The Week That Was: U.S. Olympic Selection Kicks Off For Swimming & Diving

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The much anticipated Olympic Trials for the United States began at the end of this week, the final piece in the puzzle for who we can expect to see on the medal stands in Rio come August. Read below to see what divers and swimmers have made the team and the rest of the big headlines from the week that was!

 

The Week That Was #5 – Notre Dame, Stanford Add To Coaching Staff

ncaa-logo-underwater

Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

This week saw two big coaching announcements in the NCAA. The first was from Notre Dame, which announced the addition of Aaron Bell as Associate Head Coach. Bell will be staying in the ACC, as he previously held the same role at Virginia Tech since 2014 and was a member of the Hokie coaching staff since 2011. Mike Litzinger, the Head Coach of the Fighting Irish, commented “The addition of Coach Bell to our staff is exactly what we need moving forward as a combined program. He is an experienced recruiter, has won on every level and is an accomplished coach. Aaron’s vision complements that of our staff and department perfectly, which is to be among the elite programs in the country.” During Bell’s time at Virginia Tech, a combined 79 school records and four ACC marks fell, while he also helped bring in four consecutive top-20 recruit classes.

The second big announcement was from Stanford University, which announced the addition of Jeff Kostoff to the Cardinal staff as an assistant coach following the departure of Scott Armstrong to John Hopkins. Kostoff comes back to Stanford after competing for the Cardinal from 1984-1987, where he was a part of three consecutive national championships and won 5 individual national titles. A multiple school record holder, Kostoff also competed for the U.S. at the Pan American Games and in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. The Stanford Hall of Fame member has been the assistant coach at Indiana for the past three years under the direction of Ray Looze.

The Week That Was #4 – WADA Suspends Rio Testing Lab

2016-rio-olympics-city

Photo Courtesy: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

The testing lab in Rio de Janeiro that was intended for use with the 2016 Olympic Games has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The lab had been planned to process Olympic drug test samples during the Games that kick off in less than 2 months. The lab has 21 days to appeal the suspension, but if it is not overturned official will have to look elsewhere to send Olympic samples. This lab suspension comes on the heels of WADA suspending several other labs around the world, including Madrid, Beijing, and Moscow. Oliver Niggil, Incoming Director General of WADA, said in a press release that athletes should be confident the issue will be resolved and the samples from the Games properly tested: “The Agency will ensure that, for the time being, samples that would have been intended for the Laboratory, will be transported securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody to another WADA-accredited laboratory worldwide.” The suspension of this lab adds one more headache to the preparation of the 2016 Rio Games, which kick off August 8th.

The Week That Was #3 – International Stars Gather At Settecolli Trophy

FINA World Championships Federica Pellegrini

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Three meet records fell this week at the Settecolli Trophy meet in Rome. Two records came on the first day of competition, with Coralie Balmy jumping to fourth in the world in the 400 freestyle (4:03.66) and Canadian Kylie Masse touching the wall in 27.82 in the 50 backstroke. Laszlo Cseh set the third meet record in the 200 butterfly on the second day of the meet, hitting the wall at 1:54.89. While that is about 2 seconds off his world leading 1:52.91, it still would be the sixth fastest time in the world and shows an impressive consistency in that event this year.

Masse also won the 100 backstroke in 59.66, while Cseh notched another win in the 100 butterfly (52.21). Ranomi Kromowidjojo showed her intentions for defending her Olympic titles in the sprint events, winning the 50 freestyle in 24.28 and the 100 in 53.14. Notably, Federica Pellegrini clocked a 53.18 in the 100 freestyle, a new Italian record, and a 1:54.55 in the 200 freestyle to move only behind Katie Ledecky in the world rankings.

Day One Results

Day Two Results

Day Three Results

The Week That Was

The Week That Was #2 – 2016 U.S. Diving Trials

Steele Johnson Purdue

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The U.S. Olympic Diving Trials were underway this week in Indianapolis prior to the start of the swimming in Omaha, and there was no shortage of excitement on the board. 2012 gold medalist David Boudia qualified for what will be his third Olympics after winning the synchronized 10-meter event with partner Steele Johnson, who qualified for his first Olympic Games. Boudia also won 10-meter, while Steele Johnson came out on top of a close fight for second. A big winner on the men’s side was Kristian Ipsen, who on the third night of the competition became a two-time Olympian by capturing the individual 3-meter title to go with his 3-meter synchro title from earlier in the meet. Michael Hixon qualified for his first Olympics, finishing behind Ipsen individually on 3-meter while winning synchronized 3-meter with his partner Sam Dorman. On the women’s side, Amy Cozad and Jessica Parratto finished first on synchronized 3-meter to both become first time Olympians, as did Katrina Young who had a late charge to qualify individually on 10-meter. Parratto also qualified individually by winning the 10-meter title.

Notably, four-time Olympian Troy Dumais did not qualify for what would have been a record fifth Olympic Games after finishing fourth in the individual 3-meter event. The 36 year old announced after his competition that he was retiring, and received a standing ovation from the crowd before his final dive. For full coverage from the 2016 U.S. Diving Olympic Trials, head over to our Event Coverage Page.

The Week That Was #1 – U.S. Olympic Trials Kick Off In Omaha

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S Olympic Trials are always the meet where anything can happen, and night one proved that. Coming in as the defending Olympic Gold Medalist in the 400 IM, Ryan Lochte looked poised to capture his third Olympic berth in the event through the 200 mark of the final. But Lochte faded through the second half of the race, with Chase Kalisz catching him on breaststroke and Jay Litherland running him down the last 50. That is the first Olympic berth for both of the Georgia Bulldogs. Maya DiRado also earned her first Olympic berth in the 400 IM, winning in 4:33.73 while Elizabeth Beisel made her third Olympic team touching second in 4:36.81. The men’s 400 freestyle was the only other final of the night, where the two veterans Connor Jaeger and Conor Dwyer tracked down Texas swimmers Townley Haas and Clark Smith to both make their second Olympic teams.

In semi-final action, Dana Vollmer will be the top seed for the finals of the women’s 100 butterfly after leading her heat in 56.90. Kelsi Worrell will be the second seed in 57.12, slightly off her prelims swim of 56.84. Expect these two to lead the way through the final. In the final event of the night, Kevin Cordes set a new American record in the 100 breaststroke, touching in 58.94. Cody Miller is right behind him in 59.09, with Josh Prenot, Michael Andrew, Andrew Wilson and Nic Fink all breaking 1:00 to end up in the A final.

For all of the latest Olympic Trials coverage, head over to our U.S. Olympic Trials Landing 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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