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Jan 21 18

Arizona State’s McCool sets second school record of weekend at No. 5/3 Stanford

by ZwemZa
 Ashley McCool (Arizona State)

Ashley McCool (Arizona State)

In their second straight tough test of the weekend against a pair of top-five teams in No. 5/3 Stanford, the No. 10/RV Sun Devils swam impressive times and set their second diving record of the weekend but ultimately fell 176-113 on the women’s side and 184-114 on the men’s.

After setting a new school record in the 3-meter dive on Friday, Ashley McCool rewrote the 1-meter ASU record with a 362.40 score, re-writing Elina Eggers’ score vs. NAU from 2009. McCool’s score was also a Stanford pool record.

In other diving action, Youssef Selim won the men’s 1-meter springboard (375.23), finishing second in the 3-meter. Frida Kaellgren finished third in both the women’s 1-meter (304.80) and 3-meter (300.23).

In swimming, several Sun Devil men won events including Christian Lorenz (100 breast) as well as Zach Poti (100 back, 200 back) and Cameron Craig (50 free, 100 free), who won multiple events on the day.

After a challenging road trip, the Sun Devils return home for their final two meets of the regular season – vs. No. 2/4 Texas on Friday, Jan. 26 at 2 pm MT and vs. No. 18/20 Arizona on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1 pm MT.

Both matches over the next two weekends will be live streamed for free on ASU’s Pac-12 Plus live stream.

Jan 21 18

No. 3 Stanford swept the weekend and signed autographs for 200 kids

by ZwemZa
STANFORD, CA; January 27, 2017; Women's Swimming, Stanford vs UCLA.

STANFORD, CA; January 27, 2017; Women’s Swimming, Stanford vs UCLA.

Senior Janet Hu won two events and set a pool record to guide No. 3 Stanford women’s swimming and diving to a 176-113 victory over Arizona State at a crowded Avery Aquatic Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinal, which clinched a weekend sweep over the Arizona schools, also hosted Kids Autograph Day and spent 60 minutes after the meet signing for 200 young swim fans.

“We have all benefited so much from this sport, so it is important to find these small moments to give back,” Paul A. Violich Director of Women’s Swimming Greg Meehan said about the autograph session. “When you do this and see all the smiling faces, it is very rewarding and a great reminder of the impact that these young women have as role models.”

In the pool, the Cardinal has now won 20 straight dual meets, 18 consecutive Pac-12 duals and 15 in a row at Avery.

In addition to Hu, freshman Grace Zhao, sophomore Katie Ledecky, junior Ella Eastin and senior Simone Manuel also won multiple individual events as Stanford was victorious in every swimming event.

Hu set the facility record in the 200-yard backstroke. Her time of 1:53.18 eclipsed the mark set by Amy Bilquist (1:53.80) in 2016. A short while later, Hu won the 100 butterfly at 52.16.

Returning from injury, senior Simone Manuel swept the 50 and 100 freestyles. In the final event of the first session, Manuel won the 50 with a time of 22.36, and then in the first event after the break, the Sugar Land, Texas, native blew past the competition with a two-second victory in the 100 (48.03).

Zhao continued an impressive rookie campaign with a sweep in the breaststroke. She was tops in the 100 with a finish of 1:01.21 and bested the field in the 200 at 2:12.19.

Eastin won twice more on Saturday to finish with five individual wins in five different events over the weekend. She was tops in the 500 free at 4:45.56, and won the 200 butterfly at 1:53.94.

Ledecky won two events for the second straight day as she claimed the 200 free at 1:44.21, and the 400 individual medley at 4:06.48. In both events, she bested a strong contingent of teammates as the Cardinal took the top four spots in the 200 behind Erin Voss (1:47.94), Lauren Pitzer (1:48.41) and Katie Glavinovich (1:49.17). In the IM, Stanford swept the podium as Allie Szekely (4:08.15) and Brooke Forde (4:09.47) were 11 seconds faster than the rest of the field.

Forde and junior Leah Stevens were the only swimmers to break 10 minutes in the 1,000 free — Forde won with a career-best finish of 9:47.76, and Stevens touched second at 9:55.61.

Howe won the 100 back at 52.25, and was second to Hu in the 200 at 1:54.37 (Voss was third at 1:54.97). Szekely was the runner-up to Howe in the 100 back (55.02) and was also second in the 200 breast (2:12.78). Sophomore Megan Byrnes was a runner-up in the 500 free (4:49.74) in her return to the pool.

Stanford was tops in both relays as Hu, Zhao, Engel and Pitzer won the 200 medley relay at 1:38.92, and Manuel, Hu, Howe and Pitzer were tops in the 200 free relay (1:29.84).

On the boards, sophomore Haley Farnsworth was second on the 1-meter (305.55) and 3-meter (305.85).

Next weekend, the Cardinal heads to Los Angeles to take on UCLA (Friday, 2 p.m. PT) and No. 13 USC (Saturday, noon). Stanford returns home for Senior Day on Feb. 10 against Cal. The meet starts at noon, and the Cardinal will be accepting donations at the door for Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

Stanford Athletics

Jan 20 18

Winnington claims second big swim scalp

by ZwemZa
ELIJAH WINNINGTON ( @elijah_winnington )

ELIJAH WINNINGTON ( @elijah_winnington )

Teenage swim star and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games hopeful Elijah Winnington has claimed another high profile scalp at the NSW swimming championships at Sydney’s Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

The 17-year-old Gold Coaster swam away Saturday from dual Olympian, Bond University training partner, and best mate Cameron McEvoy to add the 200m freestyle to his 400m win over Olympic champions Mack Horton and Gregorio Paltrinieri from Friday.

Winnington dug deep over the final 75 metres to shake off McEvoy and Rio Olympian Daniel Smith (Griffith University) to win in 1m:48.59s.

He admitted he went home to bed last night “almost forgetting” what happened in the 400m final.

And with coach Richard Scare helping to ensure Winnington kept an old head on those young shoulders, the youngster was ready for another battle with the big names.

“There’s an old saying ‘You stick to your own lane’. It doesn’t matter who’s next to you I just went out there and executed my race plan,” he said.

“I normally have a very good last 50, it was the same in the 400 last night.

“Richard and I have this thing ‘Ability can only get you so far, it’s the heart you have in the last 50m that gets you where you want to be on the wall’,” Winnington said.

“Everyone is hurting equally in that last 10 metres so you’ve just got to give it as much as you can.”

One of the other form swimmers of the meet, world beater Cate Campbell (Chandler) added the 50m freestyle title to her gold medal tally (50m butterfly and the 100m freestyle) clocking a very fast 24.15s.

Two other youngsters who also put their hands up tonight, were backstrokers Kaylee McKeown (USC Spartans) who went under the minute (59.67s) for the first time to win the 100m backstroke, and Central Coast surf-swim star Bradley Woodward (Mingara) who went under two minutes for the second time in the same day in the 200m backstroke.

He clocked a NSW record breaking time of 1m:58.30.

Source: AAP
Jan 20 18

Gold Coast swim star Cameron McEvoy gets headstart on Games trials rivals

by ZwemZa

Cameron McEvoy will head into next month’s Commonwealth Games trials with a slight edge over his sprint rivals after becoming the first man to dip under the 49-second mark this season.

McEvoy (48.99sec) beat duel world champion James Magnussen (49.11) and fellow Gold Coast Olympian James Roberts (49.24) at the NSW championships last night in a race that only added to the anticipation for the blue riband sprint next month.

Cameron McEvoy’s times are starting to come down. Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

And McEvoy will head in with plenty of confidence after shedding more than a second from the time he swam to finish sixth behind Magnussen at the Queensland championships last month.

“That was a big improvement from December’s Queensland state champs but on paper, it was expected,” he said.

“I’ve been building from a really, really heavy workload since the world championships last year and it’s good to see that as that changes into a more specific race-based type of workload, the times are starting to come down too.

“It’s a great sign for the trials coming up for the Commonwealth Games.”

The sprint freestylers may have attracted the most attention but McEvoy reserved his greatest praise for his Bond University clubmate Elijah Winnington, who beat Olympic champion Mack Horton in the 400m freestyle to continue to mount his case as a Games bolter.

McEvoy compared the teen sensation to Australia’s greatest swimmers, who also began to emerge as 17-year-olds.

“Australia have thrown down so many amazing times for 17-year-olds. You’ve got Mack Horton, you’ve got Thorpey (Ian Thorpe), Kieren Perkins, Dan Kowalski, Grant Hackett, Jordy Harrison.

“If you could rank the top times in the world done by those 18 and under, a lot of them are just 17-year-old Aussie blokes and Elijah’s very much in the mix of that now and he’s set himself up for a really good home Commonwealth Games trials where I believe he can come out and make that bigger breakthrough and solidify his name among all those other guys.”

Teenager Elijah Winnington beat Olympic champion Mack Horton in the 400m freestyle. Picture Mike Batterham

Winnington, 17, dipped under the 3min 50sec barrier for the first time, to beat Horton and Italy’s 1500m Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri to the top of the podium in a swim that has bolstered his confidence massively ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games trials.

Winnington beat Horton to claim the 200m title at the Queensland state titles last month but last night’s victory in the 400m was a real coming of age.

And it was a surprise for the Bond University swimmer, who had felt sluggish in his morning heat.

“Before the race, my coach Richard Scarce and I were discussing a race plan and he said not to worry about a time, just to go out and execute the race,” Winnington said.

“That’s all I had in my mind and I went out there and surprised myself.

“There were five of us together at the 200m mark and normally I like to be in front by a fair margin. But with Mack and Paltrinieri out there, two Olympic gold medallists, I was thinking their back ends might be a bit faster but I turned at the 300m and just motored home.”

Winnington is likely to have to drop another four seconds by trials to be in line for a 400m spot at the Games but is undeterred, gaining a major confidence boost last night.

“I thought I had a lot of confidence after (Queensland) states but it’s another good boost of confidence here,” he said, adding he “definitely” had another gear to find at trials.

“I feel like me and Rich (Scarce) will discuss a race plan and just go out there and see what happens, but I have a goal time of around 3:45-3:46, which I feel will get top three.”

In other results last night, Sydney product Jess Ashwood won the 800m freestyle, Kaylee McKeown claimed the 200m backstroke and Jess Hansen took out the 100m breaststroke.

The titles continue on Saturday and Sunday.

Emma Green wood | Gold Coast Bulletin

Jan 20 18

Sun Devils take a loss against Cal

by ZwemZa
Marlies Ross (Twitter)

Marlies Ross (Twitter)

Facing the top-ranked men’s team in the nation and the No. 3 women’s team in the nation, the Sun Devils swam several fast times but ultimately fell, 158-133 on the men’s side and 172-118 on the women’s side.

Marlies Ross‘ 200 breast win highlighted the meet for the Sun Devil women while Ben Olszewski (500 free), Andrew Porter (100 fly), Grant House (400 IM) were the top-point earners in their respective events for the No. 10 men.

Diving scored key points for the Sun Devils on both sides, as Ashley McCool won the 3-meter springboard, finishing second in the 1-meter. Youssef Selim won both men’s events with Heikki Makikallio taking second in the 3-meter and third in the 1-meter.

Makikallio’s 3-meter score was his highest of the season by 11 points while McCool’s 3-meter was her career-high.

The Sun Devils have another tough test in the Bay Area on Saturday vs. No 5/3 Stanford at 1 pm MT/12 noon PT.

Jan 20 18

Through a brief hail storm, Cardinal begins New Year with win over No. 20 Arizona

by ZwemZa
Katie Ledecky (

Katie Ledecky (

A brief hail storm was not enough to slow down No. 3 Stanford women’s swimming and diving in a 192-100 win over No. 20 Arizona at Avery Aquatic Center on Friday afternoon.

Sophomore Ella Eastin won three events and senior Kassidy Cook swept the diving events to lead the Cardinal (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12) in its first meet of the New Year. Stanford was victorious in every event and and has now won 19 straight dual meets, 17 consecutive Pac-12 duals and 14 in a row at Avery.

Eastin finished first in three different strokes. She was tops in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:01.89), 200 backstroke (1:54.93) and 100 butterfly (53.43). 

Cook was tops on the 1-meter with a score of 308.85, and won the 3-meter with a score of 298.13. Sophomore Haley Farnsworth (303.00) and freshman Mia Paulsen (283.20) helped Stanford sweep the podium on the 1-meter.

Senior Simone Manuel returned to the pool in victorious fashion. She won the 200 freestyle at 1:44.20 and was also the anchor to Stanford’s winning 400 free relay (3:17.58). 

Senior Janet Hu and sophomore Katie Ledecky also won two events apiece. Ledecky swept the distance free events with another impressive 30-second victory in the 1,000 free (9:19.52), and five-second win in the 500 free (4:40.89). It was teammate Megan Byrnes who finished second in the 1000 at 9:47.64, and teammate Katie Drabot who touched second in the 500 at 4:45.53.

Hu took first in the 100 back at 52.43 and was two-hundreths from the pool record in the 50 free with her first-place finish of 22.09.

Sophomore Allie Szekely won the 200 individual medley at 1:59.05 as Stanford swept the podium — senior Ally Howe was second at 1:59.58 and freshman Brooke Forde touched third at 1:59.71.

Zhao was tops in the 200 breast at 2:11.19, Drabot won the 200 fly with a time of 1:54.14, Howe was first in the 100 free at 49.95, and Stanford won the 200 medley relay behind Howe and three freshmen — Zhao, Lauren Green and Lauren Pitzer — at 1:38.18.

Stanford is back in action Saturday for Kids Autograph Day. The meet against the Sun Devils begins at noon PT.

Stanford Athletics

Jan 20 18

Michael Phelps: Olympic great ‘considered suicide’ at height of career

by ZwemZa
Phelps won 23 Olympic gold medals in a 16-year swimming career (Getty Images)

Phelps won 23 Olympic gold medals in a 16-year swimming career (Getty Images)

Michael Phelps says he considered taking his own life on numerous occasions at the height of his career.

Phelps – the most decorated Olympian of all time with 23 gold medals – first contemplated suicide after the Athens 2004 Olympics.

The 32-year-old sought professional help after reaching an “all-time low” following London 2012.

“After every Olympics I think I fell into a major state of depression,” said Phelps.

“I remember going to treatment on my very first day. I was shaking because I was nervous about the change that was coming up.”

Phelps, who announced his retirement after London 2012 before returning to the sport two years later, said he realised the extent of his problems after the Games when he locked himself in his bedroom for “three to five days”.

He went on to win five gold medals and one silver in Rio before again retiring, and said the emotions of overcoming his mental health issues were far greater than those from winning his Olympic titles.

Speaking at the Kennedy Forum on mental health in Chicago, Phelps added: “Those moments and those feelings and those emotions for me are light years better than winning the Olympic gold medal.

“I am extremely thankful that I did not take my life.”

BBC Sport

Jan 20 18

Kiwi ace Bobbi Gichard scores US scholarship in Florida

by ZwemZa
Hawke's Bay swimmer Bobbi Gichard will begin a four-year scholarship with the University of Florida in August. Photo/Photosport

Hawke’s Bay swimmer Bobbi Gichard will begin a four-year scholarship with the University of Florida in August. Photo/Photosport

It’s not often a teenager can take off to the United States for four years in an attempt to save their parents money.
But if you happen to be Hawke’s Bay swimmer Bobbi Gichard, who secured a four-year full rights scholarship with the University of Florida Gators swim team this week, that’s definitely the case.
“Mum and dad [Caroline and Dean] have spent so much on me during the past six years. This move will take a lot of the financial stress off them. I’ve been living fulltime up in Auckland for the past three years so mum and dad have been paying my rent and food for all of that time,” Gichard said last night.
The 18-year-old former Greendale club member, who will represent New Zealand at the April 4-15 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, will leave for Florida after the August Pan Pacific Games in Tokyo. She admitted a United States scholarship hasn’t been an option for that long.
“After last year’s July world championships in Budapest I was receiving a few offers from universities over in the states. But I wasn’t in the right space and then I started looking at it again and decided the University of Florida would be a really good place to go.
Three other Kiwis, Corey and Bayley Main and Georgia Marris have already represented the Gators. United States star and 12-time Olympic Games medalist Ryan Lochte is returning to the Gators camp soon.
“I feel going to the United States will help me achieve my long-term goal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The high quality coaching in Florida, fantastic facilities and tough meets week after week, there will be no easy meets over there, should boost my chances.”
A member of the Kiwi medley relay team which was the third best of the Commonwealth teams in Budapest and the 23rd best 200m backstroker, Gichard, said the Tokyo trip is perfectly timed.
“While we won’t be swimming in the same pool which will be used for the Olympics it will be good to get use to their time zones, temperatures and other stuff like that,” Gichard explained.
The 2015 Hawke’s Bay Secondary Schools Sportsperson of the Year award winner, who represents Auckland’s Howick Pakuranga club these days, will still be able to return to New Zealand each year for key qualifying meetings. At the same time Swimming New Zealand will also allow her to meet qualifying targets through United States meets.
“There are only a certain amount of days I am allowed out of the United States. It’s awesome that David has agreed to coach me when I’m back home too,” Gichard said referring to her coach, former Great Britain and China Olympic coach David Lyles.
Although the 100 and 200m backstroke will be her main events in the United States, 200m and 400m freestyle will be her second options.
“Most of my training will be focused on the backstroke because that’s what I’m aiming for at the Olympics.”
Gichard, who will study sports management in Florida, is looking forward to the two-day conference meets every second week which will see the Gators take on teams from other universities within Florida. Gators head coach Gregg Troy was head coach of the United States men’s tean at the 2012 London Olympics.
At last year’s April New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland Gichard won golds in her 100 and 200m backstroke finals and silver in her 50m backstroke final. At last month’s Commonwealth Games trials on the Gold Coast she recorded a time of 1m.01.62s for 100m backstroke and 2m14.97s for the 200m.
Gichard pointed out the Kiwi Commonwealth Games swimmer had from December 22-27 off training during the festive season before resuming training again. They are in the middle of a tough block.
“We are doing hard sessions with a little bit of extras. I’m happy with how everything is coming together for me. The sessions are a lot more intense but we know what to do and how to do it.”

Shane Hurndall

Jan 20 18

Elijah’s winning ways towards Commonwealth Games team

by ZwemZa
Elijah Winnington (ausswim)

Elijah Winnington (ausswim)

Gold Coast teen Elijah Winnington has taken another major step towards the Commonwealth Games with a powerhouse performance in Sydney to score an upset win in the 400m freestyle at the NSW Open Championships – taking two golden scalps with him.

The 17-year-old from Bond University clocked under the 3:50 milestone for the first time, stopping the clock at 3:49.96 and leaving Rio Olympic champions Mack Horton (Melbourne Vicentre) 3:50.93 and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri 3:51.04 in his wake.

It came on a night that also saw Queensland’s wonder girl Cate Campbell (Chandler) in career best butterfly form, clocking the fastest non-textile suit time in the 50 metres butterfly final of 25.68, a personal best and making her the second fastest All-Time Australian before an eye-catching season best 52.37 to score a slashing victory in the 100m freestyle.

Winnington’s Bond team mate Cam McEvoy backed up his slick morning heat swim to win the men’s 100m in 48.99 – the fastest time of the season – in a blanket finish from fellow Olympic team mates James Magnussen (Ravenswood) 49.11 and James Roberts (Somerset) 49.24.

But it was the teen from the Gold Coast, Winnington, who left the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, dubbed in the 2000s as the “Pool of Dreams” – very much the talk of the town.

He went into the race with a simple game plan from astute coach Richard Scarce: “Don’t worry about times.”

“Before the race Richard and I were discussing the race plan and he said to me don’t worry about a time, we don’t care about that – it (will come) at the Trials in five weeks time,” said Winnington.

“He said to go out there and execute the race and that’s what I had in my mind and I actually surprised myself.

“I think there were five of us at the 200m mark and normally I like to be in front by a fairer margin and I was thinking with Mack and Paltrinieri out there – two Olympic gold medallists – I thought their back ends may be a bit faster.

“But when I turned at the 300m I still felt good and I just motored home that last 100m to see where I touched.”

Winnington, who won the 200m freestyle at Queensland Championships and finished second to Horton in the 400m, said the win would be another huge confidence booster towards his home Games dream.

“I thought I had a lot of confidence after Queensland State but this is another good boost of confidence here,” Winnington said.

“I definitely have another gear and I have a goal time of around 3:45 or 3.46 for the Trials which I think will get top three.”

Before Christmas, Winnington was awarded the Bond University’s Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarship.

The 17-year-old will study a Bachelor of Business with the ambition of following in his entrepreneurial grandfather Valentine Fittler’s footsteps.

Campbell capped a busy day’s racing with two eye-catching wins, saying she built the 50m butterfly into her 100m freestyle race plan.

The butterfly time was just marginally outside Australian record holder and 2009 world champion Marieke D’Cruz’s (née Guehrer) Australian all-comers time of 25.60 and her Australian record, both set in a textile suit.

“It was nice fast racing, doing the best with what you have and it’s exactly what I did tonight and I’m really pleased with both those swims,” said Campbell, who is not getting carried away.

“But now it’s time to get back into training after the 50m tomorrow and potentially the 200m on Sunday, which I haven’t been able to wrangle my way out of.”

“The 50m fly was actually a really good way to warm up for the 100m. It was a shorter warm up for the 50m fly and I didn’t have to do that much more to keep warm for the 100m,” said Campbell.

“I actually enjoy having a 50m before a 100m at night; there was some time in between so I was able to warm down get into a new suit; it was fun; it’s not something I’ve done for over a decade so it’s good to be back in the pool racing that event.

“Every time I step onto the block I want to get the absolute best out of myself and that’s what I did today, I executed some really good races; I was really smart about it.

“We are still in training but we want to get some fast racing; get some more training done and then have a couple of weeks rest…I’m looking forward to that.”

McEvoy was pleased with his progress and a season best time under 49 seconds for the first time.

“I was sandwiched by the two James’ – Maggie on one side and Roberts on the other – both born on the same day, the exact same age who almost went the exact same time,” said McEvoy, who was pleased to improve from the Queensland State Championships after a heavy work load since last year’s World Championships.

“I have been racing those guys since I had my first major race here for the Olympics in 2012 and looking at the depth in not only the 100, but the 200 and the 400m we have some exciting times coming up in the lead up to the Games and the Trials.”

Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast teen machine Kaylee McKeown completed her 200m backstroke triple, adding the NSW title to the Queensland and Victorian Championships as she marches towards the Games Trials on the Gold Coast between February 28 and March 3.

Sister Taylor had to settle for silver behind Nunawading’s Jessica Hansen in the 100m breaststroke, the Victorian adding the NSW title to her Victorian Championship in 1:07.19 to McKeown’s 1:07.80 with Tessa Wallace (Pelican Waters) third in 1:09.57.

Jan 19 18

Midmar winners to jet off to Mauritius in April

by ZwemZa
(Air Mauritius Blog)

(Air Mauritius Blog)

The Nando’s Royal Life Saving Society Open Water Swim is set to be one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year. The male and female winners of the 2018 aQuellé Midmar Mile will win all-expenses-paid trips to this amazing event, which will take place on Sunday 29 April 2018.

Staged in Pereybere, Mauritius, the event includes an iconic 3.8km swim from Pereybere to Grand Baie. A 1.6km swim and a kiddies’ fun swim are also included.

The event aims to attract 700 swimmers, and all proceeds generated will go directly to the Royal Life Saving Society of Mauritius to continue their work, which includes training of lifesavers, providing swimming education at public beaches and upskilling their team.

You can enter this event here. Entries will close at midnight on Wednesday 25 April. For more information, email

Midmar Mile

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