The Week That Was: Verbal Commitments Begin Pouring In As We Head Into NCAA Action

Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

This week saw a multitude of verbal commitments from high schoolers as we head into peak recruiting season and the beginning of NCAA competition. Check out the latest stories from that and other major developments in the swimming world from The Week That Was!

The Week That Was #5 – USA Swimming Unveils New 18 & Under World 100 Program

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Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

This week USA Swimming named the honorees of a new program put forth by the organization recognizing some of the best United States 18 & under swimmers. The top 100 swimmers aged 18 & under in the country (50 men and 50 women) who are ranked worldwide in Olympic Events were recognized. While athletes will receive a certificate for making it on the list, named athletes will also be cap-exempt from the 2017 Arena Pro Series. The coaches of the 18 & under world 100 swimmers will also be invited to the National Team Coaches Seminar in Colorado Springs hosted by USA Swimming and are eligible for USA Swimming’s Coach Enrichment Program. The full list of recognized swimmers can be seen here.

The Week That Was #4 – Budget Approved For New ISHOF Site In Santa Clara

Jun 18, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Morning warm-ups in the main racing pool during Day One of the Arena Pro Series at Santa Clara, at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, Calif. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Robert Stanton/USA Today Sports Images

A $185 million initial budget for the new site of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and a new swimming and diving recreation center in Santa Clara was approved by the City Council early last week. The facility will be the new home of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and feature a state of the art swimming complex, recreation center, gym, and ample parking. The projected renderings of the project can be seen in artist renditions from January of 2015. While the finer details of the plan, including where all the money in the proposed budget is coming from, are still to be determined. Some of the financial questions will be addressed at a meeting next month between the city and the leaders on the project.

The Week That Was #3 – Rome Pulls Bid To Host 2024 Olympic Games

Roman Colosseum, possible venue for 2024 Olympics

Photo Courtesy: Vassil

This week the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, announced a motion that was put before the city’s assembly to officially end its bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The mayor cited financial concerns as the main reason for her opposition to the city serving as an Olympic host. Given the city’s current infrastructure issues, Raggi told the Associated Press that the Olympics were “not sustainable” and that “They will bring only debt.” The Rome 2024 Bid Committee responded to Raggi’s statement with one of their own, expressing their disappointment and laying out the many reasons why Rome should maintain its bid status. The IOC mandates that a host city’s government supports the city’s bid, so if the motion were passed by the city’s government it would put an end to Rome’s chances of hosting the 2024 Olympic Games. This motion comes four years after the former Italian Prime Minister pulled Rome’s bid for the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Week That Was

The Week That Was #2 – USA Swimming Releases LGBTQ Cultural Inclusion Guide

rainbow-usa

Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming

This week USA Swimming released the first ever Resource Guide for the inclusion of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community in the sport of swimming. The guide was unveiled during the United States Aquatic Sports Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The Diversity & Inclusion team at USA Swimming has been working to create a culture of inclusion within the sport that helps make it available to all people, regardless of cultural, social, or economic factors. The team has already released Resource Guides for best practices of inclusion specific to African American and Hispanic communities. As part of their outreach efforts, USA Swimming is also sponsored a LGBTQ Alliance Breakfast with keynote speaker Schuyler Bailar, a member of the Harvard men’s swim team and the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division I men’s team. Bailar is featured in USA Swimming Resource Guide along with guide along with fellow swimmers Tom Luchsinger, Bruce Hayes, G Ryan, Abi Liu, Chip Peterson and Jeff Commings. The LGBTQ Resource Guide from USA Swimming can be found here.

The Week That Was #1 – NCAA Verbal Commitments Come Flooding In

ncaa-logo-underwater

Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

This week saw a huge increase in the number of public verbal commitments for high school swimmers across the United States, with many Division I programs beginning to shore up their recruiting classes as early as possible. While not binding, verbal commitments are a solid indication that a swimmer will be competing for that university come fall. Some of the biggest commitments this week included National Team member Taylor Pike, who pledged to swim for Texas A&M. Pike specializes in the 200 butterfly, where she was a semi-finalist at Olympic Trials this summer and holds a short course best of 1:55.57. Pike will give the Aggies some immediate big-time impact in that event at the conference level. On the men’s side, twin brothers Clark and Ethan Beach, also gave their verbals to swim for the University of Florida. Clark should have an immediate impact on backstroke depth for the Gators. Many of the best of the Class of 2021 have announced where they intend to compete in the last couple weeks, including Grant House, Nikol Popov, and other top 50 recruits. For a full run-down of all verbal commitments as they are announced, head over to our College News 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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