2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - September 6, 2005
A Q&A with Vanderkaay -
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By Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writer
The 2005 FINA World Swimming Championships this
summer in Montreal (July 16-31) set the stage for inter-
national recognition of Ann Arbor as the new swimming
capital of the United States. Under the direction of Michi-
gan coach Bob Bowman, five swimmers - current Wol-
verines Peter Vanderkaay and Davis Tarwater along with
Club Wolverine swimmers Kleet Keller, Chris Thomson
and eight-time Olympic medal winner Michael Phelps
- proved to the world swimming community that some-
thing's in the water at Michigan.
The Michigan Daily talked with Vanderkaay about the
The Michigan Daily: How would you describe your
experience in Montreal? Were you happy with your
Peter Vanderkaay: I was happy with the way the meet
went. There were a lot of exciting swims. I had good races
and broke school records in both of my events (200- and
400-meter freestyle), so I was happy with how the meet
TMD: What was it like being able to compete with the
same 800-meter relay team (Vanderkaay, Phelps, Keller
and Ryan Lochte) that won the gold medal in last sum-
mer's Olympics in Athens (Greece)?
PV: It was cool to be able to put the team back together
again. Being able to swim with those guys is a lot of fun,
and it made it feel like we were back in Athens again.
TMD: Did your relay team plan on going for the Amer-
ican record? What was your reaction when you guys broke
PV: We actually thought that we had a chance to break the
world record (7:04.66). I guess the American record was our
backup plan if we didn't reach our goal. We were a little off
the record (1.92 seconds), but breaking the American record
was still pretty great. We were the favorites in the race, so
we weren't too surprised at winning it.
TMD: What is the M.O. that is attached with compet-
ing in the World Championships, and how could you com-
pare it to the Olympic level?
PV: The World Championships are the same as the
Olympics, only they happen in the off years between
Olympics. The meet draws out the best swimmers in the
world. This year, there were a couple of top swimmers
who decided not to swim (Australian Ian Thorpe opted out
this year), but that didn't make too much of a difference in
TMD: Do you have a different racing mentality when
you compete at the international level versus college or on
the national scene?
PV: I try and keep my strategy the same when I'm rac-
ing. I'll swim races a little differently depending on who
I'll be swimming next to in the heat. I usually try and go
out at the same pace with the competition next to me and
then adjust accordingly. International races can be a little
intimidating, but I just stick to my own swimming and
TMD: Was your training for this meet different than
other meets since you weren't in school and had more time?
PV: I did a lot more long-course training and increased
my dry-land workouts for this meet. With more time to
deal with in the summer, it's easier to get more focused for
the meets ahead of time.
TMD: Who were you most looking forwald to compet-
ing against in Montreal?
PV: There wasn't a particular swimmer that I wanted
Peter Vanderkaay won a gold medal in the 800-meter relay at
the FINA World Swimming Championships in July.
to swim against. I was just happy to swim for the United
States and get caught up in the competition and excite-
ment of the meet.
TMD: After breaking out in the fastest 100 meters in
your heat of the 400-meter freestyle, could you walk me
through your race strategy for your swim?
PV: I tried to go out faster than normal in my first 100
meters. I tried not to make it feel too hard, but it may have
been a little too much because I faded a bit over the next 200
meters. I could see some of the other guys inching up on me,
and I tried to hold them off. I ended up sixth in the race after
being seeded fifth in the preliminaries, but I swam a lifetime
best time, so I was pleased with the race overall.
TMD: After Phelps surprisingly failed to make the
finals in the 400-meter freestyle race, did he talk to you
about what happened?
PV: (Michael) said he didn't feel good in the race and
that he felt really tired on the end leg of the swim. The
race didn't get him down though, and he was ready for the
other events he had coming up. The 400 was the one race
he didn't train for.
TMD: With five Wolverines competing and coach
Bowman as one of the coaches at the World Champion-
ships, how do you feel about Ann Arbor being named the
up-and-coming swimming capital of the nation?
PV: I think it's great that Ann Arbor has become the
central leader in developing the top swimmers in the
nation and world. It's a huge opportunity for me to be here
and be a part of the growth of the program. I also think it's
great because we're doing it under the Michigan name.
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