Monthly Archives: May 2014

Nathan Adrian, Janet Evans team up to promote USA Swimming Foundation initiative

Both Nathan Adrian and Janet Evans are ambassadors for the USA Swimming Foundations Make A Splash campaign which aims to promote swim lessons for children and adults through subsidized swim lessons.

The pair teamed up for an online TV interview on Thursday.

You can watch the video here.

Also, go to USA Swimming Foundation’s website to learn more about it’s learn to swim program.

Area divers place at international meet

Pictured above are members of the Bainbridge Island Dive Club that competed at the iDive Invitational meet in Vancouver, B.C., last weekend. Left to right: Carter Wolff, Duncan Platz, Henry Sauermann, Chris Miller (coach), Jackie Hellmers and Cammy Rouser.
Pictured above are members of the Bainbridge Island Dive Club that competed at the iDive Invitational meet in Vancouver, B.C., last weekend.
Left to right: Carter Wolff, Duncan Platz, Henry Sauermann, Chris Miller (coach), Jackie Hellmers and Cammy Rouser.

Bainbridge Island Dive Club’s Cammy Rouser won two events at the iDive Invitational in Vancouver, British Columbia, during Memorial Day weekend.

Rouser won the 14-15 year-old title for the 3-meter springboard with six dives totaling a score of 197.7 points. She also won the 1M springboard with seven dives and a score of 253.6 points. BIDC’s Jackie Hellmers was second in the 3M with 187.25 points and third in the 10 with 153.35 points.

On the boys side, BIDC’s Carter Wolff placed second in the 12-13 year old 3M springboard (five dives) with a score of 160.75. Wolff was also fifth in the 1M event, scoring 133.8 points. Also in the 3M Duncan Platz  scored 158.75 points — good enough for third place. Platz also placed third in the 1M with a score of 148.6. Henry Sauermann placed fourth in the boys 3M 10-11 year-old division with a score of 118.75 points. He was also fifth in the 1M springboard with 108.8 points.

“We have a young, hard-working team that supports each other very well. I expect you’ll hear a lot more from these kids,” said BIDC coach Chris Miller. The club team is comprised of divers from Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Poulsbo and Kingston.

The club will be participating in diving meets through July. Next up is the Summer Junior Region 10 Championships in Santa Clara, California on June 13. That meet is part of the qualifying system for the national championships.

Phelps wins 100 fly at Charlotte GP

It’s been a while, but Michael Phelps found himself back on top of the scoreboard after winning for the first time since coming out of his retirement. Phelps is competing at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte, N.C., and won the 100 butterfly in 52.13.

Here’s a story by Associated Press national writer Paul Newberry. Also, had video of his race and post-race interview.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Phelps is back in a familiar spot: the top of the podium.

Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly Friday night at the Charlotte Grand Prix, the first victory of his comeback.

Going out strong and remaining comfortably ahead on the return leg, Phelps cruised to victory in 52.13 seconds, about a half body-length ahead of runner-up Pavel Sankovich, a 2012 Olympian from Belarus.

Phelps matched his time exactly from the 100 fly at last month’s meet in Mesa, Arizona, where he returned to competition for the first time since retiring after the London Olympics. But this time, with longtime rival Ryan Lochte watching from the VIP area, Phelps had the pool all to himself.

The overflowing crowd at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center roared when he touched the wall first.


Video: SW talks with Nathan Adrian about Masters, Mare Nostrum series

Swimming World’s Morning Swim Show and Jeff Commings talked with Nathan Adrian about his recent meets, notably the U.S. Masters meet and the upcoming Mare Nostrum Series in Europe. It kicks off with the meet in Monaco June 7-8.

You can check out the video here.

They also chatted about the visit Nathan paid to Houston swim teams via the USA Swim Foundation’s Make A Splash Tour in Texas. This is the first year Nathan is an ambassador for the foundation.


Multiple Cal Olympians train together on campus

Great story from Associated Press writer Janie McCauley from the San Francisco bureau on California’s Olympic swimmers, namely Nathan Adrian of Bremerton, and Natalie Coughlin.


Natalie Coughlin, Nathan AdrianBERKELEY, Calif. — Nathan Adrian razzes a few college swimmers who come a little too close to hitting him while flipping the lane rope out of the pool at the end of practice. Natalie Coughlin reminds the freshmen athletes that the picture-perfect Bay Area weather of recent months is hardly the norm.

That’s an awful lot of Olympic medals speaking from experience on the pool deck at the University of California.

Add in Anthony Ervin and a handful of other Olympians and former Cal swimmers from outside the U.S. training under Golden Bears coach David Durden, and you might have some 20 Olympic medals in one lane on a given day at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

While other universities have their share of Olympians regularly roaming around campus to train, Durden considers his situation unique because the school only trains its own former swimmers.

“It’s a special place,” 12-time Olympic medalist Coughlin said. “We have some great international students who represent their countries as well as the American Olympians. That’s something that’s happened over the past decade or so. I hate to admit it but I’ve been at Cal almost 15 years. That wasn’t really the case beforehand, to have so many Olympians in one area both on the men’s and women’s team. The success of the last few years has really just snowballed.”

This group has quite the pedigree. Yet Adrian and Coughlin insist they gain as much from swimming alongside the college students, especially when it might be 2012 four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin in a neighboring lane.

Adrian, Coughlin and Ervin soon will be headed to the European Mare Nostrum Series held each June.

At this stage, it’s all about keeping things fresh for the Olympic stars.

“What these guys really benefit from in this environment is having the personality of our team change every year,” Durden said. “Needless to say, the personality of the team changes just a little bit and it keeps them fresh. It’s a tough sport, one, and it’s a tough sport to train for a long period of time and then it’s really tough to train with the same people over and over and over again. You’ve got a group of freshmen come in and it stirs the pot a little bit, which is good. That’s what they need.”

Durden regularly recalls last summer’s world championship trials in Indianapolis when Irvin — the 2000 Sydney Olympics 50-meter freestyle gold medalist — was about to head out for the day to rest up for his later events but instead opted to stay at the meet to watch then-freshman Jacob Pebley swim the 200 backstroke.

“It is neat,” Durden said. “Anthony doesn’t train with Jacob. Certainly Anthony’s 32 at the time, Jacob’s 18. They’re far apart in age. … To me that dynamic doesn’t happen without someone who went through this process.”

Other postgraduate swimmers training at Cal include Damir Dugonjic, an Olympian for Slovenia trying to return for the 2016 Rio Games, Estonian two-time Olympian Martin Liivamagi and 2016 American Olympic hopeful Tom Shields, an 11-time NCAA champion at Cal.

During a training session this past week, Coughlin shared a lane with junior Fabio Gimondi and sophomores Nick Dillinger and Tyler Messerschmidt. Adrian swam alongside freshmen Jonathan Fiepke and Dillon Williams.

“We all benefit from each other. It’s definitely not a one-way street,” Adrian said. “The fact that I get a group of 20-30 guys who are working toward a common goal and I get to kind of experience that and feed off that atmosphere, them going for national championships, a national title, is awesome. In a small way I lift them up and when I’m feeling down they help lift me up. It’s a good thing to have going here.”

Typically, during the college season, the pros would work in their own lane because they’re on a different training track.

“It’s a unique setup we have,” Durden said. “At a particular time we could have over 20 Olympic medals in one lane.”

Nort Thornton, the 81-year-old head coach emeritus who coached the Bears for 33 years and guided three-time Olympian and former world-record holder Matt Biondi, believes Cal swimmers thrive with the support from one another in dealing with the demands of balancing school and athletics.

“It’s wonderful. Dave’s done a great job putting a team together,” said Thornton, who now works two days a week with the breaststrokers. “It’s kind of like a family away from home. Kids come in here and it’s a support group to get them going and through the academic environment and all the social things going on. It’s easy to be kind of overwhelmed if you come out of a little high school and you’re the top dog and all of a sudden you’re in a pool full of talent like this.”

Coughlin plans to support Franklin in any way needed, even if they aren’t training together.

For now?

“The other day she was asking if I could show her how to cook,” Coughlin said. “I’m going to force her to learn some things from me, and we’re both I think really looking forward to that. She’s awesome, and she’s just a great example of the kind of caliber of athlete we’re attracting now.”


Masters: BAM’s Bullock wins national titles; PSM claims team title

Members of the Bainbridge Aquatics Masters who competed with the Puget Sound Masters regional team at the U.S. Masters spring national championships last week in Santa Clara, Calif.
Members of the Bainbridge Aquatics Masters who competed with the Puget Sound Masters regional team at the U.S. Masters spring national championships last week in Santa Clara, Calif.

There was quite a heavy contingent of Bainbridge Aquatic Masters (BAM) swimmers who were part of the Puget Sound Masters regional club that swam last weekend at the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships in Santa Clara, Calif.

Among the 89 swimmers was Sarah Bullock, who won two events. BAM coach April Cheadle was selected to lead the PSM team for the third year.

April Cheadle
April Cheadle

“It was an honor to be chosen to lead, organize, and coach the 89 athletes that made up the Puget Sound Masters Spring National squad. This was the largest squad to travel from our region to a national meet, and we had high hopes of placing in the top three going into the meet,” Cheadle said.

PSM won the overall regional team title with a score of 1,530. Oregon Masters finished second (1,174.50) and Colorado Masters third (900.50). The women’s team placed first (828) as did the men (570).

Bullock won the 1,650-yard freestyle in the 45-49 age group with a time of 19 minutes, 32.15 seconds. Bullock won her second title in the 400 individual medley in 5:26.14.

“It’s so fun to see my hard work pay off,” Bullock said. “I’ve been training for months without really watching my times, so seeing that number one beside my name was pretty shocking.”

Also competing for BAM were Kari Wetzler who was second in the 1,650 free in the 30-34 age division; Kate Carruthers (65-69) was second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:32.34 and Karen Segerson was sixth in the 1,000 free in the 35-39 age division.

For the men, Dennis Sawyer (70-74) finished fourth in the 400 IM in 6:50.95 and fifth in the 200 breaststroke in 3:11.44 and had a time of 1:22.46 in the 100 breast for fifth; Mark Benishek (30-34) was 11th in the 50 free in 23.25 and eighth in the 100 backstroke in 1:03.69; Randy Rogers (55-59) was eighth in the 200 butterfly in 2:27.90 and Cestjon McFarland, Tom Goodlin and Barney Voegtlen all contributed to BAM’s success.

Also, the mixed 200 free and medley relays in the 65+ each placed third — 2:03.09 for the free and 2:26.57 for the medley. The 200 medley relay for the men’s 65+ finished fifth in 2:20.39 and the 200 free relay was eighth in 2:06.39.

I’ve also included a link for a searchable list on the USMS website for all PSM swimmers who participated. You can also search by swimmer at the same site.

Kirk, Giovanni come away with medals; Adrian’s time changed

Dana Kirk, a Bremerton native and 2004 Olympian, won the 50-yard butterfly Sunday at the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships in Santa Clara, Calif.

Kirk finished in 24.97 seconds in the 25-29 age division, just off the national age-group record of 24.41 by Tanica Jamison in 2010. Kirk had an impressive weekend, placing first in the 100 individual medley, the 50 and 100 fly and third in the 50 and 100 free.

Dr. Melissa Giovanni, a CK graduate, proudly shows off the medal haul from the US Masters Spring National Championships last weekend in Santa Clara, Calif. (Contributed photo)
Dr. Melissa Giovanni, a CK graduate, proudly shows off the medal haul from the US Masters Spring National Championships last weekend in Santa Clara, Calif.
(Contributed photo)

Dr. Melissa Giovanni, a graduate of Central Kitsap and former member of Olympic Aquatic Club in Bremerton, earned six top-10 medals at the nationals during her three days of competition. Giovanni finished fourth in the 400 individual medley in 5 minutes, 12.0 seconds in the 30-34 age division. She also placed fifth in the 1,000 freestyle (11:27.21), sixth in the 200 free (2:03.24), seventh in the 50 free (25.82 seconds) and eighth in the 500 free (5:37.42). Giovanni also placed in four relays.

Also, Masters swimming clarified Nathan Adrian’s time in the 100 free on Saturday as 41.13. It’s still a national age-group record. USMS announced a timing error had recorded his time at 41.08.

One more thing, check out this great clip of Nathan talking about his 92-year-old teammate.

Kirk, Adrian continue to win at US Masters nationals

This weekend is making me a reminisce a little.

Fourteen years ago I started covering swimming on the peninsula, just about the time that the sport really started gaining ground and national recognition thanks to a handful of swimmers from Bremerton and Bainbridge.

Those swimmers included breaststroker Tara Kirk, sister and butterflyer Dana Kirk of Bremerton, Helen Silver, backstroke, and sister Emily Silver, freestyle, of Bainbridge Island and Bremerton’s Justin Adrian, fly/free and eventually his brother Nathan Adrian.

It was an exciting time as I was able to travel to California for a week where the Kirks were attending Stanford and Helen Silver was at California, and we ran that story when I came back. The following year in 2004 we went to Long Beach for the U.S. Olympic Trials and watched as both Tara and Dana made the Olympic team — the first time sisters had made the same team in USA Swimming history. The Silvers and Justin competed as well so there was a lot for one hometown reporter to cover. I distinctly remember Justin being so stoked to swim in the final of the 100 butterfly, a race won by Michael Phelps, before he officially called it the end of his career.

After the Kirks made the team it wasn’t long before I received a call from our editor at the time to let me know that the paper was going to send myself and a photographer to Athens to cover the Olympics. I’ll never forget my two weeks there as we tried to cover the world’s biggest sporting spectacle from the outside looking in. Because we didn’t have full credentials we spent a lot of time with the Kirks’ parents, Jeff and Margaret, as they toured Athens, the Acropolis and went to beach parties and such.

We did manage to find our way into one swimming event, Tara’s 100 breaststroke final, and that was thrilling.  She lead after the first 50 meters and I remember sitting in the stands, my photographer trying to shoot from the stands (yes, we weren’t supposed to) and thinking that ‘I’m watching the Olympics and our hometown swimmer is trying to win a medal.’ Surreal.

Jumping ahead to Saturday, it’s been great seeing Dana competing at the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships at Santa Clara, Calif. She gave the U.S. trials one more shot in 2012 (good for her as a back injury curtailed her career far too soon) and now that she’s coaching I’m sure it’s also been fun to get back into the competition pool.

Dana won the 100-yard individual medley in the 25-29 age category in 57.75 seconds. She also finished third in the 100 free in 52.36.

Nathan continues to be the best American sprinter. He won the 100 free in the 25-29 age category in a national age-group record of 41.08, besting the previous time of Darian Townsend’s mark of 42.13 from last Dec. Townsend finished second in Saturday’s race in 43.13. That means Nathan won by almost two seconds. Wow. The time also tied his American record.

Dana has one more race Sunday and I’ll post another update then.

Bremerton’s Adrian, Kirk win US Masters titles

Nathan Adrian was all smiles after winning the US Masters Spring National title in the 50-yard freestyle Friday in Santa Clara, Calif. (Mike Lewis, via
Nathan Adrian was all smiles after winning the US Masters Spring National title in the 50-yard freestyle Friday in Santa Clara, Calif.
(Mike Lewis, via

A week after winning two individual titles at the Arena Grand Prix meet in Mesa, Ariz., Nathan Adrian of Bremerton won the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday.

Adrian touched the wall in 18.78 seconds in the 25-29 category, just off the national record of 18.67 by Fred Bousquet of France in February 2010. He also helped The Olympic Club win the 200 medley relay in 1:26.71, along with Cal training partner Anthony Ervin and Andrew Saeta and Nolan Koon.

Nathan wasn’t the only Bremerton native to pick up a national title in the short-course yards meet.

Already the owner of numerous junior, national and collegiate swimming titles as well as winning the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials in the 200 butterfly, you can add U.S. Masters national champion to Dana Kirk’s resume too.

Kirk won the 100 butterfly in 54.03 in the 25-29 category. She was also third in the 50 free in 24.00. Katherine Raatz won in 23.40.

Kirk is slated to swim the 100 freestyle Saturday, as is Nathan. He is seeded first while Dana is seeded sixth.

You can also read what Swimming World Magazine had to say about the onslaught of the national record books after the first full day of competition.

Former Olympian Dana Kirk competing in Masters nationals

Bremerton native and 2004 Olympian Dana Kirk Martin is competing this week in the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships. Kirk is seeded among the top contenders in five events — 50-meter butterfly, 100 fly, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 individual medley.

The meet is being held at the George Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, Calif., and began Thursday with long-distance events and continues through Sunday.

Kirk Martin is seeded first in Sunday’s 50-meter fly in 25.19 seconds in the 25-29 age division. She is seeded second in Friday’s 100 fly in 57.04; third in Friday’s 50 free in 24.89 , sixth in Saturday’s 100 free in 54.70, and fifth in the 100 IM in one minute, 2.00 seconds on Saturday.

Kirk is the aquatics director and head coach at Fremont Hills Country Club in Palo Alto, Calif., and founder/coach of South Palo Alto Swimming.