The Week That Was: Australians Dominate Start Of Commonwealth Games

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

The Australians have been dominant at the start of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the first of two big international competitions for the Aussies this summer. Read about the results of the first five days of that meet and catch up on the biggest stories of the week in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Allison Schmitt Set To Make Return At Mesa Pro Swim Series

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Olympic gold medalist Allison Schmitt will make her return to competition this week at the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series at Mesa, with official entries in the 100 and 200 freestyle. This will be Schmitt’s first time racing since the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she left with a gold medal as part of Team USA’s 800 freestyle relay. Mesa makes sense as a meet to test the comeback waters for Schmitt, who moved to nearby Tempe to continue training with Bob Bowman leading up to the 2016 Olympics. The meet runs from Thursday, April 12 through Sunday, April 15, with daily prelims beginning at 9:00am PDT and finals starting at 5:00pm PDT on Thursday April 12 and 4:40pm PDT on April 13-14. You can find more information about the TYR Pro Swim Series at Mesa over on USA Swimming’s website here, and the full psych sheet of the meet here.

The Week That Was #4 –  Looze, Albiero Named U.S. Pan Pacific Coaches

Coach Ray Looze cheers on his swimmer.

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

USA Swimming announced this week that Indiana head coach Ray Looze and Louisville head coach Arthur Albiero have been selected to lead the United States’ team for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships this summer. Looze was just named the CSCAA Coach of the Year following the conclusion of the NCAA Championships and currently coaches several prominent members of the USA National Team, including Lilly King, the defending Olympic gold medalist in the 100 breaststroke, as well as Cody Miller, Blake Pieroni, and Zane Grothe. Albiero is coming off Louisville’s best NCAA finish in school history last month, and currently coaches Olympic medalist Kelsi Dahlia and five-time world champion Mallory Comerford. This is Looze’s sixth appearance as a National Team coach and Albiero’s fifth. Swimmers will qualify for the U.S. roster at the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships, slated for July 25-29 in Irvine, CA, with Pan Pacs scheduled for August 9-13 in Tokyo, Japan.

The Week That Was #3 – National Records Tumble At YMCA Nationals

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Photo Courtesy: Lou Petto> Upper Main Line YMCA

Records were tumbling at the 2018 YMCA Short Course National Championships in Greensboro, NC. Max McHugh crushed his old Y National Record in both breaststroke events, clocking a 51.61 in the prelims of the 100 before taking the record even lower with a 51.59 in finals. He also dropped almost 2 seconds in the 200 breaststroke, taking it all the way to 1:53.59. Brendan Burns also set National YMCA records in the 200 fly (1:44.49), 100 backstroke (46.24), and the 100 fly (46.61). Ross Dant also won the mile by 20 seconds in a National record time of 14:50.97. Sarasota won the combined team standings (609 points) as well as the men’s meet (401 points), while the Cheshire women were at the top of the women’s meet (209 points). You can see full recaps of the 2018 YMCA Short Course National Championships here.

The Week That Was #2 – Ikee Smashes National Records at Japanese Nationals

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 2018 Japanese National Championships were underway in Tokyo, Japan this week, with swimmers competing for spots on the roster for the Pan Pacific Championships, Asian Games, Junior Pan Pacs, and Youth Olympics. Seventeen-year-old Rikako Ikee stole the show at the meet, setting four national records over the course of the five day meet. Ikee set new marks in the 50 free (24.21), 100 free (53.03), 50 fly (25.43), and 100 fly (56.38), with her records in the 50 fly and 100 free coming on the final day of the meet. Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Hagino also picked up wins in the 200 IM (1:56.37) and 400 IM (4:10.69), while Yasuhiro Koseki swept all three breaststroke events, including taking down world record holder Ippei Watanabe in the 200 breast.

The Week That Was #1 – Australians Dominate Commonwealth Games

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Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games started this week in Australia, with the Australians dominating the swimming events through the first several days of competition. Cate Campbell has been the star of the Aussie team so far at the meet, contributing to a new world record in the 4×100 freestyle relay to open the meet with the fastest relay split in history (51.00). Campbell also won the 50 free (23.78), the third fastest time in history, and led a 1-2-3 Aussie sweep in the 50 butterfly. Of note also was Kyle Chalmers return to competition after sitting out 2017 following heart surgery. Chalmers, the 2016 gold medalist in the 100 free, took gold in the 200 free over countrymate Mack Horton. Other notable swims included Chad le Clos winning his third straight title in the 200 butterfly and Canadian Kylie Masse taking gold in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. You can see full recaps off all sessions of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on our Event Landing Page.

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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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