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Monday, July 2, 2012
No Walls, No Turns, No Worries For Haley Anderson
After turning in an 8:26 in the 800m freestyle without a full taper at the USA Olympic Swimming Trials last night in Omaha, Nebraska, she certainly is showing the world-class speed and stamina .
But the northern California native says, "I hate walls. I hate turns." It is certainly an unusual statement from the reigning NCAA champion in the 500-yard freestyle, a gut-busting 4+ minute swim that requires 19 flip turns in, and the third-place finisher in the 800m freestyle at the Trials.
But the personable 20-year-old has good reason for her dislike of walls and turns. She has quickly turned into one of the world’s fastest open water swimmers.
After hovering in the top 5 among the American elite open water swimmers, she began hitting her stride in June's FINA Olympic Marathon Swimming Qualifier. Her victory elevated her among the serious medal contenders in the Olympic marathon swim next month in London.
"I feel more relaxed in the open water. I love the open water. I like getting ready for anything in the open water. I like the need to be ready to adjust to conditions, currents and the competition. I grew up near a lake [Folsom Lake] in northern California. My sister and I would always walk over for a swim. You can just swim and swim without worrying about walls or turns."
While Anderson’s past was dominated by racing up and down pools, her sights now clearly include the open water. Open water races, however, presents time – lots of time – to think and react which plays to her strengths. "During the open water, I have time to doubt myself with lots of negative thoughts. During the first 5K, I was thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, I need to work my way up the pack.’ But as I started to work my way up the pack, I get more and more positive. It is like a natural progression."
Upwards and onwards. Her coaches know she is plenty of upside in the sport.
"Haley showed such composure at the Olympic Qualifier [in Setubal, Portugal]. She was tactical, patient, relaxed, and focused," said her coach Catherine Vogt. "She showed speed when it was needed. I told her to stay in the front pack, take good feeds, and adjust if anything didn't go according to plan." And they both trusted on her closing speed on last lap.
She will draw upon that speed in London towards the end of the 2-hour marathon swim. "Haley has been preparing all year," recalled Vogt. "Even with NCAA championships, she has continued to stay focused on her dream. One step at a time, preparing with cold water swims, good pool training and racing."
Anderson possesses two characteristics that will prove valuable as she circles the Serpentine six times in the Olympic 10K: size and speed. Her lengthy frame and fast turnover will be assets she will call upon as she comes barreling down towards the finish, most probably with 5-8 other leading contenders. If pre-race predictions come true, she and the others will be chasing Keri-Anne Payne in the final stretch. Anderson will need to draw upon that NCAA championship speed to climb on the Olympic podium.
While Anderson knew open water and its challenges and allure from an early age, it took her a while to find herself back on the shoreline. She initially focused on the pool and developed into a top age-group swimmer emerging and high school star. The fast-improving University of Southern California junior who won her first NCAA championship this year is studying communications – a handy major considering all the interviews she has been giving on her pool and open water exploits. "I love USC. I have grown up here and matured. I have improved every year here under my coaches Dave Salo, Kevin Clements and Catherine Vogt. The Trojans take such pride in their school, from the students to the professors. You can be walking down the street in your USC shirt and people just come up to you and talk. It is like being in a big family."
And her family will be with her in London. Haley and older sister Alyssa both qualified for the American Olympic Team. Haley will represent the USA in the open water while Alyssa will race in the pool. They are both stoked with the younger sister focusing on the 2-hour marathon swim and the older sister focusing on a 200-meter race that will take less than 2 minutes. "My entire family is going to London; parents, sisters, aunts. About ten people I think," Haley explained. "We’re so excited to go to the Olympic Village and experience everything the Olympics offers."
In addition to working out with her sister in the Olympic Team camp, Anderson will fine-tune the little things to boost her medal chances in the lead-up to her 10K race. "My coaches and I are working on my turns, drafting and feeding. I practice with gel packs in my swimsuit during workouts now. I know I have to get better. But I keep learning more and more."
With the biggest race of her career on August 9th, she has very little time to study. Fortunately, she trains in the most successful swimming program on Earth at USC. Olympians occupy nearly every lane of her workouts with Olympic gold medalists including Rebecca Soni, Kosuke Kitajima and Ous Mellouli. The ambiance of winning is as thick as the color maroon around the Trojan pool deck. With Olympians from 11 countries, Haley is a serious medal contender. "Every year as I get older, I am able to improve more and more. As I gained more experience over the last few years, the possibility of competing at the Olympics became more real."
And now it is at her doorstep as she and Alyssa pack and get ready to go to London.
Like her Trojan Swim Club teammate Mellouli, Anderson will be racing in Hyde Park in front of a worldwide TV audience and over 30,000 spectators lining the banks of the Serpentine. "Ous works out so hard. He is so confident in himself and tough as nails. We workout together and it is good to have someone to talk to about open water swimming. It’s not easy, but that is what is fun about open water – you can talk about the races afterwards with others. It is important to discuss what happens out there with someone who understand what you are going through."
Anderson has been through a lot in her short open water swimming career, from being fast-tracked onto the national open water team to completing a 25 km race in cold water (61°F / 16°C) at the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Championships in Canada. With the Olympics in London, the cooler side of the open water plays to her strengths. "I am totally fine with the cold water. It doesn’t bother me."
Nothing much seems to bother Anderson whose DNA seems grounded in optimism and good-nature. She always emerges from the water – cold or warm, rough or calm, pool or open water – with a big smile on her face. "I’m always happy and I love to race."
Just eliminate those turns and walls and the hard-working Anderson will be ready to race come August 9th.
Watch for her bright smile at the start … and the finish.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.
The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.
The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.
Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.
The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."
Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."
The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme
Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]
Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland
Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance
Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony
Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute
The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:
* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:
* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
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