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Dave Salo to Step Down as USC Head Coach to Focus on Olympic Hopefuls

University of Southern California head swimming coach Dave Salo will step down from his role with the school to focus on his swimmers with Olympic aspirations, he announced Thursday.

Current Trojans and national and international swimmers will continue train under Salo at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center as they prepare for the Tokyo Games, the school said.

Salo, in his 14th season with the Trojans, will make this March’s NCAA championship meets his last with the program. Salo took over for Mark Schubert as head coach in 2006 after serving at the helm of Irvine Novaquatics since 1990 (he remains the head coach emeritus executive consultant for the club). He had previously worked as a sprint assistant at USC from 1986-90 under Peter Daland.

“After thoughtful consideration and discussion with several key people in my life, this 2019-2020 season as USC’s head coach will be my last,” Salo said. “Following the NCAA Championships I will remain at USC, turning my undivided attention to the preparation of my athletes for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Beyond the Games I will continue my work with the Novaquatics Swim Club and with opportunities that have been presented. I also plan to put in a lot more work on improving my fade-away jumper.

“I have spent one third of my life at USC, as a grad student, assistant men’s coach and now as head coach. I will always be proud of the time spent here with the many people that make USC special. I will always reserve a most special place in my heart for the student-athletes and my staff who I hope I have served well. Going forward, I am excited about the future for the USC swimming and diving program with some great talent joining the team in the next few years.”

Under Salo, Trojan swimmers have combined to earn 89 women’s swimming and diving All-American honors and 76 men’s side, winning a combined 22 NCAA individual and six relay titles. The women have posted 10 NCAA top-10 finishes (four in the top six), while his men’s teams have had eight top-eight finishes (four in the top six).

In 2015, Salo led the men’s team to its first Pac-12 title since 1979, and in 2016, the women won their first in program history.

Numerous swimmers who have swum for Salo — whether they were on the college team or his club team —  have reached the Olympics. Those include Katinka Hosszu, Jessica Hardy, Rebecca Soni, Ricky Berens, Eric Shanteau, Haley Anderson, Yuliya Efimova, Vladimir Morozov, Amanda Beard, Aaron Peirsol, Jason Lezak, Gabrielle Rose and Staciana Stitts.

Salo was an assistant to Team USA at 2012 Olympics (women), 2010 Short Course World Championships (women), 2004 Olympics (men), 2003 World Championships (men and women), 2002 Pan Pacific Championships (men), 2000 Olympics (women) and the 1999 Pan American Games (women). He served as head coach at the 2015 and 2013 FINA World Championships for the United States’ women’s team and head coach for the men in 2005; he was also the men’s head coach for the 2001 Goodwill Games.

Though USC did not announce Salo’s successor Thursday, they have a strong in-house candidate in associate head coach Catherine Kase, currently in her 12th season with the program. Kase served as the United States’ head open water coach at the 2016 Olympics and will do so again in 2020. She was also head open water coach for the 2019, 2015, 2013, and 2009 FINA World Championships, as well as the 2014 and 2016 Pan Pacific Championships and 2007 Pan American Games.

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Water Polo Australia and AOC Join The Fight Against Rampant Bushfires

Water Polo Australia (WPA) announced on Friday that they will be joining the fight against the rampant bushfires currently tearing through their country. Thus-far, the fires have spread throughout an estimated 42 million acres of Australia, destroying over 2,204 homes and killing at least 28 people.

“We wanted to show our appreciation for the great work of so many volunteer organizations and charities who are on the front line supporting our communities” said acting CEO of WPA, Richard McInnes.

Both the men’s and women’s Australian teams will face off against the US this week in a three match test series. Each goal scored by an Australian will mean a $100 donation to the cause, with each match corresponding to a different charity. Funds generated during the first match will go to the State Volunteer Fire Services, the second going to the Red Cross, and the third going to the World Wildlife Fund. For reference, water polo scores per match generally range from around 3-20 per team.

Test Series Schedule

  • Tuesday, January 14th – 5:00pm Women, 6:30pm Men
  • Thursday, January 16th – 6:30pm Men, 8:00pm Women
  • Saturday, January 18th – 5:00pm Women 6:30pm Men

Australian Water Polo national teamer and double Olympic bronze medalist, Bronwen Knox recently shared the campaign on her Instagram.

Additionally, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) have announced that they will donate AUD$100,000, which translates roughly to USD$69,000.

Chief Executive of the AOC , Matt Carroll stated that “the Olympic spirit is all about resilience, giving back and creating a positive legacy, so we will feel we can contribute, along with our member sports and generous partners.” Carroll went on to say that the AOC will use the Olympics Unleashed campaign with their partner, Optus to serve the communities devastated by the fires.

Among the sporting community in Australia, Speedo Australia also recently joined the cause with their pledge to donate to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund as part of the “All In” campaign. Shane Warne, one of Australia’s most iconic cricket players, also made a significant contribution to the cause. After auctioning off his “baggy green” cricket cap for over AUD$1,000,000, donating all proceeds to the Australian Red Cross.


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Freestyler Monica Gumina Transfers from Arizona to Texas A&M

After a season-and-a-half at the University of Arizona, Monica Gumina will transfer to Texas A&M University for the 2019-2020 season. The move will bring her back closer to home: she attended high school in The Woodlands, Texas: a northern-Houston suburb that is just over an hour from College Station, where Texas A&M is located.

Gumina is a 5-time individual Texas High School State Champion. As a sophomore, swimming for College Park High School, she won the Texas 6A State Championship in the 100 free in 50.21 and was 2nd in the 200 free in 1:47.27. Class 6A in Texas includes the state’s biggest high schools, with all but 2 being public schools, with some schools have as many as 6,600 students. As a junior, she transferred to nearby Concordia Lutheran High School, a private school with fewer than 600 students. There, she won 4 more individual state titles in TAPPS – a separate league for most of the state’s private schools. As a junior, she won the 100 free (51.25) and 200 free (1:50.42), and as a senior she won the 50 free (23.30) and 500 free (4:51.57).

Best Times in Yards:

  • 50 free – 23.20
  • 100 free – 49.95
  • 200 free – 1:46.37
  • 500 free – 4:46.57

Gumina’s transfer announcement comes after having the best meet of her college career in December at the Minnesota Invitational. There, she had arguably the best meet of her collegiate career: she went a best time in the 200 free (dropping 9-tenths of a second) and the 500 free (dropping 1.2 seconds). Her previous best times in those events were from Winter Juniors in the middle of her senior year of high school.

Gumina was a member of the Arizona team for the Pac-12 Championships, where her best finish was 32nd in the 200 free. Her time in that race of 1:49.35 was a second slower than her previous season-best time from an early-February dual meet.

The Aggies badly need to rebuild their freestyle depth: a challenge that last year dropped them to 13th at the NCAA Championships after 12 consecutive seasons in the top 10 (and 6 consecutive seasons in the top 4). Gumina’s season-best time in the 200 free is faster than anybody at A&M has gone this season, and to exacerbate that situation, the team’s top 3 swimmers in the 200 free will all graduate after this year. Gumina will have 2 years of eligibility remaining for the Aggies.

The Arizona women finished 14th at last year’s NCAA Championships, while the Texas A&M women finished 13th.

Gumina will begin class at Texas A&M on Monday, the start of the semester, but won’t be eligible to compete for the Aggies until the fall of 2020.

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Daily Swim Coach Workout #35

SwimSwam’s daily swimming workout series is a collection of workouts written by coaches from a variety of backgrounds. All daily swimming workouts have been written using Commit Swimming. The workouts themselves are not indicative of SwimSwam’s or Commit’s views on training. They strictly reflect the opinions of the author swim coach.

Workout Context

  • Purpose:  Base building
  • Target age group:  13-14 years old, 15-18 years old, 19-22 years old
  • Target level:  Senior Age Group/ High School State Level, National/ Collegiate Level, Masters (Advanced)
  • Weeks until target meet:  10 weeks
  • Team Location:  United States
  • Course:  25 Yards
  • Shared workout link:  Click here to view this workout on commitswimming.com

The Workout

    1×800 swim
    1×250 NS free @3:00
    1×150 EN1 back @2:10
    1×50 BR 2k1p w/flip turn @1:00
    6×75 2- free w/FAST kick @1:00 1- 15 yards FAST fly / 10 yards free @1:10
#Breaststroke #Senior
        2×25 BR PPP [BR w/flutter kick FAST] @35
        2×50 BR 2k1p @1:00
        3×150 BR EN2 FAST @2:20
        1×50 easy @1:00
    4×50 BR pull FAST @1:00
    4×50 power tower sprint / sprint @2:00
#Backstroke #Senior
        4×25 fly sprint @35
        2×300 NS back w/P @4:10
        4×25 fly sprint @35
        2×150 back EN2 w/P @1:55
        1×50 easy @1:00

Coach Notes

The swim coach was asked to define any shorthand he or she used in this workout. Their notes should provide some additional context to this swimming workout.

PPP = Br pull w/flutter kick – each stroke with the arms should be explosive w/Distance per stroke taken into account.

SwimSwam’s daily swimming workout is powered by Commit Swimming.

Commit Swimming

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Southern California Swimming Will Vote on Creation of New Orange County LSC

A proposal has been put forth to create a new Local Swimming Committee (LSC) in southern California. LSCs are the local administrative organizations of USA Swimming’s governance structure. A vote will be held on January 15th, 2020 to decide the future of the organization, and the request has been made to split in September of 2020.

According to documents published by the current Southern California Swimming LSC, a group of coaches in the wealthy Orange County area are pushing to make themselves a new LSC. There are currently 59 LSCs. Some of those are divided along state boundaries, and some are divided among smaller boundaries.

Southern California Swimming is easily the largest of the USA Swimming LSCs. In 2018, the latest data available, SCS had 22,680 year-round members. The next largest was the Potomac Valley LSC (in the Washington DC area) with 12,363 year-round members.

The split would take 34 clubs, about 22% of clubs, and about 7,100 athletes, 29% of SCS registered athletes, to the new LSC. That would still leave Southern California Swimming as the largest LSC.

A policy statement signed by Terry Stoddard, the general chair of Southern California Swimming, opposed the split, and encouraged its membership to vote no to the proposal to form the Orange County Swimming LSC. Stoddard’s position is that the LSC’s strength is its membership, and that the region remains stronger, more influential, and better equipped as one entity.

Those in favor of the proposal say that the LSC boundaries were drawn in the 1970s, when USA Swimming was split for AAU, and was based on boundaries drawn for other sports. Since then, Orange County has grown and changed drastically.

The supporters also say that they believe an LSC of around 7,000 athletes, which the Orange County LSC would be, can survive, as its the same size as comparable LSCs in North Texas and the Southeastern United States.

Other ‘pros’ put forth by the supporters:

  • Reduced sites for age group championships
  • More opportunities for All Star competition for athletes in the area
  • A more compact geographic unit for Orange County teams, reducing travel time and expenses

The “Orange County Swimming Organizing Committee,” as the proposal is signed, says that they would continue to invite SCS teams to all major senior invitationals like the Grand Challenge and Swim Meet of Champions, and that they would like more flexibility in exploring new meet formats like dual meets, tri meets, invites, and league-based competition.

While names have not been publicly attached to the proposal to split, sources tell SwimSwam that the move is being pushed by Mission Viejo head coach Mark Schubert and USC head coach Dave Salo, who is the general manager of the Irvine Novaquatics club team. Salo, ironically, has influence over the vote of a club on either side of the border: besides being the “Head Coach Emeritus Executive Consultant” of Irvine Novaquatics, he’s also the head coach of the Trojan Swim Club, which is not in Orange County.

In 2018, there were several proposals put forth to the USA Swimming House of Delegates relating to how LSC maps could be drawn or redrawn. Among the proposals that year was changing the requirement to redraw an LSC boundary from a 2/3 majority to a simple majority. That proposal was passed.

Orange County has a population of just over 3 million, and a median household income of more than $85,000, about $10,000 more than the state average. That makes it the 2nd-wealthiest county in the Southern California Swimming LSC based on median household income, behind only the smaller Ventura County.

At present, Southern California Swimming offers among the most generous reimbursement packages for its athletes who travel to compete at national meets, including a $2,500 reimbursement for athletes who compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

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Seven National Records Fall At Israel SC Winter Championships

2019 Israel Short Course Winter Championships

A total of seven national records were broken over four days at the 2019 Israeli Short Course Winter Championships held at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, the same site as the 2015 European SC Championships.

Leading the record charge was 22-year-old Meiron Cheruti, who walked away with three new Israeli marks in the men’s 50 free, 100 free and 50 fly.

Cheruti first knocked off his 50 free record of 21.27 in the heats with a swim of 21.26, and then blasted his way to a 21.08 in the final. In the 100 free, he erased his previous mark of 47.41 with a finishing time of 47.08. Both records were set at the 2018 edition of this meet.

In the 50 fly the record also fell in both the prelims and finals. In the morning, 27-year-old Marcus Schlesinger became the first Israeli man to go sub-23 in 22.88, breaking his 2016 national record of 23.02. Then, in the final, it was Cheruti who slipped under it for a new mark of 22.86.

Schlesinger also saw his 100 fly record taken away, as Tomer Frankel clocked in at 50.60 to take down Schlesinger’s 51.35 from 2016.

In the men’s 200 breaststroke, two-time Olympian Yakov Toumarkin chopped nearly a full second off of a 10-year-old national record in a time of 2:05.87, lowering Gal Nevo‘s 2:06.85 from 2009.

Cheruti (50 free) and Frankel (100 fly) are two of the four athletes who have solidified 2020 Olympic qualifying times for Israel, joined by Anastasia Gorbenko and Ron Polonsky in the women’s and men’s 200 IM respectively. Polonsky, 18, set four Israeli Youth Records in Netanya, doing so in the 100 IM (54.11), 100 back (53.29 prelims, 52.88 final) and the 400 IM (4:09.67).

Also lowering Youth National Records were Aviv Barzelay in the women’s 200 back (2:08.15), Chris Pichugin in the men’s 50 breast (27.42) and Gal Cohen Groumi in the men’s 200 IM (1:56.98).

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World Juniors Semifinalist Youssef Ramadan of Egypt Commits to Virginia Tech

Fitter and Faster Swim Clinics is the proud sponsor of SwimSwam’s College Recruiting Channel and all commitment news. For many, swimming in college is a lifelong dream that is pursued with dedication and determination. Fitter and Faster is proud to honor these athletes and those who supported them on their journey.

Egyptian swimmer Youssef Ramadan has committed to Virginia Tech. He is expected to join the program in the class of 2020.

Ramadan is primarily a sprint butterflier and freestyler who qualified for the semi-finals of the men’s 50 fly at the 2019 World Junior Swimming Championships. At only 17, his best time in the 100 fly in long course (53.47) is within half-a-second of the Egyptian National Record.

While Virginia Tech’s varsity squad doesn’t have any Egyptian swimmers on it, there is a connection in Blacksburg to Egypt: former Cal-based NCAA Champion in the 100 fly Farida Osman currently trains as part of the Virginia Tech post-grad group under head coach Sergio Lopez.

Best Times, LCM:

  • 50 free – 23.19
  • 100 free – 50.49
  • 50 fly – 24.13
  • 100 fly – 53.47

Virginia Tech’s top 2 butterfliers this season, Antani Ivanov and Blake Manoff, are both juniors, so Ramadan will join a deep group next fall. He’ll join a class that includes announced swimmers breaststroker Collin Myburgh (55.9/2:01.3) and butterflier/IMer Alex Neff (49.8/1:48.8 fly, 1:50.9 IM).

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Hanim Abrahams The Golden Swimmer

Hanim Abrahams The 17-Year-Old Swimmer

Hanim Abrahams the 17 year old that is leading the way in her field of swim, she is trying to help and inspire young teens around the world.

She has around 2.5k followers on Instagram, everyone make sure you go give her a follow if you don’t already!

We got the chance to interview her, here are a few things she had to say.

How old are you?

I am Hānim Abrahams, I am currently 17 years old. 

When did you start swimming?

I was introduced to swimming at a very young age, I started swimming lessons when I was about two years old.

I would be in our pool whenever I could and my mom would have to haul me out. In grade R I tried out for the school swim team to be with my older sister.

Many girls thought I was crazy as I tried out with the grade two’s.

I then started swimming at Cape Dolphins Aquatics (CADO) with renowned coach Brian Button at the age of six.

What goes through your mind when you swim? 

When I swim I think what’s goes through my mind is to push myself to limits to compete with myself. I just want to be the best swimmer that I can be.

What inspires you to keep swimming?

What inspires me to swim would be the sport and the competitiveness of swimming.

In swimming you can always be better and faster and that inspires me to keep going.

You won the gold in the 50m breaststroke. Please explain your emotions after you realized you won. 

I was incredibly humble to have won the 50m breastroke at Junior Nationals.

This win meant so much to me as junior nationals was my first nationals post operation, the win made me feel like all the hardwork paid off preparing physically and mentally. 

You were named captain the team captain at the Junior African Swimming Championships. Walk us through that experience please. 

Being a captain of any South African team is incredibly humbling. I enjoy being a leader and it was really a privilege to be the captain.

It taught me a lot about other swimmers and a lot about myself.

What advice for teenagers in your field?

Advice to any teenagers in my field would be “Everything happens for a reason” just trust the process and your own abilities.

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