PHOENIX, Arizona, December 27. JULY and August were SwimmingWorldMagazine.com's busiest Flash! months as a ridiculous amount of world records fell during the long course season.
Meanwhile, Rutgers University started another annual season our sport could live without – collegiate men's swimming chopping block watch. The fight to change this decision is still continuing. Hopefully, SwimmingWorldMagazine.com will have another Flash! story soon entitled "Rutgers Swimming Saved."
Rewind looks back at the news grabbing Flash! tag billing in July and August.
∙ Olympian Gary Hall, Jr., Sister, Survive Shark Attack — July 2, 2006 by Phillip Whitten
After a month with no Flash! tagged news, July started off with a bang as news reports came in that Gary Hall Jr. and his sister survived a shark attack off the Florida Keys.
In the first news item of what would become an integral part of the swimming community's news for the year, the Rutgers University Board of Directors announced that men's swimming, along with five other sports, would be cut at the end of the 2006-07 competitive season.
The German women started off a white-hot summer for swimming with the first world record of that time. The team of Petra Dallman, Daniela Goetz, Britta Steffen and Annika Liebs erased the global standard in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:35.22.
The next day, Brendan Hansen began a world-record run in which he claimed three breaststroke standards in less than a month. He opened the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships with a 59.13 in the 100 breast to lower his own standard.
After helping the German 400 free relay to a world record earlier at the European Championships, Steffen broke Libby Lenton's 100 free global standard of 53.42 with a time of 53.30.
Germany continued to dominate the women's events at the Euro Champs with its second relay world record of the meet. The team of Petra Dallman, Daniela Samulski, Steffen and Annika Liebs shattered the former global standard of the U.S. (7:53.42) in the 800 free relay with a time of 7:50.82.
Two days later, Hansen provided a world-record bookend to the U.S. National Championships with a 2:08.74 in the 200 breast to lower his previous record time of 2:09.04 set at the 2004 Olympic Trials.
As stated in the title, Manaudou broke the 4:03 barrier in the 400 free with a time of 4:02.13. She nearly vaulted through a pair of barriers with the swim, as she almost went sub 4:02.
At the Deutscher Ring Aquatics meet in Hamburg, Germany, Roland Schoeman clocked a 20.98 to break Fred Bousquet's 50 short course meter free standard of 21.10 set in 2004.
At the Pan Pacific Championships, a pair of 200 fly world records fell as Jessicah Schipper (2:05.40) and Michael Phelps (1:53.80) raced to global standards in the four-lap fly.
The world records kept falling at Pan Pacs as Aaron Peirsol clocked a 1:54.44 in the 200 back to lower his previous standard of 1:54.66.
The U.S. foursome of Michael Phelps, Neil Walker, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak closed the third day of Pan Pacs with the fourth world record of the meet. This time, the team hit the wall in 3:12.46 to clear the previous 400 free relay standard of 3:13.17 set in 2004.
Michael Phelps grabbed his third world record at the Pan Pacific Championships with an incredible 1:55.84 in the 200 IM. That effort nipped his previous standard of 1:55.94 set in 2003.
Brendan Hansen continued his awesome month of August by shedding time off his 200 breast world record. At Pan Pacs, Hansen stopped the clock in 2:08.50 to cut .24 seconds off his time posted at the U.S. National Championships.
Leisel Jones captured another world record, this time with a clocking of 1:04.12 in the 100 short course meter breast at the Australian Short Course Championships to shave .67 seconds off the previous standard held by American Tara Kirk.
Leisel and Libby paired up for two more short course global standard at the Aussie Short Course Champs. Jones broke the 100 breast with a 1:03.86, while Lenton touched in 55.95 in the 100 fly.