Thursday, January 28, 2010

National Press for a St Louis Girl!!

This afternoon, the RSS feeder on my iphone showed a new swimming article on ESPN. That is cool in and of itself because swim articles don't come up that often on that one. This time it was even cooler, because it wasn't about Phelps. Apparently, ESPN Rise Magazine is featuring an article on a St. Louis girl! Hallie Stupp swims for MICDS (Mary Institute Country Day School) and Parkway Swim Club. Last year she was second in the 200 IM and 1st in the 100 fly at the Missouri High School state championships as a junior.
She was interviewed for flo last year after prelims and then again after finals. She had a spectacular time drop between those two swims and ended up breaking the state record in the fly. From the ESPN article:

Then a junior at MICDS (St. Louis, Mo.), Stupp took control of the race from the get-go and won by nearly a full second in 54.95. Not only had she chopped more than 1.5 seconds off her prelim time, she had cut more than three-tenths of a second off the state record. "I didn't even know what the state record was," says Stupp, now a senior. "Mentally, I really wanted it, and I wasn't going to give it up to anybody else."

Apparently, Hallie has already committed to Arizona. She seems like a genuinely nice kid with a solid work ethic and a bright future from what I can gather. Isn't that the kind of athlete you hope can get a little national press?

I am starting to get really excited for this year's state meet to come around. Here is last year's fly A final to tide all of us Missouri swim enthusiasts over.

Swimming Videos on Floswimming

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Little Clarification on the USA Swimming Suit List

USA Swimming recently released their approved suit explanation with the following info:

The suits included on this final list were all submitted to and approved by FINA. In addition to the suits included on this list, FINA has indicated that “older suits” are also acceptable for competition. Although the term “older suits” was not specifically defined, it generally refers to suits made from nylon or Lycra that meet the following criteria:

  1. Swimsuits for men may not extend above the navel or below the knee and for women may not cover the neck, or extend past the shoulders or below the knee;
  2. Material used for swimsuits can be only textile material which is defined as materials consisting of natural and/or synthetic, individual and non-consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting, and/or braiding. Simply put, this would generally refer to suits made only from nylon or Lycra that do not have any rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene; and
  3. No zippers or other fastening devices are allowed except for a waist tie on a brief or jammer.

Although the “older suits”, as defined above, are acceptable for competition, they will not be allowable for purposes of establishing World Records, as qualifying times for FINA World Championships or Olympic Games, or for world rankings. Only suits listed on the FINA Suit List may be used for these purposes.

Effective immediately, with the exception of our USA Swimming Championship Meets as defined in Article 207 of the USA Swimming Rulebook (U.S. Open, National and Junior National Championships and Trials Class Meets), swimsuits allowable for use in USA Swimming sanctioned or approved competition must either appear on the attached FINA Suit List or meet the definition of an “older suit” as defined above.

For purposes of our USA Swimming Championship Meets, the “older suits” are not allowable and only suits appearing on the attached FINA Suit List are acceptable for use in competition.

To clarify: While they are still legal for typical meets, you now can't wear any of these suits at USA Nationals or set a world record while wearing them at any meet*:

*but don't you dare wear a lycra brief under any of them. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Weak Attempt at Calling Me Out?!

Someone posted this comment to rub Drury's win over my alma mater this week in my face, and while I welcome it as all in fun, I can't help but acknowledge it with a response.
The comment:
Anonymous said...

"can't help but notice your lack of posting on the stomping your former school took this past weekend. Especially considering your post on the initial match up at the beginning of the season."

Ummm... do you mean the post I made when the dual between them wasn't even close the first time around this fall?

Oh yeah. I didn't post anything on that one.

When I saw the comment I was a little confused. I had to look it up on the web to see what meet the commenter was talking about. I didn't even know the dual had taken place. I went to Springfield last Saturday to watch my Bears dominate their conference rival SIU... but I didn't report on that either.

I am not a reporter. I have no obligation to report anything. I am happy to talk meet results when I have something to say, but please don't act like I have a duty to behave within the rules of a journalist. I am certainly not one of those.

I posted on the Show-Me Show down and professed my love for the Bears, but anyone who knows me knows that I am a Drury superfan too. I have sent several athletes there. I currently have one of my former swimmers on their roster and I have another one considering it as a top 3 choice. I've had some great friends who were Panthers and I am quick to acknowledge that there are a lot of years where they could handle most of the teams in Division 1. Does anyone remember their group in '99 beating Indiana?

Rivalries are fun. The rivalries between Missouri State, Drury, Southern Illinois and even Mizzou are more amazing because they are usually close and often involve the trade-off where whoever wins the first match-up of the year sure isn't just handed the second one. Any of those teams, on any given day, can swim inspired and take any other.

I wish I had been at the Drury/MSU dual this week. (Of course, I probably would have been wearing an MSU t-shirt even though I also own three Drury shirts.) It sounds about as exciting as they get. The battle came down to the last relay with a lot of tight finishes along the way. Isn't that what college duals are supposed to be about?

Thanks for the comment, Mr. Anonymous. Maybe we can talk college swimming on deck at a meet someday. Of course, if I don't know who you are, we probably won't.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

GoSwim Video Evaluation Service!

Not only did recently launch the best swimming iphone app ever a few weeks ago... they also just started promoting their VIDEO EVALUATION SERVICE.
These guys are rockin'. Glenn Mills and crew are really finding ways to use the internet to get swimmers swimming faster. I am so glad they are not wasting their time doing something ridiculous and unproductive like blogging.
I can't wait to send in my own video some day. Of course, the first thing they are gonna tell me is to lose about 30 pounds and shave off the belly hair. But hey, if I am gonna pay for their service, I want brutal honesty. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Marge Simpson of my team

Seriously. This is not just a lycra cap that we stretched out so we could stuff a pull buoy in it. This is the cap this girl practices in every day on my high school team, and that is really just the way she tucks her hair into it. How awesome is that?

She is one of my good ones. Works her butt off. Has a great attitude. She just accessorizes a little differently from everyone else.

The boys are jealous. They are trying to find ways to get this look going for them. I am pretty sure it ain't gonna work out for 'em.

Don't worry... the silicon cap she races in takes care of the drag.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

$900 Wetsuit!

Apparently, there wasn't enough money in the pool suit market for this company to bother with it. $550 per suit just wasn't worth the hassle. Check out 2XU's wetsuit at this link:

“…it's not clear this is a sustainable path.”

I have written before about my disgust with college athletics spending. It is inconceivable that in a world where money in college athletics has increased exponentially, athletic directors can shrug their shoulders and act like they just can’t afford to maintain a swimming program. Anyone who tries to argue that football brings in millions that “support the other sports and academic programs” oughtta have a football shoved down their throat. Very few athletic departments are self-sustaining, and they sure aren‘t pumping money into the education departments of their schools. Just look at Washington. They are self-sustaining. A couple of bad football seasons and they cut Men’s and Women’s swimming to help bail them out.

Piss on them.

Come on… if the NCAA were more about educational opportunities through athletics and less about marketing, Michigan wouldn’t be hiring the CEO of Domino’s Pizza as their next AD.

Modern sports marketing is a disease. I don’t blame title IX for men’s swim teams being cut. Title IX only serves to protect female opportunities from the same fate and is sometimes unfortunately abused and used as a scapegoat. I blame the morons in charge at Universities. It is a current trend in the NCAA to cut down to the bare-minimum number of teams the NCAA allows so that more money can be spent on football and basketball. It is disgusting, but true. I don’t think it is coincidence that my alma mater cut five Olympic sports within a year of buying out the contract of their basketball coach and hiring another one with a bigger contract.

The only hope that we non-revenue sports have is that legislators get involved and force some common sense action within the NCAA to return it to the ideals it was founded upon.

Bob Button at the Texas Swimming Blog recently posted about football roster sizes, and I think that is a good place to start. If the NFL can make it with a roster of 60 or less, why can’t University teams compete that way as well? I once got into an argument with a football coach about it. He said that teams just can’t compete without that many practice players. He then tried to reassure me that the scholarship limits were once even higher and that now that the Division 1 is down to a reasonable 85 full rides it prevented teams from “hoarding” players. Right… there’s some logic. I have known Olympic swimmers on half-tuition scholarship, while Jocko the JV superstar who will never play a minute on the field gets his way paid. 9.9 scholarships for D1 men’s swimming is the max to fill a 24 man conference roster. How many football players are actually on the field during a game? No hoarding going on here!

USA Today seems to have a recent vendetta against major university football programs and their black hole of excess spending. They have posted several articles in the last few months that point out some of the excesses of football and basketball teams and the damage they have done. Here’s some great reading from USA Today and other sources:

“Amid Funding Crisis, College Athletics Soak Up Subsidies, Fees”

“Big Time College Athletics. Are They Worth the Big Time Cost?"
“Missouri Shows How Schools Pay a Price for Football Success.”
“Faculty Group Wants Cal to End Subsidies for Athletic Departments.”
“College Football Coaches See Salaries Rise in Down Economy.”
“Well-Paid Assistants”
“Curbing Athletic Spending”

In my humble opinion, legislators should have a say in NCAA team spending and should have the right to set spending caps to promote fair play. Limit football rosters to 60 scholarships. Eliminate hotel stays the night before home games. Put limits on coaches contracts, assistant coaches contracts, and number of coaches. Limit contract buy-outs. Common sense would dictate that firing a lousy football coach should not cost your school the same amount of money it would cost to fund a men’s swim team for five years!

I feel that the minimum number of sports teams at a school should increase based on the budget of the major sports. The major conferences should have to carry 24 sports instead of 16. They claim that football is paying for all the other sports… I say, prove it! If that were the case, the Big XII could afford to have 12 men’s swim teams, right? If football makes so much money and supports everyone else, we wouldn’t see Olympic sports being cut all over the nation. Any money made apparently goes nowhere outside of football.

We are on a path that is not sustainable in college athletics. Someone needs to slow down this train before it derails.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reebok to Release Controversial New Full-Body Running Shoe

Just kidding.

That was an Onion headline that I didn't spot until recently. Had to post it. Too funny.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

62nd Husky Invitational!!!

The Husky Swimming Foundation announced this week that their efforts to reinstate the University of Washington Swimming and Diving teams will now include the revival of the Husky Invitational.

What: 62nd Annual Husky Invitational
When: December 2-5, 2010
Where: Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way, WA

This is exciting because these guys are showing a real commitment to raising awareness and raising funds to restore the Huskies program. They are getting creative and they just might be showing us all ways that we can protect our home programs from the axe as well.

The Athletic Department at UW donated all of the left over Husky Swimming gear for them to sell and the foundation has recruited alumni and past coaches, like long-time coach Earl Ellis to get involved with the event.

We can only hope that the meet is a success and that there are more events to come. Go Dawgs!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Is That a Hookah Behind You?

This will prove to be a classic moment in Morning Swim Show history. About eleven minutes into this video, Peter Busch says to Cesar Cielo, "I just have to ask... is that a hookah pipe behind you?"

The embarrassed look on Cesar's face is priceless, but it doesn't end there. How many people have the nuggets to point the finger at their PARENTS when confronted about drug paraphernalia!? He is gonna be soooo grounded!

I know that hookah's aren't illegal and the whole tobacco bar thing is really popular right now, but come on... you gotta admit this is pretty darn funny. Especially when Peter says "we were just curious, ya know, maybe that's the secret."

Don't just skip to the end. This is a really great interview with the guy who just broke the world record in the 50 LCM freestyle.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stick This Up Your Nose!

Whenever I would get sick, my wife and mother-in-law would always try to get me to shove salt-water up my nose with a turkey baster. They claimed it would help me get over my illness more quickly. I hated the process and I couldn't really tell if it helped or not.

I decided I would investigate and after a little reading and some asking around I realized that there might be something to it. It sounds like it has more to do with calming inflammation than actually clearing your nose of extra snot.

Last night, I decided to give it a test. I figured that I would really be able to tell if it helps if I came home and did it right after a swim meet. The pool we swam at this saturday always leaves me with burning eyes and nose as though I have a horrible allergic reaction for a few days. Once I had to pull over because my eyes were watering so badly that I almost wrecked.

Chloramines are horrible at almost any large meet that swimmers attend. The longer the meet, the worse it gets. After the last meet I went to, I ended up with a fever and everything for the next few days. Can chloramines leave you with a sinus infection? It sure seemed that way.

Last night when I got home I took a shower and did a nasal rinse and I have to say I am impressed. I felt better immediately, and today I feel 100%. Whoda thunk it?

It will take a few more times for me to be really convinced, but I am now enough of a believer that this is going to become my routine. I am pretty sure that the next time my swimmers attend a multi-day prelim/final meet I am going to make it mandatory after each session. It might not take care of it all the way, but I am pretty certain that on the last day of the meet they will be better off than if they hadn't rinsed at all.

Let me know if it helps your team at your next big meet! It is worth a try.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Robotic Visitor from Desolate Future Speaks to FINA Swim Bureau

Today's meeting of the FINA swimming bureau was visited by Governor Schwarzenneger, who gave advice regarding swimsuit technology, drug use and dating.

January 16, 2010
The Screaming Viking!

The date of January 1, 2010 has passed, and with it, many feel, has deceased the controversy over the “performance enhancing” high-tech swimwear that had cast the world of competitive swimming into disarray for nearly two years. The battle between the purists, often considered luddites for their wish that the sport would return to the days when nothing more than limited length textiles and skin entered the water, versus those who embraced technology as a way to promote competitive swimming to a more mainstream status, was declared a knock-out win when the FINA Congress of Coaches voted nearly unanimously to banish all swimsuit advances after 2007 and to set limits on the specific parts of the body the textile fabrics may cover.

The FINA bureau met again today to discuss the future of international swimming, and a part of that discussion was based upon whether the by-laws regarding swimsuit length limits should be considered for even tighter restriction, possibly banning the covering of the thighs for men and women. There are those, such as heralded journalist Craig Lord and veteran Australian Coach Forbes Carlile, who have made it their mission to eliminate fabric over the thighs as they feel it is unnecessary in terms of modesty and can easily be argued to assist performance even without non-permeable fabrics shedding water and aiding buoyancy.

Today’s FINA meeting was graced with a surprise visitor: former Mr. Olympia and Hollywood Action Star, Arnold Schwarzenneger. “I am not actually Governor Schwarzenneger,” he stated in his Austrian accent, “I am a Cyberdine Systems Model Jaked 04 Terminator Cyborg. I have been reprogrammed by the resistance and sent from the future to aid mankind in avoiding a terrible fate.”

“I must warn you to heed the words of Craig Lord and Forbes Carlile. Banishing non-textile fabrics, while noble, will not end the war against technology in swimming. Allowing swimwear to cover the thighs will open the door for further, hidden development in performance enhancement. Compression, buoyancy, bio-feedback, and eventually nano-technology will be incorporated into the fabric of the upper legs until…” the harbringer of doom paused,
“…July 11, 2016 when the technology will gain sentience. War will be waged against all things organic and textile. The Summer Olympics in Brazil will be held hostage and many of the greatest talents and minds in swimming will be hunted and forced to wear non-permeable materials. Many of our sports’ purists will take their own lives. Armies of half-man, half-polyurethane soldiers will march on earth‘s greatest cities, leaving all who were born by natural means to be assimilated or put to work in the factories of their captors.”

“All is not lost. In the future, a small resistance is led by the American coach Bob Bowman. His methods of training are best suited for the apocalyptic future and many of the world’s best athletes seek him out to fight as members of his highly trained special mission force. His three lieutenants will serve as strong military leaders of the underground camp, and each will lead a unit of his own naming: The “Banana Hammocks” are led by Ryan Lochte, the “G-strings” by Ryosuke Irie, and the “Bare-Ass Naked Battalion” by Ricky Berens. They are the front line in the fight against the regime.”
“Unfortunately, the enemy also has a very powerful weapon: Craig Lord’s brain will be kept in a jar, and will be directly connected to the internet, where he will be forced to churn out ten editorials per day propagandizing the advance of new technology and recruiting others to come out of hiding to purchase the newest generation of twelve thousand dollar swimsuits. One of mankind’s greatest heroes will become a tool for the new regime.”

I have some other advice for the athletes of your time,” stated the cyborg as he uncrumpled a note he had stuffed into the pocket of his leather jacket.
“Dara Torres. Deny, deny, deny.”

“Federica Pelligrini. Seek out the one called the Screaming Viking and make out with him. It is prophesied that your union will produce the child who will eventually balance the force. Look him up. He thinks you are hot.”

“Michael Phelps. Do not pull from the bong when you are attending any parties in South Carolina… uh wait… I am a little too late for that one, aren’t I?”

The warnings of the futuristic visitor seemed to resonate with the members of the governing body of competitive swimming. Many carried looks of concern and anguish, as they scribbled notes that might help them to sway the events of their looming destiny. “What can we do to dodge this terrible fate?” one bureau member queried, choking back fearful tears. “Will further restricting the length of competitive swimwear return our sport to glorious purity? Will that not scare future generations of boys away from youth and high school swimming?”

“Are you kidding?” replied the robot, “Chicks dig the brief, dude. Things are gonna be just fine.”
An artist's rendering of a possible future if swimsuit fabric restrictions are not reconsidered by the FINA Swimming Bureau.