The Week That Was: Surprise Guests, Personal Bests, and National Record Highlight The Week That Was

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia

This week was full of fast swimming across the world, from surprise appearances at NCAA meets to National Records and Personal Bests that continue to set up favorites heading into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Read below to see all of the top headlines from The Week That Was!

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The Week That Was #5 – No. 12 USC Posts Upset Over No. 2 California

Southern California men's swimming and diving

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In an incredibly close meet this past weekend the No. 12 USC Trojans pulled off an amazing upset against the No. 2 California Golden Bears, winning the dual meet by just a single point. Coming down to the last relay, the one point victory was the first win for the Trojans over the Golden Bears in a staggering sixteen years. The final score of the meet was 149.5-148.5. California started the meet off with a victory in the 200 medley relay, but USC kept chipping away with event win after win, punctuated with a 1-2 finish in the 50 freestyle before the first break. Cal fought back in the second half of the meet, claiming first in every event but the 500 free, but a USC sweep of both boards kept the meet close, leaving the final relay as the deciding factor. The USC 200 free relay of Ralf Tribuntsov, Reed Malone, Mortem Klarskov, and Kyle Grissom touched just four one-hundreths ahead of the Cal team of Ryan Murphy, Tyler Messerschmidt, Justin Lynch, and Andrew Seliskar (1:20.32 to a 1:20.36) to secure a Trojan victory. Both teams will meet again at the Pac-12 Championships in Federal Way on March 2nd.

The Week That Was #4 – Pros Join Phelps To Compete At ASU Meet

michael-phelps-arizona-state-exhibition (1)

Photo Courtesy: Erin Marsteller

Fans at attendance at the ASU and Arizona University dual meet this weekend received a treat when Olympic legend Michael Phelps was joined by teammates Allison Schmitt, Dave Nolan, and Olympian Matt Grevers in select exhibition swims. Phelps swam the 200 freestyle and 100 IM at the event, prevailing in the former over training partner Nolan 1:34.04 to 1:34.42. It was Grevers, however, who came out on top in the 100 IM, an event that is becoming more popular in NCAA competition following the event’s addition to conference lineups back in June. Grevers came out on top in that race, touching in 47.06 to Phelps’ 47.47. This will likely be Phelps’ last career yards race as he turns his eyes towards fine-tuning heading into Olympic Trials this summer.

The Week That Was #3 – TYR Signs Comeback Queen Dana Vollmer

tyr-image2-vollmer-pr

Photo Courtesy: TYR Sport

This week TYR announced the addition of 4-time Olympic Gold Medalist Dana Vollmer to its roster of sponsored athletes. Vollmer, a member of the 2004 and 2012 USA Olympic teams, has been in the headlines as of late as she is in the midst of very successful comeback. The butterfly specialist has returned to the pool following time away from the sport that included the birth of her son back in March. Vollmer is perhaps best remembered for being the first woman to break the 56 second barrier in the 100 butterfly en route to a gold medal at the London Games. Speaking on her endorsement, Vollmer explained “Learning to be a mom and getting back in the pool have taught me to trust my instincts. The first race I swam in the TYR suit, I knew it was right for me. Then I met the team of TYR athletes and employees and there was no doubt that I was in the right spot. I’m excited to represent TYR on my journey back to the Olympic stage.” While Vollmer has been clear that she has her sights set on Rio during this comeback, does this deal suggest she intends to take her comeback past 2016? Time will tell.

The Week That Was

The Week That Was #2 – Marco Koch Continues Breaststroke Dominance

Marco Koch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

German breaststroker and 2015 World Champion Marco Koch has a been on a roll in 2016. First, he posted an all-time January best of 2:09.31 in the 200 breaststroke back at the FFN Golden Tour stop on France. Just a week later, he bested that all-time best by nearly two seconds when he touched in 2:07.69 at the 2016 Luxembourg Euro Meet. Now, less than a week later, he posted an incredible 2:07.74 at the Amiens stop of the FFN Golden Tour. This makes Koch the only breaststroker to post two 2:07 200 breaststrokes in the same week, and puts him nearly half a second away from Akihiro Yamaguchi’s world record of 2:07.01 from 2012. Both of these times were just faster than his gold medal time of 2:07.76 from the 2015 world championships, and continue to set him up as the favorite heading into Rio.

The Week That Was #1 – Cam McEvoy Posts Two PB’s At Super Series, Australia Wins Team Title

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

This week’s top story came from down under, where Australian sprint star Cameron McEvoy posted three individual wins, that included two best times, at the Aquatic Super Series that featured the best of Australia, Japan, and China. On the first night of the meet, McEvoy posted a winning time of 47.56 in the 100 freestyle to record a slight personal best on the way to an event win. That time would have earned the 21-year old a gold medal at Kazan last summer, and reportedly came in the midst of heavy training. On the second night of the meet, the Australian star came away with wins in the 50 and 200 freestyle, posting a personal best of 21.73 in the shorter distance. Other notable swims included Japanese swimmer Rie Kaneto setting a National Record in the 200 breaststroke (2:20.04), Cate Campbell capturing both sprint events (24.32, 53.03) and Emily Seebohm touching first in both backstrokes (59.03, 2:07.74). The Dolphins came away with the team title, while McEvoy and Kaneto earned Male and Female Swimmers of the Meet.

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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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