 4) r:0.35 Rebeka Repman JR      
             24.43        50.28 (50.28)
        1:14.48 (24.20)     1:41.27 (50.99)
        2:05.55 (24.28)     2:32.55 (51.28)
        2:56.65 (24.10)     3:23.11 (50.56)
  6 MSU Mankato                         3:24.30    3:23.74   26  
     1) Taylor Bass JR                2) r:+0.20 Cecilia Hake JR      
     3) r:+0.45 Chelsea Calhoon JR    4) r:0.52 Cheyenne Rova SR      
             24.88        51.73 (51.73)
        1:15.54 (23.81)     1:42.15 (50.42)
        2:06.61 (24.46)     2:33.84 (51.69)
        2:57.95 (24.11)     3:23.74 (49.90)
  7 Nova S'eastern                      3:25.13    3:23.95   24  
     1) Sydney Panzarino JR           2) r:0.17 Emma Wahlstrom SR     
     3) r:0.22 Brooke Munion SR       4) r:0.49 Caroline Oster SO     
             24.79        51.61 (51.61)
        1:15.24 (23.63)     1:41.26 (49.65)
        2:06.00 (24.74)     2:32.80 (51.54)
        2:57.12 (24.32)     3:23.95 (51.15)
  8 Lindenwood                          3:24.65    3:24.60   22  
     1) Morgan Fischer SO             2) r:0.20 Kinga Lesinska JR     
     3) r:0.40 Simone de Rijcke SO    4) r:0.38 Bethany Steffes SR    
             24.65        51.51 (51.51)
        1:15.21 (23.70)     1:42.24 (50.73)
        2:06.88 (24.64)     2:33.50 (51.26)
        2:57.62 (24.12)     3:24.60 (51.10)
                            === Consolation Finals ===                            
  9 Wayne State                         3:26.09    3:24.29   18  
     1) Lezlie Bueno Estrada SO       2) r:0.15 Emily Heitchue SR     
     3) r:0.25 Brenna Gabrielson SR   4) r:0.55 Meghan Lamb JR        
             24.39        51.12 (51.12)
        1:15.31 (24.19)     1:41.92 (50.80)
        2:06.02 (24.10)     2:32.86 (50.94)
        2:57.74 (24.88)     3:24.29 (51.43)
 10 Fresno Pacific                      3:26.11    3:25.46   14  
     1) Samantha Woo JR               2) r:0.27 Matlyn Morris SR      
     3) r:0.29 Olivia Hynes JR        4) r:0.04 Laura Fornshell FR    
             24.95        52.06 (52.06)
        1:16.40 (24.34)     1:43.37 (51.31)
        2:07.74 (24.37)     2:35.24 (51.87)
        2:59.33 (24.09)     3:25.46 (50.22)
 11 Cal State East B                    3:26.53    3:26.51   12  
     1) Madison Gail-Hauaino SR       2) r:0.41 Morgan McClure JR     
     3) r:0.28 Vivy Hua SO            4) r:0.21 Shelby Parker JR      
             24.85        51.81 (51.81)
        1:16.15 (24.34)     1:42.91 (51.10)
        2:07.14 (24.23)     2:34.36 (51.45)
        2:58.82 (24.46)     3:26.51 (52.15)
 12 Carson-Newman                       3:27.46    3:26.83   10  
     1) Lisa Postma SO                2) r:0.31 Lexy Raybon JR        
     3) r:0.38 Elly Culp SO           4) r:0.26 Margaret Stansberry JR
             24.37        51.39 (51.39)
        1:16.48 (25.09)     1:44.03 (52.64)
        2:08.54 (24.51)     2:36.03 (52.00)
        3:00.18 (24.15)     3:26.83 (50.80)
 13 St. Cloud St.                       3:27.28    3:27.03    8  
     1) Bridget Opdahl SR             2) r:0.26 Emily Tiedemann SR    
     3) r:0.37 Chelsea Gehrke FR      4) r:0.30 Andrea Bryson JR      
             24.68        51.75 (51.75)
        1:16.65 (24.90)     1:44.37 (52.62)
        2:09.22 (24.85)     2:35.98 (51.61)
        3:00.33 (24.35)     3:27.03 (51.05)
 14 TAMPA                               3:27.00    3:27.17    6  
     1) Megan Waddell FR              2) r:0.35 Molly O'Hara FR       
     3) r:0.15 Sophie Long JR         4) r:0.04 Marisa Barton SR      
             25.36        51.95 (51.95)
        1:16.56 (24.61)     1:44.23 (52.28)
        2:08.68 (24.45)     2:35.94 (51.71)
        3:00.25 (24.31)     3:27.17 (51.23)
 15 UCSD                                3:26.38    3:27.51    4  
     1) Haley Murphy JR               2) r:0.30 Jayna Wittenbrink JR  
     3) r:0.08 Sarah Yao JR           4) r:0.11 Natalie Tang SR       
             24.76        51.35 (51.35)
        1:16.18 (24.83)     1:43.67 (52.32)
        2:08.40 (24.73)     2:36.00 (52.33)
        3:00.36 (24.36)     3:27.51 (51.51)
 16 Truman State                        3:27.23    3:28.00    2  
     1) Alison Strickler SR           2) r:0.20 Nicole Sisson JR      
     3) r:0.38 Evyn Spencer SR        4) r:0.34 Jamie Fitzpatrick JR  
             25.19        51.77 (51.77)
        1:16.57 (24.80)     1:44.29 (52.52)
        2:08.81 (24.52)     2:36.20 (51.91)
        3:01.03 (24.83)     3:28.00 (51.80)

Men’s 400 Free Relay

Queens took their relay record from this morning even lower in finals, posting a 2:53.00 to take nearly a second off of their new NCAA record. The team of Marius Kusch (43.06), Dion Dreesens (42.39), Ben Mayes (43.61), and Nick Arakelian (43.94) came together to record the fastest time in Division 2 history and beat the rest of the field by 2 seconds.

Dreesens split of 42.39 was a big difference-maker from this morning’s relay and accounted for nearly all of the time dropped. He was the fastest split of the field and the only swimmer to split under 43 seconds. In 2nd was Wingate with a 2:55.01, while Florida Southern finished in 3rd with a 2:56.01. With their win, Queens solidified their third consecutive NCAA win, totaling 563.5 points.

 Event 42  Men 400 Yard Freestyle Relay
  Division II: R 2:53.89  3/11/2017 Queens (NC)
                          Dreesens, Kusch, Mayes, Arakelian
    School                              Prelims     Finals Points 
                           === Championship Finals ===                            
  1 Queens (NC)                         2:53.89    2:53.00R  40  
     1) Marius Kusch SO               2) r:0.28 Dion Dreesens SR      
     3) r:0.41 Ben Mayes JR           4) r:0.29 Nicholas Arakelian JR 
             20.67        43.06 (43.06)
        1:03.13 (20.07)     1:25.45 (42.39)
        1:45.75 (20.30)     2:09.06 (43.61)
        2:30.14 (21.08)     2:53.00 (43.94)
  2 Wingate                             2:55.51    2:55.01   34  
     1) Lennart Queiss SO             2) r:0.38 Sebastian Holmberg JR 
     3) r:0.24 Mehdi Zeraidi SR       4) r:0.25 Leif-Henning Klever SR
             20.91        43.94 (43.94)
        1:04.65 (20.71)     1:27.53 (43.59)
        1:48.21 (20.68)     2:11.58 (44.05)
        2:31.90 (20.32)     2:55.01 (43.43)
  3 Florida Southern                    2:57.18    2:56.01   32  
     1) Noah Franz JR                 2) r:0.40 Diego Gimenez SR      
     3) r:0.53 Antonio Nunez-Aarez SO 4) r:0.28 Marco Palacios SR     
             21.20        44.54 (44.54)
        1:05.20 (20.66)     1:28.69 (44.15)
        1:49.93 (21.24)     2:12.77 (44.08)
        2:32.91 (20.14)     2:56.01 (43.24)
  4 Nova S'eastern                      2:55.89    2:56.18   30  
     1) Thiago Sickert SR             2) r:0.28 Julian Coster SO      
     3) r:0.28 Victor Tarin SR        4) r:0.34 Malique Elder JR      
             20.81        43.56 (43.56)
        1:04.60 (21.04)     1:28.06 (44.50)
        1:48.85 (20.79)     2:12.48 (44.42)
        2:32.83 (20.35)     2:56.18 (43.70)
  5 Drury                               2:58.18    2:56.24   28  
     1) Daniel Rzadkowski SR          2) r:0.21 Joan Casanovas FR     
     3) r:0.44 Konrad Stepien FR      4) r:0.24 Rodrigo Caceres JR    
             20.90        44.31 (44.31)
        1:04.99 (20.68)     1:28.06 (43.75)
        1:49.37 (21.31)     2:12.37 (44.31)
        2:32.79 (20.42)     2:56.24 (43.87)
  6 Florida Tech                        2:57.69    2:56.45   26  
     1) Nir Barnea SR                 2) r:0.37 Victor Rocha Futado SO
     3) r:0.41 Filip Dujmic SO        4) r:0.21 Thomas Steenberg JR   
             20.86        44.93 (44.93)
        1:05.53 (20.60)     1:28.04 (43.11)
        1:48.47 (20.43)     2:11.94 (43.90)
        2:32.77 (20.83)     2:56.45 (44.51)
  7 Missouri S & T                      2:58.73    2:58.76   24  
     1) Kevin McPherson SO            2) r:0.36 Jonathan Glaser SR    
     3) r:0.34 Eirik Nielsen JR       4) r:0.37 Morgan Meyer FR       
             21.74        45.59 (45.59)
        1:06.65 (21.06)     1:29.82 (44.23)
        1:51.34 (21.52)     2:14.75 (44.93)
        2:35.86 (21.11)     2:58.76 (44.01)
  8 Bloomsburg                          2:58.08    3:01.93   22  
     1) Eric Usbeck SR                2) r:0.32 Ryan Paisley JR       
     3) r:0.38 Jordan Wyant FR        4) r:0.34 A. J. Brady SR        
             21.62        45.71 (45.71)
        1:07.03 (21.32)     1:31.14 (45.43)
        1:52.27 (21.13)     2:16.44 (45.30)
        2:37.95 (21.51)     3:01.93 (45.49)
                            === Consolation Finals ===                            
  9 Grand Valley                        2:58.91    2:57.64   18  
     1) Gabriel Souza JR              2) r:0.08 Danny Abbott SR       
     3) r:0.13 Jonathan Ham SO        4) r:0.22 Benjamin Walling SO   
             21.01        44.58 (44.58)
        1:05.24 (20.66)     1:28.39 (43.81)
        1:49.74 (21.35)     2:13.97 (45.58)
        2:34.74 (20.77)     2:57.64 (43.67)
 10 TAMPA                               3:00.14    2:59.21   14  
     1) Marc-Oliver Caron SO          2) r:0.19 Martin Hammer SR      
     3) r:0.20 Ethan Harrington FR    4) r:0.32 Aaron James FR        
             22.20        45.78 (45.78)
        1:06.73 (20.95)     1:29.25 (43.47)
        1:50.31 (21.06)     2:14.14 (44.89)
        2:35.60 (21.46)     2:59.21 (45.07)
 11 Cal Baptist                         3:00.00    2:59.46   12  
     1) Brandon Schuster FR           2) r:0.39 Justin Quiroga SO     
     3) r:0.33 David Ring SR          4) r:0.39 Alexis Ohmar JR       
             21.76        45.14 (45.14)
        1:06.64 (21.50)     1:30.44 (45.30)
        1:51.73 (21.29)     2:15.13 (44.69)
        2:36.34 (21.21)     2:59.46 (44.33)
 12 Indy                                3:00.33    2:59.58   10  
     1) Guilherme Zavaneli SO         2) r:0.36 Deme Haholiades SO    
     3) r:0.26 Rodrigo Codo Berti SO  4) r:0.12 Ante Lucev FR         
             21.60        44.88 (44.88)
        1:06.63 (21.75)     1:30.44 (45.56)
        1:51.62 (21.18)     2:14.98 (44.54)
        2:35.81 (20.83)     2:59.58 (44.60)
 13 McKendree                           3:00.37    2:59.70    8  
     1) Matija Pucarevic FR           2) r:0.22 Peyton Shafto FR      
     3) r:0.19 Daniel Buijs SO        4) r:0.24 Luca Simonetti FR     
             20.76        43.79 (43.79)
        1:05.30 (21.51)     1:29.71 (45.92)
        1:51.32 (21.61)     2:15.09 (45.38)
        2:36.26 (21.17)     2:59.70 (44.61)
 14 Lindenwood                          3:00.04    2:59.84    6  
     1) Joao Silveira FR              2) r:0.36 Felix Eigel SR        
     3) r:0.50 Matheus Isidro FR      4) r:0.24 James Watson JR       
             21.39        45.08 (45.08)
        1:06.79 (21.71)     1:30.32 (45.24)
        1:51.83 (21.51)     2:15.53 (45.21)
        2:36.49 (20.96)     2:59.84 (44.31)
 15 Limestone                           3:00.33    3:00.89    4  
     1) Alan Parsons SR               2) r:0.26 Matey Rezashki FR     
     3) r:0.20 Jake Minasi JR         4) r:0.24 Emil Moller JR        
             21.76        44.97 (44.97)
        1:06.62 (21.65)     1:30.44 (45.47)
        1:51.84 (21.40)     2:15.90 (45.46)
        2:37.20 (21.30)     3:00.89 (44.99)
 16 Wayne State                         3:01.10    3:03.42    2  
     1) Tyler Roshak JR               2) r:+0.51 Ryan Katulski FR     
     3) r:+0.36 Rasmus Olsen SO       4) r:0.40 Dmytro Drobnych SO    
             22.10        45.65 (45.65)
        1:07.50 (21.85)     1:31.59 (45.94)
        1:53.25 (21.66)     2:17.51 (45.92)
        2:39.07 (21.56)     3:03.42 (45.91)

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