The Week That Was: Fort Lauderdale Approves $27 Million Bid For ISHOF Pool Renovations

Photo Courtesy: City of Fort Lauderdale

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The biggest news from the week was the approval of the much anticipated pool renovations for the International Swimming Hall of Fame pool, totaling $37 million. Read about the planned updates to the pool and the other biggest stories of the week in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Lizzie Simmonds Announces Retirement From Swimming

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Photo Courtesy: Ian MacNicol

British Olympic backstroker Lizzie Simmonds announced her retirement from the sport of swimming this week on her social media accounts. Simmonds, who competed from Great Britain in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, wrote “after 15 heavily chlorinated years of elite swimming it’s finally time for me to retire and join the real world.” Her highest Olympic finish was finishing fourth in the 200 back at her home Games in London in 2012, and owns seven medals for the European Championships, two short course world championship medals, and one Commonwealth Games medal. Simmonds also posted a longer reflection on her career on her personal blog, which you can see here.

The Week That Was #4 – Jack Conger Drops 51.34 100 Fly At Austin Speedo Sectionals

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Speedo Sectional meets were underway across the United States this week as the long course championship season begins for many age groupers across the country. While many rising age group stars were using these meets as a tune up ahead of Futures or Junior Nationals, other U.S. National teamers were using the meets as opportunities to get in some tune-up swims ahead of U.S. Nationals. Jack Conger, representing Nation’s Capital, had probably the most notable of these swims down in Austin, popping a 51.34 100 fly that is just off his season best of 51.00 that ranks him as the #1 American going into Nationals. He also won the 100 free in 48.76 earlier in the meet. You can see all the recaps of this week’s Sectional meets here.

The Week That Was #3 – Charlotte Bonnett Completes Freestyle Triple at 2018 French Open

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

While technically occuring last week, Charlotte Bonnet completed an impressive freestyle triple at the 2018 French Open in Chartres ahead of the European Championships in August. The French Olympian won the 50 free (24.66), 100 free (53.34), and 200 free (1:56.59), with her time in the 50 bettering her previous personal best from French Nationals in May. Her times in the 100 and 200 were just off of her season bests of 52.74 and 1:55.53 that have her solidly in the top 10 in the world. Other notable swimmers at the meet included Brazilian Bruno Fratus, who recorded another sub-22 win in the men’s 50 free to continue to cement his title as the most consistent sprinter in history. He won the event in 21.90 over newly minted world record holder Andriy Govorov, who was second in 22.11. Govorov did win the 50 fly in 22.73, about a half second off of his recent record from the Sette Colli Trophy.

The Week That Was #2 – ACC And Big Ten Announce First Ever Conference Challenge

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Photo Courtesy: Dave Wegiel

The Atlantic Coast Conference swimming and diving programs will square off against the Big Ten Conference in the first ever ACC/Big Ten Challenge this November 10-11, both conferences announced this week. The two days short course yards meet with be held at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center at Purdue University, and the format will be similar to the 2016 College Challenge. NC State’s Braden Holloway will be coaching the ACC men’s team, while Virginia’s Todd Desorbo will be coaching the ACC women’s team. On the Big Ten side, Michigan’s Mike Bottom will be the head coach for the women, while Indiana’s Ray Looze will be the head coach for the Big Ten men. You can read more details of the meet here.

The Week That Was #1 – Fort Lauderdale Approves $27 Million Bid For ISHOF Pool Renovations

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Photo Courtesy: City of Fort Lauderdale

This week the city commissioners of Fort Lauderdale approved a $27 million bid for renovation for the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) pool, putting into motions the city’s long held plans to modernize the facility that was originally opened in August 1965. The $27 million bid is $7 million higher than the city initially anticipated, though the increase was deemed necessary for the future of the facility. Ten world records have been set in the facility since it was opened, including legendary swims by Natalie Coughlin and Michael Phelps back in 2002. ISHOF was in talks to move their organization to San Diego, but that proposal never passed and the group recently signed a new 30 year lease on the facility in Fort Lauderdale.

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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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