The Week That Was: Taylor Ruck Elects to Take Olympic Redshirt

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Taylor Ruck will be leaving Stanford to train for the Olympics with Ben Titley in Toronto. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The last week in the sport of swimming has been about new shifts in the landscape before the new school year starts and swimmers start their training for their various Olympic Trials next year. There were some coaching hires and some major shakeups in the NCAA landscape with Derek Perkins and Jeff Kostoff landing new jobs, while Cameron Craig announced his intentions to come back to college swimming at Ohio State, and Taylor Ruck revealed she was going to Toronto and take an Olympic redshirt.

Read the five biggest stories from the last seven days in the week that was.

The Week That Was #5: Jeff Kostoff, Derek Perkins Accept New Coaching Jobs

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Derek Perkins was hired as the Eastern Michigan head coach. Photo Courtesy: Eastern Michigan University Athletics

Colleges are starting to finalize their coaching staffs for the 2019-20 season with Derek Perkins getting the head coaching position at Eastern Michigan while Jeff Kostoff got the associate head job at Minnesota. Texas A&M’s Jason Calanog was also promoted to the associate head coaching job for the Texas A&M men’s team.

Perkins has 16 years of collegiate coaching experience, including the last eight seasons as the associate head coach at the University of Kentucky (2011-19). He also coached at Clemson University (2009-11), Emory University (2004-09), and Transylvania University (2002-04).

Kostoff spent three seasons as an assistant coach for Stanford men’s swimming and diving. During his tenure with Stanford, Kostoff helped coach the men’s team to a 2017 Pacific-12 Conference Championship. Prior to Stanford, Jeff Kostoff served as an assistant coach at Indiana University from 2013-16, where he coached U.S. National Team members Zane Grothe and Lindsay Vrooman. Kostoff’s coaching resume also includes four years as an assistant at the University of Maryland.

Calanog has helped the Aggies earn four straight top-25 team finishes at NCAA Championships, as well as a second-place finish at the 2018 SEC Championships, its highest finish since joining the league. That season concluded with an impressive 14th- place finish at NCAA Championships.

The Week That Was #4: China Swim Team Takes Part in Military Exercise

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China Swim Team on military camp – Photo Courtesy: Weibo

China’s national swimming team took part in traditional military training exercises for the second time ever. On the way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the exercise was designed to instill in the athletes “a sense of discipline … a tighter team spirit … a [greater] sense of mission” as well as “making the team members love our Chinese Communist Party and our country”.

The five-day camp was held at the People’s Liberation Army Sports Training Centre in Beijing. Chinese swim team leader Cheng Hao noted:

“The military training this time, which is the second time in the history of Chinese National Swim Team, was to heighten the Chinese athletes’ sense of discipline, build a tighter team spirit, increase their sense of mission, making the team members love our Chinese Communist Party and our country, so the athletes will be fully prepared for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

The Week That Was #3: Cameron Craig Transfers to Ohio State

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Cameron Craig will be competing in the NCAA again after sitting out last year; Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

2017 NCAA All-American Cameron Craig announced he was transferring to The Ohio State University. Craig swam two years at Arizona State in 2017 and 2018 where he had a big breakout freshman season with a fifth place finish in the 200 free (1:32.46) as a freshman in 2017.

As a freshman, he only swam relays at NCAAs, leading the Sun Devils to All-American status in the 400 free relay placing sixth as well as 15th in the 800 free. He had a bit of a sophomore slump in the 2017-18 season.

The Week That Was #2: International Swimming League Signs TV Deal With Eurosport

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Thanks to a new TV deal with Eurosport, the International Swimming League will be able to reach a global audience. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Eurosport has bought worldwide rights to broadcast the inaugural two seasons of the International Swimming League (ISL), the global professional-team tour shaping a new chapter in the sport.

The first professional sports league for elite swimming is a team event in which swimmers from different nations will join forces and compete for points and dollars. It will take the sport away from the traditional championship program that, biggest occasions apart, has grown stale and been a barrier to new formats and growing audiences beyond the fan base.

Broadcast rights were among the missing pieces in the ISL’s puzzle before a new home for swimming opens its doors to the public in October.

The Week That Was #1: Taylor Ruck Taking Olympic Redshirt Year

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Taylor Ruck will move back to Canada to train for the 2020 Olympic Games. Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

Stanford’s Taylor Ruck decided to forego her sophomore year in Palo Alto to train in Toronto with some members of the Canadian national team. Ruck helped Stanford win its third straight NCAA team title and also helped Canada win two relay bronze medals at the World Championships this past summer. She decided to take no chances with the dream of winning an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo next summer.