Practice + Pancakes: Team Elite, Chinese Pros Suit Up + Throw Down

SwimSwam wants to give you an inside look at what a normal day-in-the-life looks like for any given swimmer, and how that differs from team to team or city to city. We send our head of production, Coleman Hodges, to be a fly on the wall at practice, then relay what he discovered back to you over pancakes. Or at least breakfast.

With October rolling around, most teams are getting back into the swing of training. For Team Elite in San Diego, that means finally emerging from the gym, where they’ve been building some early season strength, to suit up and swim fast. Michael Chadwick, along with recent TE transplants Jacob Pebley and Lia Neal, got pancakes with me after their first “quality” set of the season and talked me through what each individual workout was like.

For Chadwick, he did the sprint version of the workout, which meant a combination of 50’s and 100’s fast. His workout was highlighted by a WR time of 45.6 in the 100 freestyle (with fins and paddles, minor detail) and a subsequent trip to the trashcan to “expel” some lactic acid.

Lia, who on the day of the practice had lived in San Diego for all of 72 hours, she did the sprint version of the sprint version of the workout. This meant her fast efforts were all 50’s. She didn’t have to go it alone however, as she was joined by Chinese and world record holder Liu Xiang (or Kristy), the first and only woman to dip under 27 seconds in the 50m backstroke.

Pebley, alongside the 2 other visiting Chinese national teamers Wang Shun (or Steve, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 200 IM) and Yan Zibei (2018 Asian Games silver medalist, 50 & 100 Breast), took on the mid distance version of the workout. This was highlighted by a 200 of stroke fast, in which Pebley lined up with Wang Shun and went at it, Pebley swimming a 200 back (1:59.9) and Shun swimming a 200 iM (2:01.7). Zibei also swam a 200 breast, touching at 2:13.6.


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5 years ago

Glad I stayed to the end to see Yan Z’s 2:13 200 BR in practice. That guy barely disturbs the water–really nice technique

Ryan Hurley
5 years ago

Why give the Chinese OUR secret sauce Marsh? First Israel, now China?

Reply to  Ryan Hurley
5 years ago

I’m sure as soon as you pull out your checkbook and pay him to not coach the Chinese, he’d be happy to stop.

The most un-American thing for him to do would be to not coach the Chinese swimmers “for good of mother America.” He’s a private citizen trying to maximize his wealth and his performance as a coach.

Reply to  Braden Keith
5 years ago

not to mention learning from other experts

Hint of Lime
5 years ago

Didn’t realize Neal had switched from Meehan to Marsh. Temporary or any reason (move)?

Reply to  Hint of Lime
5 years ago

Why would Meehan be interested post college with his group of swimmers ? And a D1 championship team.
Smart move she will have more focus towards her specific needs of sprinting with Marsh if she’s moved permanently.
While I’m not a marsh fan, mainly after butchering Lochte and clary (but that’s there own faults) he eats the job done with pro’s who swim one event or are sprint based.
Good luck to Lia if she’s moved.

Reply to  Hint of Lime
5 years ago

Pretty sure Neal was there for the TYR unveiling of the Venzo that had happened that week. She has been known to travel around and train with other coaches and teams (I believe she spent a good block last year with Texas).

5 years ago

Don’t read that headline too quickly. I thought this was a video of them throwing up.

5 years ago

Take away the foreign kids, not a very good group?

Reply to  Superfan
5 years ago

Lia Neal, Michael Chadwick, and Jacob Pebley? Seems pretty solid to me!

Reply to  CraigH
5 years ago

Leah got there 72 hours prior. Is she there permanently? It isn’t like they have the same events and therefore no one to push them! How long are Chinese there? I get the impression that people are in and out of there but not much stability!

Reply to  Superfan
5 years ago

That’s probably why the foreign athletes are there? To improve the training environment? Good for Marsh to bring in people to challenge these athletes in different ways.

Reply to  Superfan
5 years ago

They also have Baker, Marius Kusch (when not in school), Kendly stewart and occasionally Dylan Carter and Katie Mielli

Reply to  Superfan
5 years ago

I guess they wanted to take the advantage of the training.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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