Monthly Archives: July 2009

Cullen Jones Coming to Seattle

Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones, who is currently competing at the world swimming championships, will be in Seattle Aug. 12 as part of the national water safety campaign. Jones will begin his day with a breakfast with Seattle community leaders where he will be the keynote speaker at the Hilton Seattle Downtown from 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Jones will be at the Garfield Community Center from 11 a.m. to noon for a youth assembly. Following the assembly, Jones will give five children their first swim lesson. He is slated to throw out the first pitch at the Mariners game later that night.

Jones and USA Swimming Foundation, along with ConocoPhillips, have joined forces to promote water safety in order to reduce the number of drowning deaths in the country in children. This week a 13-year-old Poulsbo boy drowned at Wildcat Lake. The numbers are especially high for minority children, USA Swimmng said. Six out of 10 African-American children don’t know how to swim, while 56 percent of Hispanic and Latino children are unable to swim.

Joining Jones will be USA Swimming Executive Director & CEO of USA Swimming Foundation Chuck Wielgus, and John Cruzat, National Diversity Specialist.

World Swimming: Adrian Qualifies for 50 Finals

UPDATE: Here’s what I could find on the NBC interview of Nathan. It’s in the broadcast replay from today’s coverage. It took a long time for it to buffer and play, so keep that in mind. One more recap I found from’s The Morning Show. You can watch the entire show, or skip ahead to about the five minute mark to hear what Garrett McCaffrey and Peter Busch say about Nathan and the 50 free final.

UPDATE: NBC’s Andrea Kramer interviewed Nathan and Cullen, following their races. Here’s what Nathan said.

NBC: What’s it going to take for you (and Cullen) to even get on the medal stand?

Nathan: (Laughing) Right now, it’s a 21-low or even 20.-high. Obviously the sprinters here are really going off, setting world records. I think we can do it but it’s going to take a great swim.

UPDATE: Wow! Nathan went a personal best 21.46 in his heat to qualify for tomorrow’s finals. Very good start by Nathan, with Fred Bousquet touching first (21.21) and Cesar Cielo second (21.35). Nathan is seeded seventh in the finals. I’ll post more on Nathan later, and be sure to check out the Kitsap Sun and for stories from worlds.

UPDATE: Cullen Jones broke the AR in his race, finishing 3rd in 21.40. I guess Jones has been sick and was quarantined from the rest of the team earlier this week. 

UPDATE: All right, here we go. The 50 free semifinals are coming up. NBC finally got off its Michael Phelps kick and did a piece on Nathan Adrian. I will try to see if I can find it on the web, later, and post it here. It was pretty good!

UPDATE: Just found out that FINA has moved up the swimsuit-ban from May to Jan. 1, 2010. Good. You can read about it here.

UPDATE: Four-time world champion Aaron Piersol just won the 200 backstroke. Japan’s Ryosuke Irie took silver and Ryan Lochte earned the bronze. Oh, and yes, the world record was broken……whatever….

Sorry it’s been so long since I was able to post here. I had technical difficulties last night so I couldn’t even watch Nathan’s prelim in the 50 free. That’ll teach me to use a PC instead of a Mac.

Nathan had the sixth fastest time in 21.68 seconds last night. He’s swimming in the second semifinal heat, which is upcoming, right next to 100 free champion Cesar Cielo of Brazil.

I hope you’ve had a chance to see my most recent story on Nathan, which you can read here. I haven’t talked to him since before the U.S. Nationals, but we’ve been communicating through e-mails. I always appreciated it when our local swimmers took the time to respond during a major competition like that. The Kirk sisters did the same thing for me. I guess swimmers are just classy people!

Evans Says Suits Making a ‘Mockery’ of the Sport

Five-time Olympic medalist Janet Evans said the swimsuit controversy is making a mockery of the sport.

You can read what she had to say here. She had some pretty tough comments about FINA as well. Lest we forget, Evans knows a thing or two about competing in an unfair sport. Evans had to go up against the East Germans — who could make MLB’s steroid controversy look like a blip on the radar screen.

USA Today columnist Christine Brennan wrote this story regarding the suit fiasco. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, there are 2,679 stories on the suits on the Internet.

World Swimming: Adrian Fails to Qualify for 100 Finals

Suffering his first disappointment at the world championships in Rome, Nathan Adrian narrowly misses qualifying for the finals of the 100 free on Wednesday.

Nathan was strong in the first 50, with a split of 22.66, but slowed down in the final stretch to finish in 48.13, slower than his qualifying time from the world trials in Indianapolis to place him 10th. Top 8 go to finals. Alain Bernard of France is the top qualifier in 47.27.

I don’t know if Nathan and his coaches were expecting the finals time to be a sub-48, or for Bernard to nearly break the world record, 47.05. He is always so good at calculating where he needs to be. Honestly, however, one has to think that you go fast in the semis because the finals are the following night. You’d have time to recover. 

I’m a little stunned to be honest.

Nathan will have another shot at an individual event in the 50 free, which begins Friday. Plus, he should be named to Saturday’s 400 medley relay as well.

World Swimming Champs: Adrian Into Semis

As I write this post, I thought I might be able to update it before the wee small hours of the morning to let you know how Nathan did in the 100 free prelims. Well…yeah…about that. He’s swimming in the LAST of the 22 heats. Right now, it’s Heat 8. I’ll try to hang on.

I did check out the start list to see who he was racing with and it’s a who’s who of sprinters. 

Right next to our guy is Alain Bernard (who is GINORMOUS!) not to mention Roland Schoeman of Russia, Brazil’s Cesar Cielo and Canada’s Brent Hayden.

Is it just me, or has the ‘media’ gone Phelps-crazy? It’s like Phelps.TV 24/7. There are so many great stories out there by so many swimmers, like Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones, Rebecca Soni, heck even newcomer Kasey Carlson who won a bronze medal in the 100 breast. 

What do you think? Is it too much Michael, or not enough?

Another WHOOPS! moment brought to you by the fine makers of those lovely rubber suits everywhere. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to wear one to work?

Here’s a video of Nathan Adrian I found after the 400 relay win from the media room. 

And we are at Heat 12 of 22! Whoo-Hoo!!

I want to say a big Thank You to all my readers! The Blogstroke debuted in the No. 10 spot among Kitsap staff blogs! We’re only just beginning, baby!!

Heat 15 of 22 has started!

Oh, don’t forget. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of The Blogstroke to get notices when there are new posts. Mom’s a big fan.

So I’m keeping track of the heats through (love it!) because the livestream from isn’t working. Has anyone gotten it to work? Does it just hate Macs? Just curious…

We’re at Heat 18! Oh, so close!!

I wonder what Nathan’s thinking at this point? If you’re a swimmer, make a comment below and let us know what goes through your mind as you wait to take to the starting block.

Heat 20! The times have dropped from high 53s to now sub-49 low. Matthew Targett of Australia was just off the world-record time at the 50 split. It’s getting craaaazzzyyy!!!

Here we go! Heat 22 is about to start…Nathan had a decent reaction time off the block, and was about third at the 50-split (23.06) and finished fourth in his heat with a time of 48.13. That should put him easily into the semifinals. Alain Bernard won in 47.80. No one set a world record but it’s only the prelims.

Again, Nathan swims at 9 a.m., so check back here for coverage if you can’t get it on TV or the online streaming. 

UPDATE: Nathan tied for the ninth fastest swim from the prelims, with Andrey Grechin of Russia. American David Walters was the fastest qualifier in 47.59.


OAC Has Strong Performance at PNS Champs


Olympic Aquatic Club produced some strong swims for retiring coach Bonnie Burmaster last week at KCAC in Federal Way.

OAC record swims by; Kelsey Crane (50 Free, 400 Free, and 800 Free), Liane Hirata (200 back, 100 breast, 100 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM), Brendan Weiner (400 free, 100 back, 100 fly) and John Wojtech (800 free).

Point scorers for OAC were; Kelsey Crane – 27 pts, Quaid Williams – 19, Grace Smith – 11, Liane Hirata – 2 and John Wojtech – 1.

Next stop for OAC is San Jose for the Far Western Zone Championships.

World Swimming: Day 3

Michael Phelps didn’t win and the world didn’t stop turning. Go figure!

Phelps took silver in his first individual final, the 200 freestyle, on Tuesday. German Paul Biedermann broke Phelps’ world record in 1:42, with Phelps coming in at 1:43.3. But Phelps fans shouldn’t worry. His best time is 1:42.9, and he did take six months off. That’s a very long time in terms of swimming, and training, for an elite athlete.

The two-time Olympic champion in the 200 fly, Phelps finished second in his semifinal heat in 1:53.48. The 200 fly is Phelps’ best event, he’s a beautiful flyer, barely coming out of the water and it just suits his body. He had a little more than an hour rest after the 200 free final. Continue reading

Worlds Continue This Week; Nathan Back in Pool Tuesday

I think I’m still coming off Monday’s high of watching Nathan Adrian swim that incredible anchor leg in the 400 free relay. Read what the rest of the country (and the world) thought of the relay swim by checking out these media outlets; Manila (Philippines) Bulletin,, New York Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and

Nathan won’t be swimming again until Tuesday in the 100 free. He has a preliminary heat Tuesday morning and semifinals in the evening (Rome). The finals are Wednesday.

Continue reading

World Swimming Thread: Adrian Gives U.S. Gold

UPDATE: If you missed the 400 free relay, you can watch it here. It’s pretty amazing!

UPDATE: A true champion always delivers in the cluch and Nathan is doing it time and time again. USA finished at 3:09.21 (a course record), better than Russia’s 3:09.52. Nathan had the fastest split of the four, going an astonishing 46.79. His best in the 100 free was 48-flat. He is obviously ready for this meet! By the way, France finished a disappointing third, 3:09.89.

Nathan was interviewed following the race, here’s what was said.

Andrea Kramer (NBC): All right, they’re calling Nathan Adrian Little Lezak. (Phelps laughing) You like that?

Phelps: That’s funny! That’s good! Nathan had a great swim he had to have 46.8 and its promising for our relay for the fuure. You know we finished the day off on a good note. So, we’re happy.

Kramer: What make you pull through like that Nathan?

Adrian: (laughing) I had to stay within myself and swim my own race as opposed to on, you know, try and focus on anybody else. I was able to do that and, um, you know the last 10 meters I just tried to put my head down and finish the race.

Adrian now has to be considered a strong contender to make the podium in the 100 free, which can be seen on Universal Sports (check local listings for channel) and, at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

UPDATE: Phelps has the leadoff, and it’s a tight first 50, Brazil is at 22.5, but Lochte is in the water and he looks good. Phelps got them third. Lochte, swimming it for the first time, still third. Matt Grevers has the third leg, now second! And now Adrian into the pool! Nathan is in lane 6 and looks great! Here he somes! Oh my! He did it!

USA wins! Nathan is a world champion! They beat France again! He was so strong! Amazing finish yet again and Phelps was yelling at him, ‘Finish it finish it!’ France actually finished third, with Russia coming in second. Wow!

Rowdy Gaines has dubbed Nathan, ‘Jason Lezak Jr,’ in reference to Lezak’s amazing finish in Beijing.

UPDATE: Finally got a glimpse of Nathan Adrian. Phelps and Ryan Lochte are next to France.

UPDATE: We’re moments away from the start of the 400 relay and NBC is absolutely playing this up as the bout of the century. A little overkill, maybe??

The first day of the world swimming championships are finally underway.

It’s Sunday evening in Rome at Foro d’Italico, the swim stadium, and the highlight of the day is the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay. Everyone’s expecting a showdown of the French and U.S. teams, but Brazil made an early statement in the prelims.

Brazil set a meet record in 3:11.26 and is the top seed. The French are second (3:12.72) and Great Britain third (3:11.62).

The U.S. team of Garrett Weber-Gale, Matt Grevers, Ricky Berens and Cullen Jones qualified fourth for the finals in 3:11.64.

Nathan Adrian and Michael Phelps will swim the relay finals along with two others from the morning.

This post will be updated, so keep checking back.

Getting Closer to Worlds

Is it just me, or does it seem like it’s taking forever for the world swimming championships to start?

What’s up with that? At least Nathan Adrian and the rest of the swimmers have been doing something, like practicing, eating pasta, eating more pasta….oh, how I wish I was there.

Anyway, here’s a couple recent stories from various sources to keep you entertained until Sunday.

FINA banned full bodysuits on Friday; you can read about it here. Anyone think they should have done this a week ago or more? Or, at least waited until after worlds? is asking ‘Is the U.S. Still the Top Team in the World?’

Megan Jendrick was disqualified at the PNS championships

By the way, if you’ve been to the championships in Federal Way, drop me a line and let me know how it’s going. I’m all ears!