The Week That Was: Cate Campbell Makes Big Return with Australian Record

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

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This was a huge week of swimming, with Australia holding its qualification meets for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and other professionals from around the world coming together at the latest TYR Pro Series meet in Atlanta. Check out the latest episode of The Week That Was.

The Week That Was #5 – Adam Peaty Wins Fourth 100 Breast Title at British Championships

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Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

100 breast Olympic champion and world record-holder Adam Peaty captured his fourth consecutive 100 breast title at the British Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week. Peaty was the only swimmer in the field under 1:00, dominating his heat with a 58.78 ahead of 200 breast champion James Wilby (1:00.05). Team England officially named Peaty to their Commonwealth Games roster back in October, and with just five weeks to go before the 2018 Games the 23-year old looks to be in a position to defend his 100 breaststroke title from 2014. That title back in 2014 was a breakout meet for Peaty, and from there he went on to become the first many under 58 seconds in the 100 breast in 2015 and then win Olympic gold in 2016.

The Week That Was #4 – Cal Men Capture Fifth Pac-12 Title

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

The Cal Bears claimed their fifth Pac-12 Championship this weekend in Federal Way, Wash., besting second place Stanford by more than 200 points. While Cal’s depth was a key to them winning the meet, Andrew Seliskar was a standout for the Golden Bears. The junior set a Pac-12 Championship meet record to win the 200 breast (1:51.30) and the 400 IM (3:38.65), while also finishing second in the 200 IM (1:41.85). Also setting a meet record for Cal was sophomore Zheng Quah, who set a championship record in the 200 butterfly (1:40.24). Cal’s Nick Norman kicked off the final night of the meet by winning the 1650 free (14:39.77), becoming the first Cal swimmer to win a title in that event in school history. You can see all the recaps and results from the men’s Pac-12 championships here.

The Week That Was #3 – USOC CEO Scott Blackmun Resigns Amid Criticism

Feb 6, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun addresses the media in a USOC leadership press conference during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Main Press Center-Pushkin Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Blackmun, the CEO of the United States Olympic Committee, announced his resignation this week. Blackmun was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few weeks ago and is citing health problems as the impetus for his resignation. Blackmun was not able to attend the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. However, the USOC is also conducting an independent review of Blackburn’s response to sexual misconduct cases related to USA Gymnastics and USA Swimming and whether the responses in question were appropriate. There were calls leading up to the Olympics calling for Blackmun’s resignation. Susanne Lyons, a current member of the USOC board, will serve as interim USOC CEO. You can read more on the story leading up to Blackmun’s resignation and the official statement from the USOC here.

The Week That Was #2 – Taylor Ruck Highlights Atlanta TYR Pro Series  

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

There were plenty of stars on hand at the lastest stop of the TYR Pro Series Meet in Atlanta, with international and national swimmers creating some dramatic matchups at the Georgia Tech pool. Taylor Ruck was one of the standouts from a very impressive field, posting the fastest time in the world in the 200 back (2:06.36)taking down world record holder Sarah Sjostrom in the 100 free, winning the 100 back by just .01 and adding a win in the 200 free for good measure. Also impressive was the pro group from Texas, who shaved and tapered for this meet and were pretty dominant throughout the meet. While his fastest times came in prelims, Andrew Wilson won the 100 and 200 breast, with the former event a personal best for the post-grad. Jack Conger also added a pool record and personal best time in the 100 fly (51.00) along with a win in the 200 free, while Madisyn Cox posted two dominating swims in the 200 IM (2:09.82) and 400 IM (4:37.94). Other notable swims included a personal best for Molly Hannis in the 100 breast (1:06.09)Chase Kalisz’s win in the 400 IM (4:08.92), and Sarah Sjostrom’s 56.62 100 fly on the first night of the meet. You can see full recaps from all the sessions, plus post-race interviews and results, here.

The Week That Was #1 – Cate Campbell, Ariarne Titmus Shine at Aussie Commonwealth Trials

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Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

The 2018 Australian Commonwealth Games Trials were held this week at the Optus Aquatic Centre on the Gold Coast. Several records fell over the four days of the meet, with 70 athletes ultimately earning a berth to represent their country on their home turf for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. A standout for the Aussies was Olympic gold medalist Cate Campbell, who after taking a year away from competition following a disappointing 2016 Olympics was stellar. Campbell opened the meet with an Australian record in the heats of the 50 fly (25.47) before capturing the 100 free (52.37) and ending the meet with a new Australian and Commonwealth record in the 50 free (23.79). Also impressive was 17-year old Ariarne Titmus, who set a new Australian record in the 400 free (4:02.36), opened the meet with a win and personal best in the 200 free (1:55.76), and was just a touch off the Australian record in the 800 free (8:20.08) to close the meet. You see recaps from all sessions of the 2018 Australian Trials here.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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