Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nick D'arcy

Last year, Australian Nick D'arcy made headlines for smashing up the face of former swimmer Simon Cowley after making his first Olympic team in the 200 Fly. He was kicked off the team and faced possible jail time. Before his trial, D'arcy returned to the pool, swimming in various meets in Australia. He would have the Australian world championship selection meet right before his trial. If he made the team, he would still have to get through the courtroom before guarenteed a spot in Rome.

Before the meet, many believed he was on target to break his Australian record of 1:55.10 set at last year's Olympic trials. He ended up winning the 200 Fly in 1:54.46, a new Australian record, and also finaled in the 100 Fly. Just days later, he was handed a suspended jail sentence of 14 months and 12 days. The suspension of the setence leaves him free to swim for the Australian team in Rome, though he will have to be approved by Swimming Australia. It will be up to the Australian Olympic comittee as to whether or not D'arcy will be eligible for the London Olympics.

The question: does Nick D'arcy DESERVE to swim in Rome and be eligible for London? Poll closed - results above.

Video of D'arcy's swim from Australian trials here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Australian Women's 100 Fly

In the 100 Fly at the 2009 Aussie World Championship trials, Libby Trickett was the favorite. She was the World and Olympic champion and the second fastest performer in history. The favorite for second was Jessicah Schipper, the 2005 World Champion and Olympic Bronze medalist. However, Schipper led the whole race and recorded a personal best 56.90, making her the third-fastest performer in history. While Schipper was doing her thing, Trickett was stuck in a three-way battle for second with Felicity Galvez and Stephanie Rice. In the end, Rice just outtouched Galvez and Trickett, who was fourth.

However, Rice may drop the event from her World Championship program because of conflicts with the 200 IM, her best event, and the 200 Free. If she does, Galvez (already on the team in free relays) would logically take her place, but many want Trickett to, based on her impressive credentials. Trickett does not believe she earned the spot, but Australian head coach Alan Thompson is still considering.

This brings up two questions: if Rice drops the 100 Fly from her Rome schedule, who DESERVES to take the spot, and who WILL be selected to take the spot?

POLL CLOSED - Results to be posted this weekend

Please post all comments on my most recent blog on

Editor's note: Rice did decide to pull out of the 100 Fly for Rome. Galvez was nominated to replace her, and she accepted.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Australian World Championship Team

Available below is the list of the entire Aussie World Championship Team. Two notable names not going to Rome are Ashley Callus and Matt Jaukovic, who were third in the 50 Free (Callus, after posting the fastest time of the meet in semi-finals), and the 50 and 100 Fly (Jaukovic).

Another name not on the roster is Ben Treffers. He led the semi-finals of the 50 Back in 25.10 and finished second to Ashley Delaney's new Australian record (24.81) in the finals. His time was 25.15, one one-hundredth off the "A" qualifying time for Rome. Even though he achieved the "A" time in the semi-finals, head coach Alan Thompson has not decided to include him on the team.

I scored myself based on my predictions (2 points per correct swimmer in correct place, 1 point for correct swimmer but wrong place). Final score of 77! I'm competing with the guys from Behind the Blocks (

Men's Team
Matt Abood - 50 Free, 4x100 Free
Leith Brodie - 200 IM
Nick D'arcy* - 200 Fly
Ashley Delaney - 50 Back, 100 Back, 200 Back, 4x100 Medley
Tommaso D'Orsogna - 4x100 Free, 4x200 Free; possibly 200 IM
Nicholas Ffrost - 4x200 Free
Robert Hurley - 400 Free, 4x200 Free; possibly 800 Free, 1,500 Free
Andrew Lauterstein - 50 Fly, 100 Fly, 4x100 Free, 4x100 Medley
Kendrick Monk - 200 Free, 4x200 Free
Patrick Murphy - 200 Free, 4x200 Free
Ryan Napoleon - 400 Free, 1,500 Free; possibly 800 Free
Kirk Palmer - 4x200 Free
Stephan Parkes - 400 IM
Adam Pine - 100 Fly, 4x100 Medley
Kyle Richardson - 4x100 Free
Brenton Rickard - 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 200 Breast, 4x100 Medley
Christian Sprenger - 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 200 Breast, 4x100 Medley
Hayden Stoeckel - 100 Back, 200 Back, 4x100 Medley; possibly 50 Back
Eamon Sullivan - 50 Free, 100 Free, 4x100 Free, 4x100 Medley
Matt Targett - 100 Free, 50 Fly, 4x100 Free
Christopher Wright - 200 Fly

Women's Team
Bronte Barratt - 400 Free, 4x200 Free
Cate Campbell - 50 Free
Merindah Dingjan - 4x200 Free
Sophie Edington - 50 Back
Blair Evans - 800 Free; possibly 1,500 Free
Sally Foster - 200 Breast, 4x100 Free
Ellen Fullerton - 400 Free, 4x200 Free
Felicity Galvez - 4x100 Free, 4x200 Free; possibly 100 Fly**
Melissa Gorman - 800 Free; possibly 1,500 Free
Marieke Guehrer - 100 Free, 50 Fly, 4x100 Free, 4x100 Medley
Samantha Hamill - 200 Fly, 400 IM
Belinda Hocking - 100 Back, 200 Back, 4x100 Medley
Sarah Katsoulis - 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 200 Breast, 4x100 Medley
Meagen Nay - 200 Free, 200 Back, 4x200 Free
Shayne Reese - 4x100 Free
Stephanie Rice - 200 Free, 100 Fly***, 200 IM, 400 IM, 4x200 Free, 4x100 Medley
Jessicah Schipper - 100 Fly, 200 Fly, 4x100 Medley
Emily Seebohm - 50 Back, 100 Back, 200 IM, 4x100 Medley; possibly 4x100 Free****
Libby Trickett - 50 Free, 100 Free, 50 Fly, 4x100 Free, 4x100 Medley
Tarnee White - 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 4x100 Medley

*Pending results of trial for assault of Simon Cowley
**Should Stephanie Rice choose to drop the event
***May opt out of this event
****Swam a 55.20 time trial which may give her an alternate spot

If anyone has any questions or comment, please let me know in a comment to this post.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Look at Rome - Men's 50 Fly

Most events in Rome won't fully shape up until after all the trials, but, with the sterling short course season (World Cup and European short course championships) and Aussie trials, we can already see how several events will shape up. The men's 50 Fly has already shaped up, with several Europeans and Aussies, as well as some other veterans that we can expect to be there.

Milorad Cavic - the man who almost beat Michael Phelps in the 100 Fly in Beijing, Cavic has unbelievable speed and certainly enters as the favorite to win in Rome; he set a European record of 23.11 (long course) at the European championships last year that makes him the second fastest man in history behind South Africa's Roland Schoeman

Amaury Leveaux - as the silver medalist in the 50 Free at the Olympics, Leveaux is also a top-class sprinter who has some butterfly experience and is the European champion and World Record-holder in the short course version of the event; he has great underwater dolphin kicks, so he will not be as strong long course, but, if he swims the event (prelims and semi-finals are on the same day as the relay), he has more than a chance for a medal

Fred Bousquet - although he has the same conflict as Leveaux, he was ranked 10th in the world last year in the 100 Fly and also has amazing speed, as evidenced by his recent 21.44 US Open record in the 50 Free; consider him a gold-medal contender in this event

Rafael Munoz - this Spanish swimmer was third behind Leveaux and Cavic at the European short course championships, Munoz is ranked #1 in the world in 2009 in this event; he is certainly a medal contender for the world championships

Matt Targett - the Australian did not swim his best at his national championships this week, swimming almost a second off his 100 Free best time, so he can probably go faster than the 23.31 he swam in the semi-finals of the event in Sydney; he considers this his best event, so he could also claim a medal - maybe even gold

Andrew Lauterstein - Lauterstein outtouched Targett for both the Australian record (23.30) in the semi-finals and in the finals for the title; he could also drop some time in Rome, so consider him a medal possibility

Roland Schoeman - the South African World Record-holder swam his best times in the 50 Free long course (in Beijing) and short course (SA Nats in September); he is an outside medal contender for sure and keep an eye out for this guy!

Americans - Ian Crocker, in addition to holding the 100 Fly World Record has won silver in this event at the last two world championships and holds the American record (23.12); I believe he is not swimming this year, though; if he is swimming this year, Ben Wildman-Tobriner will be a medal contender; Matt Grevers also has great speed and some fly experience and could make finals if he swims this

Other - Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia is another strong contender who won bronze in this event at the 2008 short course World championships and swam fly on Russia's 4th place relay in Beijing and is now training with Andrea de Nino (with Cavic and American Randall Bal) in Italy. Urkraine's Sergiy Breus has won multiple World championship medals in the event. Also, Albert Subirates was fourth in this event in Melbourne 2007, and he won bronze in the 100 Fly at that meet. There are other veterans such as Jason Dunford of Kenya, Ryan Pini of Papua New Guinea, Slovenia's Peter Mankoc, and Japan's Kohei Kawamoto. Finally, keep an eye on the other South African, likely Lyndon Ferns.

Who I think will final (in no particular order):
1) Milorad Cavic
2) Fred Bousquet
3) Amaury Leveaux
4) Matt Targett
5) Rafael Munoz
6) Roland Schoeman
7) Andrew Lauterstein
8) Evgeny Korotyshkin

In other news:
- Women's NCAAs finish tonight in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M. Events start at 7pm (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific) with a live broadcast online at ESPN 360. The men's meet will be next Thursday through Saturday, March 26-28, also in College Station.
- California leads the race for the NCAA title followed closely by Georgia and defending champion Arizona, currently suffering from a costly DQ in the 200 medley relay prelims yesterday. Those three stand far ahead of Stanford and Arizona. Events include the 1,650 Free, 200 Back, 100 Free, 200 Breast, 200 Fly, and 400 Free Relay. Predictions: 1,650 Free - Wendy Trott (Georgia); 200 Back - Gemma Spofforth (Florida), 100 Free - Dana Vollmer (Cal), 200 Breast - Rebecca Soni (USC), 200 Fly - Elaine Breeden (Stanford) (also watch Kathleen Hersey of Texas and Jemma Lowe of Florida)
- Aussie trials will conclude on Sunday with prelims beginning at 8am Sydney time (5pm Eastern/2pm Pacific) and finals at 5pm (2am Eastern/11pm Pacific).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Update from Sydney

The second day of prelims at the Aussie trials is completed. Some notes from the meet:
- Belinda Hocking led qualifiers in the Women's 100 Back with a 59.95, her personal best and the first swim under 1:00 this year. Second and third went to 100 Back Olympians Emily Seebohm and Sophie Edington, who were well off the pace but appear to have cruised.
- Christian Sprenger swam the second fastest time in the world in the Men's 100 Breast (1:00.27), well ahead of New Zealand's Glenn Snyders and a cruising Brenton Rickard.
- Libby Trickett led the way in the Women's 100 Free with a solid 54.04. However, the big story is Cate Campbell. The 16-year old superstar finished prelims in a relatively slow 56.47. This time puts her into a three-way tie for fifteenth place. Now, she will have to get first or second out of three in a swim-off to have a chance of making semi-finals, let alone a the top 2, which most people have predicted. Therese Alshammar has a personal best 54.58 to qualify second ahead of Sally Foster, Shane Reese, and Marieke Guehrer. Another favorite, Alice Mills, was also "off" in prelims, finishing 12th in 56.14; however, she still has semis and hopefully finals. Following her was triple gold medalist Stephanie Rice, 56.20.
- Matt Targett and Nick Ffrost lead highly competitive fields in the Men's 50 Fly and 200 Free, respectively. Both will have highly competitive battles for the top 2 spots.

Go to Swimming Australia ( for full results.

Just a comment: I predicted Marieke Guehrer to set an Australian record in the 50 Fly of 25.76 (in the finals). Today in semis, she swam 25.76. Considering I took educated guesses on the times, not bad! (I did the same thing in Beijing; I predicted Matt Grevers to win silver in the 100 Back in 52.99 - indeed he won silver and swam 52.99 in the semi-finals!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Joanne Jackson and Rebecca Adlington Break 400 Free World Record; Jackson 4:00.66

In a head-to-head showdown, Rebecca Adlington and Joanne Jackson, the gold and bronze medalists from the Olympics in the 400 Free, went head-to-head in the first women's final of Brittish nationals. The two were out under world record pace for the first 100 meters, but settled down, only to pick up the pace down the stretch. Jackson led the whole way and was one one-hundreth of a second off the record as she turned for home, but both girls turned it on on the finals 50, Jackson taking the touch, 4:00.66 to 4:00.89. Both swims destroyed Federica Pellegrini's World Record of 4:01.53 set at last year's European championships. The prospect of a sub-4:00 swim doesn't seem too far off, considering the pair will face off against Pellegrini and Olympic silver medalist Katie Hoff in Rome in just a few months.

With her World Record, Jackson became the second swimmer to qualify for the British team, following David Davies' British record in the 400 Free of 3:45.24. Adlington has not yet qualified for Rome; at these trials, only the top swimmer qualifies; a second will have a chance in June at a second trials. However, Adlington will probably be on the team well before that, as she swims the 800 Free this week, an event Jackson will forego (she will swim it in June).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Australian World Championship Trials Predictions

Australia's selection meet for the 2009 World Championships runs Tuesday, March 17 until Sunday, March 22. They are one of the first countries to hold their trials this season. Below are my predictions. Sometimes I will predict times, sometimes not, while sometimes I will predict six places, sometimes only one or two. Swimmers whose names are in bold make the team. Remember, they take six or seven in a relay! Note: Foreigners will be competing in the meet, so I will list their times, but not as placing in finals.

Women's 100m Free Updated!

Women's 200m Freestyle
1 - Stephanie Rice 1:56.39 AR
2 - Bronte Barratt 1:56.51
3 - Felicity Galvez
4 - Meagan Nay
5 - Kelly Stubbins
6 - Ellen Fullerton

Men's 50m Back
1 - Ashley Delaney 24.68 AR
2 - Hayden Stoeckel 25.21
3 - Daniel Arnamnant 25.27

Women's 50m Fly
- Therese Alshammar (SWE) 25.69
1 - Marieke Guehrer 25.76 AR
2 - Libby Trickett 25.89
3 - Felicity Galvez 25.93
4 - Danni Miatke
5 - Alice Mills

Men's 400m Free
1 - Robert Hurley 3:45.68
2 - Ryan Napoleon 3:48.11

Women's 200m IM
1 - Stephanie Rice 2:08.90
2 - Emily Seebohm 2:10.47
3 - Ellen Fullerton 2:13.29

Men's 200m Fly
1 - Nick D'arcy 1:54.61 AR
2 - Christopher Wright

Women's 50m Breast
1 - Jade (Edmistone) Richards 30.51
2 - Tarnee White 30.54
3 - Leisel Jones 30.70
4 - Sarah Katsoulis
*Note: While Jones has scratched, Edmistone is in the field, even though it appears she is out as well; she is married and has taken the name Jade Richards.

Men's 50m Fly
1 - Matt Targett 23.19 AR
2 - Andrew Lauterstein 23.52
3 - Matt Jaukovic 23.59
4 - Geoff Huegill
5 - Adam Pine
6 - Garth Kates

Women's 100m Back
1 - Emily Seebohm 59.12 AR
2 - Belinda Hocking 59.69
3 - Sophie Edington 59.85
4 - Meagen Nay 59.99

Men's 100m Breast
1 - Brenton Rickard 59.80
2 - Christian Sprenger 1:00.03

Women's 100m Free
1 - Libby Trickett 52.77 WR
2 - Cate Campbell 53.02
3 - Shane Reese 54.34
4 - Alice Mills 54.40
5 - Felicity Galvez
6 - Marieke Guehrer

Men's 200m Free
1 - Kendrick Monk 1:45.73
2 - Patrick Murphy 1:45.85 (1:45.59 in semi-finals)
3 - Nick Ffrost 1:46.33
4 - Kirk Palmer
5 - Robert Hurley
6 - Leith Brodie

Women's 800m Free
1 - Bronte Barratt 8:27.21
2 - Melissa Gorman

Men's 100m Free
1 - Matt Targett 47.74
2 - Andrew Lauterstein 48.17
3 - Eamon Sullivan 48.25
4 - Patrick Murphy
5 - Kirk Palmer
6 - Kendrick Monk

Women's 100m Fly
1 - Libby Trickett 56.96
2 - Jessicah Schipper 57.19
3 - Felicity Galvez 57.43
4 - Marike Guehrer 57.69

Men's 200m Back
1 - Hayden Stoeckel 1:56.51
2 - Ashley Delaney 1:56.88
3 - Robert Hurley 1:57.03

Women's 200m Breast
1 - Sally Foster 2:24.61
2 - Sarah Katsoulis 2:25.66

Men's 800m Free
1 - Trent Grimsey
2 - Christopher Ashwood

Men's 50m Breast
1 - Brenton Rickard 27.08 WR
2 - Christian Sprenger 27.94

Women's 50m Back
1 - Emily Seebohm 27.60 WR
2 - Sophie Edington 27.70

Men's 100m Fly
1 - Andrew Lauterstein 50.95 AR
2 - Adam Pine 51.93
3 - Garth Kates
4 - Matt Jaukovic
5 - Geoff Huegill

Women's 100m Breast
1 - Leisel Jones 1:05.89*
2 - Sarah Katsoulis 1:06.39
3 - Tarnee White 1:06.87

Men's 100m Back
1 - Ashley Delaney 53.15
2 - Hayden Stoeckel 53.27
3 - Robert Hurley
4 - Daniel Arnamnant

Women's 50m Free
1 - Cate Campbell 23.84 WR
2 - Libby Trickett 23.87
3 - Marieke Guehrer 24.93
- Therese Alshammar 24.99

Men's 400m IM
1 - Stephen Parkes
2 - Declan Potts

Men's 50m Free
1 - Eamon Sullivan 21.61
2 - Ashley Callus 21.99
3 - Jonathon Newton

Women's 200m Back
1 - Meagen Nay 2:07.63 AR
2 - Belinda Hocking 2:07.83
3 - Emily Seebohm 2:09.12

Men's 1,500m Free
1 - Trent Grimsey
2 - Cameron Smith

Men's 200m IM
1 - Leith Brodie 1:59.65 AR
2 - Sam Ashby

Women's 200m Fly
- Liu Zige 2:05.62
1 - Jessicah Schipper 2:05.89
2 - Samantha Hamill 2:07.43
3 - Stephanie Rice

Men's 200m Breast
1 - Brenton Rickard 2:09.01
2 - Christian Sprenger 2:10.77

Women's 400m IM
1 - Stephanie Rice 4:30.44
2 - Ellen Fullerton 4:39.29
3 - Samantha Hamill 4:41.99

Women's 1,500m Free
1 - Belinda Bennett
2 - Melissa Gorman

*Note: Leisel Jones will swim at the trials, but even if she qualifies, she will not swim in Rome. Thus, places two and three will qualify.

WR = World record
AR = Australian record

For full results, visit
Psych sheet available at

Prelims begin every day at 8am Sydney time (5pm East coast USA, 2pm West coast)
Finals begin every day at 5pm (2am East coast, 11pm West coast)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Welcome to DR549, the place to go for news about swimming today. In the coming months, I will tell about what's going on in the swimming world and who's swimming fast and what to expect for Rome. In addition, you will get to see what swimming has done for an average teenager. For more of my swimming blogs, visit my profile (David2) on!