The Week That Was: Aussie Stars Light Up Short Course Worlds Trials

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia/Delly Carr

The highlight of this week was the Australian Short Course World Championship Trials in Melbourne, where veterans and rookies alike battled for a spot on their country’s roster later this year. Check out the updates from that meet and the other stories of the week in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Greg Earhart Named New CSCAA Executive Director

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This weel the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) announced the appointment of Greg Earhart to the position of Executive Director. Earhart had been serving as the Interim Executive Director of the CSCAA following Joel Shinofield’s departure for a new position with USA Swimming. Earhart has been with the CSCAA since 2015, when he was hired as Director of Research and Programs, and has spent twenty-one seasons as a coach at the collegiate level.

The Week That Was #4 – Michael Phelps Discusses Mental Health Awareness On Today Show

July 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Former olympic swimmer Michael Phelps arrives for the 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

The GOAT Michael Phelps appeared on the Today Show with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb this week to discuss his work erasing the stigma around mental health. The Olympian also fielded questions about his son’s own swimming while also shutting down the possibility of a 2020 Olympic comeback. Phelps recounted his own struggles with his mental health, including a low point in October of 2014 where he wouldn’t leave his room for days after his arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol while speeding. Today shared several of the interview clips on social media, including some of Phelps answering questions about his son Boomer and if there was any possibility of a comeback that would put the Olympian back in the competition pool. You can see the clips here.

The Week That Was #3 – Florida Downs Georgia At Home For First Time In 25 Years

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team, in its first season under new head coach Jeff Poppell, made history in Georgia this week, defeating the No. 11 Bulldogs in Athens for the first time in 25 years. The meet was a back and forth battle between the two teams, with the final score ending at 158-142. Down just two points with two events left, Florida swept the 400 IM and won the 4×100 freestyle relay to come back and clinch the dual meet. The meet was something of a homecoming for Head Coach Poppell as well. Poppell is a Georgia alum, and the Bulldogs honor a student-athlete with the Jeff Poppell Award for leadership each year. You can all the latest updates on college action from this weekend here.

The Week That Was #2 – Sjostrom Announces She Will Skip 2018 Short Course Worlds

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

This week Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom announced that she will be skipping the 2018 Short Course World Championships in China this December. The Swedish Olympic champion made the announcement on her Instagram page. Sjostrom has the world’s top ranking in the short course meters 50 fly (24.61), 200 free (1:51.60) and is ranked second in the 100 fly (54.91), 50 free (23.36) and 100 free (51.21). This is not the first time a top level athlete has skipped short course worlds. Sjostrom, herself, skipped the 2016 meet in Windsor, Canada. She did compete in 2014 and won the 50 fly, 100 fly and 200 free.

The Week That Was #1 – Twenty Selected For Australia’s 2018 Short Course Worlds Roster

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Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia/Delly Carr

Some of Australia’s best swimmers collected in Melbourne this week for a chance to qualify for their country’s team for the upcoming FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China later this year. Twenty swimmers, including seven rookies, were selected for the Worlds team. Three Australian team veterans, Emily Seebohm, Mitch Larkin, and Cameron McEvoy, all qualified as well, with Seebohm picking up her 31st Australian short course title to cement herself as the all-time leader in Australian swimming history. McEvoy also had a strong return to the pool after sitting out long course trials this summer. The 24-year old switched coaches three months ago, and the switch seems to be working: the Australian record holder was just off his All-Comers record in the 100 free, touching out Kyle Chalmers with a 46.32. You can see highlights and recaps from all three nights of the meet 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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