PHOENIX, Arizona, January 23. WE have a tie at the top of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America's new poll of the Division I men's rankings. Arizona and Michigan both received the most votes in this week's poll after strong performances in their first meets of 2013. Michigan has swum in five meets since the last poll in December, justifying their place at the top with strong performances, especially at the SMU Classic, where they were second behind USC. Arizona was helped to the number one spot on the strength of diver Rafael Quintero at the Bruin Diving Invitational, the only meet for the Arizona men since the USA Swimming nationals last month. USC moved up to number three after winning the SMU Classic, with Cal and Florida rounding out the top five.
In other college news, Swimming World has learned that Minnesota junior Kyler van Swol is academically ineligible to compete this spring, which will affect Minnesota's performance at the Big 10 championships and the NCAAs. Van Swol had a chance to make the top eight at NCAAs in the butterfly events and help the Golden Gophers on crucial relay duty.
Michael Phelps told the Washington Post in an interview this week that his biggest source of inspiration to keep training for the 2012 Olympics was not his coach, his mother or his sisters, but Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Phelps said in the article that Lewis identified with Phelps' lack of motivation at times through the years, and was the one who was able to keep Phelps' drive high as he approached his final Olympics. It's no secret that Phelps and Lewis are longtime friends, but to hear that the football player had a lot to do with Phelps' success goes to show that motivation can come from anyone.