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Of Swimming Bondage

Clutz Brundage @ Austin Grand Prix

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by , January 19th, 2014 at 11:18 AM (154 Views)
I flew out with my daughter's team on Thursday afternoon to Austin for the Grand Prix meet and have been loving virtually everything about this trip.

Our kids came off holiday training and didn't rest at all for the meet, so, while I think they are enjoying the overall experience (and certainly the girls are loving the photo ops with studs like Nathan Adrian), their swims, for the most part, are pretty consistent with an in-season meet. We've had a few girls make the C and D finals, with some swims that were faster than they anticipated, and one 13 year old is having a fantastic meet, dropping time in almost all of her events like 13 year olds are wont to do.

The pool is more beautiful than ever and, having never really been a swim fan in the stands here, I can honestly say that this has got to be the best swimming watching venue. I don't think I fully appreciated how great the stands / viewing area are when I was here in 2008 for Nationals as I spent most of my time on the deck, but there are really no bad seats. We've been sitting near the turn end and never feel like we're missing anything. Here's a pic I took from our vantage point:



As a swim-fan-geek, getting to just sit back and watch prelims and finals has been a treat. The sessions have been short enough that, once we get the kids to the pool, we can just chill and enjoy the swimming. Highlights for me through two days have been multi-fold:
  • Yannick Agnel's 1:45.76 200 free last night was pretty awe-inspiring. He made a field with guys like Mellouli, Matt McLean and others look like little boys. McLean swam a very respectable 1:48+ for second, but Agnel just crushed everyone from the start. I probably shouldn't say this, given that I only went 1:42+ in YARDS in my prime, but Agnel does something funky and hand-flippy on the recovery for one of his arms whenever his tempo gets high, like the 100 or 200. It looks like he could save a few hundredths on each recovery by not doing that ... but, the other nice thing about the vantage point from the stands is that you get a great view of his pull from the semi-aerial vantage point and that looks perfect.
  • Speaking of perfect, I think Connor Dwyer has the four prettiest strokes of any of the major swimmers out there. There's some talk on SwimSwam to the effect that he should forget the 400 IM because of guys like Clary and others in the world, but I hope he keeps pressing for that focus. He looked very in control last night.
  • Ledecky looks as great as ever, though I think she mis-judged Alison Schmitt's fitness in the 200 last night and let Schmitt get out too far ahead by the 150. It was great to see Schmitt win, but I think I was most impressed with Simone Manuel, who dropped a 1:59low and has demonstrated extreme versatility to go from the 50 to the 200. If Schmitt keeps on the road back to greatness, the USA women's 800 free relay will be unstoppable.
  • Speaking of Ledecky, we could see one of the oldest pool records fall tonight in the women's 800 as Janet Evans currently holds it at 8:23.59.
  • Speaking of super old records, Kim Linehan's 1500 pool record of 16:15.56 is downright ancient, probably dating from 1978 or 1979. Her Longhorn Team record of 16:04.49 was the world record back in 1979. Let's hope Carol Capitani is scouting some of the up & coming distance girls.
  • Now, I'll probably get crucified saying this, but, having seen Michael Andrew race both fly and free, I'm not as impressed as I think I should be. Don't get me wrong - the kid is obviously HUGELY fast, but is also HUGE. For a big kid, though, his distance per stroke seemed very short on both his fly and his free. He seems to be muscling through more than finessing. Now, I have only ever played a coach at the YMCA level with B-time level swimmers and online here, but I think that the Rushall guidance on not doing drills and working on technique at slower speeds might not be the right thing for the kid at this age. As they say in the military, "slow is smooth and smooth is fast" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festina_lente).
  • Speaking of smooth and fast, everyone knows this, but Natalie Coughlin has the best start of ANY sprinter, male or female. If only Anthony Ervin could take some start training lessons from her, he'd get Adrian every time.


I could go on and on. Much like my training geek weekend last weekend with Terry Laughlin and others on Total Immersion, my mind is getting jam packed with swim ideas.

Now, with all the goodness and fun from above, there has been one part of this weekend that has downright sucked. Walking back to the parking garage on Friday after prelims with Kurt Dickson and his wife (the other team chaperones with me), I looked to Kurt to say something and paid no attention to the fact that the sidewalk was curving. I set my right foot on the edge of a sloping curb, proceeded to roll down the curb and roll my foot further into a pothole that was at the edge of the road. EXTREME PAIN. I managed to hobble the rest of the way to the parking garage, but, by the time we got back to the hotel, I couldn't put any weight on it whatsoever. Thanks to my daughter (who scammed a wheelchair at the hotel, an ACE wrap at a drug store and some ice) and then Kurt (who checked it out and figured it was sprained and then got me some crutches later), I've been managing to get around, but the foot still looks ugly:



By this morning, I've finally been able to put light pressure on the foot and am down to using a single crutch more like a cane. Needless to say, any plans to drop in with Nitro Masters, Longhorn Masters or to a Y for swimming this weekend were shot. I do hope to at least try to swim again on Monday when I am back home.

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Comments

  1. ekw's Avatar
    The trip sounds so fun. I think Dwyer is going to be a lot of fun to watch over the next few years. He's really coming into his own. And how insane is that NBAC squad right now? I'm excited to see what Simone Manuel is going to do too. Tyler Clary called her anchor swim at Duel in the Pool her "coming of age swim" and I think that's a great description.

    I hope your ankle heals quickly!
  2. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ekw
    The trip sounds so fun. I think Dwyer is going to be a lot of fun to watch over the next few years. He's really coming into his own. And how insane is that NBAC squad right now? I'm excited to see what Simone Manuel is going to do too. Tyler Clary called her anchor swim at Duel in the Pool her "coming of age swim" and I think that's a great description.

    I hope your ankle heals quickly!
    Yes, it absolutely is fun. As for Simone Manuel, as good as she us, she still looks like she has room to improve. Her sprinting, unlike Michael Andrew, combines nice distance per stroke with good stroke rate and impressive closing speed.
    Updated January 19th, 2014 at 07:00 PM by pwb
  3. The Fortress's Avatar
    Ugh, sorry about the ankle. As I know from sad experience, those take awhile to fully recover. Put foot in ice bucket each night!

    I've heard that Michael Andrew's technique isn't the best. I"m looking forward to seeing the 100 breast tonight. 1:04 is sizzling. He does make USRPT look good, but he could just be an outlier (huge) that would thrive in any program.

    When I was watching Agnel on TV last night it almost looked to me like he had a thumb first entry on free. He straightened it out UW, bu maybe that was the flick you were referring to. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the 1500. Can he really hold off McBroom and Ous?
  4. __steve__'s Avatar
    Did you go to the doctor for that?

    That's what my foot looked like after stepping on a poisonous snake (but it also turned dark and not size 16).

    hope you feel better
  5. jaadams1's Avatar
    Hope the ankle heals quickly. In the meantime, wanna race me in a 400 IM??? It might be more evenly matched now.
  6. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Ugh, sorry about the ankle. As I know from sad experience, those take awhile to fully recover. Put foot in ice bucket each night!
    Have been doing that! It helps to have an ER doc on the trip, a wife who is a nurse and two daughters who are freshly trained lifeguards just super eager to show off their 'help the wounded swimmer' skills

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    I've heard that Michael Andrew's technique isn't the best. I"m looking forward to seeing the 100 breast tonight. 1:04 is sizzling. He does make USRPT look good, but he could just be an outlier (huge) that would thrive in any program.
    I missed his 100 breast this morning, but did catch his breast in the prelims of the IM, which looked VERY good. I will pay closer attention to him tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    When I was watching Agnel on TV last night it almost looked to me like he had a thumb first entry on free. He straightened it out UW, bu maybe that was the flick you were referring to. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the 1500. Can he really hold off McBroom and Ous?
    I'm giving the nod to McBroom, but we'll see. I was talking with Jeff Commings today and we're both looking forward to seeing if Agnel paces it like a typical distance swimmer or if he aims to go out fast, put such a punishing distance between he and the other guys that they can't catch him even if he does fall off pace.
  7. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__
    Did you go to the doctor for that?
    Not officially, but it was seen by the best ER doc / stud swimmer I know.
  8. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1
    Hope the ankle heals quickly. In the meantime, wanna race me in a 400 IM??? It might be more evenly matched now.
    Thanks, but I'd be DQ'd probably in both the fly and the breast as I don't think the foot would work well on either stroke.
  9. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Sounds like such a fun meet to be at! Take care of the ankle (sounds like you are!)--hope it knits up quickly.
  10. aztimm's Avatar
    I'll echo everyone else, that it does sound like a fun meet. Perhaps I'll get to go to one of these some day...

    As for the ankle, I'm sure you don't want to hear it, but you shouldn't swim for at least 2 weeks. Trust me, I've done it (once to each ankle). Really baby it as much as you can for the first week, then very gradually ease back into things.

    Both times, I've gone back to swimming way too soon and did more damage. Even pulling (with a pull buoy) is bad. Swimming just stretches your ankle in such a way that just doesn't work for sprains.
    I think it was Fort who said to put it in icewater every night, and I agree. Wrap when you must move.
  11. knelson's Avatar
    "I am not an animal. I am a human being!"


    ...hope it heals up fast!
  12. Water Rat's Avatar
    What an awesome weekend, injury aside, to geek out poolside. I wish this series came somewhere close to Pitt.
  13. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    I am so glad the meet was fun(other than the injury of course). We had one our club studs who signed for UT, Jared Butler, swim unrested in the IMs, he was in both B finals. He was a late starter with swimming and I would lay money he will be a serious stud at UT.

    Sorry to see and hear about the injury. That just sucks. I hope it gets better soon.