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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GoGophers
2 years ago

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

sven
Reply to  GoGophers
2 years ago

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.

Mikeh
Reply to  sven
2 years ago

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

PsychoDad
Reply to  Mikeh
2 years ago

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

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago

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

Right Dude Here
Reply to  Mikeh
2 years ago

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

Pvdh
Reply to  Right Dude Here
2 years ago

comment image

Right Dude Here
Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

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!

M L
Reply to  Right Dude Here
2 years ago

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.”

Aquajosh
Reply to  Right Dude Here
2 years ago

Franziska van Almsick, Therese Alshammar

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Right Dude Here
2 years ago

and Thorpey of course ……

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Mikeh
2 years ago

Lol no

Sqimgod
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
2 years ago

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

Bruh
2 years ago

Townley has to be the biggest taper swimmer alive

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Bruh
2 years ago

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

Mikeh
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

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.

Oldskool
Reply to  Mikeh
2 years ago

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

Swimfan
Reply to  Oldskool
2 years ago

It was need rest.

Eagleswim
Reply to  Bruh
2 years ago

Ryan Lochte would like a word with you

Horninco
Reply to  Bruh
2 years ago

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

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Horninco
2 years ago

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 ….

Swimmer
Reply to  Bruh
2 years ago

Hopefully he can lose the dad bod he inherited at NCAAs

Horninco
Reply to  Bruh
2 years ago
Samesame
2 years ago

“The Australian kid that won the Olympics ………..”

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Samesame
2 years ago

he he , funny Eddie

Lpman
2 years ago

What a monster training squad.

I still think Eddie needs to wear a straight-brimmed hat slightly to the side like Shane Tusup did. That’s the only thing that could possibly make him a better coach.

Mikeh
Reply to  Lpman
2 years ago

Hahaha lol

ERVINFORTHEWIN
2 years ago

Coleman surpassed himself this time around ….loved it . Haas will be ready for Worlds ….as long as he Can Bring the relay home in a 1.43 high ….👌

Horninco
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
2 years ago

Looking forward to Haas breaking 145 from a flat start. It’s time. If only he had better starts and turns

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Horninco
2 years ago

the guy could be 1.43 with better turns & underwaters …..thats obvious . Hope he gets to a 1.44 or lower this time around or next year .

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
2 years ago

Some people just have the ability to kick UW and some don’t. Townley doesn’t, Missy didn’t, Peirsol didn’t. It’s not like these individuals didn’t work at it.

Horninco
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
2 years ago

Reaction time and explosiveness just aren’t his strong suits

The Man Himself
2 years ago

Once again, thanks for the amazing video Coleman.
I’d love to see some practice+pancakes with some of the top club teams around Texas (Lakeside, Nitro, Katy, etc.)

Superfan
Reply to  The Man Himself
2 years ago

Coleman lives in Austin I think so you will see more Texas

Acc85
2 years ago

I would think someone would have said this by now but not a single one of those times are impressive at all for those guys. Clearly none of them were actually going 200 pace (as was pointed out before, Katz isn’t breaking 150). The only one who may have was shebat because 34.5 is slow for a 50 on 1:30 unless you are actually pacing.

For reference I’m a former D1 swimmer at a top 10 school who has scored at NCs individually. We had guys who could hit those times mid set mid season let alone during taper. Granted I have no idea what actual directions were and I know they could all be much faster if they… Read more »

Bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Acc85
2 years ago

Hey, just to clarify, their times are long course and not short course. Sorry, seems you got confused.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Bobthebuilderrocks
2 years ago

He didn’t get confused —- he said Katz isn’t breaking 1:50. 34.5 is slow, considering Phelps and Lochte used to split 33 high in a 200 IM race and not with a minute’s rest. As for the 24 mid-high on the 100 pace frees, that’s what Chalmers will hit on the back end 50 in the race. Again, not with a minute’s rest.

Jabroni Pepperoni
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

“If you’re not splitting WR or Olympic winning splits in practice unshaved and in a speedo, you’re slow”

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Jabroni Pepperoni
2 years ago

Considering these guys are all NCAA champions, 1-2 weeks out from their taper meet, and getting 1:30 send-offs, yeah, they’re slow.

Bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

You’re extremely interesting. You apply what you said to part of what I had to say. Obviously Katz isn’t breaking 1:50, we’re not stupid. I just doubt that he had teammates going 26.8 50’s of back long course at all during the middle of the season. Judging by his name of “ACC85”, Id think the only schools there with swimmers who could possibly do that are NC State and Louisville. If the “85” is indicative of anything, it’s either when he graduated or when he was born. I seriously doubt anyone during those time periods could do a 50 back in 26.8 long term course in the middle of the season. Unless it was the suit era.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Bobthebuilderrocks
2 years ago

I am extremely interesting.

The Man Himself
Reply to  Acc85
2 years ago

Give us your name and maybe someone will actually believe you.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Acc85
2 years ago

Thanks for letting us know that individual NCAA champions like Shebat, Smith, Farris, and others are “not impressive” and “underwhelming”.

mclovin96
Reply to  Acc85
2 years ago

Keyboard warriors never fail to amaze me with stupid quotes that no-one believes

sscommenter
Reply to  Acc85
2 years ago

hardooooooo

fkhjgghvc
Reply to  Acc85
2 years ago

Agreed on the 34.5. I was a 2:19 LC 2breast guy and I wouldve been right there with a multi time NCAA champ. Admittedly in back but I have no doubt that shebat could go a 2:15 in a LC 2breast based on his IM. Taper is weird. Swimming is weird.

MTK
Reply to  fkhjgghvc
2 years ago

Did the possibility occur to you that Shebat may not have been going all out, but rather, purposely aiming at a goal split for his 200IM. 34.5 is pretty damn good – not 1:54/1:55 good, but probably a split for someone going 1:58/1:59, which is still incredibly fast.

Dcswim
2 years ago

Great vid! They keep getting better and better. Maybe hit some rising mid-majors soon?

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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