Dana Vollmer flies the fastest, 13 months after giving birth

Dana Vollmer
AP
0 Comments

Dana Vollmer is once again the fastest U.S. woman in the 100m butterfly, less than a year after returning to training after giving birth.

Vollmer clocked 56.94 seconds to win at a USA Swimming Pro Series meet in Mesa, Ariz., on Thursday.

It marked the fastest 100m butterfly for any U.S. woman since Vollmer’s victory at the London 2012 Olympics. She is the only American ever to break 57 seconds.

“My fly, in a lot of ways, is better than it was then,” Vollmer told media in Mesa.

The meet continues Friday and Saturday, with finals live on NBC Sports Live Extra at 8 ET each night.

Vollmer, 28, has seen her view of the sport change since giving birth to Arlen on March 6, 2015, and coming back after a break since the 2013 World Championships.

Swimming is now “a hobby.”

“[In the past] my whole world revolved around swimming and making the Olympic team,” Vollmer said while holding Arlen, jokingly referring to him as “a 30-pound weight workout.” “Now my whole world revolves around him [Arlen] and swimming is my outlet. It’s my happy place. It’s my me-time.”

Vollmer first dipped her toes back in the pool last spring to stay in shape and to stay active with her son.

In her first meet back last July, she didn’t break one minute in two 100m butterfly swims. Those times wouldn’t have made the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

But Vollmer chipped away at meets in August, November, December and January. Finally, on Thursday, she chopped .67 off her previous comeback best in her Mesa victory.

She admitted to feeling sore and tired afterward. Arlen is, too. He’s teething.

“We never know if we’re going to get a great night’s sleep,” she said. “There’s not much that you can throw at me now that I won’t be able to handle.”

Vollmer is now the unquestioned favorite going into the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. The 100m butterfly final is June 27.

Her closest challenger is Louisville senior Kelsi Worrell, who was runner-up Thursday, .33 behind Vollmer. No other American has been within .88 of Vollmer’s 56.94 since the 2012 Olympics.

With the top two at trials making the Olympic team, it would be a shock if Vollmer isn’t headed to her third Olympics in Rio.

Olympic gold will be a tougher proposition. Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström broke Vollmer’s world record of 55.98 in the 2015 World Championships semifinals and then again in the final.

“It’s not that I have to make the Olympic team to prove anything,” Vollmer said. “It’s that I so want to be there. I love walking out for finals and looking at the pool. It was one of those moments even before this race. It’s just so pretty, staring at that still water and knowing that you can dive in and race as hard as you can.”

MORE: Shane Gould sees a bit of herself in Katie Ledecky

Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon
Getty
0 Comments

Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

0 Comments

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!