Bremerton Y hosting open water swim in August

The Bremerton YMCA will be hosting the Wildcat Lake Open Water swim Aug. 27 at Wildcat Lake County Park.

“It is the only officially organized open water swim this side of the Puget Sound and we are expecting around 400 swimmers,” said Bremerton YMCA assistant aquatics director Greg Mackem. “It will be a fun event that will include a wildcat mascot rooting swimmers on and other fun entertainment.”

Mackem said he wants to encourage swimmers in the older age groups to participate and the event will have plenty of lifeguards and safety precautions available.

 

The event will feature a 1-mile swim and a 1/2-mile swim.

Check-in opens at 7:30 a.m.  The 1/2 mile race starts at 9 a.m., the 1-mile race will start at approximately 9:45am.

It is open to all ages and there will be prizes for the following, both male and female, in the following age groups: 14 & Under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80 & Over. There is a separate division for those wearing wetsuits.

 

Registration is now open and includes early bird and other discounts:

Now until July 31

$30 – 1/2 Mile or 1 Mile  ($25 for youth-under 18 and seniors-60 and over)

$40 – Both Races ($35 for youth-under 18 and seniors-60 and over)
August 1-August 22

$45 – 1/2 Mile or 1 Mile  ($40 for youth-under 18 and seniors-60 and over)

$55 – Both Races ($50 for youth-under 18 and seniors-60 and over)

Additional Discounts

*Current YMCA members (in Pierce & Kitsap Counties) receive additional $5 off entry fee.

*New Bremerton Family YMCA memberships are eligible on same day to receive a FREE entry.

 

Mesa Pro Swim wrap up: Adrian doubles up — again

I took an extended weekend to play in the lovely city of Seattle, so I’m posting various links  on Nathan Adrian’s wins from last weekend at the Arena Pro Swim Series event in Mesa, Arizona, a little late.

From left; Anthony Ervin and Nathan Adrian compete in the 50-meter freestyle final during the Arena Pro Swim Series swim meet, Friday, April 15, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
From left; Anthony Ervin and Nathan Adrian compete in the 50-meter freestyle final during the Arena Pro Swim Series swim meet, Friday, April 15, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

I watched his 100 freestyle and, again, he just absolutely smoked the field. What was impressive about that race was that while his first 50 was fast (22 seconds) his second 50 was nearly as fast. That is something that Nathan has been working on — making sure his back half is just as strong or stronger than his first 50. At this point in the season you want to see improvements there so this is good news for Nathan. He finished in 48.00 to tie with Frances’ Florent Manaudou for the fourth-fastest time of the year.

 

And if you can smoke the field in a 50 free, Nathan did just that winning easily in 21.69. It was the third fastest time in the world this year.  Watching that race, he looked just as smooth as always with very little wasted effort.

Anthony Ervin, Nathan Adrian and Cullen Jones, from left, push off from the blocks in the 50-meter freestyle final during the Arena Pro Swim Series swim meet, Friday, April 15, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Anthony Ervin, Nathan Adrian and Cullen Jones, from left, push off from the blocks in the 50-meter freestyle final during the Arena Pro Swim Series swim meet, Friday, April 15, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

As far as the series goes, Nathan still holds the overall lead with 40 points. He has double wins in four events now — Minneapolis, Austin, Orlando and Mesa. He has collected $8,000 in prize money to boot.

And you can check out all of Nathan’s swims on his YouTube channel here.

 

Bremerton’s Adrian competing at Arena Pro Swim meet in Mesa

Nathan Adrian
Nathan Adrian

Bremerton’s Olympic champion Nathan Adrian will compete in this week’s Arena Pro Swim Series event at Mesa, Arizona.

Adrian is seeded first in the 50-meter freestyle, which is Friday, and in Saturday’s 100 freestyle.

A live webcast of the entire meet can be seen on usaswimming.org. The meet is being televised (tape delay) on NBC Sports Network at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and at 9 p.m. Sunday.

The Mesa meet is the fourth in the series and features a record $350,000 in overall prize money. Adrian leads the male standings with 30 points.

BIDC’s Opalka claims two Y Spring titles

Zora Opalka of Bainbridge Island Dive Club won two events at the Y Spring Invitational meet in Boise, Idaho, early last month.

BIDC swept the 16-18 year old girls Junior Olympics division for both the 1-meter and 3-meter events.

Opalka won the 1-meter with a score of  312.3 and 328.35 in the 3-meter. Teammates Cammy Rouser finished second with 272.5 and Jackie Hellmers finished third in 236.25.

In the 3-meter, Opalka had a winning dive total of 328.35, Rouser second in 302.50 and Hellmers third with a 251.05.

Carter Wolff also picked up two titles, winning the Future Champions category in the 1-meter (124 points) and 3-meter (110.5).

In the 12-13 year old boys Junior Olympic division, Brian Taylor won the 3-meter with a score of 189 and was second on the 1-meter in 170.45. Henry Sauermann was third in both events (142.05, 3M; 177.85, 1M).

In the girls 12-13 year old Junior Olympic division, Bryn Tiernan finished third on the 3-meter (174.75) and fifth on the 1-meter (138.95). Mia Alpaugh finished sixth in both events in her debut (124.75 IM, 117.25 3M).

Nathan Adrian adds to sponsorship list

A few months ago, Bremerton’s Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian added to his growing sponsorship list by teaming with BMW’s Performance Team.

Now you can add CitiGroup to that list. Adrian confirmed through social media that he is now part of Team Citi 2016, a group of eight world-class athletes gearing up for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

You can check out the video here

 

AP: Russian Olympic medalist caught in country limbo

Here’s a another good column by Associated Press national writer Paul Newberry on Arkady Vyatchanin, who wants to compete for Serbia at the Rio Games instead of Russia. Vyatchanin won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games in the 100 and 200-meter backstrokes.

Here’s the story;

ORLANDO, Fla. — Arkady Vyatchanin loves his country.

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2015, file photo, Arkady Vyatchanin wins the men's 200-meter backstroke at the finals of the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. Arkady Vyatchanin loves his country. The two-time Olympic medalist just doesn't want to compete for it anymore. The Russian swimmer has become a Serbian citizen, but now he's caught in a waiting game over whether he'll be allowed to compete in Rio. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2015, file photo, Arkady Vyatchanin wins the men’s 200-meter backstroke at the finals of the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. Arkady Vyatchanin loves his country. The two-time Olympic medalist just doesn’t want to compete for it anymore. The Russian swimmer has become a Serbian citizen, but now he’s caught in a waiting game over whether he’ll be allowed to compete in Rio. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

He just doesn’t want to represent Russia at the Olympics.

That stance has left the swimmer in legal limbo with the Rio Games less than five months away, the pawn in a political tug-of-war that again shows just how little the guys in charge actually care about the athletes.

“I guess I underestimated the burden that I’ll carry,” said Vyatchanin, who lives and trains in the United States and wants to swim for Serbia in what very well could be his last shot at the Olympics.

Vyatchanin has an impressive resume. At the 2008 Beijing Games, he captured a pair of bronze medals, finishing behind American winners Aaron Peirsol in the 100-meter backstroke and Ryan Lochte in the 200 back. He also has four medals from the world championships — three silvers and a bronze.

After a disappointing performance at the London Olympics, where Vyatchanin failed to qualify for the final in either backstroke event, he had a falling-out with the Russian swimming federation over his decision to begin training in Gainesville, Florida, under renowned coach and longtime Lochte mentor Gregg Troy.

More troubling, Vyatchanin had serious concerns about just how committed his country was to the battle against doping, a stance that turned out to be very well-founded given the almost daily revelations of ramping cheating throughout Russian sports.

Tennis star Maria Sharapova acknowledged this week that she had tested positive for a banned substance, while the country’s track and field athletes remain barred from international competition — including, possibly, the Olympics — after a ruling Friday found “significant work” was still required to clean up a major doping scandal.

“It is pretty wide open right now with all the doping cases,” Vyatchanin said, a sadness in his voice. “I was afraid that I could get caught up with that stuff just for raising my voice.”

He began searching for a new country, sending letters to virtually every European nation with a swimming team. He also made inquiries with the United States, but learned the process for becoming a citizen might not be completed in time for Rio.

Knowing he would be 32 by the time of the Olympics, Vyatchanin couldn’t afford to let another quadrennial pass him by.

A year ago, he received his Serbian passport, which should’ve been enough to lock up his trip to South America.

Not so fast, said international governing body FINA, which invoked an onerous residency rule to hold up Vyatchanin’s bid to switch countries, according to Vyatchanin.

“The bottom line in my case is that I did not break any rules,” he said. “All I want to do is swim.”

When FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu was questioned in an email about Vyatchanin’s status, the organization’s legal team came back with a vague reply that merely said, “Thank you for your email and interest in the sports of aquatics. Please note that the request for changing the sport nationality of Mr. Arkady Vyatchanin is under consideration in FINA.”

Granted, FINA has some well-founded concerns about athletes hopping from country to country, sometimes merely looking to find a team better suited to their Olympic goals.

But Vyatchanin hasn’t competed for Russia in more than three years, skipping the last two world championships, and the doping scandal in his country would seem reason enough to allow him — and any other clean athlete, for that matter — to move on.

“I love my country,” he said. “I don’t like the government, though.”

This has been a poignant ordeal for Vyatchanin, who would certainly prefer to race for his home country at the Olympics. While he would be incredibly proud to win a medal for sports-mad Serbia, which is giving him a chance to fulfill his dreams, there would surely be mixed emotions about having a banner other than Russia’s raised in his name.

“It is not right that a person should have to leave his country because of fear,” he said. “At the same time, I don’t think the Olympics or any other major sporting event should be about countries. It’s about who’s the fastest swimmer. It’s about the competition.”

There are no regrets about moving to the U.S. to train in 2011. If anything, Vyatchanin only wishes he had started the process to find a new country even sooner.

“I didn’t feel like I needed permission,” he said. “I’m a grown-up man. I felt I could make the decision that is better for me.”

Vyatchanin, who is getting sponsorship help from the New York Athletic Club, remains hopeful that everything will work out in the end. As he says on his Twitter profile: “Never give up!”

There is only one thing for FINA to do when it finally rules on Vyatchanin’s case:

Let him swim.

 

Nathan Adrian shows off funny side in recent photo shoot

Team USA's Nathan Adrian poses for a portrait during the 2016 Team USA Media Summit at Beverly Hilton. (Kevin Jairaj |USA TODAY Sports)
Team USA’s Nathan Adrian poses for a portrait during the 2016 Team USA Media Summit at Beverly Hilton.
(Kevin Jairaj |USA TODAY Sports)

When last I talked to Nathan Adrian at the U.S. Winter Nationals in December at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, he mentioned that when he’s home in Berkeley, California, it’s rare to have much downtime between training.

After spending last week at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Orlando, where he swept both the freestyle events, Nathan returned home briefly before heading to southern California for the Team USA Media Summit Monday. Check out this link for more photos of Nathan from his shoot with USA Today. It’s a good thing Nathan has a great sense of humor, because I’m sure he’s going to take a lot of ribbing from his friends and family!

This link should take you to some behind-the-scenes shots of Nathan and Simone Manuel from the media summit. If not, check out @usaswimming on Twitter.

Then it was off to the Olympic Training Center on Tuesday for more high-altitude training. Nathan said he really gets a lot out of the OTC because everything an elite athlete needs is there — from nutrition, recovery, training, etc. — and he can focus on his training without distractions.

Nathan is scheduled to possibly race in the Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Arizona, but will be in Charlotte and Santa Clara leading up to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha at the end of June, beginning of July.

Adrian wins splash and dash in Orlando

Bremerton’s multiple gold medalist Nathan Adrian posted the second-fastest time this year, winning the 50-meter freestyle at the Arena Pro Swim Series Friday.

Adrian, who swims for California, had a strong start and closed out the win in 21.70 seconds, to move him up from fourth in the world rankings. Florida’s Caeleb Dressell finished second in 22.06.

Adrian said he was happy to go under 22-seconds just four months out from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, but wasn’t thrilled but how he finished the sprint race.

“The finish wasn’t so hot,” he said. “There’s no strategy (in the 50), there is adjustment when it comes to your finish. I should have known my markings just a little bit better just to know where the flags are.”

That adjustment, Adrian said, would have allowed him to lengthen out his stroke a little more and possibly touch in 21.6.

Dressel has come on the scene quickly after setting a short-course American record at the Southeastern Conference swimming and diving championships last month. Dressel posted the two fastest times in the history of the 50 free, breaking Adrian’s NCAA record in 2011 of 19.66 in 18.23.

Adrian had high praise for the 19-year-old, who he raced head-to-head for the first time.

“The sky is the limit for that kid,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun couple of years.”

Phelps, Ledecky winners on first night of Pro Swim Series

Per Bill Fay of The Associated Press…

 

ORLANDO, Fla.  — The first day of the Arena Pro Swim Series went as expected with Olympians Michael Phelps, Katie Ladecky and Conor Dwyer winning the featured events.

Michael Phelps practices for the U.S. Swimming Nationals at the Northside Swim Center, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in San Antonio. Phelps is scheduled to compete in four events. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Michael Phelps practices for the U.S. Swimming Nationals at the Northside Swim Center, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in San Antonio. Phelps is scheduled to compete in four events. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Phelps ran down Tom Shields in the final 50 meters and held on at the wall to win the 100-meter butterfly in a time of 52.28. Shields was just behind at 52.35

Ladecky easily beat a field packed with Olympians in the 200-meter freestyle. The 19-year-old from Capital Swim Club in Washington D.C., swam a 1:55.73 to beat fellow Olympians Missy Franklin, who swam 1:57.67 and Allison Schmitt, who was third at 1:58.16.

Dwyer was swimming competitively for the first time in two months. He jumped ahead of Dion Dreesens on the final turn and coasted home to win the men’s 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:46.96. Dressens was second at 1:48.17.

The three-day meet concludes Saturday.

AP: Missy Franklin hopes frustrating year will push her for Rio

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2016, file photo, Missy Franklin watches the results board of the women's 200-meter backstroke during the Arena Pro Swim Series, in Austin, Texas. The Olympic champion with the perpetual smile concedes that subpar performances over the past year have gotten under her skin just a bit. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman, File)
FILE – In this Jan. 16, 2016, file photo, Missy Franklin watches the results board of the women’s 200-meter backstroke during the Arena Pro Swim Series, in Austin, Texas. The Olympic champion with the perpetual smile concedes that subpar performances over the past year have gotten under her skin just a bit. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman, File)

Good story here from Associated Press writer Paul Newberry (@pnewberry1963) on Missy Franklin for the first day of the Arena Pro Swim in Orlando …

 

By Paul Newberry

The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Get this: There are times when Missy Franklin is frustrated.

OK, it’s not as if she’s suddenly turned all cranky and rude. The Olympic champion still walks around the pool with a perpetual smile. But subpar performances over the past year have started to get under her skin a bit.

With the Rio Games just five months away, she knows it’s time to start producing.

“I definitely don’t want to come off like everything is happy all the time,” she said before this weekend’s Arena Pro Series meet in Orlando, not far from the make-believe world of Disney. “When I come back from some of these meets, I am for sure frustrated.”

At 17, Franklin was one of the biggest stars at the London Olympics, competing in seven events and winning four gold medals and a bronze. Away from the pool, her bubbly personality only enhanced her appeal, though she didn’t cash in right away since she wanted to compete collegiately.

After two years at Cal, Franklin finally turned pro last year, setting up some major endorsement deals heading into Rio (she’s already landed with Speedo and Minute Maid). But, while she has a lot more money in her pocket, it’s been a struggle to regain the form that made her the world’s most dominant female swimmer — a title ceded to fellow American Katie Ledecky.

At the 2015 world championships, Franklin failed to win any of her four individual events, settling for a silver and two bronzes. In the last Pro Series meet at Austin, Texas, in January, she again failed to win any individual events and, tellingly, trailed far behind Ledecky in the 100- and 200-meter freestyles.

“I left there being really frustrated,” said Franklin, insisting she did some of her hardest training before the meet. “Why is this not coming through? Why is this not being shown when I’m racing? I think it’s important to let yourself feel like that. If you do kind of push those things aside and pretend they’re not there, it’s all going to come back and hit you when you don’t want it to.”

The key, she said, is using that angst the right way.

“You know what? This may not be happening right now,” she said. “It’s OK to be frustrated, but use it for something good. I promise you, it’s going to pay off when it needs to.”

In addition to turning pro, Franklin moved back to her Colorado home and reunited with longtime coach Todd Schmitz. They’ve been adapting to a new style of coach-athlete relationship, one that the 20-year-old swimmer calls more of a partnership.

“He knows I learned so much being away for two years, as a person and as a swimmer,” Franklin said. “When I was 17, he had to lay down the line a little bit more. Now, we draw the line together.”

Schmitz has prodded Franklin to turn some of the tough times into motivation leading to Rio.

“When you throw gasoline on an unlit match, it doesn’t do anything,” the coach said. “I think that’s the same thing with Missy. You’ve got to use that as fuel on your fire. You don’t want to think about it too much, but you know what, there are some key times where I’ve got to look at her and go, ‘Hey.'”

He’ll even bring up the London Olympics, where things went so well.

“She missed a bronze medal in the 200 free by a hundredth of a second,” Schmitz recalled. “She can usually dig down and find that motivation, but sometimes I’ll say, ‘Hundredth of a second.’ That’s all I have to say.”

Away from the pool, Franklin has started working on a book with her parents. She calls it “a family memoir,” a chance to reveal how the three of them were “able to stay true to ourselves and true to each other” even as Franklin became a teenage phenomenon.

Titled “Relentless Spirit,” the book is due in early December.

You know what would help sales?

A few more gold medals.

Franklin isn’t one to make bold predictions. Like most swimmers, she can’t even bring herself to say definitively she’ll be in Rio since she still has to go through the ultra-competitive U.S. Olympic trials.

But she certainly hasn’t lost her confidence.

“I trust that I’m on this path for a reason and I’m going to do my best to live it out,” she said. “I have that faith that I’ll be ready when I need to be ready.”