The Week That Was: Bingjie Li Highlights 2018 Fran Crippen Memorial Meet of Champions

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This week international and national swimmers put up some competitive times at the 2018 Fran Crippen Meet of Champions in California while one Olympic champion announced a shift in focus for his events heading into the next quad. Check out on these stories and more in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – USA Swimming Board Decides To Recognize Mixed Gender NAG Records

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The USA Swimming Board of Directors decided this week they will begin recognizing mixed gender relay National Age Group (NAG) records starting in September. That coincides with the traditional start of short course season in the States. The decision can be seen in the minutes of their most recent meeting minutes, which you can view here. In the minutes it is not clear which of the potential five relays they will recognize with this change. The Board of Directors will next meet in late September where they will presumably finalize more details on the new records. This follows in the footsteps of FINA’s decision back in 2013 to start tracking mixed gender relay world records, which have become more prominent internationally over the last few years culminating with the mixed 4×100 medley relay being added to the Olympic schedule in 2020.

The Week That Was #4 – Montenegro Men Claim World League Super Final

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Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Montenegro claimed victory in the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Super Final this week. Starting competition on Monday, June 18, the Montenegro team took down the Hungarians on their home turf in the final match, coming away with a 13-11 victory. The match was held at the Duna Arena, the venue build for last summer’s FINA World Championships. The match came down to the wire, with both teams tied 9-9 before Montenegro outscored Hungary 4-2 in the penalty shootout to win the Super Final crown. You can read a full recap of the match and the final standings of the World League Super Final here.

The Week That Was #3 – Ledecky Collects Multiple Accolades This Week

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Photo Courtesy: Instagram @kledecky

Newly minted professional swimmer Katie Ledecky continued her strong 2018 with a week of high profile accolades and appearances this week. She started off the week receiving the Al Masters Award from the Stanford Athletics department, which is an annual award presented to athletes that demonstrate “the highest standards of academics, leadership, and athletic performance.” Ledecky was also nominated for an award at the 34th Annual ESPY Awards under the category of “Best College Athlete” (you can vote for Ledecky and the other nominees here). Finally, the Olympic champion was also featured on the cover of this month’s National Geographic, making history as the first Olympic swimmer pictured on the cover of the magazine. You can read more about Ledecky’s feature in the magazine here.

The Week That Was #2 – Schooling Hints He May Be Dropping 200 Fly Internationally

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

Olympic champion Joseph Schooling made his return to the long course pool for the first time since last summer’s World Championships at the Singapore National Swimming Championships. Schooling opened the meet by taking home the gold in the 100 fly in 52.43, beating out Australians Matthew Temple (52.59) and Bowen Gough (53.20) in his first official race since turning pro. Notably, Schooling also indicated that he may be dropping the 200 butterfly from his event schedule ahead of the upcoming Asian Games. Schooling is the national record holder in the event for Singapore with a 1:55.73 from the 2015 Southeast Asia Games, and was a bronze medalist in the event at the 2014 Asian Games. He was slated to compete in the event at the 2016 Olympics and last summer’s World Championships but ultimately decided to bypass the event both times. And despite breaking the NCAA and US Open record in the 200 yard butterfly at NCAA’s his sophomore year, the former Texas swimmer has failed to make top-16 in the event at the National Championships the last two seasons competing for the Longhorns.

The Week That Was #1 – Bingjie Li Highlights 2018 Fran Crippen Memorial Meet of Champions

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

The 2018 Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions was underway this week at the Marguerite Aquatics Complex in Mission Viejo, CA. 16-year old Chinese national swimmer Bingjie Li was one of the most impressive performers at the meet, sweeping the freestyle events from the 200 up to the 1500. The young swimmer opened the meet with a win in the 1500 (16:07.75) before adding wins in the 400 (4:06.26), 200 (1:56.93), and 800 (8:25.53) over the course of the meet. Other notable swims included Stanford’s Ella Eastin strong win in the 200 fly (2:09.82), while fellow Pac-12 swimmer Katie McLaughlin showed off her developing sprint talents with wins in the 50 free (25.19) and 100 free (54.45). You can see all of the recaps and results from 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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