Practice + Pancakes: Texas Men Taper Practice for WUGs

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.

2019 is going to be an exciting summer for swimming fans. With so many major meets on the horizon, there will be no shortage of fast swimming around the world. The first of those major international meets is the World University Games in Naples, Italy, which starts on July 5. That means for Americans, taper is now. Luckily, the Texas men were kind enough to let us sit in on one of their taper workouts, where they were doing a little pace work.

In the main WUG group there was John Shebat (200 IM), Austin Katz (200 back), Dean Farris (400 free relay), Tate Jackson (100 free), and Jeff Newkirk (800 free relay), as well as Townley Haas who is prepping for World Champs (200 free, 400 free relay). Everyone did about the same thing for their morning work after warm up: somewhere between 2-3×50 @ 1:30, pacing for your event. Among the highlights:

A. Katz, 26.8-27.2 50 backstroke

J. Shebat, 28 low 50 back, 34.5 50 breast

Dean Farris, 24 low 50 free

Tate Jackson, 24.4-24.6 50 free

Townley Haas, 25 high 50 free

A surprise WUG competitor in Austin was Zach Yeadon, who trained at UT over the summer so he could race many of his WUG teammates as well as the UT distance stars such as Clark Smith and Chris Yeager. Yeadon had a set of 8×100 @ 1:20 strong with 2×50 EZ in between, holding 1:00-1:01 on the 100’s.

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What’s up with Townley? He’s doesn’t seem himself this year… hope he shows up at Worlds prepared.


Not sure what you expect from Haas. He was doing 200 pace from a push and went 25.9. If that’s his 200 pace, Beidermann’s record is in serious jeopardy.

… of course, if they were all at actual pace, that would mean Austin Katz should shatter 1:50 in the 200 back this summer, and we know that isn’t going to happen. Even assuming his true 200 splits will be a bit slower, Townley will be fine.


Townley Haas has the most aesthetically pleasing freestyle I’ve seen since Dara Torres and Alexandr Popov. Just a pleasure to watch.


Umm, no. Clark’s freestyle is way more technically “pleasing” and effortless.


Haas has an efficient stroke but not as nice as Clark’s to watch …..thats clear

Right Dude Here

And Peter van den Hoogenband should be on your list of old legends with perfect freestyles too.


comment image

Right Dude Here

Oh my god I’ve been seeing your comments for as long as I’ve been on this site and just now figured out what those 4 random letters are.

I’m smart everybody!


Love PVDH, and his stroke clearly worked for his body type, but wasn’t his head quite high in the water by today’s standards? Not saying he would’ve been faster with a different technique; just talking aesthetics and “looking fast.”


Franziska van Almsick, Therese Alshammar


and Thorpey of course ……

Texas Tap Water

Lol no


Nah bro Phelps does with his 1,2 and long pause


Townley has to be the biggest taper swimmer alive

Ol' Longhorn

He should have started his summer taper after the first 250 of his 500 free at NCAAs.


I couldn’t believe that Haas went from a 1:39 in the 200 yard freestyle in January to a 1:30 at NCAAs. He just needed to rest, it was amazing.


That’s a different between ‘need rest’ and ‘don’t care’ which one is it?


It was need rest.


Ryan Lochte would like a word with you


Haas’ in season times are worthless for the purposes of analysis.


than suddenly he blasts a 1.43 on the relay / 47.7 on the other relay and a 1.43/144 mid on the individual 200 ….


Hopefully he can lose the dad bod he inherited at NCAAs

Steve Nolan

When did Richard Dean Anderson start hosting these?



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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