Monday, July 19, 2010

AvidaMetrics Back In The News, Coaches Weigh Pros And Cons

avidasports avidametrics swimming telemetry system sensor

AvidaMetrics, the revolutionary swimming telemetry system developed by Avidasports, was featured in a story in The New York Times. Back in February, I blogged about the announcement that the University of Michigan teams would be the first to use the system. Now, five months later, Michigan is still the only one in the pool.

The New York Times article sheds some light on to why coaches might be hesitant to dive in. In favor of the system, Bob Bowman said that having measurable parameters in a system like this, and being able to give feedback to the athlete is “really powerful.” Although, it was noted that Bowman has not used the system for himself. Mike Bottom, the Michigan men

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Olympic Gold-Medal Swimmer Charlie Hickcox Dies At Age 63

Charlie was a friend of Kast-A-Way Swimwear and a friend to Susan Allen who wanted me to share her thoughts on the blog:

I knew Charlie and spent some time with his family when I was helping Doc Counsilman with his retirement party from IU. Charlie was such a help to me in contacting all the old swimmers, divers and staff. When he did get into town, he felt that part of the weekend needed to be spent just hanging out at Doc & Marge’s house. When there, we had a chance to really get to know one another and I enjoyed the experience immensely. Charlie was so well respected from his teammates and coaches. I later learned that he went to visit his old fraternity and it meant the world to them as well. He was so grateful for his time spent with Doc and I U and felt that it made him the man he became.

It was one of those moments in life I’ll never forget and I’m very saddened by his passing.

- Susan Allen

You can read more about Charlie Hickcox from Swimming World and

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kast-A-Way Blog Joins ‘Swim Blogs United’ To Support College Swimming

If you are a swim blog reader, you might have noticed the Swim Blogs United (SBU) logo popping up in your RSS Reader. Swim Blogs United is an alliance of swimming websites that will focus on supporting collegiate level swimming from a journalistic and blogging front.

Along with the ongoing editorial support from all partner sites, Swim Blogs United is also dedicated to support and work hand-in-hand with the financial efforts of Go For 5!. Through the SBU logos found on partner sites, visitors are able to make tax-deductable donations to Go For 5! Donations will help Go For 5! raise awareness, fund facilities, endow scholarships, and do whatever it takes to save college swimming programs.

By helping to organize a swim blog movement, Swim Blogs United will be able to harness the net influence of our combined voices to reach a bigger audience!

So get your wallet out, and donate $5 in tax-deductible support to college swimming programs. You can follow this link, or click on the SBU logo in my sidebar to make your donation on a special Swim Blogs United section of Go For 5!

Related articles from Kast-A-Way Blog:
> What Happened to My Conference?
> RE: College Cuts are Coming

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Olympic Diver Jenny Keim Johansen Newest University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Inductee

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame put together a nice induction video for Olympic diver Jenny Keim. Watch the tribute video above, and you can also check out Jenny’s acceptance speech posted online.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Series, “Over & Under” Will Attract Larger Audience To College Swimming Plight

Over & Under ASU Swimming Series

What is it? Over & Under is a new series following the Arizona State University Swimming & Diving Team and their journey to rebuild the legendary swim program after a series of state-wide budget cuts threatened the team’s very existence. Produced by Ontracc LLC, and presented by The Sun Devil Swimming Association, this web series follows a swim team from their first dryland practice of the season all the way through to the spring conference meet. It’s filmed like a reality show (but without the zany gimmicks) and provides a real world view of a swim team known for their perseverance.

Why is it so important? This series will give a broader audience access to the personal struggles college teams are faced with on a daily basis. Because the men’s team at ASU was officially cut and then officially reinstated – the program serves as an inspiration to college teams everywhere. By publicizing the story of their perseverance, Over & Under could lead the rally cry for the full spectrum of “non-revenue” sports fighting to stay afloat.

Where to watch. Watch previews from the first episode on Facebook beginning May 2010. ‘Like’ the page to receive the latest announcements about the series (

Check out the series intro to get a feel for the show:

Monday, April 26, 2010

University Of Cincinnati Star Josh Schneider Predicts Program Will “Die Slowly” Without Scholarships

An article on The Swimmers Circle brought the story from to my attention. When Josh Schneider won the 50 yd Freestyle at this year’s NCAA Championships, he brought some well deserved attention to the University of Cincinnati with the team’s first national title since 1946.

Unfortunately, as previously announced by UC Athletics Director, Mike Thomas, all signed and current financial aid promises to swimmers and divers will be honored, but no new scholarships will be given out until the university is closer to balancing its athletics budget. Schneider compared the financial aid phase-out to “cutting off the blood to your heart… you’re going to die slowly” (source).

Schneider seems convinced that the program must reinstate scholarships in order to continue. He is further quoted in the article as saying:

“I think they will be able to get it back. I don’t know how long it will take. If not, they’ll have to cut it. They’re just waiting for it to implode.” (source)

Branden over at The Swimmers Circle brings up the argument about whether a team can support itself following a club model, or whether a scholarship cut is just the first step toward cutting the program. It seems the University of Cincinnati is in the unfortunate position of testing the theories. The nation will surely keep an eye on Cincinnati to see whether a program capable of producing national champions will fizzle without its blood supply.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

University of Florida Wins ASA U. Nationals

University of Florida Wins ASA U. Nationals

ATLANTA, GA – April 19, 2010 – This weekend, the top teams in the American Swimming Association University League, ASA U., came together again for the 6th Annual ASA U. Collegiate Club Swimming National Championships. At the top of the pack were the University of Florida, which came away with the men’s and combined titles, and James Madison University, which took the women’s title and finished 2nd overall. Penn State and the University of Connecticut followed close behind in team scoring. Northeastern University, one of the four founding clubs, competed at Nationals for the sixth time, a distinction unique to them.

American Swimming Association University League, ASA U.

Florida and JMU tag-teamed to sweep the meet’s eight relay events, with JMU setting a new national record in the women’s 200 medley relay at 1:53.40. UConn and Oregon joined with the two dominant clubs to drive down ASA U.’s Collegiate Club Swimming Nationals Records over the two-day competition. Ten records fell over the weekend out of the fifty on the books. Skylar Stroman topped the individual record-performances with three backstroke records (men’s 50 back – 23.49, 100 back – 51.54, and 200 back – 1:51.10). Ben Metcalfe of Oregon set two new breaststroke standards (50 breast – 26.41, 100 breast – 57.25, and Lisa Shelps of UConn broke two freestyle records (25 free – 11.46, 50 free 24.63). Nicole Brunner and Amanda Shirley served up Florida’s offering of two new records, setting respective marks of 1:01.90 in the 100 I.M. and 12.89 in the 25 back.

American Swimming Association University League, ASA U.

ASA U. continued its pattern of growth in the 2009-2010 schoolyear, growing its ranks from forty-three up to sixty-eight teams and offering nearly twice as many meets over the course of the season than in the previous year. ASA U. was founded in 2003, in response to the elimination of varsity swimming teams across the United States. Some of its clubs are former varsity teams that have been cut from their Universities

Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Men’s NCAA Championship Round-Up

> McCrory Brings Home NCAA Platform Diving Title
> 2010 Men’s NCAA Division I Championships Photo Gallery Swimming World
> NCAA Postponement Affects BYU Diver
> Worst Fears Confirmed: It’s the Norovirus
> California’s Nathan Adrian Sets Pool Record, Wins 100 Free Swimming World
> Attention all swim coaches Springboards And More
> 2010-2009 Men’s NCAA Comparison Swimming Science
> Friday Food Fact: Red Meat Garrett Weber-Gale

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Men’s D1 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships Postponed

There was talk earlier this week about a rumored (and later confirmed) case of several NCAA swimmers coming down with some sort of severe illness shortly after arriving in Columbus, OH for the 2010 Men’s D1 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Swimming World picked up the story, and then posted an update – including a press release from The Ohio State University Media Relations.

According to a tweet by Ricky Berens, the swim teams from Stanford, Arizona, and Texas were all on the same flight. On Monday, March 22nd, Ricky described the flight as “productive” and didn’t mention anything about an illness. Later, Berens tweeted that Arizona had stolen their dinner reservations – meaning they were eating at the same place.

36 hours later, 9 Arizona swimmers were hospitalized and several Texas and Stanford swimmers were also reportedly ill.

It’s easy to speculate that something must have been going around either at dinner or on the plane that could cause members of three NCAA swim teams to become so sick.

The latest news out of this story: an emergency coaches meeting was called for Wednesday night. According to, the meet has officially been postponed until Friday, March 26th at noon. The situation is so serious that the Center for Disease Control is not letting the infected swimmers into the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion until Friday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Check Out The University Of Tennessee Rave Pool

Rave pool university of tennessee

I was checking out an ad for the Tennessee Diving Camp, via the USA Diving Direct e-Newsletter, and I saw a photo of the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center lit up like a rave! No kidding? Do they really have a scaffold of stage lights mounted over the diving well? As you can see by the Pool < Rave Pool < Rave Meter, this natatorium is clearly stepping into new territory.


I’d like to see more of this kind of lighting treatment in world class facilities. Can you imagine walking in to the final heat of the 400 Freestyle Relay with these lights swirling overhead and “Sandstorm” blaring over the PA system? Other than at the latest Duel In The Pool, swimming hasn’t seen its fair share of dramatic lighting.

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