Stanford All-American Tom Kremer will redshirt what would be his senior season, moving to Arizona State to train with Bob Bowman in search of an Olympic berth with Israel.
Kremer would have been one of the top returning swimmers on the Cardinal roster, but is also a top contender for Israel’s Olympic team in the sprint freestyle events, both individual and relay. To help his Olympic qualifying, Kremer will delay his senior season at Stanford, taking a ‘redshirt’ year off in order to focus specifically on swimming long course.
“I’ve been trying to juggle both college swimming and representing Israel at some international meets for the past few years,” Kremer told SwimSwam, “but the timing of the collegiate season unfortunately made it pretty difficult to post faster long course times within Israel’s qualification periods.
“Stanford’s training has done wonders for me, but to do the best that I can long course, I need at least a whole year of long course focused training.”
In order to do that, Kremer will head south, to Arizona State University and the burgeoning professional group under U.S. Olympic Coach Bob Bowman.
Bowman is known for his work with Olympic hero Michael Phelps, and Phelps will be the mainstay of that pro group in Tempe moving forward. Also training at Arizona State will be Kremer’s Stanford teammate David Nolan, who graduated in the spring with the fastest short course 200 IM time in history, even better than Phelps himself.
“Bob’s workouts and Scott Armstrong’s workouts at Stanford have similar styles,” Kremer said. “Scott’s training definitely worked well for me, so I knew that Bob’s training would be a good fit, too.”
Kremer actually made the jump to join Bowman before Bowman made the move to Tempe. Kremer says he took the spring quarter off at Stanford, moving to Baltimore to join Bowman’s former North Baltimore Aquatic Club program. Bowman took the head coaching job at Arizona State not long after, and Kremer says he was thrilled when Bowman asked him to join his new group in Arizona.
“I’ve always had trouble with my closing speed at the end of 200s, and Bob is known for his swimmers having great mid-distance closing speed,” said Kremer. “Plus it’s such an unbelievably fast training group, which has helped me refocus my goals and redefine what I thought were the limits of the sport. I’m really lucky to be training with such a focused and elite group of athletes.”
Kremer will attend some long course meets this winter with hopes of hitting times fast enough to make Israel’s Olympic team. He says he’ll also travel to Israel in December, when the nation is hosting the Short Course European Championships in its brand-new facility.
Kremer is a former Israeli national record-holder in the 4×100 free relay, though Israel’s World Championships team narrowly bested that mark last month. With best times of 49.95 and 1:48.76 in the 100 and 200 frees, respectively, Kremer should be very much in the hunt to make Israel’s freestyle relays for next summer’s 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.