2016 U.S. WINTER NATIONALS
Check out the video of the race below, courtesy of USA Swimming’s YouTube channel.
At last season’s NCAAs, Schooling narrowly missed becoming the first man under 44 seconds with his 44.01, but Shields has now secured that title for himself. Shields had been sitting 6th on the all time top performers list coming into today with a 44.59 from 2013. Before Shields lowered the record tonight, the previous American Record was a 44.18 done by Stanford’s Austin Staab in 2009. He also took down his own Championship Record, which he’d set at 44.88 at the 2012 U.S. Winter Nationals.
In addition to his incredibly fast 100 fly, Shields also swam the fastest flat start 50 fly ever. Read more about that race here.
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick
Editorial Coverage Sponsored By FINIS
Tom Shields finished second to Michael Phelps in the 100 and 200 butterfly at Olympic Trials in order to qualify for his first Olympic Team. Shields talked about the impact Phelps has made on him. The first time they swam in a race at the same time, Shields was struck by the power of the GOAT’s underwaters, and dialed in on the fifth stroke for the next ten years.
The Cal swimmer also reflects on his father’s involvement in his early swimming career. He shares a special fact about a high school record his father held, but Shields broke.
Peter Daland, Matt Biondi and Joona Puhakka receive All-Century honors
Team features 145 NCAA Individual Titles, 28 Olympians
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (February 9, 2016) – The Pac-12 All-Century Men’s Swimming & Diving team, comprised of 32 members, was announced Monday night on ‘Pac-12 Sports Report.’
The Trojans lead the team with 10 selections, followed by Stanford (7), California (5), UCLA (4), Arizona (3.5), Arizona State (2) and Washington (0.5).
A panel of 20 coaches, swimmers, administrators and members of the media selected the team consisting of 26 swimmers and six divers, plus a Coach, Swimmer & Diver of the Century.
The top four vote-earners in each of the six disciplines made the All-Century Team, with two additional "wildcard" swimmers selected by a second vote of the remaining 5th, 6th and 7th place finishers. The top two divers in each of the three events also made the All-Century Team. Swimmers and divers could be nominated in more than one event, with three earning roster spots in multiple events.
Legendary longtime USC men's swimming head coach Peter Daland was voted the Men’s Swimming & Diving ‘Coach of the Century’. Daland led the Trojans to nine NCAA team championships during his 35-year tenure. Under Daland from 1958 through 1992, USC also placed second at the NCAA meet 11 times, won 17 league crowns and posted a 318-31-1 (.917) dual meet record. A six-time National Coach of the Year, his swimmers captured 93 NCAA and 155 Pac-10 individual and relay titles. USC went undefeated in dual meets in 20 of his seasons. His 1977 team is regarded as the finest collegiate swim team ever. Daland spent more than 45 years coaching at the club and college levels. He coached the U.S. men in the 1972 Olympics as they won nine gold medals and the U.S. women in the 1964 Games as they captured six golds. Daland also won 17 national AAU titles (15 men's at USC and two women's at the Los Angeles Athletic Club). USC finished first or second in the AAU meet a phenomenal 20 times in Daland's 35 years.
The Men’s Swimming & Diving ‘Swimmer of the Century’, Matt Biondi, was with the California Golden Bears from 1984-87. The 11-time Olympic medalist won 12 NCAA and 14 Pac-10 titles, in addition to being a four-time All-American. Biondi set 12 world records during his swimming career, including being the first man to swim a sub-49 second time in the 100 free. He also won an Olympic gold medal on U.S. 400 free relay team while a freshman, and returned to capture gold medals in the 1988 Olympics (50, 100, 400 free; 400 medley; and 800 free relays), and a silver in the 100 fly and a bronze in the 200 free. Biondi returned to the U.S. Olympic team in 1992, winning the silver medal in the 50 free and gold in the 400 free and 400 medley relays. Biondi is a member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Arizona State Sun Devil Joona Puhakka earned the Men’s Swimming & Diving ‘Diver of the Century’ honors. Puhakka was a four-time Pac-12 Diver of the Year, four-time 1m Pac-12 Champion from 2003-06, four-time 3m Pac-12 Champion (2003-06), 2003 NCAA 1-Meter Springboard Champion and the 2004 NCAA 3-Meter Springboard Champion. Puhakka competed in three consecutive Summer Olympics for his native Finland and won the bronze medal in the men's 1-meter springboard at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. While competing for Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, he won four NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) championships - two on the 1-meter springboard, and two on the 3-meter springboard.
Please see below for the comprehensive All-Century Men’s Swimming & Diving roster.
Pac-12 All-Century Men’s Swimming & Diving roster
Matt Biondi – California, 1984-87 (Freestyle Sprints, Butterfly)
Nathan Adrian – California, 2006-07, 2009-11 (Freestyle Sprints)
Tom Jager – UCLA, 1983-86 (Freestyle Sprints)
Joe Bottom – USC, 1974-77 (Freestyle Sprints)
Bruce Furniss – USC, 1976-79 (Freestyle Sprints)
Brian Goodell – UCLA, 1978-81 (Freestyle Distance)
Mike Burton – UCLA, 1967-70 (Freestyle Distance)
Ryk Neethling – Arizona, 1996-00 (Freestyle Distance)
Rick DeMont – Washington,1973-75 Arizona 1977-79 (Freestyle Distance)
Murray Rose – USC, 1959-62 (Freestyle Distance)
John Naber – USC, 1974-77 (Backstroke)
Jeff Rouse – Stanford, 1988-1992 (Backstroke)
Lenny Krayzelburg – USC, 1997-98 (Backstroke)
Peter Rocca – California, 1976-79 (Backstroke)
Kevin Cordes – Arizona, 2012-15 (Breaststroke)
John Hencken – Stanford, 1972-1976 (Breaststroke)
John Moffet – Stanford, 1982-1986 (Breaststroke)
Bill Barrett – UCLA, 1980-82 (Breaststroke)
Pablo Morales – Stanford, 1983-1987 (Butterfly, Individual Medley)
Tom Shields – California, 2010-13 (Butterfly)
Par Arvidsson – California, 1978-81 (Butterfly)
Mike Bruner – Stanford, 1974-1979 (Butterfly)
David Wharton – USC, 1988-91 (Individual Medley)
Steve Furniss – USC, 1971-75 (Individual Medley)
Erik Vendt – USC, 2000-03 (Individual Medley)
Tom Wilkens – Stanford, 1994-1998 (Individual Medley)
Kristian Ipsen – Stanford, 2011-2015 (1M, 3M, Platform)
Hongping Li – USC, 1986-89 (1M)
Joona Puhakka – Arizona State, 2002-06 (3M)
Micky Benedetti – Arizona State, 2006-08 (3M)
Brian Earley – USC, 1991-94 (Platform)
Ben Grado – Arizona, 2008-12 (Platform)
Coach of the Century
Peter Daland – USC, 1958-1992
Swimmer of the Century
Matt Biondi – California, 1984-87
Diver of the Century
Joona Puhakka – Arizona State, 2002-06
Organizers of next year's summer Olympics aren't the only ones feeling a time crunch. With the Games exactly one year away – they run Aug. 5-21, 2016 inRio de Janeiro – some top American athletes are in the homestretch of what has been a lifetime journey to get to the Olympics.
The young talent here represents some of the up-and-coming athletes in their sports. Four of the five aspire to be first-time Olympians. Few likely know the name of gymnastSimone Biles, although she's become the most dominant gymnast since the London Olympics.
Swimmer Tom Shields could be a contender to beat Michael Phelps – yes, he of Olympic records – in the 100-meter butterfly. And fencer Alexander Massialas, open water swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky and Wrestler Helen Maroulis look to make their marks.
To be sure, there will be plenty of news on the Games themselves in the next 12 months. The construction is behind. The Associated Press reported last week that the water where swimming and boating events will be held is polluted by human sewage and a health risk for athletes.
As Rio officials tout 2016 Olympic legacy, questions remain
As local organizers rush to prepare the venues, these athletes will spend the next year honing their skills and, in some cases, qualifying for their respective U.S. teams.
If you don't know them yet, that's OK. You will a year from now, if all goes according to their plans.
FOR THE WIN
Going for Gold podcast: Gymnast Aly Raisman's pursuit of another Olympic gold medal
Biles sets sights on Rio gold
The U.S. women's gymnastics team for Rio will almost certainly include Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, Fierce Fivers whose resumes include a team gold from London along with individual medals.
And likely, neither will be as favored to win Olympic gold again as will Simone Biles.
While Douglas, the all-around champion, and Raisman, who won gold on floor and bronze on the beam, were taking time off after London, Biles was becoming the most dominant female gymnast in the world.
"There was really nothing to worry about (when I first joined the senior team) because my name wasn't anything big but now every time I go into a meet, there's always expectations that I have set for myself and that Martha (Karolyi) and my coaches set for me," Biles said recently. "So now it's just a little more stressful but I think I do really well handling the pressure and sometimes I think I do better under pressure."
The 18-year-old doesn't just win — although that's all she's done for the past two years, including all-around titles at the last two world championships. She does it with near flawless execution on routines that are more difficult than any her competitors are attempting.
On vault, she has an Amanar, which includes a roundoff onto the board and a 2.5 twisting layout backflip. It's currently the most difficult vault and only a few in the world can do it routinely.
On floor, her best event, Biles' height and power on her tumbling passes put the 4-8 gymnast far above her competition.
Even on the uneven bars, Biles' least favorite event, her difficulty score is still among the best.
Barring injury, Biles will be heavily favored in Rio and likely face her biggest competition from her American teammates.
"I think it's an amazing feeling that the U.S. has so many competitors that are contenders," she said.
For now, they're trying to keep up with her. Biles won the AT&T American Cup in March by more than 4.4 points, a virtual rout in gymnastics where the difference between gold and silver can be tenths of a point.
Last month, Douglas and Raisman returned to competition in the United States for the first time after the London Olympics in the Secret Classic.
Biles won by nearly two points.
A potential challenger to Phelps
American swimming fans are used to paying rapt attention to the men's 100-meter butterfly. It's been Michael Phelps' specialty; he's won an Olympic gold medal in the event in each of the past three Games.
But he's not the only swimmer fans should keep an eye on heading into the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Meet Tom Shields.
Tom Shields celebrates after winning the 100 butterfly final at the USA Swimming Nationals. (Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Spor)
Shields, 24, has bested Phelps at the 100 fly on multiple occasions in the last year, as recently as May in Charlotte and previously at the U.S. national championship meet last August. Shields will be a medal contender in both the 100 fly and the 200 fly individual events — and at this point in his career, he is surely feeling a surge of confidence after these recent performances in the long-course domain.
Shields did not make the Olympic team in 2012. At team trials, he finished fourth in the 100 fly, behind Phelps, Tyler McGill, and Ryan Lochte; only the top two qualifiers in each event make the Olympic team.
Shields grew up in Huntington Beach, Calif., and swam collegiately at Cal, where he was a national champion many times over (and in various events). He currently holds American short-course records in the 50 fly, 100 fly and 200 fly. He trains with Cal men's coach Dave Durden.
- Nicole Auerbach
Gold medalist in open water
Of the wealth of USA swimmers who have a good chance at Olympic gold at Rio 2016, Jordan Wilimovsky qualified for the Games before anyone else.
Coming in first isn't exactly a foreign concept to the 21-year-old.
Wilimovsky, an open water swimmer, is the first swimmer and third U.S. athlete of any sport to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. He did so with a victory in the men's 10K race at the FINA World Championship in Kazan, Russia, in late July. He is only the second American to ever win the world title in the event.
Russia was Wilimovsky's first time swimming the 10K in international competition. Not that the field rattled him.
He finished the race in 1:49:48.2, almost 12 seconds ahead of silver medalist Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands and about 15 seconds ahead of American Sean Ryan, whose fourth-place finish also qualified him for Rio 2016.
Jordan Wilimovsky smiles after winning the gold medal in the men's 10km Open Water Swimming race at the FINA Swimming World Championships. (Photo: Anatoly Maltsev, EPA)
Though the native of Malibu, Calif., made the race look easy – 12 seconds is a world of time in swimming – he was just a touch away from even making the U.S. squad for worlds. He beat 2012 Olympian Alex Meyer by 0.006 seconds at the 2015 national championships to qualify.
"I'm just excited that I got to make the worlds team," Wilimovsky said. "It was a fun race."
After the world championships, Wilimovsky has U.S. Nationals at the beginning of August and then is taking a two week break before jumping into Olympic training for the rest of the year. He's red shirting his senior year at Northwestern University to prepare for Rio in Santa Monica with his club coach Dave Kelsheimer, who was also aTeam USA staff member in Kazan.
Now that he knows he's going to the Olympics, Wilimovsky is happy to have had the experience of winning at worlds.
"The competition is pretty tough here, it's going to be a lot of the same guys who are racing in Rio," he said. "So it's a great experience. I didn't know what to expect, but I was happy with the results."
- Ava Wallace
Maroulis better positioned this time around
Wrestler Helen Maroulis faces a big test next month at the world championships in Las Vegas.
Although she won't be wrestling in an Olympic weight class, she will likely wrestle some of the same women she'll compete against in the Olympics next summer should she make the team for Rio.
Already a two-time medalist at the world championships, Maroulis seeks to make her first Olympic team. Winning a medal at worlds would provide a boost of confidence.
"I just didn't have the experience or the knowledge to kind of better prepare myself," she said of falling short of making the U.S. Olympic team in 2012. "I think this time around (I've had) a lot of growth, a lot of challenges and I've seen a lot of progression in my wrestling."
Helen Maroulis, top, pins Marcia Andrades during an exhibition match at Times Square in New York. (Photo: Julie Jacobson, AP)
The 23-year-old from Rockville, Maryland is ranked No. 2 in the world in her weight class. Earlier this year she was chosen by wrestling's international federation to serve as a female ambassador for the sport. The federation has placed an emphasis on women's wrestling since the sport faced elimination from the Olympic program and lobbied successfully to win over IOC voters for a spot in the Games.
Women will have six weight divisions in Rio (up from four in 2012), the same as male freestyle wrestlers.
Maroulis says the changes have had a positive impact on the sport that will be seen at worlds.
"I think a lot of countries have put more resources and attention on the women's programs," she said. "I think the level of competition has definitely been raised and it's great for the growth of the sport."
- Roxanna Scott
Fencer has done some growing up
In the years since fencer Alexander Massialas was Team USA's youngest male athlete at the 2012 London Olympics, he has completed three years of college at Stanford.
So it's no surprise that since London the 21-year-old's game has gotten, well, smarter.
"I think I've learned how to improve with the level fencing in the world. The way I see it is it looks like level fencing is getting higher and higher because people are doing a lot more studying of individual fencers," Massialas said. "I've really learned how to prepare for competition a lot better. … It's really just about knowing all the matchups and knowing what people are successful."
Alexander Massialas celebrates after beating Daniel Gomez Tanamachi the men’s fencing individual foil semifinals during the 2015 Pan Am Games. (Photo: Jeffrey Swinger, USA TODAY Sports)
Massialas's studying is paying off.
In London, he finished 13th in the individual foil event and fourth along with the rest of Team USA's fencers.
Now ranked No. 3 in the world, the San Francisco native — who hasn't yet qualified for Rio 2016 — won a silver medal in the men's individual foil at the Senior World Championships in July and placed first in the same event at the Pan American Gamesa week later.
He attributes his recent results to increased time in the video room.
Preparation that used to include an occasional tape session ahead of a big tournament has become a few hours of video analysis each day for two to three weeks leading up to an event.
"I have a little bit more of a complete game than I did in London," Massialas said. "In London I was still very young. … I had a few things I was really good at, and I could move really well, but now I have a lot more in my repertoire and I think I know the game a lot better.
"I understand a lot more about what I need to do to be the best in the world."
Massialas is taking a leave of absence during his senior year in order to train for the Olympics at his home club, Massialas Foundation.
Fencers may qualify for the Olympics by being a member of one the top 4 teams in the world (USA is currently No. 4), or by being the highest-ranked fencer from his or her country.
- Ava Wallace