The Week That Was: Kim Posts World’s Fastest 200 IM

Photo Courtesy: Anja Johnson

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This week swimmers continued to prep for their international meets this summer, with Korean Nationals and U.S. Open Water Nationals both underway. Read about those meets and the other biggest stories of the week below in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – USA Swimming Releases 2018-19 Championship Selection

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Photo Courtesy: Competitor

USA Swimming released their qualifying criteria for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and 2019 World Championships this week. As expected, this summer’s U.S. Nationals in July will be the main qualification meet for Pan Pacs. Winners at 2018 Nationals will automatically make the Pan Pacs team, while those finishing second, third and fourth in each event will be selected as long as the total number of swimmers does not reach 52. The results from both Pan Pacs and U.S. Nationals will be used to select the 2019 Worlds team, similar to the qualifying procedure for the 2015 World Championships. You can read the selection processes in more detail for both the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and 2019 World Championships.

The Week That Was #4 – Zach Apple To Leave Auburn, Transfer To Indiana

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Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

World Championship gold medalist Zach Apple announced this week he is transferring from Auburn to Indiana. Apple’s announcement comes on the heels of Brett Hawke’s resignation as the head coach of Auburn and the hiring of Gary Taylor as the new head coach of the program. Apple had a breakout season last summer, ending fourth in the men’s 100 free at the U.S. Nationals and earning a spot on the gold medal winning 4×100 free relay. This year Apple, in his junior year, finished third in the 200 free at NCAA’s, as well as fifth place tie in the 50 free and a ninth place finish in the 100 free. Apple will step into a Hoosier program that had a huge season, finishing third at NCAA’s, and should be able to fill the shoes of recent graduate and key relay player Blake Pieroni.

The Week That Was #3 – Sergio Lopez Named Head Coach At Virginia Tech

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Photo Courtesy: Singapore Swimming Federation

This week another huge coaching vacancy was filled, with Sergio Lopez named as the new head coach of the Virginia Tech swimming and diving program. Lopez joins the program after spending the last two season as the associate head coach at Auburn, where Gary Taylor was recently named the head coach. Prior to that Lopez the high performance coach at the Singapore Swimming Association, and he has previous head coaching experience at West Virginia University from 2004-07 before leading the Bolles school from 2007-14. Over his coaching career he has mentored Olympic gold medalists Joseph Schooling and Ryan Murphy. A successful athlete in his own right, Lopez was a member of the Spanish national team from 1984-96 and won a silver medal at the 1993 World Championships and a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics in the 200 breaststroke.

The Week That Was #2 – Wilimovsky, Twitchell Earn Trips To 2018 Pan Pacs

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

The 2018 U.S. Open Water Nationals wrapped up over the weekend in Tempe, Arizona with the best distance swimmers in the country vying for working to qualify for the Pan Pacific Champs, World Juniors Team, or earn a spot on the 2018 Open Water National Team. Jordan Wilimovsky defended his title in the men’s 10k event, winning in a decisive 1:47.14.718 and punching his ticket to Tokyo. Also defending her 10k title was Ashley Twitchell, who made a move halfway through the race and maintained a lead through the second half to take the win in 1:52.12.105. Behind her was Olympian Haley Anderson in 1:52.29.617. Other wins included David Heron and Erica Sullivan (5K), Ivan Puskovitch and Chase Travis (7.5K Junior), and Jackson Carlile and Mariah Denigan (Junior 5K). You can see all the coverage from the 2018 Open Water Nationals on our Event Landing Page.

The Week That Was #1 – Kim Seoyeong Swims To Fastest 200 IM Of 2018

Photo Courtesy: Anja Johnson

Korea’s Kim Seoyeong swam to the world’s fastest 200 IM at the 2018 Korean Nationals, breaking her own Korean record in the process. Kim won the 200 IM in 2:08.61, moving past Japan’s Yui Ohashi as the #1 time so far in 2018. The two should meet at the Asian Games later this summer in August in Indonesia, with their times just 3-tenths apart heading into the meet. Kim’s time also moved her closer to the top-10 all-time in the event, moving up to 13th. You can see video of that swim here. In other notable swims, Tae Hwan Park swept the 100 (49.27), 200 (1:46.63), 400 (3:46.50), and 1500 (15.14.99) freestyles to qualify for his 4th Asian Games.

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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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