Archive for the 'katie hoff' Category

Swimming Trials Notes from Weds. and Thurs.

In the 200m butterfly, Michael Phelps and Gil Stovall win. Phelps was just short of world record. Andrea Kremer asks Phelps what went wrong. Seriously? Isn’t it better for Phelps to get the world record along with a gold medal in Beijing? I’m just sayin’…

I love the world record line! Much like the first down line in football, it adds so much to the enjoyment of watching the races.

Katie Hoff and Natalie Coughlin will represent our country in the 200 IM after a very tight race. Ariana Kukors gave them a run for their money but missed the Olympics by a single a finger.

Brendan Hansen and Kitajima is the great rivalry that will not happen in the 200 breaststroke, as Hansen lost to Scott Spann and Eric Shanteau. Hansen will still compete in the 100 breast. Hansen tells Andrea Kremer that he wasn’t that disappointed because he still did his best.

Dara Torres rocks my socks. She is in the finals for the 100m freestyle with a win in today’s semis, and I know I’ve covered this before, but have I mentioned that she’s 41? Only two of Torres’s competitors were even born when she won her first medals in Los Angeles. She swam her personal best tonight. And she is 41.

In the women’s 200m butterfly, Elaine Breton and Kathleen Hersey will be the Olympians. Neither have Olympic experience, so it will be interesting to see how they will handle the pressure. They both glow through their interview with Andrea Kremer.

The 100m freestyle – the glamour event, as Rowdy Gaines calls it, is filled with giants. The average height is 6’4″. Matt Grevers is 6’8″. Cullen Jones is also in the event – the first African American world record holder. Garrett Weber-Gale wins it, with Jason Lezak, Jones and Nathan Adrian also qualifying for the Olympics. This race is not only important for the individual swimmers, but for relays as well. Americans have always been strong at the 4X100 free.

Tomorrow night should be interesting, as most of the races are down to the finals. We will see the men’s 200 IM and 200 backstroke, and the women’s 200 breaststroke and 100 free.

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Swimming Trials: Another Day, Another Record Broken

– The 200 free semis set up another duel between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps for tomorrow night’s finals. Phelps was three one hundredths of a second behind Lochte in qualifying times.

– Christine Magnuson and Elaine Breton are headed to Beijing in 100 m butterfly. One of the best parts of watching swimming is seeing the athletes turn around to look at the results on the board. Swimmers are so focused on hitting that wall, and their vision is limited already, so they often have no idea how they fared. The look on Elaine Breton’s face when she found out that she was headed to Beijing was priceless.

– I don’t know who is doing the music selections for the trials, but they are doing a fine job. They need to talk to the folks at USA Judo and USA Wrestling to teach them what is good music for an event like this.

– There will be a swim-off for the final position in the women’s 100 breaststroke. Is a swim-off nearly as exciting as a dance off? Do they have to yell “BREASTSTROKE? BREASTSTROKE! GO!” right before they jump in the pool?

– Unfortunately, backstroker Adam Mania did not qualify for the finals at 100m. I know little about Adam Mania, just that he is a backstroker and his name would have been a lot of fun throughout the games.

– Katie Hoff qualified for the 400m freestyle to add to her world record from last night, and she will be joined by Katie Ziegler.

– Two records fell in preliminary heats. First, Hayley McGregory broke Natalie Coughlin’s 100m backstroke record. Coughlin then jumped in the pool, and took the record back.

Notes from Swimming and Track Trials: June 29, 2008

Some thoughts from this weekend’s events:

– How often do you see drama in the women’s 10K run? Shalene Flanagan and Kara Goucher were neck and neck until the final straightaway when Flanagan broke away. Amy Begley, the third place finisher, had to step up her run a notch to make sure that her time qualified. When Begley found out that she was going to Beijing, she jumped up and down like a little girl – see why I tell you to watch the trials?

– Congratulations to my classmate at Mizzou, Christian Cantwell. His past two Olympic trials were disappointing to say the least – fouls, lots of fouls – and he qualified for the team with a throw over 71 feet. He is joined on the team by Reese Hoffa and Adam Nelson.

– Tyson Gay is one of my favorite track athletes going into Beijing. His record breaking 100m was wind aided, so it won’t go in the record books, but he sent a clear message that he will be a force in Beijing. Gay also showed his respect for history by wearing a uniform reminiscent of Jesse Owen’s uniform from the 1936 “Go F### Yourself, Hitler” Olympics in Munich.

– Michael Phelps is an amazing athlete, and driven as can be. He broke the 400m individual medley WR with friend Ryan Lochte nipping at his heels, and there is no sign that Phelps is going to let up.

– In contrast to Phelps’s cool confidence, Katie Hoff looked shocked when she found out that she broke the world record at the 400m IM.

Dara Torres is profiled in the New York Times, and her training regimen, and the cast of characters she works with, is nothing short of amazing.

– I enjoy Rowdy Gaines calling swimming for the same reasons why I love Ron Santo calling Cubs games. He has the enthusiasm of an uncle cheering on his nephew, but who will also call out his nephew for screwing up.