This week saw a number of noteworthy conference championships across the U.S., including the Ivy League, SEC, ACC and Big Ten Championships. Catch up on the highlights from those meets in this week’s edition of the week that was!
The Week That Was #5 – Yale Women Win First Ivy Title In 20 Years
The Yale Bulldogs had a historic weekend in Providence, Rhode Island, taking home their first women’s Ivy League Championship in twenty years. Yale had a tight battle with Harvard through the four day meet, with the Bulldogs ultimately widening their gap on the final day to pull away with the win with 1,681 points. Harvard finished second with 1,590.5 points, while Princeton was well back in third with 1,024 points. Yale’s win also marked the first championship win by a team other than Harvard or Princeton since the 1998-1999 season, when Brown earned their last team championship. The Bulldogs won 14 events throughout the meet, including all five relays, and swept the meet awards. Junior Cailley Silbert and sophomore Bella Hindley tied for High Point Swimmer of the Meet, and senior Kina Zhou was named Career Swimming Scoring Champion for her four years at the meet. Senior diver Lilybet MacRae was named High Point Diver of the Meet and Career Diving Scoring Champion.
The Week That Was #4 – Frank Busch Stepping Down From USA Swimming
This week, Frank Busch announced that he will be stepping down as the National Team Director of USA Swimming. This is the second big leaderships changes for USA Swimming this year, following Chuck Wielgus’ retirement from the Executive Director position. Busch’s retirement will be effective September 1, 2017, which will mean he will finish off his tenure with the organization through this summer’s World Championships in Hungary. Busch has been the National Team Director since the spring of 2011, replacing interim Director Jim Wood who replaced Mark Schubert. Prior to becoming National Team Director, Busch had a long and successful coaching career that was highlighted by 22 years as the head coach at the University of Arizona. While at Arizona Busch led his men and women’s teams to NCAA titles in 2008 and was named NCAA Coach of the Year six times. He has also served on multiple USA National Team coaching staffs, including the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. During Busch’s time as National Team Director, USA Swimming won 64 total Olympic medals between the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. USA Swimming will set up a task force in charge of the search for a new National Team Director.
The Week That Was #3 – Caeleb Dressel Highlights Fast SECs
Florida junior Caeleb Dressel highlighted a fast SEC meet with some historic relay splits and SEC records. The Florida Gator opened the meet by becoming the second man to split 17 in a 50 freestyle, anchoring Florida’s winning 200 medley relay with a 17.90 split. He would later tie the fastest split in history, splitting a 17.86 on Florida’s 200 free relay. That tied the split from USC’s Vlad Morozov back in 2013. Dressel would go on to finish the meet with the fastest 100 free split in history, clocking a 40.20 on the third leg of Florida’s 400 free relay. Aside from his lightning fast relay contributions, Dressel also won the 50 free (18.46), 100 fly (44.21), and 100 free (41.24). Florida would ultimately go on to capture the men’s team title with 1271.5 points over Georgia, who was nearly 300 points back with 985 points. Texas A&M captured the women’s team title over the Georgia Bulldogs, 1304 to 1113.
The Week That Was #2 – NC State Captures First Women’s ACC Title Since 1980
The North Carolina State women’s team made history this week in Atlanta, winning their first ACC team title since 1980. The Wolfpack unseated nine-time defending champion Virginia, winning with 1183.5 points to Virginia’s 1100.5. NC State senior Alexia Zevnik was named Most Valuable Swimmer of the of the Meet, recording wins in the 200 IM (1:54.44), 100 back (50.80), and 200 back (1:49.61). Zevnik’s times in the 200 IM and 200 backstroke were ACC meet records, while her 100 back time moved her to No. 1 in the country. NC State also set new ACC records in the 200 free (1:27.31), 400 free (3:10.31), and 200 medley (1:34.89) relays. The meet also featured some fast swims from Louisville’s Mallory Comerford, who set new meet records in the 100 free (46.75) and 200 free (1:41.70) and helped Louisville to a third place finish with 1027 points.
The Week That Was #1 – Lilly King Rests 100 Breaststroke Record
Indiana sophomore Lilly King had a record-breaking Big Ten Championships, taking down the NCAA and American records in the 100 breast. Going out it 26.35, the Olympic gold medalist touched the wall in 56.30 to reset the record books. King had already held the America, NCAA, and Big Ten record at 56.85 in addition to hold the meet (57.35) and pool records (57.46) in the event. King also recorded the fastest 50 breast split in history (25.55) to open the meet, and closed the competition with the second fastest 200 breast in history (2:04.03) over Minnesota senior Kierra Smith (2:04.37). King was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Meet for her performances, which also included a win in the 200 IM (1:55.90). But despite King’s impressive efforts, the University of Michigan repeated as Big Ten Champions with 1,287 points, edging out Indiana (1,101.5) and Wisconsin (1,086).