Sunday, May 24, 2009


Talk about fast! 47.80 from Jason Lezak! We are talking! He beat Nathan Adrian's 49.14. Too bad (especially for the relays) that he won't be at Worlds. (He's going to the Maccabiah Games in Israel.) He's now ranked second in the world!

Also, KING's Ariana Kukors swam a 31.10 in the B-Final of the Women's 50 Breast at the Mel Zajac meet in Canada. 13th in the world, but REALLY good for a 200-400 IMer! To put that into perspective, Jessica Hardy's American Record is 30.63. It was waaaay faster than any time in the A-Final.

JEI Results
Mel Zajac Results

Peter Marshall's Long Course Return...Deeked

If you look at the results of the men's 100 Back at the Janet Evans Invite, you will see Eugene Godsoe on the top of the results. However, he only won because Peter Marshall was DQ'ed for an unknown reason.

After a poor, tenth-place showing at last summer's Olympic trials, Marshall planned to retire, but first he would travel the world, swimming in the World Cups. While on tour, he set three short course World Records (2 in the 100 Back, 1 in the 50), and he currently holds the Short Course Meters 100 Back American Record, 49.63.

After a winter of short course racing throughout Europe, Marshall swam for the first time Long Course today in the 100 Back at JEI. He ended up winning the event in 54.19. Even though the time was thrown out and the victory taken away, this is extremely significant. While it means very little in the grand scheme of things today (ranking him 20th in the world), it is only 0.09 off his personal best, from the 2004 Olympic trials, when he was outtouched for the second spot in the 100 Back by then-World Record holder Lenny Krayzelburg by 0.04. It was MUCH faster than he swam at trials, and it would have put him into the finals in the 8th spot. He's currently training hard with Dave Salo. Despite the DQ, tonight proves one thing: Peter Marshall is back.

I'll be back with full previews of the World Championships and US Nationals and other huge lead-up meets such as Santa Clara and Paris Open starting Friday (after I finish high school finals).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ultra-Swim Wrap-up

The Charlotte Ultra-Swim is behind us, and Michael Phelps is back. Tonight, I noticed the athletes were good, but not great in most cases. Peirsol, Beisel, Phelps - all three were solid, but not out of this world.

Men's 200 Back: Peirsol/Clary

1:56.65 to 1:57.05, Peirsol just beat Clary. Obviously a much better swim for Clary than Peirsol. Peirsol not as good as he was in the 100 yesterday, but solid nonetheless. Peirsol and Clary now ranked 7th and 9th in the world in 2009.

Men's 200 IM: Pereira/Lochte

Pereira, coming off the Brazilian trials last week, which he was somewhat rested for, beat Lochte 1:58.25 to 1:58.71. Both solid swims, but really good for Lochte, who was completely unrested wearing an FS-Pro legskin, compared to Pereira's Blueseventy. They move up to 4th and 5th in the world this year, behind Darian Townsend (RSA), Ken Takakuwa (JPN), and James Goddard (GBR). Expect some good things from Ryan Lochte this summer.

Men's 100 Free: Bousquet/Phelps

Very similar to the 100 Back last night. Bousquet got a good lead on Phelps (a full second), and although Phelps made up a little ground, it wasn't enough, as the Jaked-clad Bousquet beat Phelps in FS-Pro leggings. Bousquet's 48.22 was a solid swim (out in 22.83, NOT under world record pace), his second best ever, and Phelps' 49.04 leaves him 37th in the world (think how fast this event has gotten!), but with plenty of room for improvement.

Race of the night: Amanda Weir, Women's 100 Free, 54.06

After her American record of 53.58 in 2006, Weir has fallen off the map a little bit, missing the Beijing Olympics, but she went a full second faster tonight than she did in the finals of the Olympic trials and is officially back. If the American women want to win the 4x100 Free Relay at the Worlds (which looks hard enough at this point), they need Weir, Kara Lynn Joyce, Lacey Nymeyer, and Dara Torres at their respective bests, and Weir is right on her way to that. By the way, you gotta feel bad for Joyce - 4th in both the 50 and 100 Free and out of the finals of the 200...ugh!

So, who had the best swim of the Ultra-Swim? Phelps in the 200 Free, Bousquet in the 50 Free, Peirsol in the 100 Back, or Weir in the 100 Free?
Results posted above.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Those Dang Shiny Suits

It's getting really annoying, those shiny black or red suits. It doesn't take a genius to realize that Peirsol was wearing the ILLEGAL Arena X-Glide tonight. Was a great swim, great time, but don't they understand they can't wear it?

I was impressed also by Fred Bousquet tonight. Coming off a short break following his sub-21 at French trials, Bousquet swam another killer 50 Free. 21.33 was the tied for the 5th fastest time in history. Even with the whole suit arguement (blah, blah, blah), it was impressive.

Those two swims tie for my swim of the night (Phelps' 200 Free ran away with the award last night). Phelps was right where he needed to be in the 100 Back. I wrote down 53.5-53.8 would be good, and he was 53.79. Now hopefully he'll put on the big suit and give "Freddy Biscuits" a run for his money in the 100 Free tomorrow.

A couple of shoutouts: Eric Shanteau, for his best time in the 200 Breast - those Japanese and Brazilian guys who have been throwing down 2:08s need to watch out; Dagny Knutson for her incredible race with Katie Hoff in the 400 Free - the future of American sprinting is right on target.

A point of clarity: my position on the new suit technology. No, I don't like how all the suits hang over the amazing swims we've seen like a cloud. But what I hate even more is Craig Lord of going on about how undeserving these athletes are. He pretty much claims that athetes are wrong for using new, legal suit technology (not talking about the unapproved suits yet). One cannot take away the achievements of the athletes, because people can't just be lazy and put on a suit and drop 10 seconds; they are working hard. If FINA can't set regulations, it is the athlete's responsibility (if money is not a factor) to wear the best technology available.

That said, if a suit has not been approved, it should not be worn in competition. Alain Bernard was allowed to get away with it, and it has opened the door for the same thing with Yuliya Efimova, Ryosuke Irie, and now Aaron Peirsol. If it's not approved, don't wear it in competition. That simple.

Tomorrow: Peirsol's 200 Back will be sick. Like Phelps, he has returned to form more quickly than expected, and, especially if he wears the X-Glide again, I think he can swim 1:54-high in the 200 Back. Lochte, the American record holder, probably won't be much of a challenge, as he has been swimming in only the speedo and is obviously pretty beaten down at this point.

Anyway, things are looking good for American swimming.

100 Back Poll Results

Who will win the Men's 100 Back tonight at Ultra-Swim?

Ben Hesen 1.6%
Ryan Lochte 23.4%
Aaron Peirsol 29.7%
Michael Phelps 34.4%
Nick Thoman 10.9%

61 total votes

Some trends I noticed: Thoman was the early leader in the poll, but then Phelps and Lochte were neck and neck for a while. Peirsol has since gone by Lochte.

I think that the race will be from the middle of the pool, Peirsol in 4, Phelps in 5. I think Lochte and Thoman will battle it out for 3rd. I think at least the first two will go under 54, making an impact (small but substantial) on the world rankings. Currently, Lochte is the only American under 54 this year, with a 53.95 from the Orlando sectional meet. My list of times for what would be good for MP says 53.5-53.8, so we shall soon see. Finals are about to start. Go to to view the live stream from the meet.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wow, it's Phelps again!

Tonight, we saw a different Michael Phelps than we had seen in a while. It wasn't the Phelps that was caught sleeping at the Ohio State Grand Prix or falling out of a car and breaking his hand. It most certainly wasn't the Phelps that was caught smoking a bong at the University of South Carolina six months ago. It was the Phelps the entire world saw nine months ago, when he provided us with a week-long thrill ride that I will remember forever.

Before prelims this morning, I wrote down some times that I thought would be a good showing from Phelps. I said 1:46.3-1:47-flat in the 200 Free and 51.6-51.9 in the 100 Fly. I thought those times may be a little bit of a stretch. Phelps himself said he was expecting 1:47-high in the 200 Free. I knew that Vanderkaay would be good tonight, as he has posted some really fast times in the lead up. I thought that maybe he could beat Phelps. Instead, wearing an FS-Pro Legskin (compared to LZR full bodies for the others) Phelps threw down the second fastest time in the world (trailing China's Zhang Lin, 1:45.83), a time only three tenths slower than his best time last year at this point.

Same in the 100 Fly. Out in third place, he blazed home to a 51.72, ninth in the world this year, a time which would have placed anyone else third at the 2007 Worlds behind Phelps and Crocker. He moves one one-hundreth of a second ahead of Milorad Cavic, previously no. 9 at 51.73. Strange, anyone?

Some other points about finals:
  • Davis Tarwater had a GREAT swim in the 200 Free of 1:47.35. I've been looking at the contenders for the relay lately, and that swim puts him into the front runner position to make the World Championship team in that event.
  • Dagny Knutson also had a really swift 200 Free. Her 1:58.63 was less than a second off her best time from Jr. Pan Pacs, and will really help a relay in need of some help this summer.
  • Mark Gangloff and Eric Shanteau both posted stellar times in the 100 Breast. Gangloff's 1:00.18 was only 0.08 off his PB (3rd fastest American in history), and Shanteau was also not too far off his best from the Austin Grand Prix (1:00.09), with a 1:00.63.
  • Christine Magnuson and Mary Descenza put up solid times in the 100 Fly. I wrote down predictions for the US World team this past weekend, and they were my picks for the 100 Fly, so things are looking their way.
  • Just a backstroker? Aaron Peirsol is proving this statement wrong, as he swam a 1:49 in the 200 Free and two 53.5s in the 100 Fly.
  • Ryan Lochte had a poor swim in the 200 Free prelims, but rebounded a little bit to win the B-final wit ha 1:50.58, the fifth best time overall, behind Phelps, Vanderkaay, Tarwater, and Peirsol.

Nothing much else to say about finals. The 100 Back will be quite a race tomorrow. Lochte seems a little sluggish here, so I'm not so sure about his chances. I think it'll be Peirsol and Phelps, with Thoman and Lochte as darkhorses. Phelps vs. Bousquet on Sunday in the 100 Free will be quite a match race.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fred Bousquet in Ultra-Swim

As just reported on the Morning Swim Show (Swimming World), David Marsh confirmed that Fred Bousquet JUST made the decision to swim at Ultra-Swim. Forget my old predictions for the 50 and 100 Free. He will win both. Fred vs. Phelps in the 100 will be AWESOME!

Watch the show here:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Men's Medley Relay

Remember when the US won the medley relay by four seconds at Worlds? I miss those days. In this era, I can think of six countries with somewhat of a shot to win the event at Worlds. Here are the teams:

USA - we don't know who yet

Australia - Delaney/Stoeckel, Rickard/Sprenger, Lauterstein, Sullivan

Japan - Irie/Koga, Tateishi, Kishida, Fujii

Russia - Vyatchanin/Donets, Geybel/Lakhtyukhov (both 1:00-mid/high), Korotyshkin, Grechin

France - Stravius/Stasiulus, Duboscq, Lefert, Bernard/Bousquet

Brazil (since when?) - Guido (he's put up some quality 50 Backs, still waiting for a good 100), Barbosa (59.12 - 2nd all time), Mangibeira, Cielo

When a country starts getting the swimmers of the various strokes, their medley relay gets good. Unfortunately for the Americans, it happens.

As for Duel in the Pool, the Japanese men seem more primed than the Aussies, so I think they will take out the medley relay. However, the Aussies will be tougher in Rome, but it will be a battle for any of the countries.

Charlotte Ultra-Swim Predictions

W 800 Free: K. Hoff/E. Bruneman/M. Bird
M 1,500 Free: P. Vanderkaay/J. Kinderwater/C. Peterson

W 200 Free: K. Hoff/D. Knutson/J. Smit Or: M. Descenza
M 200 Free: M. Phelps/P. Vanderkaay/R. Lochte
W 100 Breast: L. Sogar
M 100 Breast: M. Gangloff/E. Shanteau
W 100 Fly: M. Descenza/C. Magnuson/J. Lowe
M 100 Fly: M. Phelps/C. Swanepoel/T. McGill Also watch: D. Tarwater
W 400 IM: E. Beisel/J. Smit/D. Knutson
M 400 IM: T. Pereira/R. Lochte/T. Clary*

W 200 Fly: M. Descenza/J. Lowe/E. Beisel
M 200 Fly: D. Tarwater/A. Vanderkaay/M. Patton
W 50 Free: K. Joyce/A. Weir/C. Magnuson
M 50 Free: C. Jones/G. Bovell/N. Brunelli
W 100 Back: H. McGregory/G. Spofforth/M. Descenza
M 100 Back: R. Lochte/A. Peirsol/M. Phelps
W 200 Breast: L. Sogar
M 200 Breast: E. Shanteau/C. Burckle/M. Gangloff
W 400 Free: K. Hoff/D. Knutson/C. Burckle
M 400 Free: P. Vanderkaay/R. Lochte/M. Patton

W 1,500 Free: E. Brunemann
M 800 Free: J. Kinderwater
W 200 IM: D. Knutson/J. Smit/E. Beisel
M 200 IM: R. Lochte/T. Pereria/E. Shanteau
W 200 Back: E. Beisel/H. McGregory/M. Descenza Don't forget: G. Spofforth
M 200 Back: R. Lochte/A. Peirsol/T. Clary
W 100 Free: K. Joyce/A. Weir/K. Hoff Others: J. Smit, C. Magnuson, D. Knutson
M 100 Free: M. Phelps/C. Jones/R. Lochte Or: Nick Brunelli

*Pereira just swam a somewhat-rested 4:14-flat at the Brazilian trials, so I think he will be fast. Clary took time off after NCAAs, so I don't expect him to be anywhere near peak.

Poll on Men's 100 Back closed - results to be posted before race.

They're at it again!

At the Australia vs. Japan Duel in the Pool in Canberra, a man and a woman each closed in on world records in their respective events. Libby Trickett swam a 52.89 leading off the mixed 4x100 Free Relay (talk about deja vu!) and backed that up 90 minutes later with a 52.95. Just several minutes later, she anchored the women's 4x100 Free Relay in 52.95, a very impressive swim considering the circumstances. Those two swim rank as second and third all-time, and now she has swum under 53 seconds twice (no one else has ever).

In the Men's 100m Back, Japan's Ryosuke Irie back-halfed his way to a ridiculous 52.56, missing Aaron Peirsol's World Record (what I consider the best display of backstroke ever), and zooming him past Randall Bal, former Japanese record holder Junya Koga, Nick Thoman, etc, etc (Phelps in there as well). The scary part: he has two more chances for a world record tomorrow. He will swim the 200 Back first, where he has already swum only 0.08 off Ryan Lochte's World Record, and then leadoff the men's Medley Relay in a big race with the Aussies. Peirsol's record will once again be in danger. Priyant's recap of Duel in the Pool for Swimming World.

In Brazil, Felipe Silva swam a 26.89 in the 50 Breaststroke, breaking Cameron van der Burgh's short-lived World Record in evening prelims. Also in prelims, Joao Luiz Junior swam a 27.14, becoming the fourth fastest man all-time (behind Silva, van der Burgh, and Ukraine's Oleg Lisoger). They ended up 1-2 in finals. Full Swimming World coverage.

Click here to find out why Jason Lezak won't be swimming at the World Championships this summer.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jessica Hardy Suspension Reduced

After testing positive for banned substance Clenbutrol at last summer's Olympic trials, Jessica Hardy was suspended for two years, but the sentence was reduced today to one year after it was decided it was a result of a tainted supplement. Unfortunately, it appears she still cannot swim at Nationals this summer, because her suspension does not end until July 31. Click here for the full story on Swimming World Magazine.

As her suspension covers Worlds, the Russians Yuliya Efimova and Valentina Artemyeva will have almost a free 1-2 finish. A message to them: Don't get used to it!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Michael Phelps

It's been a long time since the king of swimming (and really sports) has been the title of one of my blogs. But MICHAEL PHELPS IS COMING BACK! He will be swimming the 200 Free and 100 Fly (Friday), 50 Free and 100 Back (Saturday), and 100 Free at the Ultra-Swim in two weeks in Charlotte. Katie Hoff will be swimming the 100-200-400-800 Freestyles, and Ryan Lochte will have the 100-200-400 Free, 100-200 Back, 200-400 IM. The 100 Back will be a very exciting race, with Phelps, Lochte, world-record holder Aaron Peirsol, Nick Thoman, and Ben Hesen all slated to contend. Phelps will face off against Lochte, hometown favorite Cullen Jones, Nick Brunelli, and Lochte in the 100 Free. The top 3 Americans all-time, Phelps, Lochte, and Olympic Bronze Medalist Peter Vanderkaay, will face off in the 200 Free. Other stars will include Hayley McGregory, Elizabeth Beisel, Kara Lynn Joyce, Amanda Weir, Mary Descenza, Christine Magnuson, Mark Gangloff, Alex Vanderkaay, Tyler Clary, Dagny Knutson, and Julia Smit, as well as Brazilian Olympian Thiago Pereira and British Olympians Jemma Lowe and Gemma Spofforth. One of my coaches (an Ultra-Swim vet) commented that this was by far the fastest Ultra-Swims he had ever seen. Click here to view the psych sheet.

But back to the topic at hand. Phelps. There is nothing else to talk about with this guy. Universal Sports has a new commerical advertising their LIVE TV coverage of the meet. Enjoy.