Blair Hopkins, Sr, Diver|
Feb. 23, 2010 FRESNO, Calif.
On our way to Austin! Just got done eating lunch at Mcallisters, home of the best sweet tea EVER! Mmm! Visited the Alamo this morning before practice. It was much smaller than I expected. I guess not everything's "bigger in Texas". :) It was still cool though. It's so cold here! It was hailing while we were at the alamo and it's actually supposed to be snowing in Austin when we get there today. Thank goodness we're at an indoor pool otherwise we'd all be popsicles on the boards! We're all really looking forward to platform tomorrow! We've all worked really hard this season to be ready for it! It will be nice to see all of our efforts paying off. Platform practice tonight and then prelims and finals tomorrow, then back to San Antonio tomorrow night to support the swimmers!! We've got a busy week ahead of us! Go dogs!!!
Dede Torres, So, Swimmer
The Things my Grandpa Has Taught Me
Recently my grandpa celebrated his 80th birthday and all of our family and friends came together to help him celebrate. On this occasion our aunt asked us to share a few of our favorite stories or our fondest memories we have with Grandpa Phil. However, in a totally uncharacteristic way, I had no idea what I was going to say. How can I limit all of these amazing stories I have with my wonderful grandfather to just one? My brother was going to tell of how my grandpa taught him to drive his 1950's pickup in the back 40 acres. My cousin was going to share how Grandpa always brings her candies, even when grandma already said no. But I couldn't limit myself. So in a totally characteristic way I decided to be different. I was going to share one of the many things that my grandfather taught me about life. The first thing that came to mind is that Grandpa Phil always taught me to respect and appreciate the morning hours. I remember going to visit my grandparents and Grandpa Phil would always be up at 5 in the morning and he still does. In the morning, his routine is always the same. Get up, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and go work out in the yard until grandma wakes up. Every morning was the same and when we visited, it remained the same. I remember waking up to go out with him and it would be just Grandpa Phil, my brother and I. We would work for hours in a peaceful silence saying nothing but at the same time, saying everything. As the morning hours went by we would see the dew on the grass, the fog in the air, and the bracing cold would fill our lungs. We watched the sunrise together as the sky turned the most beautiful colors. As we worked along side Grandpa Phil, we learned a few things. Number One, the mornings can be the most productive time or the least, depending on you attitude. Number Two, you don't have to tell people you're working hard, let them figure it out themselves and hope they can match your example. Number Three, always ALWAYS keep working until the work is done. As I progress through I life, I try to stay as true to the values my grandpa has taught me. Now as I enter into the most challenging part of my athletic career, I find the example my grandpa has lived his whole life are truly words of wisdom to live by.
'Dogs Eager to Take on What Lies Ahead
The Fresno State swimming and diving team boarded the bus at 10:00 a.m. this morning as they head to L.A. to battle against UCLA and Kansas. The team has been through some strenuous two-a-day training since their last meet on Nov. 21 and look primed and ready to match up against two big name schools tomorrow afternoon at Spieker Aquatic Center.
The Bulldogs hope to use this meet to gain some momentum leading into next week's very first home meet since the return of the program, where they will face-off against Pacific.
The `Dogs will actually look forward to hosting two home meets next week as they host Pacific on the 14th at 4:00 p.m. and Cal State Bakersfield on the 16th at 12:00 p.m. Both of these meets will be free admission and held at Clovis North swim facilities. This is a great opportunity for the community to come out and get involved in the swimming and diving program! Hope to see you there!
Bulldogs Ranking at the Top of WAC in Times
Up to this point of the season the `Dogs have many swimmers and divers that rank among the top 10 in WAC times and scores, showing how far the teams progress has come.
Freshman Stacey Luke comes in at ranks 10th overall in the 1-meter dive with a score of 250.20, which she recorded on Oct. 23 against Fresno Pacific.
Freshman Dani Yoho recorded a time of 23.64 in the 50 freestyle event, which was good enough to put her name in the Fresno State record book as fastest all-time in that respected event and puts her at third overall for the season within the WAC. This time is a mere 12 hundredths of a second off of this year's top time held by San Jose State's Meghan McCurley.
Sophomore Heidi Gjoen puts herself towards the top of the WAC's best time's list in the 100 and 200 backstroke events as she sits third overall in the 100 with a time of 57.51 and second overall in the 200 with a time of 2:01.32. Both scores were recorded on Nov. 19, 2009 on the first day of the Toshiba Classic.
Freshman Britney Vogel ranks second amongst all WAC swimmers in the 100 breaststroke. Vogel's time of 1:03.56 recorded at the Toshiba Classic is less than a second off of the fastest time in this event this season. Vogel also posted a time of 2:19.43 in the 200 breaststroke which is good enough for fifth-best time this season in the WAC.
Senior Mary Tess Taylor also ranks in the top 10 in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. Taylor is 10th overall in the 100 with a time of 1:06.27 and ninth overall in the 200 with a time of 2:23.05 putting two Bulldog swimmers in the hunt to score major dual meet points for the `Dogs.
Freshman Rayanne Nguyen has made her mark amongst WAC competitors in the 100 and 200 butterfly events as she ranks seventh overall in the 100 with a time of 57.41 and fifth overall in the 200 with a time of 2:04.69.
Click on the link below to see an article published in The Placer Herald about Alexis Melnikov signing her National Letter of Intent to compete for Fresno State swimming in the 2010-11 season!!!
The Bulldog swim team competes today at the Toshiba Classic in Long Beach, Calif., where they will face off against 25 schools including tops schools such as Cal and Stanford. At practice on Monday the 'Dogs all seemed to be ready for the challenge. Spirits were high and the swimmers all seemed to be in the zone.
Coach Fleck was excited to get the opportunity to face off against some tough opponents, including Cal, Stanford and Cal Baptist. Fleck continues to watch her young team improve and develop every week.
On the diving side coach Taryn Patrick had her divers practicing off the 7- and 10-meter platforms at Clovis West High School. Patrick explained to me that none of our divers have never competed in 7- and 10-meter dives until this year, so we will be hitting the boards hard in preparation for the WAC Championships. All of the swimmers sat and cheered as Jill Mason, Stacey Luke, Kendra Weeks and Blair Hopkins practice handstand dives off the top boards.
For Toshiba Classic results and stories check out gobulldogs.com Thursday-
Dede Torres, So., Swimmer
10 Ways to know you're a Fresno State Swimmer
1. You live in a cloud of chlorine like Pigpen in Peanuts
Dede Torres, So., Swimmer
A lot of things come with the territory of being a swimmer. An insane goggle tan that lasts year round, 6 a.m. practices in a very cold pool, and the omnipresent smell of chlorine. But there are a lot of things that also can be associated with the aquatics community that outsiders have no idea exist. Bleached out eyebrows and sore shoulders just become a part of our how we live our daily lives. Total commitment is key to being a good swimmer.
Not only do we swim thousand upon thousands of yards a day, we also get out of the pool and participate in the peril we swimmers like to call "dry land training." Aptly named, this aspect of our training takes us completely out of our element make us (pardon the cliché) fish out of water. It's running, jumping, lifting, and the occasional somersaulting all to the dismay of those involved. It's a well-known fact, and the source of many inside jokes, that swimmers are very uncoordinated. And when I say uncoordinated I mean to say that our breaststroker's trip over their shoelaces, our butterflyer's manage to find every crack in the pavement and fall over them, our backstroker's tumble out of chairs, and our freestylers (myself especially) cannot seem to manage jumping over a simple box without dire consequences.
Maybe it's the hyper-flexible ankles or maybe it's the low impact aspect of our sport that makes swimmers so goofy when any of us get on land. Even great swimmers like Michael Phelps and Dara Torres will admit that they are ungraceful when they leave the safety of the water. Perhaps a lot of us swimmers would be better off if we never left the water. Just two days ago our long distance swimmer was doing step-ups for our dry land training, a simple task for the average person with any sort of athletic ability. Except Jen! Not even five steps into the exercise and Jen is down with a badly twisted ankle and a few slipped choice utterances. The next day in weights, I was trying to improve my vertical jump by subjecting myself to the worst kind of drill ever created by man: box Jumps. The trick is to make it over the edge and onto the top of the box, but apparently I missed this part of the explanation. I was on the last box, which is slightly higher than the rest, and, sadly, I don't quite make it. I caught the edge and fell on my right shin and my left knee, which instantly started the process of calling me an insane idiot to my face and "Now look what you've done! All for this for swimming! That is it! Me and your left knee over here are going to let you know just how angry we are." But Jen's wipeout and my fall are sure to be surpassed by the awkwardness that is Tiffanie. She is so uncoordinated she was actually hit by a car! Her first mistake was that she got out of the pool. The second mistake was that she traveled back to her dorm on her bike. Needless to say, while crossing the street, she was hit by the car and flew into the windshield, which sliced into her leg and elbow. The funny thing is, all she remembers thinking after it happened was, "oh no, my money came out of my pocket. I better go pick it up."
Yes, swimmers are quite unique people. Proud of our accomplishments, like the most decorated Olympian and the oldest Olympian to win a medal, we strive to better ourselves not only as athletes but as people too. Our commitment to excellence is matched only by our will to win. We compete, train, and swim to the best of our ability everyday even when the going gets tough because good swimmers find a way to make it to the wall. Now the challenge is if we can find a way to not trip over it when we get out!
The Bulldogs are currently closing in on multiple school records at the 2009 WAC Championships in San Antonio, Texas. With the conclusion of the meet as I write, the team has been fulfilling their most important goals to significantly improve times in all events. Freshman swimmer Heidi Gjoen has closed in on two school records in the 500 freestyle event and the 100 backstroke event, which she placed fourth in this morning to earn herself a coveted spot in the finals later this evening. Watch Heidi and the team's progress as they improve times and near school records.
200 medley relay: Heidi Gjoen, Jordan Morillo, Stephanie Hatayama, and Dede Torres: Wednesday, Feb. 25 in San Antonio, Texas.
100 Yard Backstroke: Heidi Gjoen, Friday, Feb. 27 for the preliminaries at WAC Championships in San Antonio, Texas.
200 yard backstroke: Heidi Gjoen, Saturday, Feb. 28. Gjoen shattered the nearly decade old record and placed third in the finals.
Countdown to WAC: Six Days
There are just eight days until the WAC Championships begin, on Wednesday, Feb. 25, in San Antonio, Texas at the Palo Alto Natatorium. The indoor aquatic center is located on the campus of Palo Alto College and has served as the site for the conference championship event for many years. A total of nine teams will compete in the 4-day event beginning Wednesday with the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay. Each day will consist of a series of swimming preliminaries followed by diving and then the finals for each event to follow.
Fans can subscribe to live streaming of the finals each night from San Antonio by visiting www.wac.tv.org, or by visiting the active link on the swimming and diving page at www.gobulldogs.com.
All nine competing WAC teams have a variety of records entering Wednesday evening's launch of the event. Many teams will be meeting with competition for the first time this season as well.
Sightseeing in San Antonio
Get a taste of the southwest!
As the site of the WAC swimming and diving championships, first time visitors and fans can familiarize themselves with the hot happenings of the southwest while taking in some high competitive swimming and diving cheering on your Fresno State Bulldogs.
San Antonio has a variety of attractions to offer guests, ranging from fabulous restaurants to historical landmarks and activities for all ages.
When divers are warming up and starting a meet, they must also choose which specific dives they want to perform in the six dives they are allotted on each board, for a total of 12 dives in a dual meet. Dives are broken down into categories and ranked on difficulty. The dives are grouped into starting positions and position of entrance into the water, i.e. - forward dives, backward, inward, etc.
Each dive is given a "degree of difficulty" rating. An easier dive would might have a 1.2 whereas a more complicated dive might have a 2.4 rating. This measure of difficulty is used when calculating a diver's score. The diver takes the board, completes the dive, and is given a series of scores from 1-10. That number of scores is added together and then multiplied by the degree of difficulty of the dive, to give the student-athlete their points for that round of diving.
As the debut swimming and diving team's first season comes to an end, head coach Jeanne Fleck reflects on the last four months of meets and competition. With the WAC Championships on the horizon, the team is preparing more than ever and there is high anticipation as this will be the first conference championship meet for Fresno State's swimmers and divers. Fleck looks back on the season and looks ahead to the final event of the year.
On how she rates Fresno State's first year back as a women's swimming and diving program, and its performance in this final meet of the regular season:
"I'm very happy with how much we have improved from the first meet until the last meet. It's been just an amazing sight to see, because a lot of these girls hadn't swam in two, three or four years, competitively, since high school, and were never club swimmers, so high school was it. As a coach, to watch that improvement, it's been awesome.
"Yeah, we haven't won a meet. We didn't expect to win a meet this first year. I got the job in May. I didn't have a lot of options. We had maybe two recruits. That was it. So I'm really happy. It's been wonderful. I thanked (San Jose State head coach) Sage (Hopkins) at the beginning (of the meet). He really let me piggy-back on his schedule. He had such a great team this year. It was really nice of him to let me do that. Coming in so late, I couldn't get a lot of meets scheduled, and Sage let us come in on the (UC) Davis meet (January 10) and the (UC) Santa Cruz meet (October 18). That was wonderful. It's just been a wonderful experience this first year in the WAC."
Looking ahead to the 2009 WAC Championship later this month:
"I'm hoping that we score some points. I hope we have some girls that come back (for evening finals), and I think we will. Heidi (Gjoen), our backstroker, is seeded pretty well going in. She's in the top eight in both of her events, so for us to come in as the new team and have some individuals score in the top 16 would be a great experience for us."
Two senior swimmers, Megan Wood and Rebecca Sussman, swam their last meet of the regular season today against rival San Jose State and were recognized by head coach Jeanne Fleck poolside. With the end of the season comes high anticipation and preparation for the WAC Championships, which is to be held Feb. 25-28 in San Antonio, Texas. Both graduating seniors will swim for the first and last conference championship meet in their Division I career.
Both swimmers have goals and plans for their futures, in different fields and roads in life, but each shared their thoughts on their time swimming at Fresno State.
"The best thing about being on the team this year is swimming for the Division 1 Bulldogs," said Wood. "This year was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not pass up. Hard work does pay off. I put my heart and soul into the sport and achieved more then I could have ever imagined possible. Most of all I have met wonderful group of ladies and our friendships will last a lifetime. I want to thank the coaches for the many encouraging words and believing in me."
"Swimming this year has left me with many amazing memories that I will never forget. I have enjoyed the countless fun times and hard training sessions with my team mates. It has been so great to be able to train and compete again, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this team."
Loud and Proud
Coming off one of the closest meets of the season at Bakersfield, the Fresno State swimming and diving team shined with confidence and pride for Bulldog red and blue, creating and shouting expressive chants, cheers and Bulldog spell-outs to fans, onlookers and opponents last weekend.
Gathered in a circle, the team stretched together and ran a few "wake up" laps around the pool deck as the other teams arrived. Sporting their colorful sunglasses and green "V (for Valley)" caps, the swimmers creatively put together catchy rhymes in good spirit, shouting loud and proud over south Valley Cal State Bakersfield and Cal Baptist University, a team who competed but was not scored against Fresno State.
The familiar words "We are the Bulldogs, we're going to rock your socks," and "We are the girls from Fresno State, who the heck are you?" were sung poolside, chants the girls say they will use at the WAC Championships at the end of February to promote team spirit and presence.
The team continues to gain in pride, confidence and optimism for the hard work they have put in, and for what is still to come. For now, swimmers, divers, coaches and fans look forward to the WAC Championships, and support and encouragement is always present at every meet. Whether it is the delicious healthy snack baskets prepared for the team by sophomore Rebecca Atchley's mother, Renee, or the simple support of a fan or parent rocking a Fresno State t-shirt poolside, its safe to say the `Dogs have many people in their corner and have earned the right to sing it loud and proud: B-U-L-L-D-O-G-S!
Blair Hopkins, Jr., Diver
While the last few weeks of practice have being pretty strenuous, we have already seen the payoff. At our last meet against UC Davis, both Kendra and I improved one of our board scores by at least 20 points. I broke the 200 mark for the first time, Jill did her front two and a half by herself on 3-meter and Jaime did her front two and a half pike for the first time in a meet. The trampoline and dry board we've been using have helped us out tremendously! It's amazing how much stronger we all look on the boards just from a few weeks of practice on our new equipment. We're all looking forward to our meet this weekend in Bakersfield. If you're reading this and have no other plans for Saturday, COME TO THE MEET! We'd love to see you in the stands. :)
Spring and Spot
The Fresno State diving team is reaping the benefits of its new training equipment, striving to perfect and improve upon skills with the use of a new trampoline and spotting tools.
Divers use trampolines, one of the most basic training devices, to practice skills such as the arm swing and jump, the approach (initial advance into the water) and hurdle. The rectangular trampoline is most common and the use of belts and pulleys allows a diver to practice their dives in a safe, effective way to help eliminate the potentially painful "belly flop" or "water smack." The belts are very helpful to athletes who are learning new dives, as there are a wide variety of dives starting and ending in various positions.
When competing at Boise State in November, the Bulldogs were given the opportunity to use a trampoline for practice but with the New Year came new equipment for the `Dogs, including their own rectangular Nissan trampoline that is available to team members at any time and belts that allow the divers to learn and progress their skills off the board. As a result, the team is building in confidence, as reflected in their solid performance last Saturday at UC Davis/San Jose State.
Posture for Perfection
Proper posture is a fundamental and vital element to diving. It is a necessary component for athletes to learn to perfect and polish dives, starting from the beginning level to advanced.
The typical human stands with a slight arch in the lower back, a position that is not an effective way to begin, execute and carry out a dive. Thus, divers must learn and practice a proper posture from the start and it must be learned early on, breaking out of the everyday norm. To gain and maintain the correct posture for dives, a diver must continually practice dives that may be uncomfortable or awkward. This repetitive practice will help the diver make their new posture become instinctual.
Obtaining the proper position prior to entering the water will benefit an athlete in many ways. A diver can practice their posture off the board via dry land before practice on the board. Drilling proper posture will prevent divers from injuries or accidents associated with "smacking" the water at speeds as high as 35 mph.
Since a diver has only a matter of seconds to begin, execute and finish the dive, learning the proper starting position will allow them to use every second to plan the dive to ensure it is carried out thoughtfully and properly.
Furthermore, it is imperative that all divers learn posture early on to achieve success in all realms and aspects of diving. It is advised to make the technique instinctual and maintain.
Greetings from the pool deck!
We are now almost four months into the rebuilding of the Fresno State Swimming and Diving Team and things couldn't be going better! Swimmers are now in their last week of their semester and are ready to start the "push run" to the WAC Conference Championship Meet. Our outstanding performance at the Cal Poly Invite last week really set us up well to have a GREAT end of the year.
Speaking of the Cal Poly Invite, if you haven't seen the results........CHECK THEM OUT!!!!! Meets like that are a lot of fun for everyone and they don't come around every day! Every swimmer swam a lifetime best that weekend and we all had a lot of fun surpassing goals. Our swimmers are all going to have to sit down and adjust their goal times to make them a lot faster. I honestly think I could count the number of NON best times on my hands. To make things even better it was my birthday (Well not really, but everyone thought it was EXTREMELY funny to tell the wait staff at the restaurant that we were at that it was)! To be fair, the singing was nice but if anyone wants to buy me presents my birthday is really August 12th!
One of the greatest things about semester break is obviously is the chance for all of the student athletes to have a little break from classes. As far as Jeanne, Taryn, and myself are concerned, the best pro to the break is a great chance to do some crazy focused training! We will be using this time to focus on swimming and diving and get the necessary training done to make sure that when the WAC meet in San Antonio rolls around we will be more than ready to swim lifetime best times. Our goal for this year is to really exceed expectations for a "first year program" at the end of the year.
Thanks to everyone for their support of our team! We are glad to be back, and proud to see Bulldog swim caps swimming up and down the Valley once again!
Day Two Mustang Invitational
Off to a chilly start in the morning, the Bulldogs are warming up in a steaming pool while coaches, parents and fans stand poolside with warm drinks and jackets.
The sun is just beginning to rise over the trees and the forecasted high for the area today is 74 degrees. Head coach Jeanne Fleck and assistant coach Ryan Purdy are quizzing the girls on "who sings that song", as the warm-up music plays in between sets. None of the girls knew who sang "Brown eyed girl," which everyone poolside knew was Van Morrison, however they did name the artist who wrote and sang "Don't stop believing", which of course is Journey.
The `Dogs have a great number of fans at Sinsheimer Park today, decked out in red and blue to show their support for Fresno State at the conclusion of this meet that will be underway shortly. Joining the student-athletes poolside are Jordan Morillo's mom Letty, Kelli Sargent's mom, dad and younger sister, Rebecca Atchley's family and other onlookers. Today's meet will begin with the 400 yard medley relay.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
The swimming and diving team consists of a variety of student-athletes from a mix of places, each different distances from Fresno. Very similar to the diversity at Fresno State, these swimmers and divers represent a piece of a larger group of vastly assorted students that make up our campus. This university encompasses many students from around the world to natives of the Valley, serving as home to students and student-athletes for at least four years of their lives when they become a student and a Bulldog at Fresno State.
Building an entirely new team and recruiting student-athletes often takes coaches to the ends of the country and often times the world to reach the best athletes for a program. As a returning sport at Fresno State this season, head coach Jeanne Fleck built this team new to the Valley and the state of California, which includes athletes from as far as Norway to many Fresno locals.
Hometowns of Bulldog Swimming and Diving team members ranked from furthest to closest distances to the campus:
Heidi Gjoen: Oslo, Norway, 5,195 miles
Cynthia Engle: Edwards, Colo., 740 miles
Marissa Cecil: Palmdale, Calif., 180 miles
Becky Geisinger: El Sobrante, Calif., 161 miles
Mary-Tess Taylor: Granite Bay, Calif., 161 miles
Kendra Weeks: Folsom, Calif., 152 miles
Rebecca Sussman: Walnut Creek, Calif., 147 miles
Stephanie Saunders: Castro Valley, Calif., 141 miles
Kelli Sargent: Modesto, Calif., 91 miles
Rebecca Atchley: Porterville, Calif., 66 miles
Jordan Morillo: Lindsay, Calif., 54 miles
Sara Blake: Reedley, Calif., 20.7 miles
Out of the Water
As much time and practice that goes into training in the pool, the Fresno State swimming and diving team spends time on the pool deck and out of the water to increase strength, stamina and endurance.
Dry land workouts, which are activities swimmers and divers practice outside of the pool, help student-athletes prevent injury and build strength for speed and efficiency in the water.
Swimmers and divers alike take advantage of using a medicine ball by doing partner throws back and forth to help build strength, as well as abdominal exercises, sprints and weight training in the weight room.
Because divers must be flexible and limber, they focus on many intense dry land stretches and jogs. Divers also practice their flips and somersaults on trampolines and keeping up with dry land training can help reduce the strong impact the sport poses on an athlete's body.
Dry land exercise not only aides athletes in building strength, but it can also speed an injury through rehabilitation and build general fitness in cross training, which can build strength in other types of sports.
Dry Land Diving Training Facts:
Many diving teams use dry land facilities for more than 50% of their practice sessions and a trend has developed over the last 10 years for clubs to have a separate facility for this type of training method.
Divers can use a spotting belt and ropes that allow the divers to spin or twist while held in the air by a certified coach acting as the spotter. Using a spotting apparatus allows the diver to practice a dive in a safe and efficient manner.
Fun Quotes on Swimming:
Words of the wise who hold swimming close to their hearts.
The water is your friend. You don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move. ~Aleksandr Popov H2O: two parts Heart and one part Obsession. ~Author Unknown
Chlorine is my perfume. ~Author Unknown
If the world was flat I'd probably swim off it. ~Author Unknown
It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim. ~Author Unknown
When the earth floods from global warming, the swimmers will rule the world. ~Author Unknown
If you have a lane, you have a chance. ~Author Unknown
Chlorine: the breakfast of champions! ~Author Unknown
Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement - and we will make the goal. ~Jerome Fleishman
"Quotations About Swimming," http://www.quotegarden.com/swimming.html.
Jaime Krause, So., Diver
The trip so far has been fun. We left this morning from school at eight to go to the airport. We passed the time in the airport by playing catch phrase (you know, the really loud beeping word game.) They also had Peet's Coffee in the airport, which is my favorite coffee ever! I got a lot of homework done on the plane, DeeDe slept the whole time next to me because she took medicine to help her not get plane-sick. (lol) I was kind of worried about it but she was fine... We had a lay-over in Portland and a couple of us divers ate lunch together. Now I am on the plane, anxiously awaiting our arrival in Boise. I have been instructed by my family and friends to "kick Boise's butt!" so in my head I am going over how to do that. I can't wait to get there!!
Jaime Krause, So., Diver
So....We did arrive in Boise. Friday night, the divers and our coach went to find the blue football field. We definitely found it and took lots of pictures!! We had to leave suddenly when they lights shut off on us! We practiced on Boise's trampoline, which was exciting because we haven't gotten ours in yet. We stayed in a sweet hotel (literally, they were suites) and Kendra and I spent our evening stretching in the hot tub. P.S. the assistant coach Ryan is awesome (I swear he didn't tell me to say that.) The meet went pretty well. We did our best which is important, and enjoyed the inside facility, it was definitely a change from diving outside but we got used to it. Kendra and I both did a new dive, our reverse one and a half somersault and succeeded in it. We are all really looking forward to getting home where it's warmer!
Sara Blake: Mark Spitz, because he had the mustache and didn't wear goggles or a cap.
Blair Hopkins: Shawn Johnson, because although she is small in stature, she has big gymnastics skills and a huge heart for her sport.
Rebecca Atchley: Lisa Leslie, because she was her idol as a kid.
Marissa Cecil: Mary Lu Retton, because she was the first U.S. gymnast to win all around in the Olympics, and Michael Phelps.
Becky Geisinger: Natalie Coughlin, because she has amazing endurance.
Heidi Gjoen: Ryan Lochte, because he is such a good swimmer and he is gorgeous.
Kasey Madden: Katy Hoff, because she is strong, confident and smart.
Mary Tess Taylor: Ryan Lochte, because he is a great IMer, which is one of her events, and he is very attractive.
Dede Torres: Michael Phelps, because he re-defines perfection every time he swims.
Megan Wood:Michael Phelps
Rebecca Sussman: Lance Armstrong, because he overcame great odds and never gave up. He followed his dream and never let it leave his sight.
Rebecca Strmiska: Michael Phelps, because he is an inspiration for all athletes.
Kelli Sargent: Dara Torres, because she beats the odds after having a kid and being older in age.
Stephanie Saunders: Michael Phelps, because he is an inspiration.
Jordan Morillo: Kobe Bryant, because he is an incredible athlete and has overcome a lot.
Jaime Krause: Natasha Levikin, because she was suppose to get second place but instead worked hard for the gold.
The Start and Flip Turn Technique
One of the most important components in a swimming race is the swimmer's lead off and entry into the water. After all, this is the first staple of a race and a false start or slow start can put a swimmer behind before they even get going.
There are two techniques to a start off the diving block, the traditional swimming grab start, where both toes are forward on the block and the newer track style start, where there is one foot forward and one foot back, allowing the swimmer to get off the block further. Once in the water, it is important to hold a strong streamline, which means both arms are above the head tight with small kicks.
Since every competitive swimmer will swim more than one lap at a time, it is also important to have a smooth transition at the wall to keep speed during a race. The flip turn is an approach into the wall, a somersault and push off the wall.
Steps to the flip turn:
-Pull knees and feet in and keeping elbows to the side, push the water towards the head
-After the somersault is complete and with a firm push off the wall and feet square, release elbows from sides bringing hands together and straightening arms.
-Continue in streamline with everything from hips to toes straight in streamline.
Swimmers always want to minimize drag and emphasize strong starts, transitions and stroke technique!
The Physical Benefits of Swimming
As with any active sport, there are many health advantages and opportunities to tone and improve one's physicality by simply diving into a pool and swimming.
Active swimmers can reap the benefits of their trade because they are using their entire bodies, many perks which are untouched by other sports, making the sport of swimming one of a kind.
Because swimmers use their entire bodies, they are receiving cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, posture, flexibility and endurance all at the same time. Swimming also improves an athlete's body's use of oxygen without overworking the heart.
Studies have shown that a swimmer can burn as many calories in an hour as a runner who runs six miles in the same time.
-Little to no stress on bones
-Less risk of injury in a pool
-Increases oxygen flow to muscles and can help relieve stress
The best part of swimming is that anyone can benefit from the advantages it has to offer, and can exercise at their own pace. And since more than half of our bodies are made up of water, it is no wonder swimming is great for the body!
Mary Tess Taylor:
The Second Annual Debbie Pipher Invitational
The Washington State Invitational, also known as the Debbie Pipher Invitational, was started one year ago to honor and remember former head swimming coach Debbie Pipher, who led Washington State through 20 seasons from 1977-1997, but sadly lost her battle with breast cancer in January 1997.
Because of Pipher's commitment and dedication to the sport of swimming, organizers of the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational aim to recognize and honor those who built a legacy of tradition and history of leadership by encouraging fans to wear pink, the designated color of breast cancer awareness and support.
Fresno State is one of four schools to compete in this invitational and it is the first time the `Dogs have travelled to compete in this event. Amongst other competitors are the fighting Irish of Notre Dame, the Idaho Vandals, the Bobcats of Ohio University, and host team Washington State.
The In's and Out's of Swimming and Diving Scoring
Every sport has a set method of scoring that ultimately determines a winner or brings a team to the top. In the world of Division I swimming and diving, scoring is dependent on specific circumstances, ranging from the number of lanes in a pool to the type of meet or number of teams competing.
In a dual meet competition where six lanes or more are present, points are assigned to each individual event in the following order: 9-4-3-2-1-0, with nine points earned by the first place swimmer, four for the second, and three for the third, so on and so forth. Each individual swimmer earns points for their team. Only the three best times from each team are scored.
For relays, the point assignments are 11-4-2-0, with 11 points given to a first place team, four to second, etc. The top two relay teams from each team are scored. This is the scoring method for a pool with nine lanes or more.
With five lanes or less, as well as eight lanes or fewer, the points are: Individual events: 5-3-1-0 Relays: 7-0 Only two best times from each team are scored in individual events.
In triangular meets, where three different teams compete at the same time, such as the meet this past weekend between Fresno State, San Jose State and UC Santa Cruz, the points earned vary. In individual events, the scoring stays the same as a typical dual meet with six lanes or more (9-4-3-2-1-0), however relay scoring is 11-4-0, with a first place finish receiving 11 points. Only the top relay time from each team is scored.\
Quadrangular meets, where four teams compete at once: 9-4-3-2-1-0 points for individuals, and 11-4-2-0 points for relays, where the best relay team is scored and the top two contestants from each team in individual events.
In relay meets, the scoring is only for relays and diving relays, as it is a meet dedicated solely to relays. The scoring is as follows: 14-10-8-6-4-2, for relay events. Scoring for invitational meets is decided and established by the hosting team or party.
Three ways to organize a women's swimming and diving meet on a 25-yard course:
These point values combined from individual events, relays and diving events, give a team a point total. In the event of a tie, the two teams divide the points equally. The higher the point total, the better, and in return equals wins.
In dual meets, divers compete on a one-meter and three-meter board. Divers are judged on a scale from one to ten, which a 0 being completely failed to a ten which is judged as being "very good." A first place finisher in diving goes to the athlete who earns the most points, so on and so forth.
Divers are trained to perform a variety of dives, from the forward to the backward, reverse, inward, twist and arm stand dives, which is when the diver begins the dive in a handstand position on a platform. A gymnast who has perfected these moves is ahead of the game as diving is similar to gymnastics, but is head first.
"The diver needs to know the skills involved in each dive," said Head Dive coach Taryn Ignacio. "Mastering the basic tuck and pike dives sets the diver up for better optional dives."
Dry land training and stretches are common exercises for divers to better perfect their techniques and dives and most importantly, to learn how to spot and enter the water upside down on your head!
Basic rules of college level diving:
The Do's and Dont's of Swimming/Diving Practice
With nearly triple-digit weather today and the typical heat of the valley, I learned all of the imperative needs to surviving a trip to Fresno State swimming and diving practice, which was first held today.
It is obviously necessary to equip yourself with sunscreen and water on a day like today as the athletes do, but there are other items necessary for those of us who observe out of the pool. An umbrella that casts even a little shade would aide in keeping the onlooker cool and out of the direct sunlight. A beach towel set poolside with the umbrella would provide maximum comfort and protection from the scorching hot sun, and reduces perspiration.
It is not advised that anyone who makes a trip poolside wearing black pants or any other clothing that absorbs a lot of heat, and comfortable footwear is always best. Rocking Bulldog swimming and diving gear will always make you one of the coolest people at the pool, anytime and anywhere.
I was really proud to sit and watch our student athletes return to the pool and practice after a program absence. The return of swimming and diving is a very positive attribute to Bulldog athletics, and I look forward to seeing team practice with my beach gear in hand!