PHOENIX, Arizona, February 27. FOUR college conference championships got underway with diving earlier today in the United States as several teams look to qualify athletes for next month's NCAA championships. The swimming portion of the meet kicks off tonight with the 800 free relay and the 200 medley relay at the Big East, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac 12 championships. It will be interesting to see what the University of Texas can pull off tonight in the men's 800 free relay. The Longhorns are the reigning NCAA champions, and could make a statement tonight that they remain the ones to beat this year. Michigan's men's team could also be a contender at NCAAs, so we're anxious to see what time they put up tonight.
Cal-Berkeley is the reigning NCAA champ in the 200 medley relay, and with a strong stable of backstrokers, we'll see how head coach Teri McKeever fills out the relay card.
Be sure to follow swimmingworld.com for recaps from tonight's races.
Could we see a rule allowing unlimited dolphin kicks off the start in breaststroke? It is a possibility, says Vladimir Salnikov, the Olympic champion in the 1500 freestyle and now president of the Russian swimming federation. Salnikov said FINA could consider a rule that will allow swimmers to do dolphin kicks underwater up to 15 meters on the start and swim normal breaststroke after that. This appears to be in response to the argument that no matter what happens, stroke judges are unable to accurately tell how many dolphin kicks a swimmer takes on the start of a breaststroke race, because splashing and glares get in the way. At the London Olympics, Cameron van der Burgh admitted to doing more than one dolphin kick on the start of the 100 breast on the way to a gold medal, and others were documented doing it as well. FINA said it would also be considering underwater video judging, but many believe it will be too cost prohibitive. The FINA Congress will meet this summer before the world championships to discuss how to move forward.