Russ Ewald and Marco Chiesa attended the American Spring Nationals in Minneapolis, a competition still in search of a suitable date and pool size.
Many consider the annual NCAA Championships the most exciting competition in our sport. It certainly is the case in the U.S., but in recent years media interest has diminished as the dates conflict with the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament. Two years from now, the competitions will switch from yards to short course metres, and we'll know then if it truly is the fastest meet in the world.
Canadian swimmer Nikki Dryden wrote the story on the Women's NCAA Championships. We're pleased to give her the exposure and the opportunity to express herself. She competed in these championships just a few years ago.
Penny Abrahams provided us with the story on the Men's NCAA Championships. Penny works at the University of Texas as Athletics Media Relations Assistant.
George Block, a coach in San Antonio, Texas, and president of the American Swimming Coaches Association, attended the Nationals as well as the Men's NCAAs and provides some pointed commentary on both. In addition he wrote a very interesting article on the wrong lessons learned on state-sponsored drug use in the 1980s. His piece titled "We're All in the Same Boat Now" raises some interesting ideas.
Karin Helmstaedt wrote a profile of Mark Versfeld, the backstroke medal winner from Perth. Karin has moved to Berlin, Germany, where she will continue to write for us and work in journalism both in radio and television. Of special interest will be her reports from the German trials of those responsible for the GDR- sponsored drug program. She has received accreditation to attend the court proceedings.
World Cup coverage continues with the far eastern legs in Hong Kong and Beijing, followed by a stop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, competitions attended by Nick Thierry. Anita Lonsbrough reports on three of the five European competitions.
As has been customary for two decades, the final short course top 50 TAG times are published in this issue. We hope that it's accurate as some meets from August, November, December, only arrived in early April. Coaches are asked to ensure that any competitions they attend have the results mailed, better still couriered as soon after the competition as possible. Do not send anymore 25 m results. We're ranking long course times from this point on.