Sprint News 4/30/12: Another 40-Year Old on the Verge; Gary Hall Jr. to Hall of Fame

  8 Braden Keith | April 30th, 2012 | In Briefs, News

Dara Torres, Steve West, and Janet Evans may be soon joined by another Olympic Trials qualifier 40-and-over: Erica Braun out of Raleigh, North Carolina. This past weekend at Masters’ Nationals, she had a bit of a marathon weekend that included a National Age Group Record in the 100 IM of 57.95, and a 50-yard free time of 23.54. She also dropped over half-a-second from her 100 free with a 50.59. The Georgia Bulldog swimmer is just .03 seconds away from making an Olympic Trials cut in the long course 50 free, and one would imagine that this meet was simply her a few weeks into a taper that is aimed for the Charlotte Grand Prix. Watch those results to see if she can sneak a 26.39 to make the cut. If she’s dropping half-a-second off of her 100 yard free, one would imagine she’s got .03 in her 50…

…Though the official USOC Hall-of-Fame class of 2012 results won’t be announced until May 13th, Gary Hall Jr. is among one of the inductees in this year’s class. In his run at three Olympic Games, Hall won a total of 10 Olympic medals, which makes him one of only 9 Americans (and 8 swimmers from any country) in Olympic history to do so. In the process, he maintained an edge and personality of flare that made him one of the most popular personalities in the history of Olympic sports. We asked Gary about receiving the honor, and what it meant to him at the end of such a successful career.

“I’d like to start by thanking all of the many people that I swam with, and against. The outpouring of support through the voting process has been as moving as the induction itself.

“Much like the experience of winning Olympic medals, I find this honor to be humbling. I have a sincere reverence for the Olympic Games, and sport in general. To be recognized for having contributed to the Olympic movement, in some small way, is something that I am very proud of. “
It wasn’t easy. It was worth it.”
And that is a motto of success, a motto to live by…
…As one group from the Loughborough ITC returns from Cyprus, another headed out this week for a warm-weather camp in Florida. This group includes World Champion Liam Tancock, Lizzie Simmonds, and Joanne Jackson. This trip comes simultaneously with the news that  The Loughborough club is one of Britain’s most successful with 7 out of the 29 individual swimmers on the British Olympic squad so far. Also today, they learned the time table for a major new appointment at the club. It was announced in December that the Director of Swimming at the club, Ian Armiger, was leaving to become the Technical Director of Cayman Islands swimming. Today, the club announced that the position was officially open for applications,w ith a new appointment to come immediately after the Olympics…

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Erika Braun qualified this morning in the 50 Free with a 26.32 at UNC Chapel Hill. It was awesome!

My favorite Gary Hall, Jr. moment was when a reporter asked him what his “race strategy” was for the LC 50. After looking at her for a moment, he said “Well, I thought I’d try to get to the wall first.”

So I have to share a very funny story. I received a call last Friday from the USOC, informing me that I would receive a call at 10 am on Monday letting me know if I’ve made the Hall of Fame cut. It’s a conference call with a few folks and they inform me that I made the Hall of Fame and then provided details about the induction ceremony in July. Of course I was ecstatic! Exactly 6 hours and 7 minutes after receiving the call, my phone rings. It’s the USOC. They say, “We forgot to tell you… Don’t tell anyone!” Ha! The funny thing is that I only told one person (my wife) in between those USOC calls.… Read more »

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Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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