Earlier today, we found out that Katie Hoff would be leaving the post-grad group at Fullerton to return to training with Paul Yetter at T2 Aquatics.
Now, we’ve learned that three more of that huge training group are leaving.
World Record holder Kate Ziegler is returning to work with coach Ray Benecki and the FISH swim club based out of McLean, Virginia in the DC area. Ziegler trained with Benecki for 9 years. That included winning back-to-back World Championships in the 800 and 1500 freestyles in 2005 and 2007. Ziegler is currently the World Record holder in the long course 1500 free, which was set in 2007 (also when swimming with Benecki). That’s one of the few World Records to survive the suit era.
Meanwhile, breaststroke comebacker Ed Moses and Whitney Myers (Burnett) will both be headed south to work with the once-sizable post-grad program at the University of Arizona.
Similar to the others we’ve seen, this is a return to old stomping grounds for Myers. She was an Arizona collegiate swimmer, and it was while training there that she had her biggest international success – out-touching Hoff for the 200 IM gold at the 2006 Pan Pac Championships.
Myers’ last major headlines came during the 2009 FINA World Cup Series where she broke the American Record in the short course 200 IM in Singapore. In 2011, she hit a bit of a slump and finished with a best 200 IM time of 2:14.13, which ranked 49th in the world.
Moses is moving on to his 3rd training group since his return. He began working with Dave Salo at USC, then came to FAST, and is now moving on to Arizona alongside Myers. Since coming back, he has struggled to find the rhythm that won him two Olympic medals in 2000. In his most recent meet, the Austin Grand Prix, he failed to final in the 200 breaststroke and placed 13th in prelims of the 100 (before scratching the final).
Moses always had a very strong taper in his first incarnation as a swimmer, so he can’t be counted out yet.
Of the four swimmers that are leaving, it’s important to keep in mind that only one came to FAST to work with the head-coach of the post-grad group, Jon Urbanchek. Insiders feel that this streamlined group will be a huge benefit to those who remain (Michael Klueh Tyler Clary, Emily Brunemann, Robert Margalis, Matt McLean, among others). A group of mostly men, with a few women thrown in, is right in his wheelhouse after so many years as the head of the Michigan men’s program.
The timing so close to Trials seems odd at first thought. Consider, though, that three out of the four changes (Hoff, Ziegler, and Myers) are going to work with coaches/programs who they spent many years with, so the transition will be muted. Moses, the fourth switch, is only recently back into training anyway, so he still may be searching for as close to a familiar program as-is-possible after so many years out of the game.