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Deck Change: Wrapping a towel around oneself to change (typically into or out of a bathing suit) in a public setting.
This is the place where you can talk about the pics, the sport, the weather, and the lack of pictures of deck changes on this site.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Santa Clara International Invitational 2006


Wolverines Peter Vanderkaay, Klete Keller and Erik Vendt - Men's 400 Freestyle Medalists

This time I got my first look at the new powerhouse of Club Wolverine. Don't get me wrong. Coach Jon Urbanchek left an amazing legacy for the club. But these days Coach Bob Bowman is wearing the big shoes. Olympians Klete Keller, Michael Phelps, Peter Vanderkaay along with World Team member Davis Tarwater, left a huge mark in 2005. This spring brought the return of Coach Urbanchek and some amazing talent to the team. This was the first time I saw Hayley Piersol, and Olympian Erik Vendt wearing the CW. Vendt came out of retirement to do it. Kaitlin Sandeno has left USC and is now training in Michigan. Exciting news for the street cred of Club Wolverine.

For me the race of the meet was the Men's 100 free. In the last 10 meters there were only three guys in that race. Eamon Sullivan, Brent Hayden and Jason Lezak.


Eamon Sullivan, Brent Hayden and Jason Lezak - Men's 100 Freestyle Championship Final
Somehow I caught it on my camera. Michael Phelps came from nowhere and took the race. Out touching Sullivan by .08 of a second. He must have really blown that last 20 out.


Michael Phelps, Eamon Sullivan, Brent Hayden and Jason Lezak - Men's 100 Freestyle Championship Final

This meet was also attended but the Australians. They were the big winners with the Telstra Dolphins and Queensland team finishing in first and second place respectively in total points scored. I was impressed with these swimmers. They took a lot of heat in the Australian press for being the B team. These swimmers got to have some good international competition and they did very well. They swam fast and represented their country very well. They put times time on the relays and Individual races at both meets they attended that will be on the books for a long time. I want the Aussie press to stop shooting these young swimmers down and start seeing the potential they represent for the future of Australian Swimming. [/rant]

Swimmer of the meet awards went to Natalie Coughlin (who swam a PB in the 50 free) and Michael Phelps. This is my favorite annual meet to attend. The pool is beautiful, the weather can be either really hot or very cool from one day to the next but it is a beautiful meet. And the granstands are packed full of swimmers and fans. Coach George Hearns built a foundation for Santa Clara Swim Club that will continue to thrive as one of the strongest clubs swimming has ever seen. This was made evident during the parade of Olympian that were cultivated from this amazing club. This year the meet shared the day with the Grand Prix at College Station in Texas. That meet kept most of the Longhorn swimmers close to home but Kelsey Ditto and Dale Rogers and Olympian Brendan Hansen, to name a few, made it out for great competition and a beautiful meet.