UNLV Picks Up Commitment From Distance Ace Chris Mykkanen

Photo Courtesy: Christopher Mykkanen

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NEW COMMIT: Tustin, Calif. native and distance freestyler Chris Mykkanen has announced his commitment to the University of Nevada – Las Vegas as a member of the class of 2023.

His older sister, Courtney, is currently a junior backstroker at Cal and his father, John, earned a silver medal in the 400m free at the 1984 Olympics.

Mykkanen swims year-round with Irvine Novaquatics and owns four Junior National standards. He recorded a pair of best times at Juniors this summer after registering five second-swims and a runner-up finish in the 200m free at the Southern California Age Group Invite. He swam 100% lifetime bests at Juniors West last winter and finished second in the mile and fourth in the 1000 free at Carlsbad Speedo Sectionals in March.

Also competing for Foothills High School, Mykkanen is a four-time CIF-Central Section DII Championship finalist. The NISCA All-American won the 500 free and was the 200 free runner-up as a junior after placing third and eighth, respectively, in those events during his sophomore season.

He told Swimming World:

“Looking forward to the next stage of my career. Excited to announce my verbal commitment to UNLV for next year.”

His best times include:

  • 200 free – 1:38.68
  • 500 free – 4:27.79
  • 1000 free – 9:18.07
  • 1650 free – 15:25.98

Mykkanen will make an immediate impact when he suits up for the Rebels next fall. His best 1000 free and mile times would currently rank in UNLV’s all-time top ten and he’ll have one year of overlap with two-time conference champion Brad Gonzales. He would’ve scored in the A-final of the 500 free and would’ve been the runner-up in the mile at the 2018 WAC Championships where UNLV finished second overall in the team standings.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

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Lilly King Rattles American Record in 100 Breast at Indiana Invite

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Indiana senior Lilly King unleashed a huge 100 breast on Friday night at the Indiana Invitational in Bloomington, Indiana with a 56.43 in the final in her home pool. King narrowly missed her own American Record of 56.25 from last year’s NCAA Championships.

King has swum six 56’s in the 100 breast in her career as tonight is the fastest she has ever been in a mid-season invitational. Last year, she was a 59.12 at the Purdue Invitational in a regular practice suit.

King’s time is her third fastest time ever as she is one of two swimmers (Molly Hannis) to break 57 seconds in the 100 breast. King has said her goal was to swim a 55 at the last two NCAA Championships and she is looking in good shape to finally achieve that goal in her senior year. She is looking to become the second woman to win the 100 breast at NCAA’s four times, joining Stanford’s Tara Kirk (2001-2004).

King won the final tonight finishing two seconds ahead of NC State’s Sophie Hansson who is in her freshman season for the Wolfpack. King’s Indiana teammate Noelle Peplowski finished in third at 59.38. She swam faster this morning with a 59.18.

 Event 19  Women 100 Yard Breaststroke
=========================================================================
    Name                  Age School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 King, Lilly C          21 IU-IN               59.66      56.43   32  
    r:+0.70  12.22        26.40 (14.18)
          41.27 (14.87)       56.43 (15.16)
  2 Hansson, Sophie E      20 NC State-NC         58.60      58.44   28  
    r:+0.77  12.80        27.58 (14.78)
          42.96 (15.38)       58.44 (15.48)
  3 Peplowski, Noelle C    18 IU-IN               59.18      59.38   27  
    r:+0.73  12.75        28.22 (15.47)
          43.59 (15.37)       59.38 (15.79)
  4 Phee, Jinq En          20 Purdue-IN         1:00.49    1:00.06   26  
    r:+0.66  13.20        28.35 (15.15)
          43.90 (15.55)     1:00.06 (16.16)
  5 Friesen, Morgan C      19 Louisville-KY     1:00.66    1:00.08   25  
    r:+0.74  12.98        28.43 (15.45)
          43.92 (15.49)     1:00.08 (16.16)
  6 Kansakoski, Silja H    21 Arizona State-AZ  1:00.61    1:00.16   24  
    r:+0.72  13.27        29.20 (15.93)
          44.32 (15.12)     1:00.16 (15.84)
  7 Astashkina, Mariia     19 Louisville-KY       59.87    1:00.58   23  
    r:+0.70  13.17        28.63 (15.46)
          44.47 (15.84)     1:00.58 (16.11)
  8 Farlow, Cady R         21 Purdue-IN         1:01.12    1:01.99   22  
    r:+0.75  13.16        28.85 (15.69)
          45.28 (16.43)     1:01.99 (16.71)

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Oregon State Champion Luke Thornbrue Commits to Notre Dame

Photo Courtesy: Luke Thornbrue

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website AgonSwim.com.

To report a college commitment, email HS@swimmingworld.com. Join Swimming World’s Watch List

NEW COMMIT: Hillsboro, Oregon standout Luke Thornbrue has announced his commitment to Notre Dame and will suit up for the Fighting Irish next fall.

Thornbrue does his club swimming with Hillsboro HEAT Swim Team and is a seven-time Winter Juniors (or faster) qualifier, which includes a trio of U.S. Open cuts. He had three best times at Junior Nationals this summer where his highest finish was an 11th-place showing in the 200m free. He finaled in three events at Juniors West last winter and placed seventh in the mile. The USA Swimming Scholastic All-American won the 400 IM at Oregon Seniors and posted five top-10 finishes at Federal Way Speedo Sectionals in March. Thornbrue also competed for Century High School at the Oregon 6A State Championships during his freshman season where he won the 200 free and 500 free.

He told Swimming World:

“I am thrilled to announce my commitment to the University of Notre Dame! I chose Notre Dame because of the schools outstanding academics, the teams family like atmosphere, and the schools energy and spirit. I am excited to be part of the Notre Dame family and I look forward to being involved in something so much bigger than myself. Go Irish!”

His best times include:

  • 100 free – 45.35
  • 200 free – 1:37.47
  • 500 free – 4:24.95
  • 1000 free – 9:06.92
  • 1650 free – 15:11.07
  • 400 IM – 3:58.52
  • 100 fly – 50.22

When he arrives on campus, Thornbrue will have have two years of overlap with distance ace Zach Yeadon, who placed fourth in the mile at NCAAs last season and was a two-time ACC runner-up as a freshman. Although he currently sits just outside of scoring range at ACCs in his other primary events, Thornbrue’s best mile time would’ve scored in the top-18 at last season’s conference meet where the Fighting Irish took fourth overall in the team standings.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

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Steven Glassman Appointed To International Swimming Board Of Directors

The Board of Directors for the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is proud to welcome Steven Glassman to its Board.

Glassman has served on the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board and the Planning and Zoning Board where he grew to understand the importance of building consensus and working as a team to get things done.  Over his many years in various civic leadership positions, including President of the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation, he has come to understand how vital Neighborhood Associations are in a City’s civic and economic development.  This understanding was driven home time and time again during his seven-year tenure as the President of the Central Beach Alliance where he worked in close partnership with many of the City’s most prominent neighborhood and business leaders.  He also served as President of several beach condominium associations including his current six-year tenure at the Sapphire Condominium.

“Glassman has been a big supporter of ISHOF and we are very lucky to have him on our BOD.   He represents District 2, where the International Swimming Hall of Fame resides,” said Brent Rutemiller, CEO for International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Glassman is rooted in the community through both his professional and personal life.  For eleven years, Glassman was an administrator for the Broward County Cultural Division where he worked closely with elected officials and business leaders to further the quality of life in all of Broward’s major cities through the arts and culture.  This work included serving on Advisory Boards in Hollywood, Miramar, and Pembroke Pines.

As a Fort Lauderdale Commissioner, Glassman was a key vote when the city approved $27 million to renovate the aquatic center earlier this year.  In addition, ISHOF and the Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners came to terms on a 30-year lease, ensuring that ISHOF remains permanently attached to the aquatic center.

Glassman and his spouse of forty-five years, Rande Glassman, moved to the Fort Lauderdale area in 1994 and they have lived in District 2 for the past 20 years.  He grew up on Long Island, NY.  After receiving a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree, he settled in Buffalo, New York where he was an educator for eighteen years.  The City of Fort Lauderdale appointed Commissioner Steven Glassman to replace Debby Eisinger.

Look for ISHOF to set a new and exciting course, and in the meantime, please consider becoming a member of ISHOF and donating to help us preserve the history of aquatic sports.

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Versatile Rylee Moss Announces Commitment to Old Dominion

Photo Courtesy: Rylee Moss

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website AgonSwim.com.

To report a college commitment, email HS@swimmingworld.com. Join Swimming World’s Watch List

NEW COMMIT: White, Ga. native Rylee Moss has announced her intention to swim for Old Dominion University beginning in the fall of 2019.

Moss swims year-round with Tidal Wave Swimming and concluded her summer season with three best times at Georgia LCM Seniors after placing fourth in the 200m IM and 100m fly at the Georgia Open. She posted four top-20 swims at Georgia SCY Seniors last winter and raced four events at NCSAs in March.

Also swimming for Adairsville High School, Moss is a four-time Georgia State 1A-5A Championship finalist. She was the 200 IM runner-up and placed third in the 100 fly as a junior after competing in the 100 fly and 100 back during her freshman campaign.

She told Swimming World:

“I am so incredibly excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at Old Dominion University! I can’t wait to be apart of such a great team!! Go Monarchs!”

Her best times include:

  • 100 fly – 57.71
  • 200 fly – 2:06.31
  • 200 IM – 2:09.45
  • 500 free – 5:08.19
  • 100 back – 58.86
  • 200 back – 2:08.46

When she suits up for the Monarchs as a member of the class of 2023, Moss’ versatility will prove to be incredibly valuable for Old Dominion. She would’ve scored in the B-final of the 200 fly as well as the C-final of the 200 IM, 100 fly and 100 back at the 2018 CCSA Championships.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

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East and West Collide at The Champions Cup 14U Water Polo Tournament in Bloomington

A festive atmosphere at the Champions Cup in Bloomington. Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne

By Michael Randazzo, Swimming World Contributor

Last weekend 24 of best boys’ and girls’ teams from USA Water Polo’s 11 geographic zones gathered at Indiana University in Bloomington for the Champions Cup, considered to be one of the country’s most prestigious tournaments for 14 and under competition.

The roster of teams reads like a Who’s Who of the best polo programs in California, including CC United, Commerce, Newport Beach, Rose Bowl, Stanford, 680 Drivers, San Diego Shores and Socal. Also in attendance were local Midwestern teams Chicago Parks, Northern Illinois Polo Club and West Suburban, while Greenwich of Connecticut represented the East Coast.

A total of 64 games were played over three days in IU’s Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center. and when it was all over 680 Drivers captured the boys title, beating LA Premier 16-5, while Socal was a 10-5 winner over Commerce in the girl’s final.

What made for a compelling story and tournament is that the California teams—who now have the luxury of Junior Olympics in their backyard, alternating between Northern or Southern California—had to make a long trek to the East to face some familiar and not-so familiar foes. Swimming World spoke with coaches from two different coasts; Ashley Hill, an assistant coach with the Stanford Water Polo Club, and Ulmis Iordace, head coach for the Greenwich Aquatics club.

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Ashley Hill, Stanford Water Polo Assistant Coach; Hill is currently the head boys and girls swim coach at Cathedral Catholic High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Most recently she coached boys’ water polo at the 12U, 14U, and 16U levels for Stanford Water Polo Club.

– Tell us what some of your 14U boys had to say about the “good, the bad and the ugly” of this year’s Champions Cup.

They really liked getting to travel farther than they’re used to. That was fun for them. They go down to LA quite often and travel around the Bay Area a lot. So getting on a plane to travel—that was a fun adventure.

They really liked seeing IU [and] the college town of Bloomington. That was a super fun experience because it was something different.

Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center. Photo Courtesy: Indiana Athletics

One of their struggles was, they loved the natatorium and thought it was a neat environment. IU’s pool is fantastic as far as aesthetics go, so when you bring a bunch of 14U [players] whose dream might include being a college athlete, All-American or Olympian, when you walk on to IU’s pool deck, it fills that dream in automatically.

Some of them struggled with being in an indoor pool—that was new for them. So there was definitely an advantage for some kids who come from the Midwest or out East, who are used to being in indoor water.

– Is it a novelty or somewhat of an annoyance that anywhere you go for high-level competition some of you can’t escape some of the best California teams?

You can’t! [Laughs] It builds a healthy rivalry for our kids—Socal is one of those rivalries, as is 680. We ended up playing both of those teams; we beat Socal [16-0] and lost to 680 [10-9 in the semifinals].

Our boys start to know each other [because] they play each other a lot. I do think there’s that: We traveled half-wat across the country to play a lot of California teams. But look at Greenwich, playing in and winning the third-place game. Part of what Champions Cup brings to this 14U level is that it gives maybe more of an opportunity for Midwest and East Coast teams to participate in a championship tournament.

Because we don’t have to travel that far, California teams can take that for granted. We can drive to almost every [major tournament]. If you’re one of the Chicago teams or from Florida or Greenwich, you have to fly or you don’t get to play.

Bringing good competition closer to those regions will help grow the sport and give confidence to those teams that they can compete with the California teams—which is great for the sport.

– Given how many tournaments your club participates in, what makes the Champions Cup important for the development of your athletes?

It teaches them at a young age how to travel, how to comport themselves as a high-level athlete, whether on an ODP [Olympic Development Program] team or as you perhaps start to travel [representing] our country. Or for high-level high school or college play.

You have an understanding what it is to represent your club of your school. How—when you’re on the road in an unfamiliar place—how do you eat healthy? How do you make good decisions?

Being a part of a championship format that doesn’t have a backdoor. One of the greatest things about JOs is that clubs have a second chance, but this is a championship tournament where’s there’s not a backdoor. You drop a game early on and you’re out of championship contention.

We dropped that semifinal game, and now you’re in the third-place game. You have to own those errors that you may have made then move on and play that next game.

For young players that’s a great lesson to learn.

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Ulmis Iordace, Greenwich Aquatics Head Coach; Iordace oversees all age group teams at Greenwich Aquatics, a position that he’s held for the past eight years. He is also the head water polo coach for The Brunswick School, a private boys school in Greenwich, and Greenwich Academy, a private girls school, also in Greenwich.

– How difficult is it to get two teams together and out to Bloomington?

We love this tournament. It’s an important fall goal to work towards after we come back from Junior Olympics. We have August off and then we have a nice goal for this tournament and for Rock-tober, both of them.

It’s a high-quality tournament; every time [USA Water Polo] hosts a tournament at a different university, all of them are great. the kids get to see the campus and they get to look forward to one day playing for one of these schools.

I

Ulmis Iordace. Photo Courtesy: Greenwich Sentinel

t’s a high-level tournament; not many teams—only 12—some of the best in the country.

– The difference with this tournament is now you have West Coast teams coming East.

What I’ve noticed is that it’s a team-bonding [opportunity] for teams; they rent a van, they wear the same shirts—I’ve even see them wearing ties when they travel on the plane together. They take it very seriously, and it’s always nice to be on a campus like [Indiana University].

– How did your teams finish up?

We finished third for the boys; we could have played better against LA Premier [a 7-3 loss] and made the final. But it doesn’t always go how you want.

We ended up playing Stanford which is a really good team—their coach said that they should have been in the final too—and it was a really good game for third place.

We have a good generation of kids who are very talented workers. They like to compete and they show up—both boys and girls. This is the best we’ve ever done; last year [the boys] placed fifth.

Coming from the East Coast—most of the teams there come from the West Coast—our boys and girls did great.

– How does this type of success create a bond among your 14U players?

They get to see it, they get to experience it. The roster is 14 and under so there’s two or three 12-year-olds. They get to see the older guys fighting for the win; hopefully we can carry that through our even younger players.

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Chattahoochee Gold’s Mary-Kate Wichalonis Commits to North Florida

Photo Courtesy: Mary-Kate Wichalonis

NEW COMMIT: The University of North Florida has added Cumming, Ga. freestyler Mary-Kate Wichalonis to the class of 2023. She will join Madison Gupton in Jacksonville next fall.

Wichalonis swims year-round with Chattahoochee Gold Swim Club and achieved 100% lifetime bests at both the Georgia LCM Senior Championships and Georgia Open this past summer. She had a pair of top-25 finishes at Georgia Seniors last winter and raced four events at Greensboro Speedo Sectionals in March. Also competing for South Forsyth, Wichalonis raced at the Georgia 6A State Championships each of her last two high school seasons.

She told Swimming World:

“I’m so happy to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at The Universty of North Florida! Thank you to my family, coaches, and friends who have helped me achieve this goal. GO OSPREYS!!!!! #SWOOP”

Her best times include:

  • 100 free – 54.75
  • 200 free – 1:55.78
  • 500 free – 5:12.82
  • 1000 free – 10:40.56

When she suits up for the Ospreys for the 2019-20 season, Wichalonis will join a freestyle training group that includes Gupton, Hannah CordesSarah Trago and Ally Schilling. Although she currently sits outside of scoring range at the CCSA Championships, she has continuously made improvements each season.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

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College Athlete Codes of Conduct and Issues Related to Freedom of Speech and Expression

A Position Paper by Sandy Thatcher and Donna Lopiano in conjunction with the Drake Group

The Drake Group believes there is a need to address constitutionally protected speech and expression rights of public college and university students who participate in intercollegiate athletics.

This need is highlighted by current national debates about the extent to which athletic departments should properly control athlete behavior, especially on social media and in connection with activism. Questions of control include whether requirements such as athletes standing during the national anthem, providing athletic departments with their social media passwords, and covering their body tattoos violate First Amendment rights.

Dealing with such issues requires institutions and athletic directors to understand the potential conflict between these rights and codes of conduct and the need to carefully consider and balance competing interests.

This Drake position statement strives to provide educational leaders with a decision-making framework for developing athlete codes of conduct, team rules, and model practices that educate athletes and coaches about important free-speech protections.

Key Points:

• Although the First Amendment only applies to public institutions, public and private institutions alike should honor First Amendment rights because freedom of inquiry lies at the heart of higher education.

• When considering restrictions on athletes’ viewpoints expressed by speech or behavior, institutions should answer these test questions: (1) does the restriction prevent a significant material disruption of the educational environment, (2) is the prohibited activity directed at others (individuals or groups) causing harm or creating a hostile or chilling educational environment, and (3) are other reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions available that could satisfy both the school’s interests and the athletes’ interests.

• Athlete codes of conduct and team rules should not conflict with institutional student codes of conduct and all team rules should require the approval of the athletic director to ensure protection of First Amendment rights and compliance with Title IX.

• Discipline for improper athlete conduct generally should follow the rule of gradually escalating discipline (oral warning, written warning, suspension, removal from program). For the most serious violations (sexual or physical assault, hazing, and other conduct prohibited by law) or proposed discipline that includes removal of athletic scholarships or program participation rights, investigations and adjudications should follow disciplinary processes established for all students.

• Athletic directors should identify as “red flags” and evaluate especially carefully any proposed restriction of athlete viewpoint expression that is justified by the following: (1) “protects the brand”; (2) is imposed in the name of “team uniformity”; (3) “advances team chemistry”; (4) protects a sponsor relationship; (5) “saves the athlete from making a mistake on a social media platform”; (6) “makes sure donors don’t get angry or diminish their financial support”; or (7) “promotes sportsmanship.” Athletic departments should consider whether athlete education programs, rather than restrictions of speech and other expression, are not the more appropriate response to such concerns.

• Athlete education programs on codes of conduct and First Amendment rights should occur annually and should cover unprotected activities (such as threatening speech or physical assault, bullying, hazing, sexual harassment, violations of law such as drug use or confidentiality of teammate medical information, etc.).

• Lawyers not employed by the athletics department should review proposed restrictions of athlete speech and behavior.

• Institutions should establish policies that mandate the reporting of violations of institutional policy (e.g., bullying, hazing, discrimination, harassment based on protected characteristics, hate or threatening speech or physical action against any individual or group that may create an unsafe or fearful educational environment, etc.), encourage bystander responsibility, and protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

Download the full position paper

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FINA on Energy For Swim: ‘Didn’t Meet Requirements’

FINA released the following statement about the Energy For Swim meet that was originally scheduled to take place in Turin with several of the world’s big names in swimming, but was later cancelled:

FINA would like to underline that respect for its rules—concerning the establishment of a coherent international calendar, the protection of athletes’ rights, and the development of the sport’s structure and organisation—are of paramount importance for the promotion and popularity of our six disciplines on a global scale.

As the world governing body for aquatic sports, FINA takes great pride in its proven ability to deliver events of the highest quality for swimmers from all over the world. Coordinating events in order to ensure a coherent competition calendar adds an extra level of complexity and this is a key criterion for FINA’s sanctioning of international competitions.

The project of the Italian Swimming Federation to organise a swimming competition in Turin at short notice did not meet all the necessary FINA rulebook requirements. These requirements are in place to ensure that international competitions provide the best possible conditions to all participating athletes while maintaining a healthy calendar.

The FINA competition calendar has evolved over many years through the active participation and collaboration of the National Federations. Changes to the calendar, received on short notice, are not consistent with FINA’s long-standing agreements and precedents, and undermine existing high-level competitions.

Aquatics athletes are at the core of FINA’s activities. They fully deserve all our respect for their effort and their devotion to the sport we all love. In recent years, FINA has been actively increasing recognition for athletes’ efforts at FINA events, by raising the prize money for those competitions, and by providing their respective National Federations additional tools for progress under our Development Programme.

On prize money, FINA can recall the 2017 edition of its World Championships in Budapest (HUN), where US$ 5.8 million were distributed to the best athletes, and the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), where US$ 2.1 million will award the top swimmers in the competition. Concerning FINA’s Development Programme, the budget allocated for the different projects in the four-year cycle 2018-2021 will ascend to US$ 38 million.

FINA will continue developing appropriate business platforms to provide an attractive calendar of events, with the participation of the best athletes. Moreover, we continue welcoming any positive approach by a partner or sponsor to improve the value of the Aquatic disciplines.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with FINA. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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