PHOENIX, Arizona, November 27. JOANNE Jackson of Great Britain is hanging up the cap and goggles, announcing through British Swimming that she is retiring after a career that includes two world records and an Olympic medal. Jackson held the world records in the 400 free for long course and short course, both set in 2009. The long course record was broken later that year, while the short course record lasted until just last weekend. Jackson was part of a close race in the 2008 Olympics in the 400 free, earning the bronze behind Rebecca Adlington and Katie Hoff. Jackson said she's looking to start a swim school in England to help bring younger swimmers into the sport.
Canada named its top aquatic sports athletes and coaches last night at a gala in Toronto. Ryan Cochrane and Martha McCabe were named male and female athletes of the year for their performances in the London Olympics. Cochrane won silver in the 1500 free and McCabe placed fifth in the 200 breast, the highest placing for a Canadian female in London.
Benoit Huot had an amazing time at the Paralympics, setting a fast world record in the 200 IM, a performance that was part of the reason he was named male Para-swimming athlete of the year. Summer Mortimer, who had transferred from able-bodied swimming to the Paralympics after suffering an accident in 2008, was honored as the female disabled athlete after winning two gold, a silver and bronze. Richard Weinberger, the bronze medalist in the Olympic 10K swim, was the overwhelming choice for open water swimmer of the year. Randy Bennett and Joszef Nagy were named coaches of the year for their work with Cochrane and McCabe. You can read more about the event on swimmingworld.com, and see interviews and footage from the event.
The field of four teams is now set for this weekend's NCAA men's water polo tournament, set to take place in Los Angeles. Southern Cal, the defending champion and host of the tournamet, is the top seed, with cross-town rival and last year's runner-up UCLA set to play as well. Though anything is possible, it's very likely these two teams will meet again in the final on Sunday. Southern Cal is looking to win its fifth consecutive national title, while UCLA is hoping to win for the first time since 2007. The other teams set to play this weekend are Air Force and St. Francis.