OAC sending nine to Far Westerns

Olympic Aquatic Club qualified nine swimmers to the Speedo Short Course Far Westerns this week in Morgan Hill, California. The meet is from April 9-12.

OAC’s qualifiers are Kira Ashmore, Amanda Ashmore, Ross Burchell, Kira Crane, Mason Heaman, Eleanor Hebard, Elizabeth Helmer, Andrew Renninger, and Nathan Rubie.

I don’t know of any other local club swimmers who qualified for the meet, but if you do feel free to let me know and I’ll add their names to the list and report results next week. Contact me at annette.griffus@kitsapsun.com.


BISC’s Markow sets club record at OAC March Madness meet

Bainbridge Island Swim Club’s Aron Markow, 12, set a club record in the 50-yard breaststroke March 7-8 at the OAC March Madness Meet in East Bremerton.

Markow’s time of 28.65 seconds puts him fifth in the country for his age group, 11-to-12 year old, and into 10th place in the 100 breaststroke in one minute, 3.85 seconds.

Sean Markow, 10, won all 10 of his individual events and was part of the 10U medley and freestyle relays that also won.

Bainbridge won the team event with a score of 995. Poulsbo Piranhas finished second (676), followed by Olympic Aquatic Club (605.5). Bangor Trident Swim Team finished eighth (57).

Here’s a link to find the full results from the meet.

Bainbridge dive club brings back ribbons from Boise

Three members of the Bainbridge Island Dive Club returned from the YMCA Spring Classic in Boise last week with first-place ribbons.

Jackie Hellmers of Poulsbo won the 3-meter springboard in the girls 14-15 year-old division with a score of 228.95 points. She was also second in the 1-meter (194.50). Henry Sauermann of Bainbridge scored a win in the 3-meter with a final tally of 190.40 in the 12-13 year-old category and Carter Wolff, also of Bainbridge, placed first in the 1-meter with a score of 118.20 in the FC Level 4 division.

Also placing among the top competitors were Zora Opalka of Bainbridge, who was second in the 1-meter (334.5) and fourth in the 3-meter (339.15) in the 16-18 year-old division. Cammie Rouse of Kingston was third in the 3-meter (350.45) and fourth in the 1-meter (301.65) in the same division.

BIDC will compete in the U.S. Diving Regional Championships in Beaverton, Oregon, next month.

San Antonio to host USA Swimming training camp prior to Rio

USA Swimming announced Thursday it will hold its domestic training camp in San Antonio, Texas, July 13-21, 2016 at the Northside Swim Center. It’s also the site of the 2015 National Championships. The international training camp will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Here’s the full press release from USA Swimming:

SAN ANTONIO – USA Swimming announced today that it will hold the domestic training camp for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team in San Antonio at the state-of-the-art Northside Swim Center from July 13-21, 2016.


Following the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming in Omaha, Nebraska, athletes who qualify to represent Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will gather in San Antonio and train at the Northside Swim Center, site of the 2015 USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships, to begin preparations for the Games.

“The Northside Swim Center is one of the top swimming facilities in the United States and will provide an excellent training environment as our athletes prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games,” USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch said. “This is where the camaraderie of our team begins to take shape, and the staff and facility here will play a key role in setting up Team USA for success in Rio.”


During the camp, area swimmers and sports fans will have the opportunity to meet the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, as one practice will be open to spectators, followed by an autograph session. The timing and details of the open practice and autograph session will be announced next summer prior to the start of the camp.


“Hosting the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team at the Northside Swim Center is a tremendous honor for the Northside Independent School District, the city of San Antonio and all of Texas,” said Dr. Brian T. Woods, Northside Independent School District Superintendent. “These amazing athletes will be an inspiration for student-athletes of all ages in San Antonio, and we look forward to helping them prepare to represent the United States next summer.”


Completed in July 2013, the Northside Swim Center features a 50-meter, Olympic-size outdoor pool and 25-meter diving and warm-up pool. The outdoor swim center features shaded seating for 2,400 spectators, as well as high-tech timing, lighting, sound and video scoreboard systems. Locker room facilities can accommodate as many as 1,200 athletes.


The facility also will host a quartet of high-level meets in 2015: USA Swimming’s Phillips 66 National Championships (Aug. 6-10) and Speedo Junior National Championships (July 30-Aug. 3), as well as the U.S. Masters Swimming Spring National Championships (April 23-26) and World Deaf Swimming Championships (Aug. 17-22).


2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Schedule:

  • June 26-July 3, 2016: U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming, Omaha, Nebraska
  • July 13-21, 2016: Domestic Training Camp, San Antonio, Texas
  • Dates TBD: International Training Camp, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Aug. 6-13, 2016: 2016 Olympic Games Pool Competition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Aug. 15-16, 2016: 2016 Olympic Games Open Water Competition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Van Dyken Rouen back in broadcast booth

Six-time Olympic champion Amy Van Dyken Rouen made her return to the broadcast booth on Friday when she called the live telecast of No. 14 USC and No. 3 California for the Pac-12 Network.

Van Dyken Rouen, who was paralyzed in an ATV accident last June, has been inspiring many people with her gung-ho attitude and belief she will walk again. Her legion of fans are now known as Amy’s Army. Van Dyken Rouen is also slated to call the Pac-12 Women’s Swimming Championships Feb. 25-28.

Here’s a video by the Pac-12 Network featuring Van Dyken Rouen as well.

And Janie McCauley of the Associated Press did a nice story on Van Dyken Rouen…

Amy Van Dyken

Amy Van Dyken returns to broadcast booth after ATV accident

BERKELEY, Calif. — Amy Van Dyken pushed herself across one of Berkeley’s busy streets in her wheelchair and up a ramp into her special broadcast booth overlooking the pool deck, beaming the whole way.

The six-time Olympic gold medal swimmer returned to work with the Pac-12 Networks on Friday, nearly eight months after an all-terrain vehicle accident left her paralyzed from the waist down.

Van Dyken flew into the Bay Area from Arizona to call the USC-California women’s swim meet, and she figured it was a perfect return given there would be about a dozen potential Olympians — including Missy Franklin — in the pool on a picture-perfect day.

Van Dyken is thrilled people are getting to know her in a far different way than the ultra-competitive person she was as an elite swimmer who became one of the best in the world despite her asthma.

“A lot of people didn’t get to see that, they got to see the staring the competitor down, the slapping, the grunting, the spitting,” she said. “So they thought that I was a grumpy grumperson. I love that the world gets to see the real me now. That’s really cool to me. Being the Olympian and the gold medalist helps me get through therapy every day, because there are days that I don’t want to do it. I want to just go home and cuddle with my dog.

“I’m going for more than a gold medal right now. I’m going to get my life back. So, suck it up buttercup and get it done.”

Her triumphant return Friday was a huge step toward that, “getting back to normalcy.” She has long hoped to impact one person. Now, she knows the numbers who might find inspiration in her story are in the thousands or millions.

“She was a champion in swimming,” Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans said. “This redefines champion.”

From the second she came out of surgery last June, Van Dyken planned for this day. It was about two months ago when she began calling her agent again. She was ready.

“Listen, I knew that I wasn’t ever going to walk again, that was pretty much a given. And I knew all the things that come with being a paraplegic, I got that,” she said. “But I knew it wasn’t going to change me as a person, especially if I’m doing my broadcasting. The fact that I can sit here, the paraplegia does not affect my brain or my mouth. This job is perfect.”

Once Van Dyken said her hellos and got settled, she went to work writing lineups and prepping. She repeatedly clicked a pen with her right thumb, inquiring about the lane configurations and other meet details.

While visiting with the producer and director for the broadcast, Van Dyken was as upbeat as ever.

“Really good to be back,” said Van Dyken, wearing a navy Pac-12 Networks polo with black leggings. “I love my setup. Thank you guys so much. Awesome, love it — love it!”

Van Dyken had a flight home to Phoenix scheduled later Friday. She knows that’s an exhausting day for an able-bodied person.

“For a paralyzed person, it’s really tough, but you know what, I’m going to rock it out,” she said. “That’s getting my life back.”

Van Dyken, who turns 42 on Feb. 15, severed her spine last June in a crash when she and husband, Tom Rouen, who was on his motorcycle, were on their way to dinner. When he found her, she wasn’t breathing, and it took four minutes before she did. Leading up to surgery, they were told to prepare for the worst, because a vertebra was right up against her aorta and with one slip she could be gone.

“Her attitude has just never wavered through this whole thing,” Rouen, a former NFL punter, said. “She’s really done it with a smile on her face every single day. … You want to feel normal. This goes a long way toward that.”

Van Dyken reminds herself to cherish how far she has come after surviving such a frightening ordeal.

“Here’s the thing, I look at it and I say, ‘I almost died,'” she said. “I would hate for my last day to be remembered as a sour puss. I look at it now and say, ‘You don’t know what’s around the corner, don’t be a sour puss.’… I never had an ‘Oh, poor me moment,’ I never had a ‘What if?’ I never had a ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda.’ I got into this accident. That’s what happened. Take what you’re dealt, learn from it, and then move on.”

Adrian edged by Fratus in 50 free finals in Austin

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus edged Nathan Adrian of Bremerton in the finals of the 50-meter freestyle Friday at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin, Texas.
Fratus won in a time of 21.91 seconds, to set a world junior record. Adrian touched the wall in 22.17 while Kristian Gkolam of the University of Alabama was third in 22.31.
Adrian had already won the 100 freestyle on Thursday and was looking to make it a clean sweep of the sprint freestyles.

Adrian wins 100 free at Arena Pro Swim Series at Austin

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian won the 100-meter freestyle at the Arena Pro Swim Series meet at Austin, Texas, Thursday.

Adrian touched the wall a half a bodylength ahead of Conor Dwyer in 49.11 seconds. Dwyer finished in 49.60 and Ryan Murphy was third in 49.88.

It was Adrian’s first race of the calendar year. He was in second place in the APS series’ overall standings behind Tyler Clary heading into Thursday’s event.

Adrian is in training for the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, July 24-August 9. The worlds are a pre-curser to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Adrian back in water at Austin Pro Series

Bremerton Olympic champion Nathan Adrian is one of several headliners that is scheduled to compete in the Arena Pro Swim Series at Austin, Jan 15-17. The series was formally known as the Arena Grand Prix. Also scheduled to swim are Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte, Tyler Clarey, Ntalie Coughlin, Anthony Ervin and Matt Grevers.

The three-day meet will take place at the University of Texas’ swimming center. Prelims are at 7 a.m. with finals at 4 p.m. Pacific time.

Universal Sports Network will air TV coverage of the meet Jan. 16 and 17 (check local listings for time). Also, USA Swimming will webcast the complete meet.