…Danish sprint star Jeanette Ottesen has dropped the 100 free from her schedule for December’s Short Course World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. This is significant because in long course, she is the defending World Champion in the event from Shanghai last summer. Ottesen told Reuters in Europe today that she didn’t feel like she was in good enough shape to race the 100, but could still pull off a passable 50. This comes after feeling fatigued when swimming 6 events at last week’s European Championships, including bronze in the 50 and silver in the 100. She also won gold in both of Denmark’s relays – the 200 free and 200 medley. In Istanbul, it sounds like she will focus on relays, along with the 50 free and 50 fly…
…Missy Franklin has been nominated for Sports Illustrated’s Fans’ Choice award for inspiring performer of 2012. She’s currently ranked among the top 5 in the voting, along with NBA basketballer Jeremy Lin, British tennis player Andy Murray, British distance runner Mo Farah, and NFL’er Peyton Manning who plays for Franklin’s hometown Broncos. You can vote for her here…
…Grand Canyon University is coming to Division I next season, and their women’s swim team will join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2013-2014. That conference will grow to 11 teams, with Denver also joining the conference next fall. GCU under coach Steve Schaffer has grown into a Division II power; the men were 5th at last year’s NCAA Championships and knocked off Pac-12 team Arizona State at a dual meet earlier this fall. Both the men and the women are ranked #2 in the latest CSCAA poll. The WAC doesn’t offer men’s swimming, which means that the MPSF is a likely destination for the Lopes men, though that is still under negotiation.
“We are very excited about the move. We have worked very hard over the last four years to build a successful program based on the idea that we are our swimmers’ last coaches and our job is to help them be successful in not just swimming but all aspects of their lives,” Shaffer reacted after the announcement.
“That will continue to be our approach as we move to DI. Building a program is a process, and we know this will be a challenge that we will meet head on. I think our women’s program has quite a way to go in terms of competing with some very good team in the WAC, but we will be fully funded and will begin using those extra 5.9 scholarship to recruit with immediately. Our men will be a bit more competitive from the beginning in terms of conference level swimming. As we build through the four year transition level we will work hard to position our teams to have a presence at the NCAA Championships when we are eligible to do so. Until then, there is a lot to work to get done.”
The Pac-12 is an outside possibility as well. WAC women’s members for 2013-2014 are:
New Mexico State
San Jose State