Sette Colli + US World Champ Trials

Australia's distance stars, Lani Pallister & Sam Short, are on the pod.

Morning, Nerd.

Welcome to the Swimnerd Newsletter where each week we highlight the most interesting stuff going on in swimming. This week...

  • 🌎 Fast Swims Around the World

  • 📰 Swimming Headlines

  • 📜 Set of the Week

  • 🤡 Swimming Meme of the Week

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One of the most venerable non-championship international meets in the world, the 54th edition of the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome headlined this week.

Setti Colli Trophy

Some really impressive in-season swims here on all three days.

  • Siobhan Haughey is showing she absolutely belongs in the O’Callaghan-Titmus-Ledecky 200 free tier, blasting a 1:54.77 that’s a season best, second fastest in her career, and only her third time dipping under the 1:55 mark. She also got the best of a stacked crowd in the 100 free, her 52.64 beating out the likes of Sjostrom, Steenbergen, and Hopkin.

  • That 200 free was a fast event overall as well - the Brits showed some depth with Freya Colbert (1:56.59), Lucy Hope (1:57.76), Abbie Wood (1:58.70), Freya Anderson (1:59.14), and Medi Harris (1:59.57), while Belgium’s Valentine Dumont hit a PR and new national record 1:57.18.

  • Tes Schouten continues to churn out strong breaststroke times, with 1:06.06/2:21.84 wins in the 100/200 that are both less than half a second off her PRs. Notably in the 50, Ruta Meilutyte’s 29.79 win is only .09 off what she went to win Worlds last year.

  • Two of the best men’s backstrokers in the world had a great head-to-head in the 100, with Greece’s Apostolis Christou (52.99) making a move in the back half but not quite able to catch world record-holder Thomas Ceccon (52.86).

  • “Skinny Legend” David Popovici took on his pet events against strong fields in meet record times with 48.10/1:45.49. Runner up in the 200 Tom Dean farted around in 8th place before blasting a 26.46 last 50 for a 1:46.86. The overpowering Brit sprint group was at the meet en masse but clearly there as a training meet.

  • Ben Proud won the men’s splash and dash in 21.6 with a long finish. Check out Coach James Gibson’s speed endurance set later in the newsletter.

  • Noe Ponti, the Olympic Bronze medalist in the 100 Fly, won a close race in 51.2

  • Perhaps the most surprising results on the weekend were Italian Luca de Tullio getting the best of rising Irish distance star Daniel Wiffen in both the 800 and 1500. His 7:47.63/14:59.68 wins were both negative split and PRs.

  • 2016 Olympic 400 IM finalist Max Litchfield went his best time in the event since 2019 with a 4:11.36 win.

  • The short IMs offered a pair of close races. In the women’s version, Sara Franceschi used a 36.80 breast split to swim past the field and hold off Marrit Steenbergen and her 29.86 free split, 2:09.31-2:09.50. That’s a PR for the Italian and only a couple tenths off for the Dutchwoman.

  • Similar story in the men’s race, where Alberto Razzetti’s 33.97 breast split was the class of the field. He and Great Britain’s Duncan Scott were stroke for stroke for the last 50, with Alberto getting the touch 1:58.74-1:58.83.


Big Ten College Coaching Shuffle

University of Michigan has a new head coach as the school dips into the University of California coaching tree again (Mike Bottom was co-head coach at Berkely before taking the UM job). Cal Associate Head Coach Matt Bowe is the new head guy. He’s got lots of experience in the Midwest, formerly working on Ohio State, Indiana, and Eastern Michigan’s staffs. The British swim coach is again on the move, heading back to the cold, after just one year coaching in sunny CALifornia and winning a National Championship on the Men’s side.

While that Big Ten job opening is closed, another one opened as Northwestern’s head coach Katie Robinson is off to Cal’s rival Stanford to serve as their women’s Associate Head Coach under Greg Meehan. She’s taking a tour of the Power Five conferences as she competed for Texas (Big 12) and is now headed for the Pac-12.

UNCW Swimming Program Patriarch Passes

Dave Allen, the renowned head coach and founder of the UNCW swimming program in Wilmington, North Carolina, passed away at the age of 75. Coach Allen played a significant role in building the men's and women's swimming and diving programs at NCAA Division I level and contributed greatly to the Wilmington community.

During his 37-year coaching career at UNCW, Coach Allen led the swimming teams to numerous championships and coached 15 All-Americans, 155 conference champions, and 19 ECAC winners. Apart from his contributions as a coach, he impacted the lives of many young swimmers through UNCW's summer swim program.

Coach Allen is a part of four Hall of Fames, including the Potsdam State Athletic Hall of Fame, the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Swimming Hall of Fame, and the UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame. He retired from coaching in 2014 after 44 years in the collegiate level.

SMU Becoming Mid-Distance Free Hub?

A big exodus of fifth-year and lower division transfers this summer is seeing SMU amassing a pretty good stable of mid-distance free guys. Earlier, Notre Dame’s NCAA scorer Jack Hoagland (1:33.8/4:11.2/14:31.8) announced he is spending his 5th year with the Mustangs. This week they got UNLV’s Chris Mykkanen (20.5/44.1/1:34.7/4:17.4/15:12.7) and Rollins’s D2 champ Ward Lockhart (20.2/44.3/1:35.4/4:20.4/9:00.9).

Their best incumbent 200 guy is rising 5th year Colin Feehery. He’s better known as a breaststroker/IMer but boasts a 1:34.0 200. Sage Sungail was #2 at 1:36.1 but was only a freshman, while Jack Easton split 1:35.4 on their 8 free relay. Could be something brewing in the Big D.

Olympic Champion and American Record holder Simone Manuel has decided not to compete at World Championship Trials this week.

“As I continue to progress, it’s important for me to feel mentally and physically good about my competition schedule and the purpose of each one I attend. Not competing at Nationals is not a decision I took lightly, but I firmly believe that this sacrifice is an investment for the future.”

2023 USA Swimming National Championships

You can watch Finals every night on the Peacock app starting at 7 PM EST this Tuesday through Saturday.

Or, you can watch it for free on the USA Swimming YouTube Live Stream. Here are all the YouTube Links:

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This week on INSIDE with BRETT HAWKE...


#323 Lani Pallister: Australia’s Distance Queen

Lani Pallister candidly shares her experiences, discussing her journey to the World Championships, the importance of a well-rounded support system, and her aspirations for the Paris Olympics.


#324 Sam Short: Australia’s Distance King

In this episode, we sit down with Sam Short, an up-and-coming 19 year old distance star, as he shares his admiration for the legendary Ian Thorpe and discusses his own competitive spirit and aspirations. Sam talks about his training experiences, handling pressure, and the importance of hard work and determination.


A James Gibson Sprint Endurance Set

30×50’s push 15 AFAP, 35 ez @ 1:15

Long course.


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