Category Archives: Collegiate Swimming

AP: Officials investigate drowning of Dartmouth swimmer

Sad news for everyone in the swimming community … This story from the Associated Press’s Jennifer Kay adds more to the story of a Dartmouth College swimmer who died while trying to complete four laps underwater.

MIAMI (AP) — A Dartmouth College swimmer who died at a YMCA pool had been trying to complete four laps underwater without surfacing to breathe when he went into distress, according to a sheriff’s office report released Monday.

Tate Ramsden, 21, of Nashville, Tennessee, was pronounced dead at the Sarasota pool after lifeguards and emergency medical personnel could not revive him, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

Ramsden was at the pool Saturday with his sister, uncle and a cousin.

“Tate had been swimming laps in the pool for some time and I was told he had swam approximately 4,000 yards before practicing his underwater swimming techniques,” Officer Douglas Stidham wrote in the report. “It is believed he was likely attempting to complete a ‘100’ which is four laps across the pool without surfacing for air.”

At some point, Ramsden’s sister and cousin noticed that he was not moving underwater, and they alerted lifeguards who removed him from the pool, Stidham wrote.

Water and blood came from Ramsden’s nose and mouth throughout the attempts to revive him, according to the report.

An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.

Ramsden swam for Dartmouth as a freshman and sophomore. He was scheduled to graduate from the school in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 2017.

In an email Sunday evening to students and faculty, Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon wrote that Ramsden’s family has planned a memorial service next weekend in Nashville.

“We have been in touch with Tate’s family to share our deepest sympathies with them at this time of heartbreaking loss,” Hanlon wrote.

A message left for Ramsden’s sister was not immediately returned, and a person who answered the phone number listed for Ramsden’s mother hung up on an Associated Press reporter.

“He was a great kid. He truly was a pleasure to have around all the time,” said John Morse, the head coach at the Nashville Aquatic Club, where Ramsden swam for many years. “He was witty with a dry sense of humor, had a great intellect — an accomplished swimmer and a wonderful teammate.”


Associated Press writer Travis Loller in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.

NCAA approves sprint medley, synchronized diving

On Thursday, the NCAA announced five new rule changes for the 2015-16 men’s and women’s collegiate swimming and diving seasons.

You can read the full story at, but here’s a quick rundown on the major changes;

  • Synchronized diving approved for dual and invitational meets to replace any springboard or platform event.
  • Backstroke starting wedges approved
  • 100 IM approved for inclusion at conference championship meets
  • Removing requirement to separate hands before taking dolphin kick on breaststroke pullout
  • Requirement for allowing strobe lights for deaf or hearing-impaired swimmers.


Former Islander Williams commits to Stanford

Former Bainbridge Islander Kim Williams, who moved to Bellevue and how swims for the Wolverines, verbally committed to Stanford University on Wednesday according to Braden Keith of

Williams swam for Bainbridge Island Swim Club before her family moved to Bellevue when she was 12. Keith calls Williams an incredible all-around swimmer and a true IM star. She recently competed for Team USA at the 2014 Junior Pan Pac Championships in Hawaii where she placed third in the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 14.18 seconds. She is also the long-course Junior National Champion in both the 200 IM and 400 IM.

Joining Williams for the 2015 freshman class at Stanford are Olympic and world champion Katie Ledecky, the sixth-ranked recruit in the nation Kaitlyn Albertoli.

Williams is the two-time defending state champion in the 3A 200 IM and the three-time champion in the 100 breaststroke.

You can read more on Keith’s story here.

Silverdale’s Sapp, Seattle U participate in SWAA

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.

Adrian announcing at men’s Pac-12 championships

Bremerton’s Olympic champion Nathan Adrian will have his second opportunity to broadcast a  collegiate swimming meet. Adrian, a Cal alum, is part of an Olympic-laden broadcast team for the Pac-12 Championships in Federal Way at the King County Aquatic Center.

The Pac-12 Network will air the championships on March 10 (Monday) at 7:30 p.m. pacific time. Adrian joins Rich Burk and Jason Knapp, who will rotate play-by-play. The women’s championships concluded last week as Amy VanDyken and Natalie Coughlin joined Cynthia Potter and Burk in the booth while Adrian did his first live broadcast.

The men’s Pac-12 Championships started Wednesday and end Saturday. Prelims are at 11 a.m. and finals are at 6 p.m.

New study links swimming to smarter kids

According to a three-year long study by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia, swim kids are smarter kids.

The study, which surveyed parents of 7,000 five-year-olds and younger in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, shows the swimming children reach developmental stages faster than other children.

Here’s an excerpt from the study;

As well as achieving physical milestones faster, children also scored significantly better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring in and drawing lines and shapes, and many mathematically-related tasks. Their oral expression was also better as well as in the general areas of literacy and numeracy.

Here’s the story link on the USA Swimming website by Mike Gustafson.

From what I’ve seen during the last 13 years covering swimming in Kitsap, I tend to believe the study. All of our elite-level swimmers, Tara Kirk Sell, Dana Kirk, Nathan Adrian, Emily Silver and their siblings all excelled in high school and as undergrads and graduate students. Currently Tara is getting her doctorate in public health from Johns Hopkins.

Coincidence? Ummm, maybe. But I think the fact that so many of our swimmers started at a very young age helped in their development, both socially, physically and mentally.

Besides, is there anything cuter than a 1-2 year old in the water? I think not.

WAC reinstates men’s swimming and diving

The Western Athletic Conference announced Thursday it will be adding men’s swimming and diving for the upcoming 2013-14 season.

The WAC already has three schools that have the sport — Seattle University, California State University-Bakersfield and Grand Canyon. Joining them will be affiliate members Air Force, UNLV, North Dakota and Wyoming. That will give the conference seven teams for the new season. North Dakota already has a women’s program.

“We are excited about the reinstatement of men’s swimming and diving to the Western Athletic Conference,” said Jeff Hurd, WAC interim commissioner. “We look forward to one of our original sports returning to the WAC and watching these teams work toward winning a conference championship.”

The WAC championship meet will be Feb. 26-March 1 at Palo Alto College Aquatic Center in San Antonio and it will be combined with the women’s programs.

Video of the Week: Swimming World interview with Dana Kirk

I’m taking a step back in time, but only by a few months or so, for this week’s video.

Bremerton native and 2004 Olympian Dana Kirk was featured in a Swimming World interview after it was announced she joined the staff at Stanford University, where she swam for the late Richard Quick and Lea Maurer.

Kirk is a volunteer assistant coach for the Cardinal as well as head coach for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics-DKS (Dana Kirk Swimming), a branch of PASA. She’s also the aquatics director for Freemont Hills, an athletic club in Palo Alto.

Here’s the link to the video. It was shot at the American Swimming Coaches Association’s world clinic in Las Vegas last October.


Kirk sisters hosting swim clinic in Palo Alto

Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics-DKS coach Dana Kirk is hosting her second Women in Coaching Clinic at the Far Western Championships, Friday-Saturday, at Stanford University.

Kirk, a 2004 Olympian from Bremerton, will be joined by her sister, fellow 2004 Olympian and silver medalist Tara Kirk Sell. Kirk Sell will be speaking on how high school swimmers can make the transition from high school to college, and then college to becoming a professional swimmer.

Also headlining the clinic will be Rachel Stratton-Mills, one of only three female coaches to be have an athlete on the U.S. Olympic team in 2012, as well as the only female coach to have a swimmer on the U.S. National team and the U.S. National Youth team.

Former PASA coach Stephanie Fryberg, Dr. Susan Wood (former lacrosse coach) and Glenn Mills of will also be speaking at the clinic.

You can see a video of Dana talking about the clinic here.