Hoey drops back as Quiros leads by five in Sicily

Michael Hoey

Rocco Forte Open second-round leaderboard
-16 Quiros (Spa); -11 Lombard (SA); -10 Angles (Spa), Paratore (Ita); -9 Slattery (Eng), Carlsson (Swe), Lima (Por), Jacquelin (Fra), Horsey (Eng), Hoey (NI).
Selected others: -8 Hurley (Ire); -7 Soderberg (Swe)
Full leaderboard

Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey posted a disappointing four-over-par 75 in the third round of the Rocco Forte Open to drop down to a tie for fifth position.

Hoey carded three birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey to lie nine under, seven behind leader Alvaro Quiros.

Spaniard Quiros fired a 70 as he aims for a seventh European Tour victory.

Zander Lombard is second on 11 under, followed by Pep Angles – who shot the lowest round of the day with a 68 – and Renato Paratore, both on 10 under.

Hoey, along with English duo Lee Slattery and David Horsey, are among six players who will start nine under in Sunday’s final round at Verdura in Sicily.

The players struggled in windy conditions, resulting in much higher scores than on the previous two days of the tournament.

Hoey recorded two birdies and two bogeys on his outward nine, but then dropped shots at the 10th, 16th and 17th and took a double bogey at the 13th and made his sole birdie coming home at the 12th.

Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg went into round three level with Hoey in second place but a 77 saw him fall back to seven under.

Former Masters champion Mike Weir is level thanks to a third-round 76 after making his first halfway cut since November 2014.

Weir, who has slumped to 1,907th in the rankings, has struggled for form since undergoing elbow surgery in 2011 and announced in July 2015 that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from golf for family reasons.

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Noah Brune Crowned Men’s 5K Junior Open Water Champion

Photo Courtesy: Twitter (@USASwimLive)

The 2017 Open Water Championships continued with the junior men’s and women’s 5K open water swims.

Noah Brune of the Mission Viejo Nadadores delivered a sizzling win in the junior men’s 5K open water swim, finishing with a time of 1:01.27.1.

The Sandpipers of Nevada picked up second and third as Brennan Gravely and Joseph Gutierrez stopped the clock at times of 1:01.42.6 and 1:01.43.7.

Thomas Bretzmann of North Carolina Aquatics finished fourth overall with a 1:02.27.8, while Parkland Aquatic Club’s Danny Berlitz was fifth with a 1:02.28.1.

Davis Aqadarts’ Connor Daniels took sixth with a 1:03.35.5, followed by Irvine Novaquatics’ Brandon Samaniego was seventh with a 1:03.37.3.

Concluding the top eight was Alexander Webster of the Sarasota YMCA Sharks and his time of 1:04.15.4.

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Tributes to the Late Jason Turcotte

Morning Splash by David Rieder.

On May 7, longtime Dynamo Swim Club head coach and CEO Jason Turcotte tragically passed away in his sleep. He left behind a wife, Heidi, and three children.

Since he died, a GoFundMe page was set up to support his family and has raised more than $130,000 in less than two weeks. And on May 12, many from around the swimming community made their way to Atlanta to pay their respects to Turcotte in a memorial service.

Over the past two weeks, Swimming World reached out to many of those close to Turcotte to offer them a chance to share tributes to their friend. In part one of the tributes, hear from two of Turcotte’s assistants at Dynamo and several of his coaching colleagues from around the country.

Rich Murphy (Coach at Dynamo Swim Club)

Jason Turcotte had led Dynamo since 2006. Under his stewardship, Dynamo has had a golden decade, placing more athletes on international teams that at any other point in the long, storied history of the program. 2016 was particularly strong for Dynamo as four Dynamo athletes competed in Rio — Gunnar Bentz (USA; gold medal), Matias Koski (Finland), Jay Litherland (USA) and McClain Hermes (USA; Paralympian).

A man of integrity and good will, Jason built a culture of hard work and respect. His Cleveland, Ohio, roots rang true in how he led — no nonsense, hard work, coupled with genuine, authentic care for the people whom he coached and with whom he worked.

Jason’s coaching accomplishments were many including head coach for the USA women’s Pan Am games team in 2015, the USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year in 2014, as well as head coach for the USA at 2013 World Junior Championships, 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Championships, 2012 FINA World Cup and at 2014 National Junior Team camp.

Jason cared for many people and in such a selfless way. His warmth extended far and he cared deeply. His biggest source of inspiration came from his parents, and his biggest source of joy came from his family.  The complete version of Jason that those close to him got to see illuminated what his values were and who he was at his core. It is this compass made of family ideals and influences that allowed him to lead so wisely and care so completely.

Beth Winkowski (Coach at Dynamo Swim Club)

Many people will remember Jason for his coaching accolades. He was an incredible coach with unmatched passion. He was one of the few people I met who is competitive as I am. However, I will remember Jason for so much more than his coaching talents and presence.

I will remember Jason for his compassion. He had a special talent for reaching out to others. Countless are the times he reached out to help a coach struggling professionally or an athlete who didn’t fit into a specific social or athletic box.

I will remember Jason for his ability to “nerd out” with me. Beyond swimming, we talked about everything under the moon including politics (even though we rarely saw eye to eye), documentaries (we shared a love of sports documentaries), and he listened to and tolerated my love of volcanoes, National Geographic and Smithsonian videos.

I will remember his jokes and sense of humor. Jason always had a way of laughing with you and not at you.  He had a hysterical laugh that you couldn’t help but laugh along with him — even if the joke was on you.

Most of all, I will remember Jason for his love of family. We spent countless hours talking about our families. I will never forget the day he excitedly told me he was having twins or the day he told me his twins were both girls — with a pale concerned face. I loved watching his girls run around him on the deck while he coached practice. While his girls were “Daddy’s girls”, Jason always had all the time in the world to nurture and grow a passion for sports with his son. They spent countless hours at Falcons practices and games.

Coach Jason coached the whole person, appreciated the humanity of those around him and lived an impactful life wherever he went. This is why and how I will remember him — Jason my friend — not just Jason the coach.

Ian Murray (Coach at Carmel Swim Club)

I had the privilege to know Jason for almost 20 years and he had a powerful impact on who I am and why I coach. I swam for JT in college, and he helped me rediscover my passion for the sport. His encouragement first planted the seed for my own coaching career. He was also the first person who made me believe that I could be successful at coaching. My time working for JT at the Stanford Swim Camps was what really sold me on being a professional swim coach and like him, I am very proud of my coaching start at Lake Erie Silver Dolphins.

Jason was a great mentor and his continued guidance through the years was always the encouragement or reality check that I needed. I know that each instance I walked away from spending time with Jason, I was motivated to do a better job. JT was simply someone I aspired to be. He coached the person, not the athlete. He had a tireless work ethic while leading with passion, and was constantly making those around him better.  And he never let any of it get in the way of him being a great father and husband. I am grateful for knowing him and he will continue to influence me each day.

Mitch Dalton (USA Swimming National Junior Team Director)

Jason Turcotte was one of swimming’s finest. He led with love, humor and made compassion cool. One needs only to spend a few minutes on deck with the Dynamo team to realize that’s what Jason stood for. Thanks to his guidance, the Dynamo program is tough as nails with very high expectations, but there is a lot of love on that pool deck. Jason was one of a kind and will be truly missed by the entire swimming community.

Gary Taylor (Associate Head Coach at NC State University)

From day 1, Jason Turcotte had a winning vision for the Dynamo program. Championships would be forged through a daily process of education, incredible work ethic, a desire to dream big, and most importantly, a team built on the “family” concept. It comes as no surprise that Dynamo went through a great awakening under his leadership. Regardless of new milestones and achievements, Jason always seemed to have an ever evolving vision for the program which is a big reason for the sustained success. I have no doubt that Jason would have lead the team to even greater heights in the future, and his passing is not only a loss for the Dynamo Family, but USA Swimming as well.

I had the pleasure of working with Jason during his first 2 seasons in Atlanta and I could not have asked for a better leader, coach, mentor, or friend. Jason entered my coaching career at a pivotal moment and I am grateful for this experience. I learned so much in terms of building relationships, stroke development, training, and season planning.  Beyond this, he was exceptional in 2 other key areas:

  1. Jason had a knack for inspiring those around him, instilling his vision for them and making people feel special/valued. He was able to get the most out of his coaches, athletes, and team because he had so much belief in you that you didn’t want to let him down. You absolutely knew that Jason cared and he gave you everything he had and more.
  1. He was also remarkably humble. Jason never felt that he had “cornered the swimming market” and was always receptive to new coaching techniques and training ideas.  It was his goal to take a couple of new ideas from others and implement these at Dynamo. Even with all of Dynamo’s tremendous success in recent years, he never acted above others in the profession.

Another attribute of Jason’s, was his amazing work ethic. I have never worked with a more driven, selfless person in my career. He gave his time and effort to so many others, rarely focusing on himself or his own needs. This was a part of Jason that I greatly respected and I often think of. Jason set the bar extremely high, and I certainly aspire to walk the path he led.

Jason’s passion and love for the sport certainly had a major impact/influence on my coaching career. I am beyond proud to call him my mentor and a really good friend and will miss him dearly.

David Marsh (Head Coach at Team Elite & Coach of U.S. Women’s Olympic Team)

I’ve known Jason for a long time. One of his primary mentors was the same as mine, Richard Quick. He had Richard at Stanford, and I had Richard at Auburn in my early days. I think a lot of the style and passion and curiosity was developed under Richard’s tutelage. I think Jason really lived that out the whole time.

Probably more important to me with Jason was his strong principles. He had a strong belief, and it didn’t matter if you were one of his swimmers, a rival coach or a friendly coach. He was one of those guys who talked straight. He believed in the holistic approach to our sport and looked out for the people. Sometimes he had to discipline the people. I felt like he and I had a very W

When I first moved to SwimMAC, the team had done a dual meet with Dynamo for years and years and years. Jason was a guy who was already at Dynamo when I got here, and the team at Dynamo for the dual meet just wasn’t very good. The first year, we killed them. Jason had just arrived a year or two before that. In the next three years, Dynamo accelerated. During ’06 to ’09-’10, they accelerated and kicked our butts. We went from the first year where we slaughtered Dynamo to looking at Dynamo to examine what methodology they were using to help us become a better program.

Just watching Jason as a father and husband and knowing that he looked at his family as the centerpiece yet worked extremely hard, put in incredible hours at Dynamo. Jason Turcotte is really the Dynamo legacy, and he’ll always be that.

Coach Turcotte appeared on the Morning Swim Show in 2013, and that interview is available by clicking here. Check back Sunday for more tributes from several of his former swimmers.

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Tom Dumoulin: ‘I’m afraid of that final week; we haven’t even done half the climbs yet’

Pink jersey wearer taking nothing for granted after beating Nairo Quintana at Oropa

Despite two stage wins so far including stage 14’s summit finish to Oropa, race leader Tom Dumoulin says that he is still afraid of the mountainous final week of the Giro d’Italia.

With time bonuses, Dumoulin put 24 seconds into pre-race favourite Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on the summit finish. Quintana had a gap early on the climb, but the Dutchman from Maastricht returned and dropped him for the stage win and bonus seconds.

>>> Tom Dumoulin distances Nairo Quintana on summit finish to extend Giro d’Italia lead

“It’s very much still open,” Dumoulin said, after riding though the press room on his black bike, pink tape wrapped around the handlebars to match his pink long-sleeve jersey.

“We have the last week, and we haven’t even had half of the climbs yet. It will be very, very hard, and so much can happen. I am still a little bit afraid of the last week, so we will see.”

The 26-year-old Sunweb rider has been in this position before in a Grand Tour, being to win the 2015 Vuelta a España before cracking on the penultimate stage. This year, however, he prepared for the first time to win a Grand Tour.

>>> Five talking points from stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia

Quintana struck with four kilometres left no the climb to Oropa and gained time with Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin). Dumoulin, though, kept his rival insight, and passed him in the final two kilometres. Zakarin went to the front, while Quintana faded.

Dumoulin took over and charged for the line with the roar of fans covering the hillsides. Victory brought a 10-second bonus to add to the 14-second gap on Quintana.

He noveleads the race by 2-47 minutes over Quintana, 3-25 over Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and 3-40 over Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

>>> Can Tom Dumoulin win the 2017 Giro d’Italia?

“Now I even have more of an advantage,” Dumoulin said. “It’s a really nice advantage. We cannot sit back and relax, we have to stay focused. And then we will see what happens in the last week.”

The Giro continues tomorrow with an Il Lombardia-esque stage to Bergamo. After a rest day the riders will climb the Stelvio twice, before four more stages in the mountains.. Dumoulin’s pink light at the end of the tunnel is a 29.3-kilometre time trial from Monza to Milan on the last day.

“It’s the number of high altitude climbs that worries me,” Dumoulin continued. “I’m not afraid of my competition, I ‘m not afraid of anything really, I just need to stay focused and it will be OK.”


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N’Dam wins vacant WBA middleweight title with points win over Murata

20/05/2017 16:54

Hassan N’Dam (36-2, 21 KOs) was awarded a controversial 12 round split decision over previously undefeated Ryota Murata (12-1, 9 KOs) to win the vacant WBA middleweight title on Saturday at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.

N’Dam rallied from a fourth round knockdown to win by scores of 116-111 and 115-112, while the third judge had it 117-110 for Murata.

The Japanese fighter got the better of N’Dam in the early rounds, landing numerous hard shots and dropped the Frenchman in the fourth round.

But Murata could not follow up and N’Dam scored with jabs and moved well to avoid Murata’s blows for the remainder of the bout.

Also on the card, Japan’s Daigo Higa (13-0, 13 KOs) stopped Mexico’s Juan Hernandez (36-3, 25 KOs)  in the sixth round to win the vacant WBC flyweight title.

Higa dropped Hernandez in the second and fifth rounds before stopping him in the sixth with a barrage of punches.

The WBC 112 lb title was only at stake for Higa after Hernandez failed to make weight and was stripped of the belt before the bout.

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Rikako Ikee Claims Two Wins on Day 2 of 2017 Japan Open

Photo Courtesy: Adrian Seetho/Singapore Swimming Federation

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The 2017 Japan Open continued with British and Japanese Olympians collecting multiple wins. Adam PeatyRikako Ikee, and Daiya Seto were among the event winners at day two.

Adam Peaty, Britain’s breaststroke phenom, added to his breaststroke success with a win in the 50 breast. Peaty delivered a 26.94 to be the only athlete beneath the 27-second mark. Yasuhiro Koseki touched second overall with a 27.44, while China’s Yan Zibei was third with a 27.53.

Britain’s Imogen Clark collected the women’s 50 breast title with a 30.63. Japan’s Satomi Suzuki grabbed second overall with a 30.82, followed by Britain’s Sarah Vasey’s 30.87.

James Guy added to Britain’s medal count with a top showing in the men’s 400 free. Guy chased down Japan’s Naito Ehara for a gold medal finish of 3:46.61, while Ehara slipped to second with a 3:47.57.

The women’s 400 free was topped by Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi. Fellow countrywoman Chinatsu Satou finished second with a 4:11.00, followed by Australia’s Mikayla Messer and her time of 4:12.31.

Japan’s Rikako Ikee collected two gold medals with top showings in the women’s 50 fly and 100 free. Ikee flew to a sizzling 25.78, finishing just off her season best time of 25.51. Sayuki Ouchi of Japan finished second with a 26.63, followed by Britain’s Alys Thomas and her third place finish of 26.78.

Ikee flexed her sprint prowess in the 100 free, clocking a 54.47 to her teammate Tomomi Aoki’s 54.90. Ikee’s 2017 best sits at a 53.83 from the Japanese Championships. Ouchi took third overall with a 55.09.

Shinri Shioura continued Japan’s sprint free success into the men’s 100 free. Shioura touched first in a close field, where the top three finished within .04 seconds of each other, with a final time of 48.82. Fellow countrymen Katsumi Nakamura touched second with a 48.84, while Britain’s Duncan Scott was third with a 48.86.

Britain’s Ben Proud grabbed gold in the mens’ 50 fly over Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto. Proud stopped the clock at a 23.31 over Kawamoto’s 23.66.

Daiya Seto out-lasted the competition in the men’s 400 IM, touching first with a 4:10.18. Takeharu Fujimori turned in a second place finish of 4:10.90, followed by Kosuke Hagino’s 4:11.53.

Japan delivered a 1-2 punch in the women’s 400 IM, led by a top finish by Yui Ohhashi. Ohhashi collected gold with a top time of 4:36.48, while fellow countrywoman Sakiko Shimizu took second with a 4:37.78. Britain’s Hannah Miley was third with a 4:38.32.

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Five talking points from stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia

The summit finish to Oropa didn’t play out how everyone expected…

Dumoulin gains time on his rivals’ terrain

Tom Dumoulin about to cross the line on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia (Credit: Sunada)

The pattern of this Giro d’Italia had appeared to be set – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) would attempt to defend his lead in the mountains while his climbing specialist rivals like Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) attacked him, before taking time back in the final time trial

What was not in the script was for Dumoulin to win a mountain top finish. When Quintana attacked him halfway up the finishing climb of Oropa, it looked as though the pendulum of the race was swinging back into the Colombian’ favour. But, pacing his effort astutely, the pink jersey kept his rival within his sights at little more than ten seconds for a while, before finally catching up to him.

>>> Tom Dumoulin distances Nairo Quintana on summit finish to extend Giro d’Italia lead

Dumoulin has shown in the past that he is willing to attack when the opportunity presents itself, but it was still a marvel to see him accelerate away from Quintana in the final kilometre, gaining 24 seconds over him and pulling off a stunning stage victory.

The reasonable gradient of Oropa suited his style, and he will probably find it more difficult during the final week, but with a margin now of 2-47 to Quintana, right now Dumoulin looks difficult to beat.

Other contenders lose time

Thibaut Pinot limited his losses to 35 seconds after being dropped midway up the climb (Credit: Sunada)

On a day when they might have hoped to have gained time, many of Dumoulin’s main rivals were instead left nursing their wounds.

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was dropped early on the climb, but did manage to recover towards the top to finish fifth, limiting his losses to 35 seconds.

>>> Can Tom Dumoulin win the 2017 Giro d’Italia?

By contrast Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) spent most of the climb on Dumoulin’s wheel, but collapsed spectacularly near the summit to slip out of the lead group and lose 43 seconds, even being passed by Pinot.

Worst off however was Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), who was dropped as soon as the racing got going on the climb, and, in what will feel like a familiar pattern for a rider who often starts Grand Tours very well only to fade away later on, he falls from third to sixth overall.

A strong team showing from Movistar

Nairo Quintana crosses the line after loosing 14 seconds to Dumoulin (Credit; Sunada)

Nairo Quintana may have been left humbled when he was dropped by Dumoulin in the sprint for the finish, but there are still positives he can take away from today’s events.

For one thing, he still looks like the man most likely to challenge Dumoulin for the pink jersey, having gained time on all the other GC contenders.

Secondly, his Movistar team put in a very strong showing, with Victor de la Parte and Winner Anacona helping to set a ferocious pace on the lower slopes of Oropa, and Andrey Amador retaining his useful position in the top ten overall.

>>> Nairo Quintana says he needs to ‘make another strategy’ to win Giro d’Italia

Considering that Dumoulin was quickly isolated on the climb, Movistar ought to be encouraged that they could be able to put him under considerable pressure in the longer, harder mountain stages of the final week.

It’s worth remembering, after all, that Dumoulin lost the Vuelta a España in 2015 to Fabio Aru on the penultimate stage when Astana managed to ambush him and leave him without any team-mates. Quintana and Movistar ought to be planning something similar.

Team Sky still fighting

Diego Rosa attacked early on the climb to Oropa (Credit: Sunada)

Much has been said about Team Sky’s apparent curse at the Giro d’Italia, but, despite the bad luck that has continued to fall upon following the crashes suffered by Mikel Landa and the now abandoned Geraint Thomas, they seem determined to take something away from this race.

First Diego Rosa attacked on the run-in to the climb, in search of a stage win. It came to nothing as the GC teams turned on the pace in the peloton, but we can expect to see him i out on the attack in the upcoming stages.

>>> Crashes, time penalties, and stomach problems: a history of Team Sky’s bad luck at the Giro d’Italia

More impressive was Landa, who clung on to the lead group to finish third on the stage. His ride suggests that he has recovered from any injuries sustained last wekk, and should therefore be well in the mix for stage wins.

At over 40 minutes down on GC, he’ll be given plenty of leeway to get into breakaways for a chance to win stages, and will be a difficult man to beat from such a scenario.

Adam Hansen suffers a scare

Adam Hansen is on course to finish his 17th consecutive Grand Tour (Credit: Watson)

One of the sub-plots of every Grand Tour these days is Adam Hansen’s (Lotto-Soudal) continued streak of starting and finishing every single one – if he can finish this Giro he’ll have extended the record to 17 consecutive Grand Tour finishes.

That’s a particularly impressive feat when you take into account how difficult it is to avoid crashes in the hectic peloton of Grand Tours, and indeed the Australian suffered a fright when he hit the deck on the run-in to the final climb today.

However, the Australian is made of stern stuff, and managed to get back on his saddle and finish fourth-last among a small group of stragglers who came in behind the gruppetto. Fingers crossed he hasn’t sustained any lasting injuries and will be able to make it to Milan.


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Tom Dumoulin extends Giro d’Italia lead over Nairo Quintana with superb summit finish victory

Dutchman extends his overall lead towards three minutes

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) produced one of the best rides of his career as he won stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia, beating Nairo Quintana in the summit finish to extend his overall lead.

The third week of this Giro d’Italia was meant to be a battle between Dumoulin and Quintana, with Dutchman trying to limit his losses, but after the first Alpine stage the Sunweb rider now finds himself with a lead of nearly three minutes.

As expected, the summit finish to Oropa saw an attack from Quintana with four kilometres remaining, a stinging acceleration that was enough to distance all of his rivals.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) were comprehensively dropped, but Dumoulin was slowly but surely able to claw his way back on to the Colombian’s wheel, making the junction with two kilometres to the line.

From there many would have expected the Dutchman to ride defensively, but instead he attacked, briefly putting Quintana in trouble.

However the Movistar rider made his way back onto Dumoulin’s wheel, bringing Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) along with him, meaning there would be four riders contesting the stage win.

Dumoulin led them into the final 300m, when Zakarin burst for the line. Dumoulin quickly jumped onto the Russian’s wheel, while Quintana, suffering from his early efforts was distanced.

As the road turned left into the finishing straight it was a two-horse race between Zakarin and the pink jersey, and in the final 150m to former faded, allowing Dumoulin to come around the right-hand side to take a famous stage win and tighten his grip on the pink jersey.


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Ohio Sprinter Nate Mullens Verbally Commits to NC State

Photo Courtesy: Nate Mullens Instagram

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Nate Mullens has sent his verbal commitment to the NC State Wolfpack. Mullens is a sprinter from Ohio who has seen dramatic recent improvement. He trains with Canton City Schools and attends Hoover High School.

His top times are:

  • 50 Free 20.45
  • 100 Free 45.45
  • 50 Back 24.35
  • 100 Back 51.46

At this year’s Ohio High School Division 1 State Championship that 20.45 was good enough for the state title. Just last year he was a 21.09 in the splash and dash. He’s improved from a 49.48 in 2016 in the 100 free.

In the ACC it took a 20.15 to score in the 50 freestyle this year. Given Mullens recent improvement trend, he’ll likely enter scoring range after another year of training at home and a season with the Wolfpack. The Pack had five scoring swimmers in that event.

He shared on his Instagram, “I am thrilled to announce that I will be attending North Carolina State University concluding my senior year! I am so happy to be joining the Wolfpack family, and advancing not only my academics but my swimming as well. As always #gopack”

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

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Oklahoma Christian Announces Inaugural Women’s Swimming Class

Photo Courtesy: Oklahoma Christian Athletics

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 19, 2017) – Ten standout swimmers have signed to compete on Oklahoma Christian’s inaugural women’s swimming team, OC coach Josh Davis said Friday.

“I love that Oklahoma Christian University is not only providing a much needed new college swimming option, but one that is committed to developing all the areas of a total athlete – mind, body and spirit,” Davis said.

“I’m excited to work hard for this first class in helping them reach their potential while having a great time. And the whole campus is excited to cheer on this first-ever OC swim team.”

The Lady Eagles will begin competition with the 2017-18 season. Included on the first OC roster will be:

Madeline Benitez of Irving, Texas (Nimitz High School), who specializes in the freestyle;
Rachel Brock of Drexel, Mo., who will swim the butterfly and freestyle strokes;
Allison DeWeirdt of Keller, Texas, who will swim freestyle and breaststroke;
Megan Diamond of San Antonio (MacArthur High School), who will swim freestyle, butterfly and individual medley;
Hanna Forbat of Evanston, Ill. (Evanston Township High School), who will swim the freestyle and butterfly;
Heidi Fritscher of Mandeville, La. (Mandeville High School), who will swim the individual medley and freestyle;
Christian Ruiz of Irving, Texas (Irving High School), a freestyle specialist;
Hailey Webster of San Antonio (Smithson Valley High School), who will swim the freestyle and butterly; and
Kassidy Young of Los Lunas, N.M. (Los Lunas High School), who will swim the individual medley and breaststroke.

Those nine swimmers will join Ashley Harmon of Houston, who signed with the Lady Eagles last fall. Davis said he expects more swimmers to sign in the coming months.

“This inaugural freshman class is very special in their desire, work ethic and potential,” Davis said. “We look forward to forming some fun rivalries with other Division II schools in this five-state region. We have a great mix of athletes who are excited to keep their swim career going and we have some who will be qualifying for the NCAA Championships and, most likely, Olympic Trials by their senior year.”

Oklahoma Christian Athletics contributed this report. 

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