2017 Speedo Junior Nationals: Day 2 Finals Photo Gallery

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The nation’s younger generations of talented athletes have convened in East Meadow, NY for the 2017 Speedo Junior National Championships.

Competition is well under way and Swimming World’s own Peter H. Bick is on deck throughout the remainder of the meet capturing all of the action and excitement.

Visit the 2017 Speedo Junior Nationals event page to catch up on event recaps, video interviews, and more!

Splash through day two finals:

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(Video Interview) Lucie Nordmann Using Junior Nats to Prep for Junior Worlds

On day two at Speedo Junior Nationals, Magnolia’s Lucie Nordmann won the women’s 200 back and then finished second in the 100 free final. Afterwards, she discussed the tough double and her entire meet with Swimming World.

Nordmann discussed what she’s aiming to accomplish at Junior Nationals and how it will affect her preparation for the Junior World Championships, coming up in two weeks. Nordmann also explained how she felt about not making any championship finals at U.S. Nationals and what events she plans to focus on going into her senior year of high school.

Watch more video interviews from Junior Nationals by clicking here.

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Swimming World Splashback One Year Ago Today: Phelps Takes Back 200 Fly

Photo Courtesy: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

On August 9, 2016, it was both the beginning, and end of something special. Katie Ledecky won the 200 freestyle, clinching the toughest race of her schedule. Her efforts on this night set her up for a legendary week at the Olympic Games.

But while Ledecky was just getting started in this event, Michael Phelps‘ race was a long time coming. One year ago, Phelps raced in yet another Olympic 200 fly. After losing four years prior, he re-claimed ownership of this event this time around.

Swimming World is recounting all the highlights from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games through a series of Splashbacks. Memories can also be found here.

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Heat Sheets Available for Day 3 of 2017 Speedo Jr. Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Heat sheets for the third morning of the 2017 Speedo Jr. Nationals have been released and feature the 400 freestyle and 100 butterfly.


Schedule of Events:

  • Women’s 400 Freestyle
  • Men’s 400 Freestyle
  • Women’s 100 Butterfly
  • Men’s 100 Butterfly

Sandpipers’ Erica Sullivan will look to double up her wins with the 400 after claiming the 800 free on night one. She holds the top seed at 4:10.87 and will be challenged by Taylor Ault (4:11.57) and Easop Lee (4:11.98). Scarlett’s Johannes Calloni has the top spot in the men’s event at 3:54.24. Alexander Zettle is close behind with a 3:54.77 seed time.

Dakota Luther (59.79) leads three swimmers under the 1:00 mark in the 100 fly, as she will be looking for her first win of the meet. Fort Collins’ Coleen Gillilan (59.95) and Gators’ Isabel Ivey (59.96) are likely to be her biggest challengers. Multnomah’s Van Mathias will be the one to beat on the men’s side. His time of 53.87 is the only entry under the 54-second barrier.

The finals session will also include the men’s 800 Freestyle Relay.

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Konta loses after holding match points at Rogers Cup

Johanna Konta

Britain’s Johanna Konta let two match points and a commanding lead slip as she lost to Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Makarova won 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 and will face Lucie Safarova in round three.

Konta, who had a first-round bye as the seventh seed, was playing her first match since losing to Venus Williams in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

The Briton, 26, led 7-5 5-2 but failed to convert two match points in the second set.

Makarova, 29, is ranked 42nd but extended her winning streak to seven matches after claiming the Washington title last week.

She was always likely to prove a testing opponent for Konta on her return after four weeks away, but the British number one worked her way into a commanding position.

However, two points to clinch the match slipped by as she was pegged back into a tie-break in the second set.

Makarova took it after a Konta forehand error gave her the crucial break, and the Russian got the decisive break at 4-3 in the decider.

Pliskova claims first win as number one

Karolina Pliskova

New world number one Karolina Pliskova beat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-3 in her opening match.

The 25-year-old Czech is playing in her first tournament since her shock second-round defeat at Wimbledon.

“I had a little bit (of nerves) before the match but during the match I felt much better, especially at the end,” said Pliskova, who claimed the number one ranking in July.

“I think it was not the best tennis from my side but I was trying to improve in the match.”

Wimbledon champion and Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza beat Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 7-5 6-2, while 18-year-old American CiCi Bellis beat Russian eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 7-5.

American ninth seed Williams saw off Czech Katerina Siniakova 7-5 7-5.

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Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov Edges Past 100 Back World Junior Record

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Russian teenager Kliment Kolesnikov (17) has had an incredible summer of swimming, posting numerous World Junior Records (WJR) while he was swimming at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

This week Kolesnikov took his speed and backstroke prowess to Rome, Italy as a member of Team Energy Standard for the Energy for Swim – Champions for Charity event. On day two of the meet, Kolesnikov swam against backstroke all-stars Ryan Murphy and Mitch Larkin, beating both to the wall with a time of 53.35. His time bests his own WJR of 53.38, set in a swim-off for first alternate for the 100 back final.

Comparative splits:

  • Kolesnikov (August 9, 2017): 26.34, 27.07 = 53.35
  • Kolesnikov (July 24, 2017): 26.22, 27.16 = 53.38

In addition to the 100 back WJR, Kolesnikov also owns the 50 (24.94) and 200 (1:55.14) backstroke WJRs.

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Team Energy Standard Wins Trophy and 26,000 Euros for Charity

Photo Courtesy: Instagram @energystandard

The first-ever Energy for Swim – Champions for Charity continued today with swift swims all around. The USA, Australia, Italy, and Energy Standard continued to fight for their charities, but at the end of the two-day meet it was Team Energy Standard taking home the team trophy. They successfully raised a total of 26,000 Euros for their charity Tabletochki.

The charities on the table were as follows:

Individual events could earn as many as 9 points, with the second through eighth place finishers eligible for 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 respectively. Relays can earn a max of 18 points and a minimum of 10. Day two of competition saw a total of 16 individual events and one mixed relay event on the schedule.

The team standings ended with Team Energy on top (453), followed by Teams USA (401), Italy (315), and Australia (284).

Women’s 400 IM

Hannah Miley secured the first win of the day for Team Energy with a top showing of 4:38.10 in the women’s 400 IM. She was followed into the wall by the American duo of Madisyn Cox (4:39.57) and Bethany Galat (4:41.53).

Men’s 400 IM

Chase Kalisz of the USA continues to be the man of the hour when it comes to the individual medleys. Kalisz and fellow American Josh Prenot finished 1-2 with times of 4:09.67 and 4:18.58 to earn some top points for the USA.

Women’s 100 Free

The race for first was between Team Energy’s Femke Heemskerk and Australia’s Cate Campbell in the 100 free. Heemskerk held off the previous world record holder with a 53.45 to 53.56 victory.

Men’s 100 Free

Chad le Clos demonstrated his sprint capabilities in finals of the men’s 100 free. The South African, representing Team Energy, held off the USA’s Nathan Adrian to bring home top points with a 48.38. Adrian took second with a 48.69, followed by Australia’s Kyle Chalmers. Today’s race marked Chalmers’ international return after opting out of the World Championships and pursuing heart surgery.

Women’s 100 Back

Australia’s Emily Seebohm continued to display her backstroke dominance with a top showing of 59.02 in the 100-meter race. Seebohm’s victory concludes a sweep of all three backstroke races. USA’s Olivia Smoliga picked up second with a 1:00.26, followed by Team Energy’s Georgia Davies’ 1:00.32.

Men’s 100 Back

Russian teen Kliment Kolesnikov flexed his backstroke prowess in the men’s 100 meter race, finishing ahead of Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy and the former world champion Mitch Larkin. Kolesnikov touched in a time of 53.35 to establish a new World Junior Record.

Women’s 50 Breast

Ruta Meilutyte delivered the top time in the women’s 50 breast at a 30.59 to continue Team Energy’s swift wins.

Men’s 50 Breast

Cameron van der Burgh, also of Team Energy, followed up Meilutyte’s win with one of his own, clocking a time of 26.88 for the top points.

Women’s 50 Fly

Unsurprisingly, it was Sarah Sjostrom delivering the top time in the women’s 50 fly. She stopped the clock at a time of 25.79 for the full nine points.

Men’s 50 Fly

Ben Proud stepped up and posted a 23.33 for the win in the men’s 50 fly. Proud concluded a Team Energy victory sweep of the stroke 50s for day two.

Mixed 400 Free Relay

The mixed 400 free relay was won by Team Energy’s Sergei Shevtsov, Ivan Girev, Michelle Coleman, and Sarah Sjostrom. The foursome posted a combined time of 3:26.06 for first, followed by Autsralia’s second place finish of 3:27.23. Italy and the USA finished third and fourth.

Women’s 400 Free

Leah Smith of the USA dominated the women’s 400 free, finishing more than five seconds ahead of Italy’s Simona Quadarella with a time of 4:04.58. Quadarella and teammate Alice Mizzau collected second and tihrd with times of 4:09.74 and 4:12.87.

Men’s 400 Free

Gabriele Detti continued to be the Italian man to watch as he delivered a top showing in the men’s 400 free. Detti turned in a 3:44.40, followed closely by Team Energy’s Mykhaylo Romanchuk’s 3:45.48. Zane Grothi of the USA picked up third with a 3:49.10.

Women’s 100 Fly

Sarah Sjostrom continued to fly ahead of the competition with a top showing in the 100 fly. Sjostrom produced a 57.56 for a smooth win over Italians Elena Di Lido (58.14) and Ilaria Bianchi (59.17)

Men’s 100 Fly

Chad le Clos collected his second win of the night with a top showing of 51.45 in the 100 fly. Italy’s Piero Codia and the USA’s Tim Phillips were second and third with times of 51.56 and 51.60.

Women’s 200 Breast

Ruta Meilutyte jumped to an early lead in the women’s 200 breast, but the sprinter was later chased down by the USA’s Bethany Galat. Galat delivered a 2:25.27 for the first place points, while Canada’s Mary-Sophie Harvey (2:25.37) and Meilutyte (2:25.62) earned some big points for Team Energy.

Harvey’s time doubles as a Canadian Age Group Record for the 15-17 age group, while Meilutyte’s downs a long-lived Lithuanian National Record of 2:28.13, set during the shiny suits era.

Men’s 200 Breast

Josh Prenot of the USA refused to let the disappointment of not qualifying for the World Championships get to him, as he powered to a top showing in finals of the men’s 200 breast. Prenot delivered a 2:09.36 to earn top points for the USA, followed by Italy’s Luca Pizzini (2:10.90) and the USA’s Kevin Cordes (2:12.12).

Women’s 50 Free – Skins

The meet concluded in a different format, with the sprinters participating in knock-out rounds of 50s. The preliminary heat featured a total of eight swimmers, however only Sarah Sjostrom (25.12), Cate Campbell (24.84), Madison Kennedy (25.17), and Brittany Elmslie (25.22) continued to the semi-final round.

The semi-final round saw Campbell (25.29) and Sjostrom (24.93) as the top two going into the final heat, where the official winner would be determined. Sjostrom dashed to a quick, but tiring, 25.39 to claim yet another victory over Campbell’s 26.30.

Men’s 50 Free – Skins

The men’s splash and dashes belonged to the USA’s Nathan Adrian as he thundered to first in all three rounds of the men’s 50 free. The first round saw Adrian (22.42), Luca Dotto (22.54), Tony Ervin (22.70), and Sergii Shevtsov (22.74) continue on. In the semi-final round, Adrian and Dotto powered to times of 22.84 and 23.36 to qualify for the final round, but it was all Adrian in finals as he delivered a 23.15 over Dotto’s 24.28.

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(Video Interview) Kenisha Liu Returns to Jr Nats After First Year at UCLA

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Kenisha Liu is one of the oldest swimmers at Speedo Junior Nationals, about to turn 19 years old, and she has already competed for a year at UCLA. She took advantage of that experience Wednesday night as she won the women’s 100 free in 55.36.

After the race, Liu spoke about how it felt to be at her final Junior Nationals and what she gained from her first year of collegiate swimming. She also discussed her changing event focus and some goals for year two in college.

Watch more video interviews from Junior Nationals by clicking here.

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3 Ways to Skyrocket Your Bench Press!

To increase your bench press—or reach any life goal—you first need to figure out a plan to lead you to that goal in the most efficient way. As Farr puts it, a lack of a plan will, at best, give you “random results through random action.”

Quality and Quantity

As Farr points out, shooting 100 free throws in one day will not make you Steph Curry—but shooting 100 free throws every day could. With their handy whiteboard, Silent Mike and Alan Thrall show us how performing the bench press only one day a week—despite it being a heavy 5 sets of 5 reps—is only 25 reps.

“In my opinion,” Farr says, “you’ll be better off practicing the technique of benching more often, allowing you to gather more volume and do those sets more perfectly because you’re fresh.”

As Farr points out, shooting 100 free throws in one day will not make you Steph Curry—but shooting 100 free throws every day could.

Sure, switching to two days a week of 3 sets of 5 reps only increases your total reps by one set. But Mike notes that each of those reps will be better because you’ve reduced the volume on the workout. Your muscles are not as fatigued by the end, and your reps are cleaner and more precise. Yes, frequency is key, but so is quality. The better and more frequent your reps, the greater your total gains.

Practice, Practice, Practice

As Farr explains, practicing a movement alone—a process called “skill acquisition”—is an easy way to lift more volume, build more strength, and ultimately add more weight to your lifts.

The easiest way to up your volume—and your practice—is by adding 5-8 sets of 1-3 reps using a lighter weight. This can add an additional 24 reps, almost an entire extra day of bench pressing, to your weekly training volume. Doing so should improve your technique and ultimately build better strength.

The sweet spot for bench-press frequency tends to be 2-4 sessions per week. But you can always add lighter-weight practice sets to your existing routine. Many other factors influence muscle and strength gain, including recovery, nutrition, hydration, technique, overall strength, and even genetics. Keep tweaking your programing until you find the right combination of intensity and frequency for you.

Select Smart Variations

If you’re already an experienced lifter benching two or three times per week and you’ve arrived at a plateau, there’s still a lot you can do to transcend it. The magic formula for increasing strength as an intermediate or experienced lifter is to perform exercise variations. 

As a novice lifter, you benefit from simply increasing frequency. After all, your body is still learning the skill. You don’t really need variations—yet. You get a greater strength benefit from the extra practice, and frequent repetitions improve your technique.

As an experienced lifter, however, it is much more difficult to get the same muscular response by increasing frequency alone. Enter exercise variations. As Thrall explains, consider several factors when selecting an exercise variation:

  • Movements using the most amount of muscle
  • Movements allowing you to use the greatest amount of weight
  • Movements giving you the longest range of motion

Keeping these factors in mind, you can see why a paused bench press might be better for building strength than a cable cross-over. Sure, the cross-over gives you a greater range of motion, but the paused bench press beats it in both muscle recruitment and weight.

As with any sport-specific or exercise-specific training, variations should be based on the movement you’re trying to improve, not just the muscle group you’re trying to strengthen. This is another reason why the paused bench beats the cable cross: If you want to build up your bench press, select movements that mimic the bench press. Thrall offers a variety of bench-press variations—touch-and-go bench, pause bench, tempo bench, slingshot bench, feet-up bench—to get you started.

Balanced Recovery

Technique, progression, frequency, variations—none of these matter unless you can fully recover from your workouts. Beyond merely balancing rest days with workouts, take into account how your daily nutrition, sleep, and hydration affect your performance goals.

Nutrition plays an important role in recovery. To gain muscle, you have to be in a calorie surplus.

Nutrition plays an important role in recovery. To gain muscle, you have to be in a calorie surplus.

“I’m a big proponent of tracking your food,” says Farr. “The best way to gain muscle and to gain strength is by increasing your calories through time.”

Sleep is another important factor. Although ideal daily requirements vary by individual, Farr points out that as an adult, you need to find out for yourself what your body prefers. More sleep is often better. If you’re uncertain, try adding a few hours to your sleep schedule and see what it does for your strength.

Hydration plays a larger role in strength than many people realize. Chugging water during exercise isn’t enough—you have to drink plenty of water every day, throughout the day, to flush your system and keep your body hydrated. If you’re not sure how much water you should be drinking, start with half your body weight in ounces, and increase as needed from there. Spread out your total water intake throughout the day, and maintain that habit on nontraining days as well.

“Don’t view food and sleep as a privilege,” warns Thrall. Instead, view these factors as tools for creating better gains.

Farr concurs: “If you want to make serious gains, you have to be serious about your time outside of the gym.”

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A Swimmer’s Break: The Underrated Component of Swimming Fast

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Peripitus

By Norah Hunt, Swimming World College Intern. 

Once August rolls around, swimmers typically fall into two categories regarding breaks from swimming. The first group is overjoyed by the recess from the sport, a chance to stretch their land legs and live life a little less structured than they normally would. They plan trips, sleep in, and stay up past eleven (no morning practice!). They completely embrace the non-swimmer lifestyle, at least for a week or two.

The other group struggles. Swimming provides structure, and without that constant in their lives they don’t know exactly what to do. They feel guilty about not being in the water, and not exercising as much as they feel they should. They miss their swimming friends, and even though the sport is monotonous and difficult, they miss it horribly.

Alicia Coutts collapses on pool deck after another hard set at training. University of Auburn Aquatic Centre, Alabama USA. Australian Olympic Swimming Team are in their final training staging Camp before heading over to the Rio2016 Olympic Games. July 30 2016. Photo by Delly Carr. Pic credit mandatory for complimentary exclusive editorial usage. Thank You.

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

The fact of the matter is, swimmers are not invincible. Our bodies may sometimes feel as if we can push on forever, but we do indeed wear down. Our shoulders ache, our backs tighten up, and eventually overall fatigue sets in. We keep swimming, often past our comfort zone, but eventually we need to stop. Breaks provide a way for our bodies to relax and recover from the stress put on them during the season. We may lose muscle, and we may lose some endurance, but that is completely okay. We will regain all that we lost once the new season rolls around.

So, breaks provide much needed physical relief from all the high volume training we put on ourselves. However, the mental break we receive for a few weeks in August is arguably more beneficial and more necessary.

Swimming is an incredibly mentally draining sport. We stare at a black line for hours on end each day. We wake up before the sun to jump in freezing cold water; we lose sleep over imagining the perfect race at the big end of season meet. We have rivalries and healthy habits to maintain; we have demanding coaches that will accept nothing but our best. We have the time of our lives, but it is so, so tiring! There are never enough hours in the day to balance training, recovering, sleeping, and a social life.

Madi Wilson showing the strain of another hard set of training. University of Auburn Aquatic Centre, Alabama USA. Australian Olympic Swimming Team are in their final training staging Camp before heading over to the Rio2016 Olympic Games. July 29 2016. Photo by Delly Carr. Pic credit mandatory for complimentary exclusive editorial usage. Thank You.

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Because of this, breaks become so, so crucial to our well being. It is deceptively easy to experience burnout with swimming, since it is a lot of the same processes day to day. We can become so complacent and bored with our sport without even realizing it! Breaks allow us to reflect on what we learned from the season or from the year, and figure out how to be better the next time around.

It is okay to miss the sport while we are away from it. Swimming becomes so woven into who we are, and it is often hard to part from it, even temporarily. We miss our friends, the adrenaline rush after a good practice, the tranquility that only comes with sinking to the bottom of an empty pool. The chlorine runs in our veins, and we worry that we will lose this spark if we take a break.


Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

The pool will always be there for you when you go back to it. That longing we have during breaks, while sometimes hard to manage, is actually the easiest way to see if our love for the sport is still there. The greatest thing in the world is experiencing childlike excitement at starting a new season of a sport you have been doing your whole life.

Do not feel bad about taking breaks. Give your mind and body some much needed rest, make plans with friends, and catch up on sleep. It is okay to miss the sport. It will be waiting for you when you come back!

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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