Friday, 6 August 2010

Thoughts from US Nationals Day Three

Normality returned to US Nationals on Day Three. Michael Phelps swam a rapid 100m Fly (second fastest time in a textile suit), Rebecca Soni blasted her 100m Breast and Nathan Adrian confirmed his status as one of the very best sprinters in world swimming. There were also a number of other stories of note from last night.

Let's get through this together...

- Josh Schneider's DQ was ridiculous. Simply ridiculous. I hope he gets off on his equally ridiculous technicality and gets to swim at Pan Pacs. He deserves to as he did nothing wrong during the 50m Freestyle. After all the controversies of suits and the new rules being introduced, why does the sport need to employ such drastic and unnecessary measures for simply skipping an event without informing the meet organisers? To DQ someone in swimming it needs to be for a valid reason... false start, more than 15m under water, illegal suit, doped up to the eyeballs etc. Schneider did none of these (hopefully).

Make Schneider pay $20 for missing the race, make him run round the pool in a Borat Mankini, but don't disqualify the guy when he did nothing wrong during the event.

- Hat tip to Nathan Adrian for becoming the fourth fastest man ever in a textile suit behind Cesar Cielo (21.55 this year), Alexander Popov (21.64 in 2000) and Roland Schoeman (21.69 in 2005). I would say its safe to now say that he is firmly established in the top tier of world sprinting alongside Mr. Cielo, Mr. Bernard and Mr. Bousquet. His 100m Freestyle today could be something special.

- Some swimmers who win nationals benefit from being in the right place at the right time. They may have had an incredible taper which allows them to be in the perfect condition to race. The competition may have had an off day, bad taper or let pressure get to them. Caitlin Leverenz winning the 400m IM was the exact opposite of that.

Watching that 400m IM it was clear to me that Leverenz must be considered USA's new No.1 in the event (and yes there is a difference between winning nationals and being the No.1 swimmer in an event in my eyes). The lead she gained after the Breaststroke leg was enormous. Leverenz split 1:15.56, the next fastest Breaststroke leg was Katie Hoff's 1:18.74. Whilst Leverenz' freestyle leg leaves a lot to be desired (she will need to shave some time off her 1:05.12 split at Pan Pacs), her breaststroke is a weapon that the rest of the world should be fearful of.

Breastroke splits of the women ranked ahead of Leverenz on the 400m IM this year
Katinka Hosszu - 1:19.80
Steph Rice - 1:19.83
Hannah Miley - 1:17.39
Xuanxu Li - No idea (no access to the results/splits from Chinese Nationals)

(Socaladvracer, who commented on David Rieder's blog, has been spot on with his singling out of not only Leverenz but also Morgan Scroggy to do well.)

- Rebecca Soni has a lot more to come on the 100m Breaststroke. Soni's time of 1:05.73 moves her to No. 1 in the world this year but it masked the fact that she had a poor start and poor finish. The second 50m of her race though was one of the most impressive 50 meters I have seen all year. She completely destroyed the rest of the field.

Spare a thought for Jessica Hardy. It has been a rough few years for Hardy and she is making her first appearance at Nationals for 2 years. She led both the 100m Breaststroke and 50m Freestyle finals last night before slipping away towards the end of both races.

(Weird fact from the 100m Breaststroke final last night. Rebecca Soni was the only swimmer to improve upon her heat time. Everyone else was slower in the evening's final.)

- Finally... You think Ryan Lochte is the only swimmer to have his own personalised shoes? Think again. This is the final proof that Britain is catching up with America in swimming.


  1. I have just been online looking at the age group championships 2010 in the UK, And i am shocked at the times being swam by the girls, Europeans seem to develop later but i sure hope some of these dont for Americas sake, Here are a few of my athletes to watch:(All 2010 textile times)

    Amelia Maughan-Age:14
    Stroke: Freestyle 50-200m

    Sophie smith-Age:15
    Strokes:Medleys,Freestyle 200m.
    PBs:2.14.48...4.44.46...2.00.79 She also has swam a 56.00 relay split for 100m Free.

    Achieng ajulu Bushell-Age:16
    Srokes:Breast, Freestyle 50-100m
    PBs: 31.04...1.08.51...26.49...57.03

    Emma Saunders-Age:16
    Strokes:Freestyle, Back. 50-200m.
    PBs:27.02...56.32...2.01.72...29.01...1.02.68...2.16.81 There are so many more but i am off to bed now, But look the results up, Great swimming.

  2. Agree 100%. The British Youth Champs are hugely encouraging, Achieng Ajulu-Bushell is the highest profile of those you mentioned as she is British Senior Champ in both 50m and 100m Breaststroke.

    Smith and Saunders have just won European Junior titles in Helsinki.

    Maughan is looking like a tremendous talent. A 14 year old swimming 56 is fantastic.

    It's not just the girls either. Matthew Johnson, 15, had a great meet and is definitely one for the future, 3:58, 15:44, 2:02 - 200m Fly, 4:22 - 400m IM

    Keep checking the blog as there will be a blog post soon about the talented youths coming through in Great Britain as well as a preview of the European Championships. Exciting time to be a swimming fan.