International Racing And Stateside Outrage Highlight The Week That Was

Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

This week saw two more stops on the Mare Nostrum tour, giving more swimmers from around the world a chance to continue to sharpen their preparation as we move toward the 2016 Rio Olympics. Read about those meets and the stateside outcry related to the verdict in the Brock Turner case below in this week’s edition of The Week That Was.

The Week That Was #5 – More NCAA Coaching Changes

Photo Courtesy: Kyle Staggs

Photo Courtesy: Kyle Staggs

Another week in the spring means another week of coaching announcements in the NCAA. This week, Queens University of Charlotte head coach Jeff Dugdale announced the promotion of John Long to Associate Head Coach & Triathlete and Club Swimming Coordinator. Long has coached the Queens swimmers for the past four years, helping them rise from a top 10 team to national champions in the last two years. Long was also a member of the Queens team as an athlete, finishing his career there at NCAA’s in 2012. He recently qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials, his second time qualifying for the meet. In Division III news, Casey Brandt was announced as the new head coach at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Brandt is no stranger to the area, having served as the head coach of the Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Club for the past seven years and several other clubs across Maryland. He also graduated from nearby Loyola College, competing for the Greyhounds from 1991 to 1995.

The Week That Was #4 – Magnussen, Roberts, and Abood Join Australian Olympic Team


Photo Courtesy: Steve Christo/Swimming Australia

2012 Olympians James Magnussen and James Roberts were both officially added to the Aussie roster for the 2016 Rio Olympics this week. Fellow Australian Matt Abood was also added to the roster for the event, officially qualifying the 30 year old for his first Olympic team. All three were selected for the 4 x 100 freestyle relay following FINA’s confirmation of Australia’s quota spot. The three Aussies finished third, fourth, and fifth in the 100 free at Australian Trials back in April and have had to wait for confirmation of the relay quota spot after the Australian men’s relay placed outside of the top 12 at the World Championships last summer. This comes after a rocky two years for James Magnussen, who had surgery on his shoulder last year and sat out of World Championships while recovering. Magnussen was billed by many as the favorite in the 100 freestyle going into London four years ago, where he won silver .01 behind Nathan Adrian. The 25 year old Australian most recently won the 100 freestyle at the Santa Clara stop of the Arena Pro Series after a training trip in Colorado, and commented his shoulder is continuing to get stronger every week and he is excited to contribute to the Australian relays.

The Week That Was #3 – Mare Nostrum Canet Stop

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 15: Chad le Clos swims the qualifying time swim in the 100m time trail medley relay during the finals session on day 6 of the SA National Aquatic Championships and Olympic Trials on April 15 , 2016 at the Kings Park Aquatic Center pool in Durban, South Africa. Photo Credit / Anesh Debiky/Swim SA

Photo Courtesy: Anesh Debiky/Swimming South Africa

Athletes from around the world continued gearing up for the 2016 Rio Olympics at the second stop of the Mare Nostrum tour in Canet. The first day of the meet saw Chad le Clos take the win in the 100 butterfly (51.56) in a meet record, as well as close wins from Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen in the 50 free (24.66) and 100 butterfly (57.40). le Clos backed up his world leading time in the 200 butterfly from last week on day 2 of the meet, touching just .02 behind to grab the win in 1:54.82. Highlights from day 2 of the meet included Canadian Penny Oleksiak posting a fast win in the 100 freestyle (53.49), while world leader Marco Koch was upset in the 200 breaststroke by just .07. Russian Anton Chupkov beat Koch to the wall, 2:08.53 to 2:08.60.

Meanwhile, over the course of the two day meet, Katinka Hosszu continued her marathon schedule of events, competing in the finals of the 400 free (4:05.40), 400 IM (4:36.00), 50 backstroke (28.07), 200 backstroke (2:06.88), and 200 freestyle (1:56.85), while also adding prelims swims in the 200 fly and 100 back.


The Week That Was

The Week That Was #2 –  Records Fall At Mare Nostrum Barcelona


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The Mare Nostrum tour continued later in the week in Barcelona, with several new faces joining some familiar faces from the first two tour stops. The first day of the meet saw eight meet records fall. Two of those included British breaststroker Adam Peaty in the 100 breast (59.07) and Hungarian Katinka Hosszu posting a dominating win in the 400 IM (4:30.75). Both swimmers currently lead the world in their respective events. Chad le Clos continued his dominance in the 200 butterfly on this tour, setting a meet record and win in 1:54.42. The second day saw four more meet records fall, including Peaty in the 50 breast (26.68), Andriy Govorov in the 50 free (21.61), and Sarah Sjostrom in the 50 fly (25.27).

The Week That Was #1 – Outrage Over Ruling In Stanford Sexual Assault Case


Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

This week saw outrage over what many consider a lenient sentencing of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. In March, Turner was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault related to an on-campus incident that occurred in January of 2015, and was delivered his sentence this week. During that incident, Turner was pulled off of the unconscious victim by two graduate students and was held after trying to flee the scene until police arrived. Facing the possibility of up to 14 years in a California prison, Turner received a 6-month county jail sentence and 3 years of probation from Judge Aaron Perksy. The case has sparked a national conversation about the impact of sexual assault on victims that was sparked in part by the release of a widely shared open letter from the victim. People around the country have also publicly stated their support for the victim, including Vice President Joe Biden. A national debate about the nature of privilege and race related to the sentence has also been taking place, fueled by what has been described as a “tone deaf” letter to the judge from the victim’s father. This week, USA Swimming also added Turner will never be eligible to become a member. Turner’s membership expired in 2014, prior to the time he committed sexual assault.