Team Virtu add Pawlowska to 2018 roster

Team Virtu has continued its recruitment for the 2018 season, announcing the signing of Katarzyna Pawlowska. The 28-year-old joins from Boels Dolmans on a one-year contract after four years with the Dutch squad.

A triple world champion on the track, Pawlowska hasn’t raced since the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche where she won the first two stages of the race. Along with her Polish time trial title, Pawlowska was also involved in Boels Dolmans’ TTT win at the Healthy Ageing Tour earlier in the season.

“You can see lots of potential in the team. It’s new, but it’s already working well and I think it can get even better really fast. It’s rare you can become part of a new team and help develop it and see how good it can be,” Pawlowska said.

Also announced to be joining the team from 2018 is Barbara Guarischi, Emilie Moberg and Katrine Aalerud.

Along with the likes of Linda Villumsen, Pawlowska adds time trial power to the squad and is aiming to improve the team’s strength against the clock.

“I hope we can go well together and create a strong team where we can show ourselves as a unit – ride together and win together,” she said. “If we have a goal as a team, it’s much easier to win races – and so I think we can do well in the team time trials.”

In 2018, Pawlowska is also aiming for a strong spring classics campaign having only started her season in March this year due to track commitments.

“I have always wanted to do well in the spring classics, but it has been difficult since I have been injured this year and last year I was with the track team,” she explained. “I look forward to it, because it will be some new races for me. And of course, I’m also looking forward to the Polish championships.”

For sports director Carmen Small, Pawlowska is a key signing for the new season, explaining the versatile rider will improve the squad and believes that in turn can lead to more victories.

“Kasia has had her troubles with injuries this year, but her results and especially those she made this summer speaks for themselves. When she is feeling well, she is among the best, and she can make her mark both in the sprints and on the ITT. She can be really valuable for the team in 2018,” Small said. “She has a lot of experience and can help teach the younger riders find their top level. I think it’s important to have a well-rounded team, where riders can learn from each other, and we will see everyone improve personally and as a unit. Kasia will be a leader in the team and she is also able to set a precedence of being a professional rider.”

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Kristi Cooper and Meredith Rogers – Free Flowing Mat (40 mins) – Level 2

Work your way up to Boomerang in this Mat workout with Kristi Cooper and Meredith Rogers. They teach a class dedicated to Jenny’s daughter, Winnie, who had a head injury similar to Kristi. They invite you to clear your space and to clear your mind so you can just move freely.

They start by sharing Jenny and Winnie’s story and the movement portion of the class begins at about 1:37.

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Californian Cole Reznick Verbally Commits to Duke Blue Devils

Photo Courtesy: Cole Reznick

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NEW COMMIT: Cole Reznick of Pleasanton, California, has given his verbal commitment to Duke University. The senior at Amador Valley High School swims year-round for Tri Valley Aquatics. Reznick is a two-time NISCA All-American and a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American. As a 15 year old in 2016 Reznick was awared Pacific Swimming’s 2016 Short Course Swimmer of the Year for his age group.

Reznick is his school’s 100 breaststroke record holder and a two-time Captain. At last year’s CIF North Coast Section Championships he finished fourth in the 200 IM and was touched out for third in the 100 Breast.

He is a very well-rounded swimmer, though strongest in breaststroke. A testament to his versatility, Reznick has five junior nationals cuts. His best times include:

  • 100 Breast- 55.93
  • 200 Breast- 2:01.59
  • 50 Free- 21.16
  • 100 Free- 46.53
  • 200 Free- 1:42.16
  • 100 Back- 50.83
  • 100 Fly- 49.50
  • 200 IM- 1:51.51

Reznick told Swimming World,

“I chose Duke because I truly felt it was a program where you were an athlete first and a student first too. The moment I arrived I immediately felt welcomed by the team and the coaches, and the facilities are outstanding. Academically, I’m honored to receive my education at one of the greatest universities in the United States. I’m thrilled to be a Blue Devil! Go Duke!”

Also verbally committed to the Blue Devils are Colson Zucker and Henry Wu.

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Arkansas Adds Minnesota’s Lexi Ljunggren to Class of 2022

Photo Courtesy: Barb Ljunggren

NEW COMMIT: Lexi Ljunggren of East Grand Forks, Minnesota has given her verbal commitment to swim for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville beginning with the 2018-2019 season.

A USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, Ljunggren swims for Red River Valley where she is primarily a freestyler. Her top times include:

  • 1650 Free 17:05.51
  • 1000 Free 10:01.72
  • 500 Free 4:52.33
  • 200 Free 1:49.85

She told Swimming World,

“I am excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville! The team made me feel so welcome and it’s a great place to continue my academics. Can’t wait to be a razorback! Go Hogs!”

Last year Ayumi Macias led the Razorbacks’ distance group. She’ll be a junior when Ljunggren gets to college. Annah Carney will be a senior distance swimmer in Ljunggren first year.

Ljunggren joins Erin McGuirt and Svea Torres in the Class of 2022.

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A Sit-Down With Chinese National Coach Liu Haitao

By Bryan Gu, Swimming World Intern.

It is undeniable that Chinese Swimming has seen a tremendous amount of success internationally. This success is led by a large group of young talent, consisting of familiar names such as Xu Jiayu and Fu Yanhui, and one that continues to grow as more swimmers, such as Li Bingjie and Wang Yichun, begin to step into the spotlight.

Coach Liu Haitao began coaching for the Chinese National Team as the head coach of their women’s butterfly group in 2005. Since then, Coach Liu’s athletes have seen incredible amounts of success, including a gold medal for Jiao Liuyang in the 200 butterfly at the 2012 Olympic Games.

In addition to his success with the older athletes, Coach Liu has also been instrumental in the development of China’s younger generation, specifically it’s new middle distance stars Li and Ai Yanhan, the former of whom recently gained international attention for her national record-breaking swims in the 400 and 1500.

This summer, Swimming World sat down with Coach Liu to talk about his philosophies on coaching and his thoughts on the current state of Chinese swimming:

SW: What has been your history in swimming? What first got you into the sport? What first got you into coaching?

Liu Haitao: I started as a member of the national team and swam with them through my young adult life. But every career has to end eventually, and I ended up going to school and majoring in physical education. After graduating from college, I returned to my national select club and worked with them as an assistant coach for a few years. Eventually I was offered my current position as a coach for the larger National Team and I’ve been here ever since.

SW: What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to coaching a successful athlete?

LH: There are three main points. Firstly you must not take shortcuts. Improvement is something that takes time, and there’s a certain degree of patience that each coach must have – to continue to put in the work with the understanding that improvement will come. Secondly, I don’t know about other people, but I’ve found that coaching is a very grueling and taxing profession. You must have the willpower to continue day after day, and a willingness to make certain sacrifices in your life. Thirdly, and perhaps the most obvious, you must have a reasonable understanding of technique and stroke – vital to helping kids improve.

bingjie-li-chn-katie-ledecky-usa-leah-smith-usa-medals-2017-world-champs

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

SW: As a national team coach do you work primarily with Ai Yanhan and Li Bingjie, or do you have work more largely with the entire Chinese National Team?

LH: I work more generally with the national team, but I prefer to work more specifically with the younger athletes, like Ai Yanhan and Li Bingjie.

SW: What differences are there between coaching younger swimmers and adults?

LH: Oh man, there are a lot. I think the largest difference is that a lot of coaching younger swimmers has to do with enforcing good habits. It’s really important for younger swimmers to have a good training mentality, and so a lot of training younger swimmers is teaching them this mindset – older swimmers have already gone through all this.

I’ve also found that their goals and motivations are often different. I find it easier to train the younger swimmers because they’re always working towards the big goals – Olympic gold and international recognition. Finally, I think there’s a greater connection between coaches and younger athletes. In China, it’s a common practice for the younger athletes to live and train away from their families, and as a coach, a lot of the responsibility falls onto you, leading to a much closer athlete-coach relationship.

SW: Do you ever find it difficult to coach them, given the fact that they are so young and can sometimes not listen to directions?

LH: Of course, as with any swimmer, there are bound to be those moments. However, I find that the younger swimmers are a lot more self motivated because they have all of these goals and dreams they hope to achieve. I think having the older swimmers, like Sun Yang, helps a lot as well because the younger swimmers are given a role model and they know that their dreams are achievable. It’s really just about motivation, and they bring a lot of that themselves.

SW: Did their success this summer, especially with Li Bingjie getting silver in the 800 and their relay doing so well, help with the girls’ confidence moving into this next quad?

LH: The girls were really nervous coming into this meet, but having had some international experience after Rio, they were also excited. I know both those girls, especially Li, are always excited to compete on a large international stage. They knew they had some shot going into this competition, and so we worked a lot on treating this like another race, but I don’t think any of them expected to perform as well as they did this summer. It was definitely a pleasant surprise, and it definitely helped spark something in them moving forward, but they’re already onto the next goal: preparing for Tokyo 2020.

yaxin-liu-china-200-backstroke-rio

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

SW: What do you think separates China from the other nations (in terms of training) and how does that contribute to your ability to produce such young talent?

LH: I think as opposed to a lot of Western training styles, China focuses a lot heavier on training our athletes through childhood. Starting from a young age, promising talent is identified, and through national select camps certain athletes begin to step forward. A lot of factors are taken into consideration beyond simply raw talent, such as health, dedication, and improvement, and by the time the remaining few kids reach 12 or 13 they become essentially semi-professional athletes. They spend their days either in school or in the water, and swimming is essentially their entire lives. Unlike most other countries, where swimming is generally a hobby or an interest up until the age of 15 or 16, swimming is taken very seriously and given large commitment from youth. I think that’s what separates China from other countries – highly competitive swimming begins at a young age.

SW: This summer, in addition to China’s many impressive performances, we also saw some underwhelming ones from the likes of Li Zhuhao. Would you say that this is just a moment of development for China?

LH: Sun Yang kinda started it all for them, he showed the Xu Jiayus and the Wang Shun’s that it was possible to succeed, and now we’re beginning to see those kids kinda grow into the scene in both the men and women’s teams. A lot of our team is very young right now, and as I mentioned China has continued to put a large effort into discovering young talent. I think by 2020 a lot of the younger swimmers you see now will have matured into formidable swimmers. You can already see a glimpse of what they’re capable of, and I think that come 2020, China will be a fierce contender.

SW: So what’s next for your swimmers?

LH: Well, I think they’re definitely going to take a quick break, but we have a few larger meets coming up, the first one being our national championships.

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Lotto Soudal Ladies confirm 2018 squad

The Lotto Soudal Ladies squad confirmed its lineup for the 2018 season, with six new riders joining seven returning women including Madison world champion Lotte Kopecky.

The team adds two Dutch riders: 22-year-old Demi de Jong, sister of former cyclo-cross world champion Thalita de Jong, and elite without contract champion Marjolein van ‘t Geloof, 21, three Belgian riders – Alana Castrique, 23-year-old Valerie Demey and 22-year-old Kelly Van den Steen – and Frenchwoman Annabelle Dréville.

Dany Schoonbaert, the manager of the Lotto Soudal Ladies team, described the group as a “team full of young, ambitious riders”.

“Individually they are all great, but up till now they rode in different teams. When we bring them together, we will have more riders for our team in the finales and that’s what it’s all about,” Schoonbaert said. “Our main goal was to reinforce the team in general, and I think we succeeded in achieving that. As a team, we are looking forward to guiding these riders at the start of their career and to offering them the opportunity to develop themselves.

Kopecky was the most consistent performer of the 2017 season, notching up the U23 Belgian time trial title and a fifth place in the Tour of Flanders. “Of course we are also very pleased that Lotte Kopecky has extended her contract, no doubt we have again beautiful moments ahead of us,” Schoonbaert said.

The team will keep its mostly Belgian composition, with seven total thanks to the addition of Demey and Van den Steen from Sport Vlaanderen – Guill D’or. “It may not be the most known Belgian riders, but I’m sure that will change. They already animate finales, but don’t always set top results. Together we will work to change that,” Schoonbaert said. “Alana Castrique will ride her first year in the U23 category next season. She represented our country as junior at the Worlds in Bergen.”

De Jong will bolster the team’s Classics squad, as will van ‘t Geloof who, according to Schoonbaert “loves echelons”. Dréville, 22, moves across from FDJ, and will target the Ardennes Classics.

“With Julie Van De Velde, who joined our team half-way this season, we also have a Belgian climber. Julie quit athletics at the end of last year to start cycling. We are looking forward to find out together what’s she’s capable of.”

Lotto Soudal Ladies 2018: Isabelle Beckers, Alana Castrique, Demi de Jong, Valerie Demey, Annelies Dom, Annabelle Dréville, Chantal Hoffmann, Lotte Kopecky, Puck Moonen, Julie Van De Velde, Kelly Van den Steen, Marjolein van ‘t Geloof, Fenna Vanhoutte

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Oakland Picks Up MHSAA Record Holder Madelyn Cislo

Photo Courtesy: Madelyn Cislo @mady_cislo

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NEW COMMIT: MHSAA D3 record-holder Madelyn Cislo of Milan, Michigan has announced her verbal commitment to swim for Oakland University in the fall of 2018.

At the 2017 MHSAA D3 Championships, Cislo led Milan High School to a fifth place finish. She claimed the top spot on the podium and a D3 record in the 200 IM with a 2:04.62 and added a third place finish in the 100 fly (57.36) as well as splits of 23.99 on the 200 free relay and 52.61 on the 400 free relay.

Cislo swims year-round for Milan Swim Club. She enters her senior year after a strong LC season in which she picked up personal bests at Nashville Futures in the 100 back (eighth place—1:05.87), 200 back (11th place—2:24.08), 100 fly (1:04.53), 200 fly (fifth place—2:20.27), 200 IM (2:26.26) and 400 IM (5:07.98).

Top SCY times:

  • 100 back – 56.31
  • 200 back – 2:02.34
  • 200 IM – 2:04.62
  • 400 IM – 4:26.37
  • 100 fly – 56.84
  • 200 fly – 2:05.41

Cislo’s versatility will provide the Golden Grizzlies coaches with a wide range of event possibilities. At the 2017 Horizon League Championships her best times would have earned her A finals swims in the 200 IM, 400 IM, 100 back, 200 back, and 200 fly.

“Immediately after my visit I knew that this was the right place for me. The team, coaches, facility, and engineering program were all exactly what I was searching for. I know Oakland will help me excel in and out of the pool. I am so excited to be a Golden Grizzly!”

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Who Are the Top 25 Men’s Swimmers Going into the 2017-2018 Season?

Last week, Swimming World dropped the women’s pre-season rankings for the upcoming NCAA swim season. Today, we are dropping the top 25 men’s individual pre-season rankings. Again, these are just an indication of the returning swimmers standings as of last season.

Last year’s graduating class was one of the strongest in recent memory as defending champions Clark Smith of Texas, Will Licon of Texas, Chase Kalisz of Georgia, Ryan Murphy of California and Jack Conger of Texas are done competing for their respective schools. These guys not only won individual titles, but also all set NCAA Records in the process.

This year’s senior class is strong as well as five seniors rank in the top ten going into this season, and many others are scattered throughout. Last year’s senior class was top heavy, but this year’s seniors are probably stronger in depth.

This list was calculated by the athlete’s best times from last season. It was a point system of the top eight times going into this year, so the athletes with three events ranked in the top eight are near the top. So, here we go, the men’s pre-season individual rankings for the 2017-2018 NCAA season.

Others receiving votes: 26. Anton Loncar, Senior, Denver; 27. Anton Ipsen, Senior, NC State; 28. Jacob Montague, Sophomore, Michigan; 29. Cameron Craig, Sophomore, Arizona State; 30. Ilya Evdokimov, Senior, Cornell; 31. Henry Campbell, Senior, North Carolina

25. Grant Shoults, Sophomore, Stanford

grant-shoults-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 500 Free, 4:10.23 (NCAA); 1650 Free, 14:35.82 (NCAA)

The national high school record holder in the 500 had a solid freshman season under Jeff Kostoff. Shoults will be looking to avoid a sophomore slump as he is a favorite to take over the reigns from Connor Jaeger as the premiere distance swimmer in America.

24. Abrahm DeVine, Junior, Stanford

abrahm-devine-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:42.25 (NCAA); 400 IM, 3:37.73 (NCAA)

DeVine’s 200 IM this summer launched him onto this list as he has been flying under the radar since finaling in both IM’s at Trials in 2016. DeVine got on the World Championship team this past summer and won’t be stopping any time soon.

23. Carlos Claverie, Senior, Louisville

carlos-claverie-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 100 Breast, 52.05 (ACC); 200 Breast, 1:52.81 (NCAA)

The breaststroke field is wide open headed into this season after the graduation of Will Licon. Claverie could be someone to pounce on the wide open field as he is building for his senior year in Louisville.

22. Ryan Hoffer, Freshman, California

ryan-hoffer-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Best Times: 50 Free, 18.71 (Speedo Juniors West); 100 Free, 41.23 (Speedo Juniors West)

The hype is real for the freshman Hoffer. He will lock horns with Caeleb Dressel in his senior season as the latter is looking to close out his illustrious career with three wins. Hoffer will be a serious player in the 50 and 100 free if he can adjust to Dave Durden’s training style.

21. Ian Finnerty, Junior, Indiana

ian-finnerty_25559258303_o

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:41.86 (B1G); 100 Breast, 51.38 (B1G)

Finnerty underperformed at NCAA’s last season as he failed to score in any of his events despite putting up swift times at Big Ten’s. Finnerty had a good summer as he won the US Open in the 100 breast with a 1:00.09. He could be dangerous moving forward for USA Swimming in that event.

20. Nils Wich-Glasen, Senior, South Carolina

2016.03.25 NCAA Mens Swimming Championships_South Carolina Nils Wich-Glasen

Photo Courtesy: Reagan Lunn/Georgia Tech Athletics

2017 Times: 100 Breast, 51.58 (SEC); 200 Breast, 1:52.41 (SEC)

South Carolina is a rapidly improving team and Wich-Glasen is one of the reasons why. The Gamecocks have never had an individual champion at the NCAA’s and Wich-Glasen is certainly capable of ending that streak.

19. Blake Pieroni, Senior, Indiana

blake-pieroni-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 200 Free, 1:30.87 (NCAA); 100 Free, 41.44 (B1G)

Pieroni got his first taste of individual international experience when he swam in Budapest in the 200 free this past summer. Pieroni is still improving in his senior year and could give the 1:30 barrier in the 200 free a scare at NCAA’s in Minnesota.

18. Mauro Castillo, Senior, Texas A&M

2017 Times: 100 Breast, 52.12 (NCAA); 200 Breast, 1:52.01 (NCAA)

Castillo has the fastest time in the nation going into this year in the 200 breast as that event is wide open after the top two from last year graduated. It will certainly be a dog fight as four guys are all at 1:52 headed into this season.

17. Zheng Quah, Sophomore, California

zheng-wen-quah-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 100 Fly, 45.06 (NCAA); 200 Fly, 1:38.83 (NCAA)

Zheng arrived in Berkeley in January last year and made a quick transition to the United States with two top eight finishes at NCAA’s in March. Zheng has the top time in the 200 fly going into this year as he will be locking horns with fellow Singaporean Joseph Schooling in March in Minnesota.

16. Mark Szaranek, Senior, Florida

mark-szaranek-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:40.67 (NCAA); 400 IM, 3:36.31 (NCAA)

Szaranek took the NCAA meet by storm when he tied for first in the 200 IM with Will Licon last season. Szaranek is one of the favorites in both IM events this year that are stacked with big names. He has already proven he can get it done, so don’t sleep on him in his senior year.

15. John Shebat, Junior, Texas

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

2017 Times: 100 Back, 44.35 (NCAA); 200 Back, 1:37.24 (NCAA)

8-time NCAA champion Ryan Murphy has graduated, leaving the door wide open for someone else to finally stand on top of the podium at NCAA’s in the backstroke events. Shebat finished second and could be the first Longhorn to win a backstroke title since Aaron Peirsol in 2004.

14. Akaram Mahmoud, Senior, South Carolina

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 500 Free, 4:09.73 (NCAA); 1650 Free, 14:22.99 (NCAA)

Mahmoud was a part of one of the most epic races in the history of the NCAA meet last season in the 1650 where he finished third in the epic four-person race that came down to the finish. Mahmoud is again a favorite in the mile headed into his senior year as Mark Bernadino has this South Carolina team on the rise.

13. Jan Switkowski, Senior, Florida

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:41.17 (NCAA); 200 Free, 1:32.44 (NCAA); 200 Fly, 1:40.94 (SEC)

Switkowski is in his senior year at Florida and the Gators will need every ounce out of him if they can catch Texas at the top of the team race. Switkowski is one of the most versatile swimmers in the country, but still has yet to win an individual title. The 2015 World’s bronze medalist in the 200 fly could surprise some people if he is 100% on his game this year.

12. Vini Lanza, Junior, Indiana

IMG_5884 2

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:41.59 (B1G); 100 Fly, 45.07 (B1G); 200 IM, 1:40.97 (B1G)

Lanza underperformed at the NCAA’s in March, but based on his Big Ten times, he is a big player this season as he ranks in the pre-season top eight in three events. Lanza will be heavily relied upon in his junior year as Indiana will be looking for a second straight Big Ten title.

11. Jonathan Roberts, Senior, Texas

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:42.24 (NCAA); 400 IM, 3:38.18 (NCAA); 200 Back, 1:39.05 (NCAA)

Roberts was a quiet member of the Texas team that won the title last season. He got into the A-final in all three of his events, scoring some major points for Texas. Roberts will be a key piece this year if Texas wins its fourth straight national title in 2018.

10. Dean Farris, Sophomore, Harvard

dean-farris-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 200 Free, 1:31.56 (Ivy); 100 Back, 45.38 (Ivy); 200 Back, 1:39.99 (NCAA)

Farris had a huge freshman season where he took everyone by surprise by his quick times at the Ivy League Championships. He will be a big player in the 200 free this year as the big, tall Farris could be the first national champion at Harvard since David Berkoff won the 100 back in 1989.

9. Dylan Carter, Senior, Southern Cal

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

2017 Times: 100 Fly, 45.27 (Texas Invite); 200 Free, 1:30.95 (NCAA); 100 Free, 41.73 (NCAA)

Carter came back from an Olympic redshirt with a big season for USC. Carter gave Townley Haas a big run for his money in the 200 free at NCAA’s last year when he dipped under 1:31 leading off the 800 free relay. Carter will be looking to lead a USC team back to a top four finish, after missing out the last two seasons.

8. Andreas Vazaios, Junior, NC State

andreas-vazaios-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:40.77 (NCAA); 100 Back, 45.26 (NCAA); 200 Fly, 1:40.77 (NCAA)

Vazaios was a huge piece for NC State when they shocked Texas in the 800 free relay on the first night in Indianapolis. The junior from Greece is a favorite in the stacked 200 IM field as three guys are under 1:41 going into this season. Vazaios will also be heavily relied upon in relay duty as NC State will be looking to stay in the top four for the third straight year.

7. Townley Haas, Junior, Texas

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 500 Free, 4:08.92 (NCAA); 200 Free, 1:30.65 (NCAA)

Haas is on pace to clean sweep the 200 free at NCAA’s and be the first ever to win the event four times. Haas also had a strong summer where he got the silver medal at the Worlds in Budapest in the 200. This will be Haas’ first year without Clark Smith as the latter has moved on the pro group in Austin. This shouldn’t stop Haas as he is a big favorite in both the 200 and 500 this year.

6. Gunnar Bentz, Senior, Georgia

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:40.90 (NCAA); 400 IM, 3:36.60 (NCAA); 200 Fly, 1:40.07 (NCAA)

Bentz was one of the top recruits as a senior in 2014. He still has yet to win an individual title, but he improved big time in his junior season by getting into the A-final in all three of his events. He missed the World Championship team this past summer, but that should motivate him to have a big senior season for the Bulldogs, and carry on the 400 IM legacy in Athens.

5. Joseph Schooling, Senior, Texas

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 50 Free, 18.76 (Big 12); 100 Fly, 43.75 (NCAA)

Schooling will have revenge on his mind going into this season as he has made it clear he doesn’t want to lose to Caeleb Dressel in the 100 fly. Schooling is fresh off a bronze medal in the 100 at the World Championships and will be looking to get his 100 fly title back from Dressel.

4. Ryan Held, Senior, NC State

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

2017 Times: 50 Free, 18.58 (NCAA); 100 Fly, 44.79 (ACC); 100 Free, 41.21 (NCAA)

Held has lived in the shadow of Caeleb Dressel the last few years, but Held is still the fourth fastest American all-time in the 100 free, despite having no individual NCAA titles. Held came away with his first individual gold medal at the World University Games in the 100 free in Taipei this summer. That added confidence should pay dividends for him in his senior season.

3. Andrew Seliskar, Junior, California

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

2017 Times: 200 IM, 1:41.24 (Pac-12); 400 IM, 3:36.18 (NCAA); 200 Fly, 1:40.74 (Georgia Invite)

Seliskar had a big breakout sophomore season for Cal as he finished second in the 400 IM behind Chase Kalisz and will be one of the favorites this year in that event. In fact, Seliskar could be a favorite in all three of his events if he can hit his taper this season, as he was inconsistent with his rested times last season.

2. Felix Auboeck, Sophomore, Michigan

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 500 Free, 4:08.95 (NCAA); 200 Free, 1:32.02 (NCAA); 1650 Free, 14:22.88 (NCAA)

Maybe second is a little high, but keep in mind Auboeck reached the final in Budapest in the 400 free (5th) and the 800 free (6th). Auboeck was also a part of the epic 1650 race last year and he went toe to toe with Townley Haas in the 500 before Haas ultimately out-touched him. Auboeck is also swimming for a very good coach in Josh White, so don’t expect Auboeck to slow down.

1. Caeleb Dressel, Senior, Florida

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2017 Times: 50 Free, 18.23 (NCAA); 100 Fly, 43.58 (NCAA); 100 Free, 40.00 (NCAA)

If Dressel wins the 50 at NCAA’s this year, he would be the first to win the event four times at the meet as he is looking for the clean sweep. Dressel is coming off a huge summer where he won three individual gold medals in Budapest and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. If Florida has any chance of winning the team title this season, they will need a lot out of Dressel in his individual events as well as in relays.

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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The Week That Was: Second World Cup Cluster Begins This Week

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

This week the second cluster of the 2017 FINA World Cup kicked off in Hong Kong with a revamped prize system that includes more money up for grabs. Read about that meet below and all of the biggest stories of the week in The Week That Was!

The Week That Was #5 – Olympian Katrina Radke Competes On Survivor

Katrina-Radke

Photo Courtesy: Tim Morse

U.S. Olympic swimmer Katrina Radke has joined the cast of Season 35 of “Survivor,” the long running reality TV show on CBS. Radke, who competed at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, is one of 18 castaways who will be competing for $1 million. The season is titled Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, with each contestant being split into one of the three teams, with Radke as a member of the Heroes tribe. Radke currently works as a therapist and provides sport psychology consulting. Radke had initially sent in an audition tape when the series first premiered but never heard back. You can read about Radke’s process auditioning for the show here.

The Week That Was #4 – Tennessee and Duke Add to Coaching Staff

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Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

This week was full of coaching news for the Tennessee Vols, as Matt Kredich received a contract extension through the 2022 season and the team added Christian Hanselmann as an assistant coach for the program. Kredich’s contract renewal increases a salary increase to just under $200,000. He has been the head coach of the women’s program since 2005 and the head coach of both programs since 2011-12. Hanselmann is returning as an assistant coach for the Vols after previously working as a graduate assistant and assistant coach of Tennessee aquatics two years ago. He is the second new coaching addition this season, with Rich Murphy joining the staff earlier this year. In other coaching news, Duke announced Alex Henderson and Matt Ventura as additions to the swimming and diving coaching staff as volunteer assistants this week.

The Week That Was #3 – USA Swimming Announces Golden Goggle Nominees

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

USA Swimming announced the 2017 Golden Goggle Awards Nominees this week. World Champions Caeleb Dressel and Simone Manuel led the way with six nominations each following incredibly successful summers at the 2017 FINA World Championships. Both are nominated for their respective Athlete of the Year awards. Actor, comedian and former swimmer Anders Holm will return as the emcee for the event. Online fan voting is now open and will continue through Friday, Nov. 10, with a percentage of the fan vote counting towards the final ballot. The 2017 Golden Goggle Awards are set to go off on Sunday, Nov. 19, in Los Angeles. Full details of the event can be found at GoldenGoggles.com.

The Week That Was #2 – Misty Hyman Announced Birth Of First Child

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Photo Courtesy: Instagram @mistyfly23

Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman announced the birth of her first child on her Instagram this week. Hyman gave birth to a daughter, Margaret Eileen Hovey, on Sept. 23 and announced the birth on her Instagram page. Hyman was a gold medalist in the 200 butterfly at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, upsetting Australian Susie O’Neill in front of a home crowd. Hyman had announced last March that she would not be returning to the Arizona State Sun Devil coaching staff, following it up shortly thereafter with a pregnancy announcement in June.

The Week That Was #1 – Hong Kong World Cup Kicks Off Second Cluster

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

The second cluster of the FINA World Cup kicked off this week in Hong Kong, the same week that FINA announced they would be increasing the prize money of the competition. Changes to the prize distribution include awarding the top eight men and women at the end of the competition and prize increase for first, second and third place finishers. The first World Cup meet in the second cluster happened over the weekend, with several fast swims highlighting the return to competition. Notable performances included Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom missing her own world record in the 200 free after staying under through the 150 mark (1:51.77) and Katinka Hosszu just missing her own world record in the 100 IM (56.97) in a much anticipated showdown with Sjostrom. You can see all the highlights from the Hong Kong World Cup stop here and here.

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Kris Gethin: Man Of Iron, Week 22

Back | Main | Week 23 Coming October 9

Kris Gethin knows how to push himself. In fact, he knows how better than just about anyone else. But this week, he also pushes himself to dial it back and reflect on the bigger picture. After a brutal bike ride and a full week of training, he retreats to scenic Stanley, Idaho, to create his own mini triathlon, and follows it up with some serious quiet.

Training and Nutrition Tips

  • Whether you’re a pure bodybuilder or a hybrid athlete, your leg training is where your real commitment shows. “A lot of people miss out on legs,” Kris says. “Leg workouts are never as popular. So this is what separates the men from the boys…It’s just short term pain. Just think about that.”
  • There’s nothing quite like having your ass handed to you. One reason Kris is so successful is that he never shies away from it. After crushing legs, he joins some experienced triathletes for what he calls, “The toughest ride I’ve done. Tough but good. It’s a gut check.”
  • You get to see the rarest of sights this week: Kris having dessert! But if you’re going to have, say, a little frozen yogurt, do it right. Bring on the berries!
  • When doing runs, include a couple of faster-paced sections of a few hundred yards at a time, especially if you largely train on flat ground. This can help simulate the changes in elevation on a race course, or the pushes you must make to overtake someone.
  • Don’t focus so much on the miles that you lose sight of the beauty around you. For Kris, running and biking outside, rather than on machines, has been a game changer. “I’ve really enjoyed this journey,” he says. “It’s been a lot of self-exploration.”
  • Have a run or ride in the morning? Get everything ready the night before. Food, supps, clothes—all of it. This can help your workouts, too!
  • “Muscle is your friend,” Kris says. Don’t forget that! Many endurance athletes treat it like it’s just dead weight, but muscle is anything but dead. “That’s what I want to show you guys. That you can complete this Ironman with a lot of muscle, with much more efficiency,” Kris says. “Saving time and stress on your body…if you play it smart.”

Back | Main | Week 23 Coming October 9

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