PHOENIX, Arizona, February 4. MICHAEL Phelps was on hand at the Superdome in New Orleans yesterday to watch the Baltimore Ravens, his hometown football team, win the Super Bowl in the final seconds. Phelps said he and his mother were in tears after the victory, an unusual thing for Phelps since we never saw him break down during any of his own emotional swimming moments. Phelps was there to cheer on Ray Lewis in what is believed to be his final football game. Lewis helped Phelps find the motivation needed to get back into the pool after the 2008 Olympics, and Phelps repaid the kindness yesterday by supporting his friend.
Earlier in the weekend, the competition in various pools around the country were just as intense as the rivalry in the Super Bowl. One of the biggest took place on the campus of Stanford University, where the Cardinal took down the top-ranked Trojans women's team on Saturday. Maya Dirado, Maddy Schaefer and Felicia Lee helped Stanford's cause by winning two events each, setting the Cardinal up for the Big One, the dual against Cal this Saturday.
Texas and Arizona's men's and women's teams met in Austin for a tri-meet that included Southern Methodist University. Texas was able to secure the victories in the men's and women's meets in their home pool, winning by very close margins. On the women's side, eight points was the margin of victory, while the men had a bigger cushion, taking the win by 41 points. Michael McBroom had the swim of the meet, posting what is believed to be the fastest 1000-yard freestyle in collegiate history with an 8:43.48. Unfortunately, there is no NCAA record for the event, and the swim is seven seconds off the official USA Swimming American record held by Erik Vendt.
Georgia's Jack Bauerle and South Carolina's McGee Moody hit some major milestones this weekend. Bauerle won dual meets number 200 and 201 on the men's side last weekend in beating Alabama and South Carolina. His record is more impressive for the Georgia women, as he's won 287 dual meets for them. As for Moody, he won his 100th dual meet on Saturday when his women's team beat Alabama near the end of his sixth season there.
Emily Brunnemann won her second 10K race in the FINA World Cup on Saturday in Argentina by a four-second margin, which is smaller than the 30-second margin she had to win in Brazil a week ago to open the World Cup series. Romain Beraud won his second straight 10K as well, making a name for himself in the open water racing community. In addition to the $2,500 prize for winning the race, Brunnemann and Beraud are in the lead for the overall grand prizes of $20,000 for the top female and male of the series.
Kosuke Kitajima is not retiring from the sport, choosing to return to his former coach Norimasa Hirai in Japan for at least one more year in the race pool. And Kitajima is taking the 200 breast off his program, choosing the 50 and 100 breaststrokes to race in this April at the world championship trials. Kitajima was unable to secure a threepeat in the 100 or 200 breaststroke in London, finishing out of the medals in both events, but is still regarded as one of the most accomplished breaststrokers in history.
British Swimming today announced the new high performance director and national team head coach for the new Olympic cycle. Bill Furniss, who guided Rebecca Adlington to success in the pool, will be the country's new national head coach, while Chris Spice, who has worked in a variety of sports, will be the national performance director. Both will start in April, before the country's world championship trials. The country has been without a person filling these roles since Dennis Pursley ended his stint as head coach after the Olympics and Michael Scott resigned as performance director in December.