5 Headlines To Talk About: The Week That Was

Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 23-08-2014 Berlino sport 32mi Campionati Europei LEN di nuoto nella foto: Ruta Meilutyte LTU Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 23-08-2014 Berlin 32rd LEN European Swimming In the photo: Ruta Meilutyte LTU
Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia Dalberto/Lapresse

The FINA world championships start in about a month in Russia, and the buzz leading up to the year’s biggest aquatic sports event is building. For this edition of The Week That Was, we look at the top five headlines that had people talking, including a close call with a swimming world record and a nailbiting water polo match.

The Week That was is supported by AgonSwim.com

The Week That Was #5: Margo Geer nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year award

Margo Geer

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Another University of Arizona standout has the opportunity to be named NCAA Woman of the Year. Margo Geer, a three-time NCAA champion, was nominated by the Pac 12 Conference for the prestigious award after being named the conference’s woman of the year. The national award looks not only at athletic accomplishment but the work each student-athlete has done away from the athletic arena. Geer, a member of the University of Arizona student-athlete advisory council, has been very active in the Tucson community, volunteering at many charities while earning a business degree. If she wins the NCAA Woman of the Year award, she’ll be the fourth Arizona swimmer to do it, behind Whitney Myers (2007), Lacey Nymeyer (2009) and Justine Schluntz (2010).

The Week That Was #4: Joe Schooling leads resurgent Singapore at SEA Games

joseph-schooling-texas-ncaa-2015 (9)

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold

It’s only been eight months since Sergio Lopez took the Singapore national team head coach position, but the country is already improving based on the performances at last week’s SEA Games. The event features some of the top athletes from the southeast Asian countries, and while Singapore was not the only successful country, its athletes had many reasons to celebrate. Joe Schooling, the best swimmer the country has seen, won nine gold medals at the meet, including setting a few lifetime bests. The highlight swim might have been his 1:55.73 in the 200 butterfly, which was a lifetime best and seventh in the world rankings (at the time of the swim). Several other Singaporean swimmers broke national records, and the country won 42 swimming medals, almost three times more than runner-up Vietnam. Vien Nguyen was the standout in the women’s meet, winning 10 medals, eight of which were gold.

The Week That Was

The Week That Was #3: USA women’s water polo team holds on to win Super Final

Photo Courtesy: Jen Adams/USA Water Polo

Photo Courtesy: Jen Adams/USA Water Polo

In what could be seen as a preview of the final at the world championships, the United States and Australia went head-to-head in the FINA World League Super Final and waged a spectacularly intense competition. The United States led 6-2 after the first quarter, but could only manage two more goals in the remainder of the game while Australia scored five more. The final score: 8-7. USA head coach Adam Krikorian’s response to the win was very telling: “I’ve never been so disappointed after a win. Australia outplayed us for three quarters. Luckily we had a big lead and made some crucial defensive stops in the last minute of the game.” The Americans have about five weeks to refocus before starting play at the world championships, where they will try to improve on their fifth-place finish from the 2013 worlds.

The Week That Was #2: Health scare prompts Brittany Elmslie to withdraw from world championships

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Australia’s 800 freestyle relay got a bit of a setback when Brittany Elmslie decided to withdraw from the world championship team. The announcement was coupled with the news that Elmslie had surgery to remove a benign growth in her breast last month. Though Elmslie is on the mend, the surgery required her to spend so much time out of the pool that she felt that she would not be in the best shape to represent Australia at worlds. Elmslie was set to race in the 400 free relay and 800 free relay. The federation has not announced if Elmslie’s place on the relays will be filled by a swimmer already on the world championship team, or if a new member will be named.

The Week That Was #1: Europe hosts fast pre-worlds meets

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Before athletes begin their final preparations for world championships, Europe played host for three very high-stakes swim meets. Athletes at the Sette Colli meet in Rome turned out to make the most noise, including Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom. Swimming in the same pool where she won her first world title in 2009 as a 15-year-old, Sjostrom nearly reclaimed the world record in the 100 butterfly with a 56.04. That’s a lifetime best for her, and the second-fastest performance in history. We’ll see if Sjostrom can improve on that at the world championships, where that will be her first race in Kazan. Sjostrom was also impressive with season bests in the 50 and 100 freestyles. Ruta Meilutyte, another champion at a young age who is continuing to excel, cemented her status as the fastest sprint breaststroker on the planet with a 1:05.68 in the 100 breast. Over in Spain and Monaco, the Mare Nostrum series finished up with a new world-leading time from Katinka Hosszu in the 400 IM with a 4:31.93 in Barcelona, and an upset of sorts in the 200 fly as Japan’s Daiya Seto beat reigning Olympic and world champion Chad Le Clos in Monaco. Ryan Lochte couldn’t break the 1-2 lock that Seto and Kosuke Hagino have on the 200 IM as the Japanese were too dominant in Europe to be defeated. With the Santa Clara stop of the Arena Pro Swim Series and the French Open the last two elite competitions remaining before world championships, the stakes are increasing exponentially.


  1. avatar

    I agree with Sjostrom’s ER as #1, I was pretty shocked by that; the WR seems like only a matter of time now, if not this summer then next for sure. I was also surprised that Schooling’s 1:55.7 was his lifetime best, since he’s been under 2:00 for the 2IM for several years now and fly is arguably his best stroke. But each meet he becomes gradually more formidable and is definitely a podium threat in one or more events at both Worlds and Rio next year.

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      Schooling’s long course 200 fly has been off the past few years but a year of training in Austin is likely to change that.