Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Joel of the '17th Man blog' swims a 48.08 in the 100 'fly wearing a "Splish"

The Splish suit pictured above is pending FINA approval and obviously they have to make some mods to the arms and ankles before it gets anywhere, hence the "pending"qualifier.

Well, Joel of the 17th Man got to wear one and he swam a 48.08 in the 100 SCY butterfly in a sectional held at Buffalo Breath Aquatics Center in Utah. (I think it's a Mormon church school pool in some rural part of Utah?)

Nonetheless, I am surprised he didn't get disqualified since the suit has not received FINA approval nor has anyone heard of it.

I got an email an hour ago that a website is going live between now and the weekend with details about the suit and an announcement that they will be sponsoring Joel McKenna, not as a masters swimmer, but as a potential Olympian!

Joel said this about the suit, "...It's like wearing "leather water!" - He said the the science is there and he pointed me to this New Scientist article regarding the material:

"...This fine layer of air ensures that water never comes into contact with the polyester fabric. It can be submerged in water for two months and still remain dry to the touch, says Seeger.

In addition, the plastron layer can also reduce drag when moving from water by up to 20% according to preliminary experiments conducted by Seeger. "This could be very interesting for athletic swimwear applications," he suggests, raising the possibility of future swimsuits that never get wet..."


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Leveaux "owns" Bernard twice this past weekend!

I noticed over at Swim News that Amaury Leveaux beat Alain Bernard twice:

Amaury Leveaux, Olympic silver medalist and one of the most improved swimmers in the world in 2008, got in a second victory over Olympic 100m free champion Alain Bernard at the Strasbourg International in France: the gap yesterday over 100m was 0.07sec, the gap tonight over 50m was 0.08sec, 22.12 to 22.20.


I think Amaury Leveaux is an amazing athlete who deserves all of the success he has earned. However, I noticed that since Bernard signed with Arena, I don't see him winning. Hence, I think Amauary Leveaux has a better suit and that suit may be the new TYR Titan, I am not sure? (I will go ask.)


The most kinetic and yet the most "polite" underwater shot I have seen of a water polo skirmish.

From Don'tPanicOnline:

Rasmuss Kaessmann: Kaessmann's work with the German water polo team displays a new and exciting approach to sports photography, creating magic in the pool.


Girls surfing is not a crime! - Well, actually it is if they are in Morocco

From Nylon Magazine:

"... Over half of the country's borders are beaches, sanding into the Atlantic ocean. And while surfing is slightly secret in the Muslim country (and banned for women altogether), it's definitely happening. ..."

I once got a brick thrown out me for trying to surf Hollywood by the Sea in Oxnard.

Speedo outsources design ideas - I don't think it worked!

Originally found at NotCot.org and showcased nicely at DesignYearBook, these swimsuit prints were designed and created by Comme des Garçons.

DesignYearBook had this to say:

Two standout designs from this collection are: Logo Script, which sees a Speedo twist to a CdG classic hand print
- the iconic Speedo graphic in repetition, forming a distinctive pattern; and Tie Dye, an on-trend effect yet rarely seen in swimwear, executed to dramatic effect.

As you know, I am no fan of Speedo so I will put that on the table first so as to get my bias out of the way and then voice my opinion:I am going to categorically state that these swimsuit designs are anemic.

I think prints such as these may sell in Europe but I could not see somebody in Orange County wearing these at the beach or in the pool.

I believe that Speedo has an inferiority complex when it comes to fashion design, hence the outsourcing the over-the-top designers like Comme des Garçons.

I am back!

I once heard on a Lifetime Network commercial that people have three lives: A public life, a private and secret life. (Little did they know that swimmers have four!)

Two of my four were pretty out of whack this week. But I am back and I owe you a bunch of posts.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2009 SPMA Santa Clarita SCY Masters Meet: Personal best 100-free: 57.54 • Personal best 50-free: 25.64

Ahelee was in that heat as well and she is standing next to me 'stage left.'

FAIL! - Look at the two losers in the air. We are so out-classed by Ahelee for she has the reaction time of antelope! I guess the rest of us need to start playing "Whack-a-Mole" or something to speed up our pathetic slow-motion starts. As for now, time dilates when Ahelee is on the blocks!

The race was close from beginning to end. Look at Ahelee's reach; I am the guy at the bottom of the photo.

I need to work on shoulder flexibility; I am going to work on my kick as well. What happens to people on the third-lap of the 100-free? It's starts off with so much promise and ends in so much pain.

I came in at 57.54, a personal best and I was elated. I even got a blue ribbon after tying for first with a swimmer from Bakersfield. What made the win feel so good is that there were 10-people in my age-group trying hard for that ribbon and I got to share it with all the right people at the swim meet.

Rob of RobAquatics took these photos and I very flattered he shared them. Rob too swam a personal best in the 100 IM by .2 seconds after a 4-second drop 2-weeks earlier at the Cal Tech Pentathlon. Here he is below:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hey, Craig Lord, You better "show him" and his "little dog too!"

It turns out that a reader named Tom really pissed off Craig Lord to no end during an email exchange. So, Craig Lord has obviously decided to "show him" and let him have it at the SwimNews.com site. Now, thousands have witnessed Craig Lord's wrath upon a SCAQ Blog reader named Tom.

Here is what Tom wrote in an email to me:

As just mentioned in my previous e-mail, Craig Lord sighted me in an article for the "Times [online]" and SwimNews.com.

All I did was send him a letter to the editor e-mail...........ouch!


For five paragraphs Tom got flogged! I can't post all of the paragraphs since I won't violate the fair use clause but I will link to it so you can see how strong his words were: "...

"... Odd then, that some still think the suit issue is not worth a second glance. Take "Tom", a reader who tells me it's time to stop flogging a dead horse. Tom has another explanation for all that speed in your suit (and I quote): "HGH, Insulin Growth factor, CERA, Epogen, Micro-dosing, Test-E, Di-Hydromethylandrosterone (the clear)". ..."

"...There you go Tom - happy now? Perhaps not. Tom goes on to call into question my genetic make-up and cerebral function. I feel somewhat less moved by that than I suspect many of you will doubtless feel about having all that hard work and commitment - you know, all that stuff that had nothing to do with a suit - put down to the cookies in the jar described by Tom. ..."

"... And on that note, I'm taking the week off. Hope all those not on Tom's
cocktail have a good one and hope it is a particularly enlightening
one for a scientist called Prof Jan-Anders Manson. ..."


He mentioned Tom's name ten-times during the article. You could just feel his abject anger towards Tom and his speedsuit opinions... But why?

I almost forgot: The lovely cartoon is from a website called XKCD.Com. Here are some links to my favorite ones:

[Link] - Grownups

[Link] - Angular Momentum

[Link] - Dreams

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Libby Trickett on her new straight-armed freestyle: "It feels very powerful and very strong"

Wendy from Of(f) the Deep End blog sent us this. Trickett speaks about her straight-arm technique and her second fastest 100-free time she set at the Australian National Championship yesterday. Here is a snippet from The Australian:

"...However, at the national championships in Sydney, Trickett was feeling no strain as she surged to the second-fastest time in history, 52.99sec, just 0.11sec short of her world record.

"I am pretty pleased, it's only 0.1 of a second off my best and only the second time I have officially gone under 53 seconds," Trickett said.


FOX News interviews Jason Lezak regarding his lack of sponsors!

Rob from RobAquatics sent this video link to me and I had to upload it to the blog since I couldn't get the embed links to work. Thanks Rob for the tip. :-)

In my opinion this interview was ill advised and if I was his sports agent, I would be humiliated at how ineffectual I was in getting him contracts. The Newsweek article is one thing since it showcase what he has accomplished and where he wants to go rather than how much help he needs. Also, the readership is more suited to that sort of news rather than FOX news.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Geoff "Rocky Balboa" Huegill swam a personal best in his comeback placing 5th in the final of the 50m 'fly!

The guy has only been back in the pool for 6 months; before that he was off in the wilderness gaining 90-pounds or so while searching for a new direction. This is not uncommon for Olympians who retire.

Now get this, he jumps into a Speedo LZR for the first time, and in a semi-final heat swims a 23.86 for a personal best. A personal best at 30-years-old after being out of competition for 5-years. That is "Rocky material" and it should become a movie becasue the adversity this guy has gone through is greater than the adversity the fictional Rocky Balboa dramatized.

Amazing right? However, that is not all. In January he suffered from an irregular heartbeat and was taken to the hospital for tests but luckily converted to sinus rhythm in time to train and do this well.

From Andrew Webster at The Daily Telegraph:

"...He had an irregular heartbeat. I know that plays on his mind. We had to get him to a doctor straight away. It was definitely a concern. He was concerned, for sure. As it turns out, it wasn't serious. But it was enough to make sure we had to be careful."

Huegill's transformation was there for all to see poolside at the Sydney Aquatic Centre yesterday as he attempted to earn a place on the team that will contest the world championships in Rome in July.


Yet here he was, emerging from his heat swim of 23.86sec to easily qualify for last night's semi-finals, showing off a 1000-watt smile and glistening abdominal muscles. A swimmer and man reborn

Though he didn't make the Australian world championship team, a 23.86 after a health scare such as that while undergoing a massive weight reduction program is indeed inspiring. In 6-months time, he was probably dropping 3-pounds per week. Wow!

'Jaked' - Here is the speedsuit that Fred Bousquet and Therese Alshammar swam and won their events in!

I found out about this suit from a reader known as Swim fast last August. This person was extraordinarily impressed with the suit. So much so that I could not believe the things this European swimmer was telling me about it. I kept checking up on the site from time to time and now the statements made about this suit are panning out as true.

Therese Alshammar set a WR in one but it got DQed due to conflicting rules between Australia and FINA. Fred Bousquet set a record at the Austin Grand Prix and there is Federica Pellegrini who has been swimming and winning in one as well.

Note that we are seeing Europeans now setting more and more records rather than the 'usual suspects': the United States and Australia! Speedsuits have made swimming more exciting despite the accusations of "equipment" or the unfair costs.

I took two images from the Jaked site and composited them above. Note how the suit lacks seams or perhaps the seams are taped over. Maybe even glue is used to stitch the suit.

The suit costs €372 which is $500 in US currency. If only the Euro was valued at .80 USD like it was just before George W. Bush entered office, then I could afford one!

A link to the Jaked website here: [Link]

Speedsuit company 'blueseventy' sent me a press release regarding the FINA ruling in Dubai

The most important part of the press release is the following:

"... Fina’s rules, issued in a two stage process, will limit suits on thickness, buoyancy and other areas as of March 31st this year. This will be the standard until Jan 1st 2010, when the restrictions of phase two will come into effect.

"... Phase one should not affect the legality of our current suits at all. All our in-house testing has shown that our current suits meet all of the phase one restrictions, including those relating to buoyancy. There has been a lot of incorrect information, and personal viewpoints ushered into the public arena, and we feel that some of these tests will help reduce the confusion that seems to be out there. ..."

Phase two is a permeability rule that is planned for 2010. I believe the crux of that rule is to allow trapped air to escape!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alshammar's 50m Butterfly WR Has Been Rejected!

Therese Alshammar was wearing a Jaked swimsuit, a European brand which uses a fabric that appears to be chloroprene in nature. The suit has few seams, an indented cut in the chest area and could provide modesty issues for swimmers.

From The Australian:

Alshammar immediately submitted an appeal against her disqualification. But after discussing the rules with referee Janelle Barnett, Alshammar elected to withdraw her appeal.

Alshammar told The Australian she had misunderstood the local swimsuit rules: "I'm still happy with the swim - it's just a technicality in my eyes.

"I have obviously not understood the rules of the Australian championships. I was wearing a unisex suit which does not cover my chest completely so I need to wear an old cut-down suit underneath. I thought it was a modesty suit. It's just so I don't fall out the side, to feel more comfortable."


Monday, March 16, 2009

Alshammar's 50 meter 'fly World Record may be DQed!

This is going to be interesting. CBC Canada says she wore two suits but it wasn't two speedsuits. From CBC.CA:

"... Therese Alshammar of Sweden..., 31, clocked 25.44 seconds in her qualifying heat at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, shaving 0.02 seconds off the world record she set at a meet in Barcelona, Spain, on June 13, 2007.

But officials later discovered that she was wearing two swim suits, which is no longer permissible under revised requirements ratified last Saturday by FINA, the governing body for swimming.

Meet organizers were not available for comment. ..."


But what if she was wearing a training brief underneath for modesty reasons? From The Australian:

Alshammar, 31, was wearing a brief training suit underneath a racing bodysuit and may be ruled to have breached the new rule which restricts swimmers to wearing only one swimsuit in competition.

The Swimming Australia swimsuit rules allow swimmers to wear a brief suit under the racing suit for modesty purposes but the new FINA requirement, as published at the weekend, is a blanket one-suit-only rule.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fred Bousquet: "I felt like I was stabbed in the back, not by the U.S., but by my federation,"

Above is Fred Bousquet breaking a US Open record in the 50-m free. Bousquet was interviewed at the Austin Grand Prix and was quite candid about his disappointment over the French loss in the 4x100 relay in Beijing. His reasons succinct, logical, and I believe he is correct.

Here is what the American Statesman has quoted him as saying:

"First of all, I would have swam in the middle of my lane," he explained. Drifting to the ropes, and unintentionally aiding Lezak was one of the tactical mistakes the big Frenchman made.

"I also would have saved something for the final 50," Bousquet added

"It's seven months ago and I'm still angry," Bousquet said. "I'll use that for motivation this year. ..."


There is more hot rhetoric from the Frenchman and of course Bernard gets misquoted with that "we will smash them" threat which never happened but the article is worth a read.

Finally, Fred Bousquet swims at Auburn; I love that for swimming knows no borders accept when it is race day.

Watch the video above, Gold Medal Mel makes a cameo!

Newsweek: 'America's Unemployed Olympic Hero'

has an article on Olympic champion and 4x100 superhero, Jason Lezak. From Newsweek:

It was late morning in Beijing on Aug. 11. In the waiting area before the start of the 4-by-100 freestyle relay, Lezak called a huddle with his young teammates, Cullen Jones, Garrett Weber-Gale and Michael Phelps. Lezak told them he had been a part of this relay in 2000 and had come in second. He was a part of this relay in 2004 and got bronze. The message: enough. They nodded and walked out to the pool.

Newsweek: [Link]
The article goes on to discuss monetary compensation that Lezak is asking for and while reading it the name, Evan Morgenstein, appears. He is the sports agent who refuses to do any work with TYR due to a lawsuit TYR filed against one of his clients, Eric Vendt, for switching suit brands while on the TYR payroll.

My reference is this quote from Morgenstein posted at SwimNews.com:

"...TYR Sport is no longer on our list of active apparel companies with whom we will do business with in the future." However Morgenstein's decision to speak out against their treatment of Vendt will not effect their current TYR sponsored swimmers. ..."


According to the Newsweek article, Morgenstein's client list includes Brendan Hanson, and Aaron Peirsol, who both may also be in the same boat as Jason Lezak; that is to say: Unemployed.

It makes me think of Peter Marshall, a guy TYR sent off to Berlin, Germany, to participate in the FINA, Swimming World Cup and he consequently set three world records in the backstroke. He also came away away with $75,000. Not bad for a fast weekend: [Link]

I have to wonder if TYR had those three amazing swimmers in their stable how well would they have done if sent off to Berlin? Sure would have made one hell of IM relay.

Lezak has the talent, but does he have the talent management he needs to be employed?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Did anybody see Amanda Weir's SCY workout over at 'Swim Network?'

I won't blow it and steal the thunder by pasting the exact workout but she held 1:05's on everything.

What would be a unique exercise is to take her personal best times in each of those events and average the percentage differences between her bests and the intervals she swam. Then take that percentage and apply it to one's own main set.

Beware, her quote upon finishing such a grueling set was: "...“I feel like I’m going to puke...”

Here is a link to the Amanda Weir's 4,000 main set: [Link]

Voting has begun at 'USA Today' for 'The AAU James E. Sullivan Award!'

USA From Wikipedia: "...The AAU James E. Sullivan Award, known as the Oscarof sports awards, is presented annually in April by the United States Amateur Athletic Union to the most outstanding amateur athlete from any sport in the United States. It was first awarded in 1930, making it older than the Heisman Trophy. The award is named for the AAU's founder and past president, James E. Sullivan.

From USA Today:

Men's 4 x100 freestyle relay team, Swimming
The U.S. relay team of Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak beat France in the final in a world-record time of 3 minutes, 8.24 seconds. It was the first of Phelps' relay medals in Beijing and his second overall. He would go on to win a record eight gold medals. ..."


You can place your vote in the left hand navigation area. I for one voted for the Olympic 4x100 freestyle relay over Dara Torres but I did consider her. :-P

Superhydrophobic: "Chinese Scientists Invent 'Floatiest' Material On Earth..."

I know two people who will kill me for putting this on the blog. From Gizmodo:

"... Chinese scientists applied a similar coating to a tiny copper mesh boat, and suddenly it could hold three times the weight.

It's actually crazy: The superhydrophobic coating—what the scientists are casually calling "the cooperative effect of hierarchical micro/nanostructures and a low-surface-energy wax coating"—creates a cushion of air around the boat (or the bug's leg), putting an invisible bubble between it and the water The boat is literally floating on air, while the water tries to touch it but can't. What's creepy is that the coated boats sink immediately when immersed in organic liquids like ethanol and acetone. ..."


Now, I found one material that is impossible to get wet even when submerged for 2 months but if I mix it with this creepy stuff, I just may be able to do a 200 'fly someday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eamon Sullivan in Beijing: "...Fell into swimming's oldest trap."

I think Sullivan placed 6th in the 50-free at the Beijing Olympics because of the overwhelming talent in the pool not because he looked around to check out where Alain Bernard was.

The fact that every competitor in that final swam a :21 should validate the amount of ability and talent in the pool that day.

However, it does bring up many questions about how the swimmers swam their races in Beijing. Remember Katie Hoff, who didn't want to "break a nail" as Clay Evans noted to this blog; Milord Cavic, who looked up and lost by a 100th-of-a-second to Phelps in the 200 'fly 100-meter 'fly; and even Jason Lezak who looked over at the end of the 4x100 relay at Bernard?

From The Age.com:

Let's get this straight: Sullivan didn't choke. What he did do, however - just like Ian Thorpe in his favourite 200-metre freestyle event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when he was a sure thing beaten by Holland's Pieter van den Hoogenband - was fall into swimming's oldest trap.

"You see little kids when they're swimming and their coaches tell them not to look around," Sullivan says, "and they're doing breaststroke and they're in front and [he motions with his head turning like a side-show clown] they look back to see where the others are. I guess you never lose that sort of thing, and when you see someone next to you, that's when instinct tells you to try harder and that's when your technique goes. ..."


This is how close the Beijing Olympics, 50-free final went; Hail Cesar:
21.30 - Cesar Cielo
21.45 - Amaury Leveaux
21.49 - Alain Bernard
21.62 - Ashley Callus
21.64 - Ben Wildman-Tobriner
21.65 - Eamon Sullivan
21.67 - Roland Schoeman
21.72 - Stefan Nystrand

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Possible Suicide Attempt Fails: Man survives plunge over Niagara Falls!

The guy was in the water for 40-minutes and would not cooperate with rescuers. From CNN:

"... Niagara Falls, Ontario, Fire Chief Lee Smith said the man was seen entering the icy water just above Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side, and apparently jumped in about 2:15 p.m.

Smith said the unidentified man was in the near-freezing water for "40-plus" minutes before he was rescued by Niagara Parks Police and Niagara Falls firefighter Todd Brunning.

Brunning, who was tethered to shore, swam about 60 meters (nearly 200 feet) into the river and was able to get hold of the man and bring him to shore. ..."

The pain this man must have been in both emotionally and physically to ride over the falls and insist on remaining in such frigid water for so long.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

If Eric Shanteau is the "Lance Armstrong" of our sport, Geoff Huegill is our "Rocky!"

Geoff Huegill has shed over 90-pounds and has returned to elite swimming. His story is inspiring and his motives sincere rather than economic. From the Herald Sun:

He has entered the 50m and 100m butterfly, [to qualify for World Championships], but is keeping his expectations in check with next year's Commonwealth Games still his main goal.

"I definitely won't be disappointed if I don't make the world championship team," Huegill said. "Four months ago, I was still 120kg.

"To be able to turn my life around and to drop almost 40kg now . . . for me, just getting this far has been awesome.


I am hoping he makes the team and finals at World Championships in Rome. That would be a de facto comeback on par with Dara Torres for he has only been in the pool for about 6-months or so and he has lost so much weight since his return.

Monday, March 09, 2009

'TYR Tracer Light' Review: Rob of Robaquatics takes the 'Tracer Light' for a spin!

Rob goes to the Cal Tech Masters Pentathlon with his new suit and nails each event; both figuratively and literally, in style.

This weekend was the first outing for my TYR Tracer Light. Overall I am very impressed with the suit and I had a great day in the pool with it. I swam 5 events and walked away with 5 best times - one by as much as 4 seconds! All told a pretty successful outing. I swam every stroke in it so I can vouch for it across all four competitive strokes

I had to put the You Tube in; Poor Rob was swimming in the gutter in a very narrow pool but it looks to me that he did a low 26.00 in the 50-free. Not to shabby.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The secret of long life: It's all down to how fast you react!

Check out the fat, ugly, guy with the blue cap. If reaction time determines a long life, he's going to be okay. Note: The fellow is completely in the water before the guy next to him is up to his wrists! From the Mail Online:

People's reaction times are a far better indicator of their chances of living a long life than their blood pressure, exercise levels or weight, researchers have discovered.

Men and women with the most sluggish response times are more than twice as likely to die prematurely.

Edinburgh University and the Medical Research Council in Glasgow tracked 7,414 people nationwide over 20 years in a study which appears to confirm the adage that a healthy mind means a healthy body.


The video was taken at the Santa Clarita SCY Masters Meet last March.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Eric Shanteau storms the 200 breaststroke in Austin

Eric Shanteau is "our" Lance Armstrong and he is definitely a motivated swimmer as of late! From the Statesman:

At the Austin Grand Prix, however, a ripped Shanteau proclaimed, "I'm back, bigger and stronger than ever."

That wasn't an idle boast. Saturday, on the third and final day of competition, Austin's Shanteau blew away the field in the 200-meter breaststroke, setting a pool record of 2 minutes, 9.97 seconds in the process.

The old mark of 2:10.40 belonged to Ed Moses and for years had been a source of irritation to Shanteau and training partner Brendan Hansen, who at one point held about every other breaststroke record.


Friday, March 06, 2009

Ryan Lochte swimming and inspiring age-groupers in Bristol, Ontario County!

Ryan Lochte was in town to visit his Grandma and then stops by the local YMCA for a workout. The kids go crazy!

Here is a snippet from the Democrat and Chronical.com:

"That was so cool, seeing him swimming with us in the same pool. He's my idol," said Erika, 12, a seventh-grader at Canandaigua Academy who has been a swimmer since she was 6.

"I wouldn't have missed this; I just wanted to meet him in person. Meeting Ryan has motivated me and it shows that people can accomplish being an Olympian if they work hard. I want to get to where he is."

That message resonates well with Lochte, a former Bristol Hills resident who attended Bloomfield schools before moving to Florida as a 12-year-old. As part of his visit, he posed for photographs and signed autographs for all 140 Canandaigua swimmers Wednesday night, including Erika, who had her role model sign one of her Lochte posters and a Lochte T-shirt. ..."


Dara Torres swimming and winning despite a "creaky" knee!

Dara Torres qualifies he win at Austin. From Associated Press:

"...But there were questions. Thursday was the first real chance to test some repaired body parts. She's had three separate operations since the Olympics, repairing ailments to her left thumb, right shoulder and left knee.

The shoulder and thumb are "great," she said, but the knee remains creaky.

Not that it could be too bad. Earlier in the day, she set a personal best of 21.64 in the short course 50-yard freestyle. That race was used as the preliminary to the 50 meters at night. While the early race was two short laps with a turn, the final was a straight shot across the pool. ..."

"I love competition. I don't know where my peak is yet. I want to keep swimming until I reach my peak or until my body wears down," she said.


I don't know why she qualified her win like that? Maybe the press was angling for injury issues for whatever reason?

This is not swimming related but it sure effected my swimming!

This is sort of a public service announcement - Please don't reply for I am pretty embarassed by it: On February 20th, I had a test preformed which one could say is a right of passage for those entering my age group. As a result I will thankfully still be swimming 5-years from now instead of under going radical chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer.

I had put the test off for over a year-and-a-half because I felt like I was in a low risk group and there were vanity reasons as well. Anyway, friends, family and my doctor bullied me into it and when it was time, the doctor preforming the test found an adenomatous polyp and consequently removed it. (It looked like a freaking mushroom too. Of course the screen made it look like the size of a toadstool...) Just so you know, this is not fun talking about but he whole procedure took ten minutes to find and remove. That's all! I felt no pain, nor discomfort.

Ultimately, the polyp came back as benign. However, I was warned in the test results that there was a fair chance it would have developed into colon cancer within 5-10 years if not treated. The literature also said that 30% of us have them.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Green Light: Swimming World is going to stream NCAAs - How cool is that?

Here is the page with the info: [Link]

Just like last year, Swimming World will stream NCAA races at NCAA.com and then it will be available later at Swimming World.

I don't have links yet.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

10k Swimmer: The second mouse gets the cheese!

The race has started in Seville for the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships but Natalya Pankina (#89) and Ksenia Popova (#37) are just steppin' back, adjusting the goggles, seeing which girls are going "Mixed Martial Arts" on one another and then they will dive in at their leisure while the pack sorts out who gets the most black eyes.

From 10K swimmer:

When asked why she took her time at the start, Natalya answered, "Because I did not want to be traumatised!" giving us a little hint of the aggressiveness of the world's elite female swimmers.

The Photo above comes from Natalya's Facebook page. [ I can't find a link to it >.< ] Guess how the girls do: [Link]

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Get a kickboard and a permanent marker: Brendan Hansen and Aaron Pierisol will be signing autographs!

Jeffrey W. sent this to me:

"...Olympic Gold Medalists’ and Michael Phelps’ relay teammates, Aaron Piersol and Brendan Hansen will be available to speak with the public and sign autographs. I’m reaching out to the surrounding swim community to let them know. ..."

They will be at Lindberg Nutrition on March 14th. The address:

Lindberg Nutrition
3804 Sepulveda Blvd.
Torrance, CA
Send pictures and I will post them to the blog!

Louisiana: A pink dolphin appears in a blue inland lake!

It is an awesome site and the dolphin looks like something you would see "nuzzling a unicorn" on some cheesy, new age, album cover but it is real and environmentally it looks to me to be a danger to the species.

From the Telegraph UK:

"The dolphin appears to be healthy and normal other than its coloration, which is quite beautiful and stunningly pink.

"The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating it's albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws.

"I have personally spotted the pink dolphin 40 to 50 times in the time since the original sighting as it has apparently taken up residence with its family in the Calcasieu ship channel. ..."


In my uninformed opinion an albino dolphin is not a strong survival trait since albinism is known to cause vision issues and/or blindness. I think they should catch it and put it in a marine park so the trait does not continue.

Humans have had an debilitating effect on animal natural selection. Example: Poachers slaughtering male elephants in Africa for their Ivory tusks have inadvertently created a slew of male, hybrid, elephants that have no tusks whatsoever. In other words, if you are male elephant and have no tusk, you are gonna to survive since there is no profit in shooting you. Hence, a weaker trait wins. (I am looking for a reference on this since I didn't realize this first.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Huntington beach: 156 swimmers compete and swim in 56-degree water for a $16.00 an hour lifeguard job!

56-degree water is quite formidable. It's how cold the water at Alcatraz is in June. From the L.A. Times:

"... In Huntington Beach, 156 applicants compete for 25 summer jobs paying $16 an hour. The test: a roughly 1,000-yard swim and a 500-yard ocean sprint, followed by a nearly mile-long run-swim-run.

"Employment opportunities are not what they were," said Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Mike Baumgartner. ..." [Los Angeles is suffering through a 10.5% unemployment rate.]


The article did not mention that you can't wear goggles either.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

SCAQ Swimmer, John Quinn, Hangs with Michael Phelps at Adelphi University!

The snappy dresser in the middle of the photo is John Quinn, my 200 SCM relay partner who inspired me to swim a personal best in the 200-free relay at the 2008 SPMA Short Course Meters Championships.

The time I posted was a 28.13 nearly a full second faster than my previous personal best that I set a month earlier at the UCLA meet.

Here is how it went: I was nervous before the race, my pulse rate was 120 BPM just standing by the blocks due to nerves and John, with relaxed confidence, walked up to me and with the same smile he has in the photo above, said, "you are going to swim a 28.00 and we are going to win this relay."

I stated that I have never swam that fast before and that it was nearly a second faster than I have ever swam. He said, "relax, don't worry, you are gonna do it and I am going to come in 27 and you are are going to do 28-flat. It's done!

So without taking a single breath, I practically did just that, I swam a 28.13.

Though I was the slowest swimmer on the relay, we pulled off a blistering 1:49.11 which for me was my first experience ever of winning a 1st place medal at a championship. (It's real brass too!) I was exhilarated over that win for over 2-months!

Obviously that is Michael Phelps standing next to John who had come to Adelphi University to celebrate the launch of his new book, Beneath the Surface, just this past December. Interviewing him there was Olympic Gold Medalist, Donna DeVarona, who was the youngest swimmer to compete at the 1960 Summer Olympics. At the following Olympics in '64, she won gold medals in the 400 meter individual medley and the 400 meter freestyle relay. According to Wikipedia: "...In her career, she set 18 different swimming records but she retired shortly after the 1964 Olympics. ..." Just imagine if she could have gone pro?

In 1965, DeVarona signed a contract with ABC, which made her the first female sportscaster in television history. She served as Late night host of both the 1984 Winter Olympics and the 1984 Summer Olympics.

At the Beneath the Surface launch, John told Michael about our relay and Michael Phelps congratulated me via John on my personal best. How cool is that, a slow-poke like me being congratulated by Michael Phelps?

Here is a link describing the event: [Link]