The Week That Was: Katie Ledecky Highlights Busy Week Of NCAA Action

Photo Courtesy: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The week was heavy in NCAA action that was highlighted by Katie Ledecky’s NCAA record in the 1,000 yard freestyle at this week’s Stanford dual meet. Read about that swim and all of the biggest stories in this week’s edition of The Week That Was!

The Week That Was #5 – Kyle Chalmers Wins Big At Australian Night Of Nights Gala

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Photo Courtesy: Delly Car, Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia held their annual Night of Nights Gala Dinner in Brisbane this week, honoring Australian swimmers from this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. 18-year old Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers was named the Olympic Program Swimmer of the Year following his gold medal performance in the 100 freestyle in Rio. That historic swim also gave Chalmers the award for Golden Moment of the Year.

Fellow gold medalist Mack Horton, who won gold in the 400 freestyle, was named the Swimmers’ Swimmer of the Year, an award voted on by the athletes in attendance. Maddison Elliot, another 18-year old, also earned a big prize during the night, taking home the Paralympic Program Swimmer of the Year. Australian Olympic legends Ian Thorpe and Dawn Fraser were on hand during the nights ceremonies. A full list of award winners can be found here.

The Week That Was #4 – Matt And Annie Grevers Welcome First Child

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Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

Swimming power couple Matt Grevers and Annie Grevers welcomed their first child this week, announcing the birth of their daughter through social media. The couple had announced that they were expecting last May on Instagram, just a few weeks prior to 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Annie Grevers, who acts as the Features Editor for Swimming World, delivered baby Skylar Lea Grevers on November 9th at 10:16pm. She weighed 8lb 12 oz and both mom and baby are happy, healthy, and resting following the delivery.

The gold medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games in the 100 backstroke, Matt Grevers finished third this summer at the 2016 Olympic Trials behind eventual gold medalist Ryan Murphy and bronze medalist David Plummer. Matt and Annie Grevers have been one of Team USA’s biggest power couples since February of 2012, when Matt memorably proposed to Annie during his medal ceremony at the 2012 Columbia Grand Prix meet.

The Week That Was #3 –Busy College Week Finds NC State, Stanford Top CSCAA Poll

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

The College Swim Coach Association of America (CSCAA) released their new Division I polls this week, picking two teams that have been on the rise for that #1 spot. On the men’s side, NC State claimed the top ranking, taking down Indiana from the number one spot. This should be a huge boost of confidence for the program after taking down Texas, the defending National Champions, last week in Austin. NC State finished in fourth place at NCAA’s last year, the best finish in the history of the program. The Longhorns themselves were ranked third this week, falling down just one spot from their second place ranking last time out.

On the women’s side, the Stanford Cardinal took the #1 spot from the Michigan Wolverines, who fell to #5 this week. Stanford has been a favorite to take the team title at NCAA’s this year, as they welcomed Rio superstar Katie Ledecky to their roster in addition to returned Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel after a redshirt season last year. Georgia, the defending national champions from last year, were ranked second themselves in this latest poll, jumping from 8th place last time out. Texas also continued their climb up the polls after narrowly taking down the Cal Bears this week, climbing from seventh up to fourth.

The Week That Was

The Week That Was #2 – Team USA Tops Big 10 At 2016 USA College Challenge

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Team USA came away with a victory over the Big Ten Conference at the inaugural 2016 USA College Challenge, presented by arena. Broadcast on the Big Ten network and featuring several Olympians from this summer, the meet pitted national teamers against some of the nation’s best Big Ten swimmers at the legendary IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis. Buoyed by Olympians Leah Smith, Jacob Pebley, Tom Shields, and Kelsi Worrell, Team USA won the dual meet 349-247. Louisville head coach Arthur Albiero acted as the head coach for Team USA, while University of Michigan head coach Mike Bottom and Indiana coach Ray Looze served as the head coaches of the Big Ten team.

Team USA started the meet off with a bang, setting a new American record in the women’s 400 medley relay. The quartet of Ali DeLoof, Andrea Cottrell, Kelsi Worrell, and Amanda Weir touched in an American and U.S. Open of 3:25.60, which breaks Stanford’s 2016 record they set at last year’s NCAA’s. Other notable swims included Leah Smith winning the 1,000 free in 9:21.54, less than 2-seconds off her recently broken NCAA record, and Lilly King taking the 100 breast (57.30) and 200 breast (2:05.64). Louisville’s Mallory Comerford also improved upon her NCAA leading time in the 100 freestyle, touching in 47.39. Full recaps of all sessions of the meet, including full results, can be found below:

Day One Recap

Day Two Recap

Complete Meet Results

The Week That Was #1 – Katie Ledecky Breaks NCAA Record

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Photo Courtesy: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Katie Ledecky made her first mark on the NCAA record books this week, breaking Leah Smith’s NCAA record in the 1,000 freestyle. Touching in 9:10.49, Ledecky cruised by Smith’s old record of 9:20.15 from the 2016 ACC Championships, which she swam going out in her 1,650 freestyle. Ledecky split in the 27-mid to high range throughout the race, going out in 1:48.38 at the 200 and 4:34.35 at the 500. That time also broke Janet Evans’ pool record at Stanford. The former Stanford swimmer and distance legend had held the record at 9:30.69 since 1990. While Ledecky currently owns the American Record in the 1,000 yard free from the NCAP Invitational last December where she swam a 8:59.65, this is her first official mark on the NCAA record books since beginning her freshman year earlier this fall. Leah Smith was coincidentally Ledecky’s teammate this summer in Rio, capturing a bronze medal herself in the 400 freestyle.

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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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