The Blogstroke

Annette Griffus covers swimming, from age-group to high school and the Olympics.
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Silverdale’s Sapp, Seattle U participate in SWAA

September 16th, 2014 by Annette Griffus

Arianna Sapp of Silverdale and members of the Seattle University swim team participated in the Swim Across America, an annual event dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events.

Sapp, a redshirt sophomore, finished in seventh place in the two-mile race that began at the Mercerwood Shore Club and ended at Luther Burbank Park at Mercer Island. The team members raised $4,460, part of more than $240,000 raised on behalf of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Sapp graduated from Valhalla, California, High School, and previously swam for Olympic Aquatic Club.

BAM coach wins national award

September 15th, 2014 by Annette Griffus

I received this release from the Bainbridge Aquatic Masters regarding head coach April Cheadle:


April Cheadle

April Cheadle

This week Bainbridge Aquatic Masters (BAM) head coach April Cheadle will travel to Jacksonville, Florida, to accept the Kerry O’Brien Coaching Award. This national award is given to a handful of coaches each year who are building masters membership in communities throughout the country.
Since Cheadle became the BAM coach in 2010, membership on the team has doubled ­ primarily because Cheadle’s passion, enthusiasm, intelligence and patience with all levels of swimmers (and) has become (a) local legend.

The Kerry O’Brien Coaching Award was created to honor the namesake coach of the very successful Walnut Creek Masters program, and the spirit and passion he brings to coaching. Five principal areas of excellence are considered: Building the Foundation, Reenergizing, Mentoring a New Club, Coaching Education at the Local Level and Creating Opportunities for Members. Cheadle was awarded for exceeding the criteria in two areas: Reenergizing and Creating Opportunities for Members.

Cheadle grew up in Central Washington and swam at the University of Washington. She is certified as a coach at the United States Masters Swimming Levels 1, 2 and 3, and was selected as assistant coach for the
Puget Sound Masters National Team in 2011, and co-head coach of the team in 2012 and head coach in 2014.

BAM is the local United States Masters team. They swim at the Bainbridge Aquatic Center with 13 different swim practices offered each week. To be a Masters swimmer, you must be age 18 or older and registered with United States Masters Swimming. Skill level and ability varies from beginner to national competitor and all are welcome. Get more info at

OAC hires two new coaches

September 10th, 2014 by Annette Griffus

Olympic Aquatic Club hired two new coaches for its senior and age-group teams.

Patrick Hamilton replaces Greg Mercer while Shona Jarboe takes over for Taryn Beard.

Hamilton is a former high school All-American who swam at Interlake High in Bellevue before graduating from Louisiana State University and the University of Washington. Hamilton coached the Pacific Northwest Swimming All-Stars in Las Vegas and was a PNW zone team coach, age-group coach for King Aquatic Club in Seattle, Issaquah Swim Team and the Central Area Aquatic Team head coach.

Jarboe was coaching age-group swimming at Bangor Trident Swim Team before joining OAC.


OAC has open tryouts for all swimmers ages 6-18. For more information, contact


Adrian sweeps Singapore Swim Stars sprints

September 6th, 2014 by Annette Griffus

Bremerton’s Olympic champion Nathan Adrian won the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the one-day showdown style meet, the Singapore Swim Stars on Friday.

I don’t have a lot of information, and quite frankly we’re not even sure his time was correct because the scoreboard was faulty. Adrian won the 100 in 48.46 and the 50 with a win in the final over fellow American Josh Schneider, 21.72 to 21.76.

You can read more here. Another link to Zee News of India had a feature on Nathan, which you can read here.

Oh, and Adrian pocketed $20,000 for his wins. Not a bad day right there.

Magnusson out of Swim Stars Showdown due to back injury

September 3rd, 2014 by Annette Griffus

A back injury that has been plaguing world champion James Magnusson has now taken him out of the Singapore Swim Stars that begins Friday.

Here’s the announcement from Singapore Swim Stars via and Mel Stewart.

His back has been ailing the Olympic silver medalist enough that he was forced to withdraw from the 50 freestyle at the recently completed Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.

It’s safe to say Magnusson’s head-to-head match up with Nathan Adrian was to be a highlight of the one-day meet.

Adrian part of “fantasy camp” for USA Swimming Foundation

August 29th, 2014 by Annette Griffus

If you’ve ever had the dream of training like an Olympic champion, here’s your chance.

USA Swimming Foundation is offering a chance to live, eat and train like an Olympian at the U.S. Olympic Training Complex Aquatic Center in Colorado Springs. The fantasy camps for ages 12-17 will be October 9-12 while the adult camp, 18 and over, is October 17-19.

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian, a USA Swimming Foundation ambassador, will participate in the adult camp along with Rowdy Gaines and three-time Olympic champion Debbie Meyer. Serving as head coach is Bruce Gemmell, coach to Olympians Andrew Gemmell and Katie Ledecky. The youth camp will be attended by national team assistant coach Todd Schmitz, foundation ambassador and gold medalists Anthony Ervin, Mel Stewart and two-time Olympian Chloe Sutton.

The youth camp registration deadline is Sept. 3 and Sept. 10 for the adult camp. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy workouts, workshops and interact with national team members.

More information on the fantasy camps can be found here, as well as the USA Swimming Foundation.

Adrian arrives in Singapore in advance of meet

August 28th, 2014 by Annette Griffus

Coming off his strong performance at the Pan Pacific Championships last week, Nathan Adrian of Bremerton arrived in Singapore in advance of the Singapore Swim Stars meet Sept. 5.

The meet is a one-day event that features some of the elite swimmers in the world competing head-to-head at the newly constructed OCBC Aquatic Centre. I wrote about the showdown meet in an earlier story before the U.S Nationals. Adrian said he was looking forward to the event.

“I think it’s what swimming needs,” Adrian said. “A little bit of fun. It’s a little less stress than something like Pan Pacs or Worlds.”

The competition was organized by Frenchman Stephan Caron, a two-time Olympic 100 free bronze medalist.

The meet will focus on the 50 and 100 meters in all strokes. Other notable swimmers include Australia’s James Magnussen and Christian Sprenger, Brazil’s Cesar Cielo, fellow Americans Anthony Ervin, Jimmy Feigen and Eugene Godsoe, France’s Florent Manaudou and Fred Bousquet, Russia’s Vladimir Morozov and South Africa’s Roland Schoeman. On the women’s side are American Jessica Hardy, Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu and Lithuania’s Ruta Meiluyte.


Piranhas hire new club coach

August 27th, 2014 by Annette Griffus

The Poulsbo Piranhas Swim Team hired Jerry Johnston as its new head coach.

Johnston coached for Moses Lake Manta Rays, as well as high school at Issaquah. While at Issaquah, Johnston was named the KingCo Coach of the Year as the Eagles won three straight state high school girls swimming titles. Johnson swam for Lake Washington Swim Club and swam at the University of Washington where he was a team captain and NCAA All-American.

Johnson has also earned Pacific Northwest Swim Association and Inland Empire Swimming coach of the year honors and has coached numerous masters, junior and senior national swimmers and champions as well as Olympic trial qualifiers. Johnson also qualified for the Olympic trials twice.

Johnson, who takes over for Patty Jenkins, will start Sept. 2.


Adrian claims gold anchoring medley relay

August 24th, 2014 by Annette Griffus
Michael Phelps of the U.S. right, shakes hands with team mate Nathan Adrian bottom right after they won the men's 4 x 100m medley final at the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Gold Coast, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Michael Phelps of the U.S. right, shakes hands with team mate Nathan Adrian bottom right after they won the men’s 4 x 100m medley final at the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Gold Coast, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian made the medal podium in each of the events he swam this week at the Pan Pacific Championships at Gold Coast, Australia.

Adrian started out with a silver medal in the 100-meter freestyle on the first day, and ended the meet with a gold medal anchoring the 400 medley relay to a Pan Pacs record of 3 minutes, 29.94 seconds. In between he earned a silver in the 400 free relay and a bronze in the 50 free, also on Sunday.

Bruno Fratus won the sprint race in 21.44 seconds with Anthony Ervin second in 21.73 and Adrian third in 21.80.

As for the medley relay, Adrian’s swim was almost anticlimactic after the lead he received from Michael Phelps in the butterfly leg. Adrian’s split time in the 100 was 47.60, proving once again how much he likes to race in the relay. It’s one of his best non-start splits and makes them the favorites heading into Rio 2016. The relay included Matt Grevers in the backstroke and Kevin Cordes in the breaststroke.

Adrian said in a post-race TV interview said it’s always nice to get the lead from Phelps.

“It’s always nice to know that Michael, the fastest 100 butterflyer is going in,” Adrian said. “He always gets the lead for me so I get a little bit of clean water and just try and figure it out.”

Adrian second in 100 at Pan Pacific Championships

August 22nd, 2014 by Annette Griffus
Michael Phelps of the U.S., right, and teammate Nathan Adrian prepare for their men's 100m freestyle final at the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Gold Coast, Australia, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. Cameron McEvoy of Australia won the race ahead of Nathan Adrian in second and James Magnussen of Australia in third. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Michael Phelps of the U.S., right, and teammate Nathan Adrian prepare for their men’s 100m freestyle final at the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Gold Coast, Australia, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. Cameron McEvoy of Australia won the race ahead of Nathan Adrian in second and James Magnussen of Australia in third. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Bremerton’s Olympic champion Nathan Adrian earned a silver medal in the 100-meter freestyle on Thursday at the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia.

Under heavy rains at the outdoor pool, Adrian finished behind Australia’s Cameron McEvoy in 48.30 seconds to McEvoy’s 47.82. McEvoy has been emerging as an elite international swimmer of late, and used the Pan Pacs for his breakout performance. Fellow Aussie James Magnussen earned the bronze.

Adrian’s next individual swim is Sunday in the 50 free. He will likely be a part of the 400 medley relay on Sunday as well.

Here’s a video from Nathan talking about the 100 free.

In addition to making the podium, Adrian will be added to the World Championship team for 2015. The top two times from the finals at Pan Pacs after combining them with the A finals at nationals two weeks ago and the A and B finals at Pan Pacs. Nothing is guaranteed yet, especially for events that have weaker times from nationals. Also the non-Olympic distance events, such as the 50 butterfly, have already been guaranteed to the winners from nationals, according to Swimming World Magazine.

About This Blogger

Annette Griffus has covered swimming since 2001, from age-group to high school and the Olympics.


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