Australian Water Polo Player Bridgette Gusterson Named 14th ISHOF Class of 2017 Inductee

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced that Bridgette Gusterson will join 17 others as honorees who will enter the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Bridgette Gusterson Ireland (AUS) is the fourteenth member of the class to be named for ceremonies to be held August 25-27, in Fort Lauderdale.

Previously, Open water swimmer Maarten Van Der Weijden, swimmers Wu Chuanyu (CHN) and Takeshi “Halo” Hirose (USA) Georges Vallerey, Jr. (FRA), Alain Bernard (FRA), diver Zhang Xiuwei (CHN) and Laura Wilkinson (USA), long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA), water polo players Osvaldo Codaro (ARG) and András Bodnár (HUN), coach Dick Jochums (USA) and photojournalist Heinz Kluetmeier have been announced.

Bridgette Gusterson was born on February 7, 1973, in Perth, Western Australia. As a ten-year-old she had a clear and precise goal. She wanted to be an Olympian. The only problem was, she didn’t have a sport. Her first choice was gymnastics but she knew she was going to be too tall.

The Bicton pool just two minutes from her home and her older sister, Danielle, played water polo, so the choice became clear. Even though women’s water polo was not yet on the Olympic program, there were hopes it would be added to the 1984 Olympic program for Los Angeles. And so began a career that that set the standard for female water polo players around the world.

As she grew, Gusterson’s tall, athletic frame (180 cm / 5’11”) lent itself to the demanding center forward position. But her physical attributes were matched by her fierce determination to master all technical aspects of the game. As a feared centre forward, accurate passer and outside shooter, Bridgette was regarded as the best all-rounder in the world in the latter parts of the 1990s. She made her first Australian National Team appearance in 1992 and subsequently represented her country in 212 international matches, scoring more than 400 goals. In 1995, she scored a hat-trick in leading Australia to the World Cup gold medal over the Netherlands and she was the first Australian woman to receive a professional contract to play in Europe, representing the Italian club, Orrizonte from 1995 to 1997.

It had always been her dream, from when she first started playing, that one day women’s water polo would be in the Olympics. As she grew older the dream became more defined. She would be captain of the team that won the gold medal in the first women’s Olympic tournament.

Amazingly her dream came true. It started when she assumed captaincy of the Australian team in 1998. A short time later the Australian Olympic Organizing Committee announced women’s water polo was being added, for the first time, to the Olympic program in 2000. In the semi-final game against Russia, she scored the winning goal with a clever flick shot over the goal keeper’s shoulder. The final against the United States was even more dramatic she made the assist that led to the winning goal to break a tie and clinch the gold medal with just 1.3 seconds on the clock. When the final tallies were made, she had led her team in scoring and to add icing to the top of dream cake, she shared the Olympic triumph with her sister and teammate, Danielle.

Gusterson retired after the 2000 Olympic Games, but continues to be involved in the sport as a coach. She resides in Perth with her husband Gary Ireland (former World Champion swimmer/ surf lifesaver) and their son Kalani.


The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for- profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history of swimming, the memory and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email

Press release courtesy of ISHOF. 

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Are marginal gains for everybody?

Is the concept of ‘marginal gains’ still relevant to amateur cyclists, or has it been unmasked as a fancy term for pointless perfectionism and pro-team secretiveness?

Is your chainring the right shape? Have you touched one too many grubby door handles? Did you lose a critical 40 minutes of sleep last night?

The questions fitness-seeking cyclists ask themselves have changed a lot in the last decade or so.

Whereas riders used to be hung up simply on having the lightest bike, the heartiest serving of pasta and the most training miles in the bank, an altogether more nuanced, complex approach has come to the fore.

>>> Seven best ways to make your bike lighter for free

Nowadays cyclists obsess about marginal gains, striving to finesse every conceivable aspect of body and bike, no matter how small the potential benefit — but is such fine-tuning really worthwhile, or is it just hankering after an illusory ideal?

Of course, tiny changes to position, sleekness and geometry can significantly improve aerodynamics; marginal gains of this type will always be critical in time trialling.

In certain other areas of cycling, too, the rise of the marginal gain has worked wonders, greatly reducing overeating and overtraining while unearthing numerous benefits that no one had previously thought to look for.

On the other hand, it’s led cyclists — and not just the pros — down any number of hilarious blind alleys; pretty much every stripe of road cyclist has spent years inflating their tyres to steel-hard pressures in pursuit of a rolling resistance reduction so fractional it’s practically undetectable.

Watch now: How to set the perfect tyre pressure

Likewise, many have necked food supplements up to and beyond the limits of their digestive systems, with little or no benefit.

Turn back the clock a bit further and you’ll remember cyclists ‘drilling out’ their frames and components in pursuit of a saved gram here or there, a practice that left bikes at best ugly and, at worst, dangerous.

The only real difference between the amateur and professional errors is that most amateurs don’t hang the name ‘marginal gains’ on their experiments and later embark on corporate speaking tours.

There have been many attempted marginal gains, from the left-hand-drive track bikes tried out by Team USA at the Rio Olympics (taking advantage of the lower airflow on the inside of the bike) to the bike with high-pressure tyres that Alberto Contador swapped onto before climbing Mount Etna in the 2011 Giro.

Left hand cranks couldn’t help the USA to gold in the women’s team pursuit (Photo: Watson)

All cyclists are looking for an edge, but “the aggregation of marginal gains” is a buzz-phrase most commonly associated with British Cycling, Team Sky and Sir Dave Brailsford.

Because of Sky’s success, marginal gains have been imbued with a sort of mysticism. But according to sportswriter Matthew Syed, it is just a new term for an age-old practice.

“Marginal gains is just the idea of applying the scientific method to continual improvement,” he says.

>>> Dave Brailsford: ‘I’m uncompromising, and some people can’t cope with that’

Syed, who won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in table tennis, spent months researching marginal gains for his latest book Black Box Thinking.

He believes the success of marginal gains culture has its roots in a change in coaching attitudes.

“There was a lot of conventional wisdom when I was an athlete, and a lot of coaches who thought that, because they’d produced good players, their methods were as good as they could get.

If your ego is bound up with the status quo, then change is a threat.

“My sense from meeting Sir Dave Brailsford is that he’s bound up in ‘What is it that we currently don’t know?’ not ‘What do we already know and how can we proclaim our knowledge?’ The psychology of that is at the heart of the scientific revolution.

“The psychology turns out to be very important, and that’s what marginal gains expresses.”

>>> The hidden motor in your head: How mind training can make you ride faster

It’s a perfectly tidy description, and one that can be very useful.

After all, British Cycling’s chains are cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner and lubed with a nanotube formula, a marginal gain apparently worth six watts.

But every cyclist has felt the benefit of a clean drivetrain, even if all they’ve done is shake their chain in a bottle of white spirit and flossed their sprockets with old newspaper.

The distinction between general good practice and marginal gain is as much about mindset as outcome.

In truth, many attempted marginal gains don’t actually lead to performance improvement — the ice bath that was so trendy a few years ago, for example, might actually be counter-productive.

The important thing with a marginal gains approach is to explore these possibilities.

“Whenever you attempt a marginal gain that doesn’t work, you improve your understanding of the problem,” says Syed.

“If a cycling race is made up of parameters — the aerodynamics of the bike, the efficiency of the training and so on, and they can all be broken down into smaller elements — when you find something that doesn’t work, that’s very useful information.

“Finding marginal gains that don’t work makes it easier to focus on the ones that do work.

The 2011 road world championship set the standard for marginal gains when Mark Cavendish won wearing an aerodynamic helmet cover and skinsuit.

“The crucial thing is a mindset that’s willing to say ‘Whatever we’re doing, however good, we can get better’… Instead of saying ‘Are you saying I don’t know what I’m doing?’ you say: ‘That’s interesting,’ and start looking for improvement.”

The word psychology comes up almost as often as science when discussing marginal gains, and for good reason.

According to sports psychologist Andrew Barton, a marginal gains culture can have a huge influence on performance even if the changes being experimented with don’t turn out to have any measurable physical outcome:

“From a psychological perspective, each member of a team buys into the vision of marginal gains, and therefore puts immense faith in the people around them.

“Belief plays a huge role in an athlete’s ability to perform to the highest level: their motivation to train, their confidence, their energy levels and their willingness to constantly push themselves.

>>> ‘Cyclists, be cautious with caffeine’

“Although some of the marginal gains may be dubious in terms of real effect, the placebo effect is a very real one.”

Leaving aside the placebo effect for now, it’s important to stress that while a marginal gains culture might value change as a means to progress, that’s not to say that changes shouldn’t be managed.

Change for change’s sake, or simply shaking things up in pursuit of a ‘dead cat bounce’ can introduce as much uncertainty as confidence.

“Learning the various factors that contribute to the marginal gains has to be drip-fed in the same way as learning a new skill.

“If you are given too many new things to take on board too quickly, it creates an overload, and riders become stressed or unfocused, and take their attention away from the more crucial areas of their performance.”

An extra edge

Pursuing fractional advantages makes sense in the professional sphere, where athletes are already trained to the limits of their potential, and need to find an extra competitive edge, but are marginal gains applicable to amateur cyclists?

The club-mate’s knowing smirk at your post-Christmas belly when you’ve just unwrapped your first carbon frame is almost a rite of passage in cycling, an unspoken acknowledgement that those of us who don’t get to ride for a living invariably have more room to make maximal, not merely marginal, gains.

>>> Bike of the year 2017: Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0

But many coaches think a marginal gains approach is perfectly valid in amateur cyclists too.

Marginal gains can make any cyclist faster

Amid the headlines about teams being taught how to wash their hands by surgeons to minimise illness, or sleeping in motorhomes to avoid the hubbub of hotels, it’s easy to forget that Sky’s marginal gains approach has always involved a lot of data-wrangling.

>>> How to combat a cold

Extrapolating a rider’s future performances by crunching numbers, or factoring in historical wind data to the analysis of a time trial course is a tough sell to a daily newspaper or a large business looking for a motivational speaker, so it often gets forgotten — but the data analysis side of marginal gains is accessible to any cyclist with a power meter.

Rob Kitching, a part-time British Cycling accredited coach and software engineer, runs, a website that provides data analysis for cyclists tailored to specific events, and he believes that a marginal gains approach can be as beneficial for amateurs as it is for professionals.

“There are two reasons to apply marginal gains:

1) because your returns from training time are diminishing, which explains why a lot of highly trained pro athletes who are close to their genetic potential would start to give the idea time and attention.

2) because certain things can be seen as ‘low hanging fruit’ or ‘quick wins’.

“The latter are definitely of interest to lesser-trained amateur athletes who, instead of bumping up against genetic potential, may be bumping up against the maximum time they can dedicate to training and who therefore look for ways to think or buy themselves faster.”

There’s no shame in having a demanding job, a busy family life or even other interests that compete with cycling, and finding ways to improve your performances on the bike without sacrificing your bike/life balance is fundamental part of being cyclist.

Who hasn’t attempted to buy a bit of speed with better wheels, or up their game with a few gallons of beetroot juice? According to Kitching, data analysis is the first step in figuring out which marginal gains could be made effectively.

Gains in the most unlikely of places

“The initial value of sports analytics or performance modelling is in measuring what you already do, then revealing what you could do better.

That lets you prioritise where any time or money put into marginal gains could best be invested… We can run a computer model to simulate performance [under different variables].

“As a concrete example, the data might reveal that a rider is significantly less aero than competitors at the same height and weight — so the rider would work on aerodynamic optimisation as a priority, starting with the quick wins and working through the smaller stuff, until the limit of time or money is reached.”

Balancing financial and time cost is where a marginal gains approach can be even more important for amateurs than professionals.

Whereas almost all top-flight professional teams have the budget to explore a wide variety of potential gains, amateurs have to be more focused, and there are times when it’s worth pitting some of the more technical-sounding marginal gains against the more gimmicky ones.

“Most riders lose at least two per cent of their power in the drivetrain, and there is good evidence to suggest that drivetrain optimisation is worth a few watts,” says Kitching.

>>> How to clean your road bike in seven minutes (video)

“But optimised chains don’t last long, so they’re a really expensive choice, whereas hand sanitisers are just a low-cost extension of the decades-old advice to wash you hands a lot [to prevent illness].

“If something is evidence-based, justified by time and money, and reasonably likely to help the athlete, then it’s on the right side of the line.”

Even coaches who aren’t entirely convinced by marginal gains tend to quibble less over their effectiveness and more over the term ‘marginal’.

According to Paul Hough, lead physiologist at St Mary’s University, there are physiological thresholds that need to be reached before it’s worth looking elsewhere for gains:

“If the athlete hasn’t got a long, consistent training history, then minor tweaks probably won’t make much difference. A [male] cyclist with a VO2 max of 50 or body fat higher than about 13 per cent won’t notice a significant improvement by, say, changing to ceramic bearings.

“Speaking as an insomniac, though, improving sleep benefits all athletes. [Two or more] consecutive nights of poor sleep have been shown to reduce cognitive and physical performance.”

Aside from the reduction of fatigue and improvement in reaction and recovery times, good sleeping habits reduce stress hormones and increase the availability of human growth hormone, a potent performance-enhancer.

Perhaps Sky’s motorhome and mattresses aren’t just a sideshow for the press. Nor, according to Hough, is the hand-washing.

Team Sky’s motorhome ended up for sale on eBay

“Illness is a major concern for athletes as even minor infections can impair performance. In general you’re OK to exercise with a mild cold [but you should avoid] exercising in group environments to prevent spreading the virus to others.”

It’s interesting that though some of the more high-tech pursuits of marginal gains provoke debate among our experts, many of the simpler ones — good sleep, good hygiene, clean drivetrains — are unanimously regarded as worthwhile.

It may turn out that the core of a marginal gains philosophy is, as CW’s own Dr Hutch once termed it, “the ruthless pursuit of the fairly obvious”.

>>> Dr Hutch: Remember marginal gains? They used to be big

Hanging a media-friendly name on it and treating it as something new is what invites cynicism and scrutiny, but the practice of leaving nothing to chance and taking nothing for granted isn’t new or suspicious, it has always been a fundamental part of sport.

In fact, the only thing up for debate is the point at which the effort exceeds the returns, and that’s something that will depend entirely on the time, money and headspace you have available.

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Track Olympic Medalist Frankie Fredericks Steps Down From IOC Commission During Rio Bribery Investigation

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Frankie Fredericks, a three-time Olympic medalist in track for Namibia and, until now, a commission chair with the International Olympic Committee, has come under fire in recent weeks amid allegations that he accepted a bribe from a Brazilian businessman right around the time the 2016 Olympics were awarded to Rio.

Currently under investigation, Fredericks has resigned from roles with both the IOC and IAAF (International Athletics Federation), according to a report from BusinessDay.

Fredericks has been in charge of a commission that monitored the cities involved in the bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games (since Rome and Budapest have pulled out, this currently includes only Paris and Los Angeles), and had served on an IAAF task force seeking to help Russia be compliant with anti-doping standards after the country was suspended after the release of the McLaren Report.

Fredericks denies the allegations of bribery but said he believed it to be in the best interests of the IOC if he step down.

“I personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 evaluation commission, because it is essential that the important work my colleagues are doing is seen as being carried out in a truthful and fair manner,” he said, according to BusinessDay.

“I categorically deny any direct or indirect involvement in any untoward conduct and confirm that I have never breached any law, regulation or rule of ethics in respect of any IOC election process.”

The IOC then released a statement praising Fredericks’s decision to step down. Said the IOC Executive Board in a statement:

  • In line with the recommendation of the IOC Ethics Commission, the IOC EB accepts his resignation from the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2024.

  • In line with the recommendation of the IOC Ethics Commission, the IOC EB accepts his provisional self-suspension from the IOC Coordination Commission for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

  • The IOC EB accepts Mr Fredericks’ non-participation in the Candidate City Briefing 2024 for IOC Members and Summer Olympic International Federations in July 2017 in Lausanne and the IOC Session in Lima, Peru, in September 2017.

  • In line with the IOC Ethics Commission, the IOC EB recalls the importance of respecting the principle of the presumption of innocence. It also notes Mr Fredericks’ categorical rejection of the allegations made against him.

Additionally, the IOC announced that taking over the commission will be Patrick Baumann, the Secretary General of FIBA, the International Basketball Federation.

Fredericks received about $300,000 from Pamodzi Sports Consulting in 2009, shortly before the IOC announced Rio as the host for the 2016 Games, shortly after a Brazilian businessman paid $2 million between two separate payments to Papa Massata Diack, Pamodzi’s owner.

Read more from Business Day here, and find the full IOC statement here.

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Paris-Nice stage 3 highlights – Video

Stage 3 at Paris-Nice provided another chance for the sprinters, and Bora-Hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett made the most of his opportunity on Wednesday, out-kicking a world-class field to win the stage in Chalon-sur-Saône ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors).

The day got underway with a three-rider break that included Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Ben King (Dimension Data) and Romain Combaud (Delko-Marseille) sneaking away within the first couple of kilometres. The trio cooperated well and stretched their advantage to seven minutes before the FDJ team of race leader Arnaud Demare came to the fore and started taking back large chunks of time.

The lead trio’s gap was down to just 1:30 with 30km remaining, and King was jettisoned from the group on the category 2 climb of Côte de Charrecey. Latour and Combaud combined their strengths to put up a fierce battle for survival in the lead, but their efforts succumbed to the chase as they passed under the flamme rouge. From there, it was a mad dash to the line, with Kittel jumping first and Bennett coming around the big German before the line.

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Team Sky chair backs Dave Brailsford as team hits back at ‘inaccurate’ and ‘untrue’ assumptions

Team Sky issues a statement refuting its critics

Chairman of Team Sky Graham McWilliam has publicly come out in support of embattled team principal Dave Brailsford as the team put out a lengthy statement challenging its critics.

Scrutiny of Sky and Brailsford in particular has intensified since UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) gave an update on its investigation into the team including a series of eyebrow raising revelations about lost medical records and large volumes of a controlled substance being ordered.

McWilliam took to Twitter to say: “For record, TS [Team Sky] Board & Sky are 100% behind team and Sir Dave Brailsford as its leader. We look forward to many more years of success.”

>>> Everything you need to know about the British Cycling/Sky mystery package saga

He also congratulated the team for “challenging some of the inaccurate commentary of recent days” as it released an eight-page document (which you can read in full here) outlining a series of “clarifications” on the UKAD investigation and how the team’s anti-doping practice has improved since 2011.

In a covering letter to that document Brailsford said: “While I obviously respect the fact that people will have their view on issues related to this investigation, I do believe that some of the comments made about Team Sky have been unreasonable and incorrect.”

Brailsford has come under pressure in recent days after the chair of UKAD, Nicole Sapstead, told MPs that it had been unable to verify what was in a package shipped to the team at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011.

Sapstead revealed it had been alleged it contained the controlled substance triamcinolone and was administered to Bradley Wiggins that evening, a procedure for which he would have required a therapeutic use exemption [TUE] when he did not have one.

Sapstead said the agency had yet to reach a conclusion because there were no available records kept by then Sky doctor Richard Freeman, who had failed to upload them to a shared Dropbox folder.

Sky said that Freeman’s lack of records was a “failure to comply with team policy on this occasion”, however, the team added “that does not mean that he kept no medical records at all”.

>>> Geraint Thomas ‘frustrated’ and ‘annoyed’ by Team Sky press coverage

Sapstead also told MPs that there had been a large amount of triamcinolone ordered into BC and Sky’s then shared medical room in Manchester. She said there was either “excessive amount being ordered for one person or quite a few people had a similar problem”. The Sunday Times later reported that 70 ampoules were ordered.

But now Sky has revealed that only 55 ampoules of the drug were ordered over a four-year period between 2010 and 2013.

It added: “Only a small proportion of this was administered to Team Sky riders. According to Dr Freeman, the majority was used in his private practice and to treat Team Sky and British Cycling staff.” Freeman, the team said, is a musculoskeletal specialist and the drug was quite commonly used to treat inflammation in that area of medicine.

The team added: “While it is not possible for Team Sky to confirm why and when triamcinolone was administered to non-riders (as we would, rightly, not have access to those private medical records), with regard to riders we would only ever allow triamcinolone to be provided as a legitimate and justified medical treatment in accordance with the applicable anti-doping rules.”

Freeman has claimed the package contained fluimucil and Wiggins told investigators that he was given fluimucil on the day in question but he did not know what was in the package.

>>> Team Sky riders rally to show support for Dave Brailsford

However, since that explanation emerged in December there has been persistent questions over why the drug was couriered from Manchester to a mountain in the French Alps when it was available in local pharmacies.

Sky’s statement said: “This is a misunderstanding… As the Select Committee was told by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Fluimucil is not licensed for sale in the United Kingdom, in any of its forms. It is our understanding that while Fluimucil is licensed for sale in France, the particular form used by the team (i.e. 3ml, 10% ampoule form for use in a nebulizer) is not available for sale in France, nor to our knowledge was it available for sale in 2011.”

The team also said that Freeman had said he did not have prescription rights in France that would be required to get the drug.

Team Sky’s statement went on to outline ways in which its medical record keeping and anti-doping practice has improved since 2011.

It said it had introduced standardized ordering processes for medical supplies complete with oversight by a second doctor and he team’s financial controller; introduced an annual review of medical policies; appointed a full-time compliance officer, who reports to the board; more extensive rider background checks; greater rider education; and setting up a anti-doping working group of senior management, performance and medical staff.

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Featured Swim Camp: Bolles School

Under the direction of Jon Sakovich, swim coach of The Bolles School swimming program, The Bolles School Swim Camps are developmental camps designed to provide quality instruction and training to swimmers of all abilities.  All training and instruction will take place on The Bolles School’s San Jose Campus, located on the St. Johns River in Florida.  Campers will reside in The Bolles School’s air conditioned dormitory rooms with 24-hour supervision and meals provided three times a day.

The Bolles Sharks is very proud of it’s team’s accomplishments since its inception in 1977. In its 39 years of existence, the Bolles Sharks has proven itself as the top team in the state of Florida by winning District, State, Southeastern, Regional, and National competitions as well as setting National Age Group. Junior National, Senior National, International and World Records. The Bolles Sharks program has developed individual and relay champions at every level of competitive swimming.

The Bolles Sharks has also made a significant impact on the national and international swimming scene. The Bolles Sharks had its first national finalist in 1980. Since that time the Bolles Sharks swimmers have captured 23 individual national championships and 16 relay championships as well as 34 team championships. Bolles Sharks swimmers have won at the World Championships, Asian games, Pam Am Games, Southeast Asian Games, World University Games, and the Olympic Games, as well as many other international meets. Over 100 members of the Bolles Sharks family have represented the United States and other countries in international competition traveling to Aruba, Australia, Brazil, Canada,China, Columbia, Croatia, Ecuador, East Germany, France, Guam, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Holland, Israel, Laos, Mexico, The Philippines, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Thailand and West Germany. The Bolles Sharks tradition in excellance serves as a foundation upon which to build for even greater success in the future. We look forward to seeing our swimmers continue their dominance at the local level and further their achievements at the regional, national and international levels.  

The Bolles Sharks is also very proud of the academic achievements of our swimmers. The club has sent swimmers to most of the major college programs in the country including the Ivy League, Pac 12, Big East, SEC, ACC, A-10, Big 12, Big 10, CAA, MAAC, Sun Belt, and WAC Conferences as well as many other independents. 

In addition to the success of our swimmers, the club has also developed a tradition of hosting great swim meets throughout the years. The Bolles Sharks hosted their first meet in 1979. We currently hold 4 major invitationals a year. Our June invitational has attracted many Olympians from all over the world to compete over the years.  

May the continued success of the past with Tradition in Excellence continue through the future…  

One week camps are intended for swimmers ages nine to thirteen, representing all ability levels.  The typical daily schedule will include 50-meter and 25-yard training, stroke technique and classroom lecture sessions, video taping, starts and turns, and a fun daytime activity.  One week camps will be limited to 25 swimmers per week.

  • The Bolles One Week Camp is a technique oriented camp that incorporates the Bolles training method and philosophy. At the One Week Camp swimmers will be challenged physically while learning to improve both their technical and mental approaches to swimming.
    • Work with the World Class Bolles Coaching Staff and swimmers
    • Designed for competitive swimmers age 9 – 13 (Age as of June 1, 2017)
  • Session 1: June 11 – 16, 2017 (Sunday – Friday)
  • Session 2: June 17 – 22, 2017 (Saturday – Thursday)


Ages 9-13 | Female | Grades 3rd to 8th

One Week Swim Camp, June 11-16, Camp Tuition $800.00


Ages 9-13 | Male | Grades 3rd to 8th

One Week Swim Camp, June 11-16



Ages 9-13 | Male | Grades 3rd to 8th

One Week Swim Camp, June 17-22, Camp Deposit $800.00


Ages 9-13 | Female | Grades 3rd to 8th

One Week Swim Camp, June 17-22


One Week Camp Expectations 

This is a brief overview of what to expect from our One Week Swim Camp.

The Evening Practice

What to expect:

Each practice will last 90 minutes. The practices are instructional with the emphasis on stroke mechanics. We will focus on one stroke per day with starts, turns, and finishes on Thursday evening. This practice is usually about 1500 to 1700 yards and is swum in our 25 yard pool.


This session is designed to work on proper body position and stroke mechanics for each stroke. The distances are short the rest is plentiful and a lot of time and energy is spent on learning the most efficient way to swim each stroke. We use drills to help the swimmers to learn each component of the stroke and then tie it all together to swim in the most efficient manner possible.


What to expect

Each morning after breakfast we will have a 30-40 minute dry land session. This will consist of running laps on the track, running the stadium steps, pull ups, dips, pushups, and other body weight exercises, and abdominal work. Proper running shoes and work out clothes are needed.


To teach the swimmers the importance of dryland training and how a strong regimen will help the swimmers achieve their goals. We will put them through a routine similar to what we do with our own swimmers. This will help improve their strength, fitness, athleticism, and core body strength.

The Morning Practice

What to expect

This practice session will be swum in our 50 meter pool. This work out is 2,700m to 5,000m in length. The distance of the practice will depend on the age and ability of the swimmer and also the emphasis of the workout. The practice will place emphasis on the stroke they worked on the previous evening.


This practice session has two purposes. The first is to challenge the swimmer in an actual training session to think about stroke changes and techniques that were made the night before. Anyone can swim an easy 25yards and hold good stroke technique, to do so for an entire race or set in practice is a challenge. The practice will start off with a review of all the drills they worked on the night before and give them a chance to refresh their memories. Then we will proceed into the main set. The second purpose is to maintain the level of conditioning they have when coming into our camp so they are ready to continue their training when they get back home.

Lecture sessions

 These sessions will cover a variety of topics from nutrition to goal setting. We will help the swimmers in learn how to set goals for their meets, seasons, and even day to day practices. They will also learn about nutrition and the importance of proper hydration, as well as tips on mental preparations for hard practices and swim meets. The swimmers will also have an opportunity to talk to and hear about Sergio Lopez’s (Bronze Medalist) quest for Olympic medals as well as hear from some of our swimmers here at Bolles and their experiences at Olympic Trials, being on National Record Relays, and their day to day experiences with swimming what is has done for them.


Each day swimmers will watch a video pertaining to the stroke of the day. This video will have a famous American swimmer performing the stroke. The swimmers themselves will be video taped on each of their strokes with voice over analysis from our professional coaching staff. These videos will be provided to each swimmer upon leaving camp.


Photo Courtesy: Wayne Joseph

The elite camp is designed for experienced swimmers ages 13 years or older.  Elite campers will train similar to the Bolles Sharks swimming program that produced national high school champions, Florida high school state champions, high school All-Americans, and Olympians.

  • Highest Level of swim camp offered at Bolles, The Elite Camp will challenge swimmers mentally and physically as they train like the Bolles School Sharks swimmers in an intense, competitive team atmosphere.
    • Choose to stay for 1 to 6 weeks
    • Train like the Bolles School Sharks Team
    • For swimmers age 13 – 18 (Age as of June 1, 2017)
  • Dates – June 11 – July 22, 2017 (Campers can stay 1-6 weeks)


Ages 13-18 | Female | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, June 11-17



Ages 13-18 | Male | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, June 11-17



Ages 13-18 | Male | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, June 25 – July 1



Ages 13-18 | Female | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, June 25-July 1



Ages 13-18 | Male | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, July 2 – July 8



Ages 13-18 | Female | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, July 2 – July 8



Ages 13-18 | Male | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, July 9-15



Ages 13-18 | Female | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, July 9-15



Ages 13-18 | Male | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, July 16-22



Ages 13-18 | Female | Grades 8th to 12th

Elite Training Camp, July 16-22


Elite Swim Camp Expectations  

What to expect:

The type of training that has propelled the Bolles School High School Team and The Bolles School Sharks to one of the top High Schools and USS Swim Programs in the Nation. The training is intense and demanding as we prepare all our athletes to perform at their best.

Be prepared to work hard at every training session. Each practice has a purpose, whether it is working on endurance, speed, power, or your best stroke. You will be asked each day to challenge and push yourself beyond your normal limitations.


The practices will average between 6,500 – 8,500 meters per practice depending on the emphasis of the session. We will have 11 practices a week having Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday off. Thursday  practices will be recovery with a technical focus.

The Elite Campers will train like our year round swimmers each day. The swimmers are broken into 2 groups based on age and ability. The total amount of meters swum per session will vary depending on the emphasis of the day and the training group they swim with. Each week we will work on technique, starts, turns, endurance, speed, IM’s, and main strokes.


Each day we will do 45 minutes to an hour of dry-land training. This will consist of body weight exercises, running, stadiums, medicine balls, plyometrics, abdominals, as well as dry-land tubing. Running shoes and workout clothes are a must.


The purpose of our Elite swim camp is to provide an opportunity for swimmers to train with one of the top swim programs in the nation. They will have the opportunity to experience the type of training that has propelled Bolles to its success’. Bolles has continually been at the top of the swimming charts for over 20 years on the National and International scene.

The campers will experience first hand what it takes by training side by side with our own swimmers here at Bolles. They will see first hand the swimming and dry-land training that we have designed to improve the strength, speed and endurance of the swimmer both in and out of the water. The practices sessions have been created to utilize strength and power gained through dry-land training an implement it into the swimming practices.

The Bolles School Swimming:


Image result for olympic ringsImage result for olympic rings
Ryan Murphy USA Gustavo Borges Brazil
Joseph Schooling Singapore Greg Burgess USA
Caeleb Dressel USA Anthony Nesty Suriname
George Bovell Trinidad & Tobago David Larson USA
Ashley Whitney USA Fred Tyler USA
Trina Jackson USA

Bolles Swimming is synonymous with tradition, excellence, and passion. Our coaching staff is committed to helping every swimmer realize his or her dreams. Whether your child is new to competitive swimming or is one of the country’s elite athletes we have the drive and ability to take them where they want to go.

Contact Address: 7400 San Jose Blvd.
FL,  32217
Name of School Coach: Jon Sakovich
Phone Number: 904-256-5216

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Sam Bennett beats top sprint stars to win Paris-Nice stage three

Irish sprinter beats Alexander Kristoff and John Degenkolb to claim a major victory in Paris-Nice

Irish sprinter Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the biggest win of his career to date on Tuesday, beating an array of top sprint names to secure stage three of Paris-Nice.

Bennett topped the top 10 of the stage that read like a who’s who of sprint stars, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) in second, John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) in third, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) in fourth and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) in seventh.

Overall race leader Arnaud Démare (FDJ) finished in sixth place to retain the yellow jersey going into Wednesday’s stage four time trial.

The day started as Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Pierre Latour (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Ben King (Dimension Data) launched an early attack. After two tough days featuring poor weather conditions and often chaotic racing, calmer weather enticed the peloton to take it a bit easier and the escape swiftly built up a lead of over seven minutes.

By the time the trio hit the last of the day’s two categorised climbs – the second category Côte de Charrecey inside 30km to go – their advantage was just above 40 seconds. Latour attacked over the top to take the maximum king of the mountain points and was followed by Combaud as King dropped back to the bunch.

>>> Paris-Nice 2017: Latest news, reports and info

Both riders really pushed on, adopting a low position on their bikes and taking big turns at the front and they held a half-minute lead in a game of cat-and-mouse with the bunch.

Just inside 4km to go, LottoNL-Jumbo suffered misfortune when their sprinter Dylan Groenewegen crashed on a roundabout, but the incident did not disrupt the pack’s chase.

Despite the best efforts of Combaud and Latour, the combined strength of the sprinters’ teams at the front of the peloton meant that were caught with just one kilometre to go.

All of the top fastmen then massed to the front and launched their sprints, but Bennett appeared to have a gear higher than his rivals, and cross the line with enough time to celebrate his landmark win with style.

“I was confident in myself. I felt good,” said Bennett. “I was just waiting for the right opportunity. I stayed focused all day for this final sprint. I’m very fortunate to have won today in Chalon-sur-Saône. We are experiencing a really tough Paris-Nice edition, so the victory is that more beautiful today.”

Démare continues to lead fellow Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) by six seconds overall, with Kristoff moving up to third overall at 13 seconds.

Groenewegen was not the only rider to fall foul of a crash. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) crashed heavily during the stage with around 30km to go. He appeared to be the only rider to hit the floor in the incident, and abandoned the race.

After three road stages, the riders now face a crucial individual time trial on Wednesday. The 14.5-kilometre test against the clock runs from Beaujeu to the second category climb of Mont Brouilly, with the latter featuring a tough ramp up to the line over the final 3km.


Paris-Nice 2017, stage three:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 4-31-14
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
6. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ
7. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
8. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
9. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
10. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott, all same time

General classification after stage three
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ, in 12-14-42
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, at 6 secs
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin, at 13 secs
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors, at 17 secs
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal, at 19 secs
6. Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept, at 21 secs
7. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, at 23 secs
8. Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ, at 23 secs
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at 23 secs
10. Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Drapac, at 31 secs

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Lee Labrada Fitness 360: Bodybuilding's Perfect Man – Training

Lee Labrada’s professional body dominated an era in bodybuilding before giants ruled the stage. He won contests through definition and balance rather than mind-blowing mass. At 5-foot-6, maybe 185 pounds, Lee’s body had to approach toned perfection to compete with larger men.

His trick? Old-fashioned hard work. He trains hard whenever he’s in the gym. There’s no jovial exchanges, no lollygagging and very little rest. He lifts heavy weights with rapid movements. Rest is allowed only until the body stabilizes itself and your heart stops pounding on the inside of your ribs. Then, you go again, again and again.

Lee Labrada Fitness 360
Watch The Video – 11:47

He asks that you listen to your body, take rest when you need it, especially of you are new to weightlifting. There is no rush to go from flab to flex. Go at your own pace and eventually you will get stronger and be able to work faster, more intensely.

Engage in active rest, blast through rigorous cardio routines on your days off. But, get plenty of sleep and recover properly before you go back into the gym.

Your body will adapt to whatever you do, so keep changing your plans, adapt to your adaptations. Different stressors kickstart gains.

Lee Labrada’s Training Regime

3 days on/1 day off/2 days on/1 day off
Rotate Workouts 1, 2, 3.

For example:

  • Monday – Workout ONE: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
  • Tuesday – Workout TWO: Back/Biceps
  • Wednesday – Workout THREE: Legs/Abs
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Workout ONE: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
  • Saturday – Workout TWO: Back/Biceps
  • Sunday – Rest

For back and legs (large body parts) I choose 4 exercises and do 3-to-4 sets, 8-to-12 reps of each – total of 12-16 sets.

For chest and shoulders (medium body parts) I choose 3 exercises and do 3-to-4 sets, 8-to-12 reps of each – total of 9-12 sets.

For biceps, triceps and calves, I do a total of 6-to-9 sets, 8-to-12 reps each.

Workout 1: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps

Workout 2: Back/Biceps/Forearms

Workout 3: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves/Abs

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Morning Splash Special: Did the NCAA Swimming Bubble Burst?

By David Rieder.

It’s March, and in the American sports scene, that means a lot of talk about bubbles. No, not going underwater and blowing bubbles. This kind of bubble refers to an individual or team right on the edge of making it into the field for various college sports championships.

In men’s basketball, experts say this year’s NCAA tournament bubble is unusually weak, meaning that the last few teams earning at-large bids don’t have a résumé as strong as what it normally takes to make the cut.

In women’s swimming, this season is quite the opposite.

Last week, top Division I female swimmers across the country had their eyes glued to the internet, eagerly awaiting the release of the psych sheets for the NCAA championships. The handful at the top knew they’d get into the meet safely, but for those who had swum right around the times that were invited to last year’s NCAA championships—the ones squarely on the bubble of getting in or being left out—those waiting moments were some nervous ones.

But when the pre-cut lists came out, most of those women who thought they were on the bubble were in for some disappointing news—and another chunk of swimmers who might have figured they were safely qualified had a surprise in store. One day later, the release of the official psych sheet would only confirm those disappointments

Since the cut-off line for the women’s NCAA championships usually falls somewhere between the places 38 through 41 on the pre-selection entry list, plenty of swimmers didn’t need to wait 24 hours for the official psych sheet. Those lists would only confirm what was already inevitable.

For the first time since 2009, the invited time was faster in all 13 individual events, and, in fact, the mark required to get to Indianapolis was the fastest in history for each event. Some of the drops were extraordinary. Check out the chart below.

A quick note about 2009: that was the only year polyurethane bodysuits were allowed in college competition. The NCAA had disallowed their use in 2008 since they had only been introduced a month earlier, and the suits had been banned internationally before the 2010 season. Hence, the drops in the invited times that season make plenty of sense.

The invited time in the 50 free went from 22.35 in 2016 to 22.23 in 2017, the largest drop since—you guessed it—2009, and after hovering between 1:00.66 and 1:00.78 in the 100 breast for six years, it took a 1:00.34 to make the meet this season. The time in the 100 fly dropped a quarter-second, from 52.77 to 52.52.

Why did that happen? Some might hypothesize it has to do with the influx of high-profile redshirts and deferrals after the Olympic year—and that makes sense. For instance, neither of the top two seeds in the 50 free, Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil, swam collegiately last season.

But it’s not as though 22.35, the 2016 invited time, placed 42nd or 43rd on the entry list. Actually, Notre Dame’s Catherine Mulquin, William & Mary’s Jaimie Miller and Auburn’s Alyssa Tetzloff all had a season-best time of 22.35, and that left them in a three-way tie for 55th on the pre-cut entry list.

The talent-at-the-top theory completely falls apart in the 100 fly, where American record-holder Kelsi Worrell graduated, and a hypothetical swimmer who recorded the 2016 invited time of 52.77 would have been 51st this time around.

So what’s our explanation? Women were excited to train harder after watching the Olympics? Swimmers rested more for their conference meets this year than they had been in the past? Certainly, this year’s freshmen can’t be that much better than last year’s seniors.

Obviously, we have no way of knowing the answer without talking to a swimmer or coach from each one of the 62 schools that have an invited swimmer. But it’s evident that Division I women’s swimming made an impressive leap from last season to this one, and that’s why anyone who thought they were right on the border of getting into the NCAA championships saw their bubble burst.

And now it’s the men’s turn to find out their fates. Not including relay-only athletes, the men’s NCAA championships is capped at175 swimmers, compared to 205 for the women. That usually leaves the invited line around the 29th or 30th-ranked swimmers in each event.

When the pre-cut psych sheets come out in a few hours, we’ll see if a few unsuspecting men find themselves on the wrong side of that bubble.

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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Steve Abraham starts new Year Record attempt two years after being hit by moped on first attempt

Abraham starts a new attempt after breaking ankle in first attempt

Steve Abraham has embarked on another attempt at the highest annual mileage record two years after he was forced to stop his first attempt after being hit by a moped.

Abraham will be attempting to break the mark of 76,076 miles (122,432km) set by American Kurt Searvogel in January 2016, who surpassed the long-standing record of 75,065 miles (120,805km) set by Tommy Godwin in 1939.

>>> Amazing Strava heat map produced of where Steve Abraham rode on his Year Record attempt

The rider from Milton Keynes began his new attempt on March 4, starting near Huntingdon and heading north easy towards The Wash before heading back towards his home-town on a 163.8 mile (263.6km) ride.

This was followed up by two rides longer rides on Sunday and Monday up to Goole and back, to bring his total so far to 612.9 miles (986.4km), and you can follow his efforts on Strava.

>>> What is the world’s ultimate cycling challenge?

Abraham will be hoping for better luck than he endured on his initial attempt in 2015 when he fractured his ankle in a collision with a moped three months into the record.

Since then Abraham has broken the record for the highest distance ridden in a month, riding 7104.3 miles (11,433.3km) in September 2016.

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