The Morning Swim Show, Nov. 1, 2011: Davis Tarwater Aiming for Spot on Olympic Roster in 200 Fly

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 1. ON today's edition of The Morning Swim Show , Davis Tarwater talks about his goals and expectations for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Tarwater, who trains with the elite team at SwimMAC-Carolina, talks about fighting for a spot in the 200 fly against Tyler Clary and others, and how training with David Marsh full-time and Matt Kredich part-time will help achieve that goal. He also discusses competing in the upcoming pro league meet and what he hopes will come from it. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.

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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)

Peter Busch: This is The Morning Swim Show for Tuesday, November 1st, 2011. I'm your host, Peter Busch. In the Finis Monitor today, we'll talk to Davis Tarwater. He is one of the best butterflyers in America. He is training for next year's Olympic Trials. And Davis joins us right now in the Finis Monitor from Charlotte, North Carolina. Davis, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

Davis Tarwater: I'm good. Thanks for having me, Peter.

Peter Busch: All right, explain your training situation because we see the SwimMAC t-shirt. We know you swim for SwimMAC. But you train sometimes in Tennessee as well, right?

Davis Tarwater: Well, from 2008 to 2009, I trained with Matt Kredich and he is pretty much singularly responsible for kind of getting my career on a different path and we worked a lot on stroke technique. And I ended up at SwimMAC a year ago but I still move in and out of Knoxville fairly regularly with Matt.

Peter Busch: So if Matt was so instrumental in taking you to the next level, why not stick with him full time?

Davis Tarwater: Well, I mean what it really came down to was I got to the point where I really needed other guys around me. And MAC had an unbelievable pro environment and also, I just, in conjunction with Matt, thought that not only was the environment probably more conducive to success at MAC but Marsh, Coach Marsh is unbelievable at developing talent especially as guys getting into their later 20's. And so we are kind of working together but it's really worked out well.

Peter Busch: All right. So how is the training going for next year? Obviously, the big goal is trying to make the Olympic team.

Davis Tarwater: So far, so good. We're obviously in a period of heavy volume right now but everything has been going well and I'm coming off of a really good summer for me and so I'm just kind of excited to see where it goes.

Peter Busch: It was a good summer for you. You swam very well at Nationals, third in the 200 fly. One thing maybe a little surprising was how well you did in the 100 freestyle. Is that playing into the future plans? Do you think you can make that relay?

Davis Tarwater: I mean I hope so. I mean I'm definitely going to train for it and I keep it in mind. I took a year off and got my Master's and so I hadn't put in the amount of work in 2010 that I had in previous years so I was really excited, and I think kind of having that year off allowed me to kind of reset and maybe get a little bit bigger on the weight room. And I think the 100 free, the 49.0 leading off the relay is something that I'll definitely have to seriously consider as an event in next year's Trials.

Peter Busch: Where do you think you have to go to make that relay? 48.6? 48.7?

Davis Tarwater: It's tough. I mean when eight guys get in there and they're churning it up, it sometimes slows the field down a little bit. So I would think 48.7, 48.8 probably makes the team. But you know, it could always be faster.

Peter Busch: When you're swimming the 200 fly trying to qualify for the Olympics, do you want to be next to Phelps or do you want to be as far away from him as possible?

Davis Tarwater: You know, I have a lot of respect for Michael and we trained together for four years at the University of Michigan, but — and so I'm very familiar with what he does and having him around and frankly, I just, I block him out and I just kind of, I swim the race that I know how to swim and just let the chips fall where they may.

Peter Busch: I just don't know if, you know, you've got maybe Tyler Clary in Lane 5, you're on Lane 3 sort of situation. Clary, realistically the one you're racing for that second spot, I don't know if you want to be right next to that person or Phelps is a good rabbit to have in front of you, I don't know.

Davis Tarwater: Yes, I mean I really don't either. When it gets right down to it, I haven't swum my best when I focus on what other guys are doing. And what I'm trying to do is craft a race plan that's specific to Davis Tarwater and execute. And where the other guys are is sort of got to be inconsequential.

Peter Busch: Do you know yet what that race plan looks like?

Davis Tarwater: You know, obviously, it's going to be weighted on the last probably 75 meters of the race. In 2008, I didn't finish the race as well as I probably could have so I got to dial my training so that I'm coming home under 30 seconds in the last 50.

Peter Busch: Under 30 last 50 is kind of the, what tells you you're having a good swim?

Davis Tarwater: Yes.

Peter Busch: Okay. Interesting. Why no PanAms this year?

Davis Tarwater: It was just, it was a matter of just staying and wanting to train. I just was a little bit, needed a little bit of a break after Nationals and then I just wanted to put in big volume this fall and not have any interruption in that. And when I got my Master's at Oxford, I wasn't training that year and I came back. And now, I need to put, while I have the ability to do so, while I'm in shape, three-four-month-block months of work and to make sure I'm in the best shape I can be for next year.

Peter Busch: When you're older, do you have to train more or less than when you were like in college?

Davis Tarwater: I think it's just different. You have to focus more on things like stretching, dry-land rehab, lifting weights, and probably less time on aerobic threshold-style work. That is not to say that you don't hit the yards and you don't hit the intensity. But for me, I have a huge base and I've worked more on staying healthy, staying fit than I have just slugging it out.

Peter Busch: You are going to be involved in this Pro League, correct?

Davis Tarwater: Correct.

Peter Busch: We talked to Bobby Savulich last week. He was telling us all about it. It sounds pretty interesting.

Davis Tarwater: Yes, I'm really excited. And honestly, this is Bobby's baby. It's a brainchild of Michigan up there but mainly Bobby. And he's done an unbelievable job putting it together, and I just, I really like how it's something that comes from the athletes, you know. The athletes got together and they said, "We want a little something different. We want to get together, exchange ideas, maybe make a little money." And I think meet is kind of the groundwork for that idea and I think hopefully in the future, we can obviously include women and obviously maybe rotate the site of this kind of meet. But I think it's a really cool thing and I'm just really glad to be a part of it.

Peter Busch: What did you study at Oxford?

Davis Tarwater: Technically, it was Latin American studies. I studied basically the inter-American trade economics and sort of international diplomacy.

Peter Busch: Latin American studies and you passed up the chance to go to Guadalajara last week, man.

Davis Tarwater: I did. I did. I did. I'm kind of kicking myself over it because I see the Pan Ams coming on ESPN and what not and it just, it looks like — it looked like a really cool meet. But I thought our team represented the U.S. really well and I know the guys from SwimMAC that went down there, Kevin and Eugene, represented us really well so I couldn't be more proud about that.

Peter Busch: And I know your family has some, a long history of studying law. Your grandpa was even Attorney General of the state of Alabama, is that right?

Davis Tarwater: Yes, that's correct. That's correct.

Peter Busch: Very cool.

Davis Tarwater: Yes, he was the Attorney General and he was charged with integrating schools when Wallace segregated them, so he was also a civil rights activist and a great man. And my father is also an attorney so yes, I don't know whether law school is in the cards for me but we'll see. I got — I know I have another year of this so — right now, I'm a swimmer.

Peter Busch: Well, you're making your mark. It doesn't matter if it's different than outside of the courtroom or whatever. You're making your mark.

Davis Tarwater: Oh, thanks.

Peter Busch: Well, thanks a lot for joining us. Good luck with what's going to be a busy next nine or ten months.

Davis Tarwater: All right, great. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Peter Busch: All right, that's Davis Tarwater joining us in the Finis Monitor from Charlotte, North Carolina. That is it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.

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