This week many members of the Australian national team had their final competition before the 2018 Commonwealth Games Trials and they took the opportunity to throw down some impressive swims. Read about the highlights from that meet and more of the biggest stories of the week in The Week That Was.
The Week That Was #5 – Two-Time Olympian Abby Johnston Announces Retirement
Two-time U.S. Olympic diver Abby Johnston has announced her official retirement from diving. Johnston represented the United States at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, winning a silver medal with partner Kelci Bryant in the 3-meter synchro event. Johnston also made the individual final on 3-meter at the most recent Olympics in Rio. In a message posted on Twitter, Johnston reveals that she almost retired after her silver medal performance at the 2012 Games, but decided to continue to train through the next quad with new goals for Rio. Johnston dove dove for Duke University and while injuries prevented her from competing her senior year she continued to train at Duke while completing medical school in the lead-up to 2016.
The Week That Was #4 – Meilutyte to Train with Team Elite for a Month
Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte will spend the next month training with Coach David Marsh and Team Elite in San Diego. Meilutyte won gold in the women’s 100 breaststroke at the 2012 Olympics at just 15 years-old, incidentally the same meet where she first met Marsh. While she was just seventh at the 2016 Rio Olympics, she was fourth in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. Over her career the 20 year-old Lithuanian has broken 11 national records, eight European records, and threeOlym world records in addition to four World Championship titles.
The Week That Was #3 – Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky Nominated for Laureus Sports Awards
U.S. Olympic swimmers Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel have both been nominated for the Laureus Sports Awards for their performances at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest. Ledecky, who walked away from Budapest with five golds and one silver medal (the most she had ever won at a World Championships), is nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year. Dressel, who won seven gold medals in Budapest to tie Michael Phelps for most golds at a single Worlds, is nominated for the Breakthrough Athlete of the Year. Phelps himself won a Laureus award last year for Comeback of the Year. The awards will be handed out in Monaco on February 27, and you can read more about the awards here.
The Week That Was #2 – NC State and Virginia Split in First Meet Between DeSorbo and Holloway
This weekend Todd DeSorbo, the new head coach at the University of Virginia, led the Cavaliers against his former team, NC State, and former boss, Braden Holloway. Holloway and DeSorbo built NC State into one of the best swimming programs in the country together for six years until this past season, when DeSorbo left to take the head coaching job at Virginia, one of NC State’s biggest competitors. The meet ended up a split, with the Cavalier women taking down NC State 178-117 and the NC State men defeating the Cavaliers 193-100. In other college news, the undefeated Indiana men continued their winning streak on senior day against Purdue while the Tennessee men tied Georgia in their dual meet on Saturday. You can see all the major recaps of college meets from this week here.
The Week That Was #1 – Aussie Women Solid at New South Wales Championships
Several members of the Australian national team took to the pool this past week for the 2018 New South Wales State Championships. The final national meet before the Australian Commonwealth Trials, the Australian men and women put up some impressive performances in their final tune-up before their trials. 16-year-old Kaylee McKeown was a standout for the Australian women. McKeown owns the world junior record in the 200 back, and won both the 100 (59.67) and 200 (2:08.57) at this meet to look strong going into Aussie Trials. Cate Campbell, who has returned to competition following a brief hiatus after the 2016 Olympics, had strong swims in her specialty sprint events, posting wins of 24.15 and 52.37 in the 50 and 100 freestyle, respectively. She also posted the fastest textile time ever by an Australian in the 50 butterfly, throwing down a 25.68, and posted a personal best when she won the 200 free (1:58.86). You can see a full recap of the first day of the meet here and of the second day here.