The Week That Was: Record-Breaking Week; Retirements Spotlight Top Swimming Headlines

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 9. HELLO and welcome to the Week that Was for Monday December 9, 2013 brought to you by the web’s most popular swim shop. I’m Tiffany Elias. This week’s top 5 headlines are huge across the board. Let’s get right into number 5. Two NCAA records fell this past weekend. First, Denison sophomore Damon Rosenburg first broke the NCAA division 3 record in prelims of the 100 breaststroke at the Miami Invitational. He then bettered the mark by another half second posting a 53.61 in finals. Denison men went on to win the meet by over 1,000 points. A NCAA division 2 record was also conquered at the USA Swimming Nationals by Queens University’s Matthew Josa. The freshman clocked a 1:43.03 to clear the record by 4 tenths of a second. Congratulations to Damon and Matthew for making our number 5 spot.

It was a sad day for swimming Twitter fans when they read the news of a US Olympian’s retirement last Wednesday. The sprint butterflier and Auburn grad Tyler McGill announced he has permanently retired from the sport and this claimed our number 4 spot. In 2012, the United States sent Michael Phelps and Tyler McGill to London in the 100 butterfly. With both men retired this leaves the race more open than ever. Perhaps this is more motivation for Michael Phelps’ comeback? Either way, congratulations to Tyler for a wildly successful career. Thank you for your contributions to our sport. Best of luck in your next adventures but we selfishly hope for a return.

Big news for swim fans around the world. Ryan Lochte is back in the water! No, this is not our number 1 headline but it did capture number 3. After his freak injury a few weeks back tearing his MCL and spraining his ACL, the new member of SwimMAC Elite team was spotted back in the pool. Lochte is not due back to competition till next August but he says, he thinks he’ll be alright.

In our number 2 spot, Florent Manaudou and Charlotte Bonnet put together some dominant performances at the French Nationals. Manaudou swept 5 titles include two of the top times of the year in the 100 meter IM and 100 meter freestyle and a new French record in the 50 meter freestyle 20.62. Charlotte Bonnet also claimed 5 titles, one of which included a new French record in the 200 medley relay. The European short course championships begin this Thursday in Denmark. You can expect Manaudou and Bonnet to be making a big splash.

And finally, our number 1 headline for this week is split between 3 American swimmers. First up, the Arizona Wildcat junior and breaststroke sensation Kevin Cordes broke his own American record in the 100 breaststroke. Cordes posted a 50.7 at the Texas invitational in Austin last weekend which is .04 faster than his outrageous swim from NCAAs last year. Could we see a sub 50 second swim in March? I hope so. And on the note of potentially breaking a huge time barrier, our second American record breaking swim belongs to 16 year old and Swimming World Swimmer of the Year Katie Ledecky. While Ledecky was 10 seconds under American record pace at the 1000 of her 1650, fans wondered if she could hang on. Well, she did, and she crushed the record by 10 seconds. Not to mention, she lapped fellow Olympian Chloe Sutton. That’s fast. Basically Katie Ledecky sent the message, again, watch out world. And finally, Nick Thoman, the post-grad from SwimMAC, who took 9 months off after the London Olympics, did the unfathomable, literally, and broke 3 American records in one day. He started his night leading off the 200 medley relay in record form posting the new 50 backstroke mark at 20.69. A minute later his relay as a whole broke the American record with a 1:23.02. And if that wasn’t enough, Thoman challenged gold medalist Matt Grevers in the 100 backstroke final. Not only did he beat Grevers, he crushed the American record by 4 tenths of a second with a 44.07. Just when you think these races can’t get THAT much faster, they do. Congratulations to Kevin Cordes, Katie Ledecky and Nick Thoman