The Week That Was: Ledecky and Dressel Light Up College Invites

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Welcome to The Week That Was! The past week was a big one for swimming around the world, with the 2017 FINA World Cup coming to a close, the Golden Goggles in LA and a number of fast swims at college invites around the U.S. Read below to catch up on the biggest stories from the week!

The Week That Was #5 – Rutgers Fires Head Coach Petra Martin

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Rutgers University abruptly parted ways with head coach Petra Martin this week amid accusations of verbal abuse against Rutgers athletes. According to a report from New Jersey Advance Media, athletics director Patrick Hobbs met with swimmers on Wednesday of last week prior to meeting with Martin on Thursday, when it was decided she would be leaving the program. According to the report, the meetings revealed that Martin “shamed athletes over their weight, used abusive language during training sessions and demanded they stop using medication prescribed by their doctors for anxiety and other issues.” The announcement came just one day before the start of the 2017 Frank Elm Invitational, which Rutgers hosted. Fred Woodruff has been named the Interim Head Coach, while assistant Jon Maccoll remains with the program. You can read the full report from NJ.com by clicking here.

The Week That Was #4 – WADA Declares Russian Anti-Doping Agency Non-Compliant

Photo Courtesy: Wanwa

Photo Courtesy: Wanwa

In a report from the ARD earlier this week, anti-doping expert Hajo Seppelt claimed that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency “non-compliant” at an upcoming meeting in Seoul, South Korea. Seppelt’s claim was correct, as WADA did declare the Russian agency non-compliant at their meeting on Thursday. While the RUSADA has completed some of the steps required by WADA to regain full status, they have failed to make all requested data available which ultimately led to the ruling. The IOC Executive Board will meet on Dec 5-7 to determine whether Russian athletes will be eligible for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which are set to begin in just a few months.

The Week That Was #3 – Ledecky, Dressel Win Golden Goggles 

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Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

The 2017 USA Swimming Golden Goggles Awards celebrated the top U.S. athletes from the past year this weekend, with Anders Holm returning as host and other big names including Michael Phelps, Kobe Bryant, Janet Evans, Matt Biondi and Nastia Liukin. The Male and Female Athletes of the Year Awards went to Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky, with other winners including Greg Meehan (Coach of the Year), Matt Grevers (Perseverance Award), Mallory Comerford (Breakout Performer) and Lilly King (Female Race Of The Year). Swimming World was right on with our own predictions, and you can see the full recap of all the award winners from the 2017 Golden Goggles here. Watch more video interviews from the red carpet at Golden Goggles.

The Week That Was #2 – World Cup Series Concludes in Tokyo, Singapore

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Photo Courtesy: Instagram @fina1908

The 2017 FINA World Cup Series came to an end this week, with the final legs in Tokyo and Singapore closing out the series. Notable swims from the final two stops included American Michael Andrew lowering his WJR in the 100 IM (51.65) in Singapore, with three more WJRs falling on the second night in Tokyo courtesy of Japanese star Rikako Ikee (100 IM, 100 fly) and China’s Bingjie Li (400 free). Ikee also lowered her 50 fly WJR on the first night of finals in Tokyo. Olympians Sarah Sjostrom and Chad Le Clos were crowned the overall winners of the 2017 series, earning 629 and 447 points, respectively, throughout the cup. This is Le Clos’ fourth overall win for the World Cup series, while this is Sjostrom’s first appearance on the podium. Both will take home $150,000 U.S. for their titles. You can see full recaps from all World Cup stops here.

The Week That Was #1 – American Record For Ledecky, Dressel’s Quick IM Among College Invite Highlights

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week was the first round of invitationals for many colleges around the country, with some of college swimming’s top stars throwing down impressive mid-season times. While he was absent for the final two sessions of the meet, Caeleb Dressel impressed on the first night of the Purdue Invite, throwing down becoming the ninth-fastest performer ever in the 200 IM (1:40.61) in a time that would have won NCAA’s last season. Indiana stars Lilly King and Blake Pieroni threw down some impressive times at the Purdue meet, while Stanford star Katie Ledecky set a new American record in the 1650 free at the Art Adamson Invite. The Texas A&M women would go on to win the Art Adamson meet, unseating the No. 1 Stanford team. You can check out full recaps of all those meets including interviews and full results by heading over to our college news 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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