Deck Pass Live presented by Xfinity – 2019 Phillips 66 Nationals Day 3 Afternoon with Claire Donahue


Hi, I’m Madison Cox
from Lubbock, Texas, and it’s time for
Deck Pass Live. [MUSIC PLAYING] JEFF COMMINGS: You’re
watching Deck Pass Live, presented by Xfinity. This is day three of
the Phillips 66 National Championships, not too far
from the Golden Gate Bridge. We’re at Stanford University,
the beautiful Avery Aquatic Center where a lot
of electric swimming has been happening here, a
lot of fresh faces getting their first national titles. Hi, everybody,
I’m Jeff Commings. And I am Amy Van Dyken. And, Jeff, today is
one of those days where you don’t know what to think. Are you happy? Are you sad? Because it is the end
of an era, if you will. Yes, unfortunately,
this morning was the final swim for Dana
Vollmer in the 100 Butterfly. She already announced
before the meet that this was going to be
her final competitive meet in the [INAUDIBLE]. And she was going to
close out her career with 100 Butterfly,
the event that won her the gold medal in 2012,
one of her many gold medals. Correct. And I thought it was very
fitting to close it out not too far away
from where she lives. Well, exactly. She went to Cal, which
is right down the road. I mean, it’s, like– what–
a 20, 30 minute train ride. So I thought it was great. She can have the
whole family here. That was fitting. Yeah. And so, the
prelim swim, I think everybody was anticipating to
seeing a good swim from Dana, and I’m sure she
was anticipating something really good. Let’s take a look and see
how that race turned out. And she was going to
be in lane number 2. There she is, circled
there, so you can follow her all the way down the pool. And she was– I don’t know what
she was thinking, but probably a little bit of
nerves about thinking this could be the last one. AMY VAN DYKEN: Well,
sure, because I mean, this is the end of her career. This is what she has
known ever since she’s a young child, is swimming. And again, I’ve said it last
night, and I’ll say it again, she’s been nursing
a shoulder injury. She finally started feeling
well about maybe a month ago, started training for
this, and yeah, I mean, it’s got to be mixed
emotions knowing that this is the last one. JEFF COMMINGS: So
you see her next– in lane three, next
to her, Natalie Hinds was taking it out really fast. I don’t know if
that kind of threw Dana out of her
comfort zone or what, and with all the other things
that were going on in her head, but she was never truly able
to get back up there and be competitive in this heat. And you could see
that she’s actually falling far behind, which
everybody who remembers Dana is that’s when– this is when
she starts to really turn on that gear. This is what helped her be the
first woman under 56 seconds in the 100 Butterfly. AMY VAN DYKEN: Well, she does. She has a different gear. When everyone else is kind of
dying, she has that other gear. And you can see her
finishing right there. And Reagan Smith
actually won that heat. So we know that name– new, up-and-comer, for sure. And now, she’s turning
into a butterfly, which is kind of fun. And Dana, we’ll think that
that’s a respectable swim. It was under a minute. Was it close to her 56? No, it wasn’t, but it was
still really, really good, and it’s respectable. Again, Jeff, I go
through, how many emotions was she going through? Nervous for the event,
nervous because everyone who is watching knows
that this could be it unless she qualifies
for finals, and knowing that you’ve got to put up a
great swim for your last one. Exactly. And, unfortunately, she
did not get the ability to get that second
swim right tonight. She qualified 32nd out of
all the ladies who swam, so they’re not good enough
to get a second swim. We were talking
about this earlier is if that’s her last swim,
she probably looked at– and I kind of
identified with it. My last swim was in the C
final of the 100 breaststroke at the 1998 nationals. And I turned around
and was like, oh, I guess that was my last swim. I wasn’t going out on my
career on a good note. I disagree with you thinking
you went out on a bad note. I think having your last
swim be at the Olympics is pretty darn good, Amy. Well, it is good, and I
walked away with a fourth place. I went at the same
exact time I went in ’96 when I won the 50 free. So you’re right. I shouldn’t have been upset. I think I was more upset not
at the placing or anything, but again, knowing that it
was over in that moment. And you know what? I don’t know. Again, mixed feelings, Jeff. I don’t know. I know. No mixed feelings for me. I was very sad that it was over. I guess I was kind
of like, well, let’s move on to the
next chapter in my life. Exactly. And speaking of moving on– Speaking of
somebody that moves on and someone who knows
Dana Vollmer very well, Claire Donahue joins us today. Hello. Good to see you. Yeah, it’s good to be here. So I just want to talk
really quick, just because we were just talking about Dana. You raced with her a lot. You both were swimming
the 100 butterfly at the 2012 London Olympics. So you got to know
Dana very well. What memories do you
have of racing with her? Pretty much all my memories
are racing with Dana, just because when I started
to come on the scene was actually at
this pool in 2011. And from then until I was done
swimming, almost every big meet was with Dana. I think my favorite
memory was probably at the London Olympics. That was when I really got
to know Dana, and, I think, I realized that swimming
is supposed to be fun. You’re sitting
behind the blocks. You’re sitting in
the ready room. You’re joking around,
and you’re talking, and you’re not thinking
about the race. And at that moment, I
realized, you swim faster– or I swim fast– when you’re just having
fun and enjoying It. JEFF COMMINGS: Absolutely. AMY VAN DYKEN:
When you’re talking about how much you’ve swum
with Dana and knowing Dana– and you’ve had your
last race– what do you think she was
going through this morning when she was swimming that 100? I think it’s a
little bittersweet. It’s exciting,
because you’re going to move on to the next chapter. I think Dana has things lined up
where she’s got that in place. But I think it’s sad. It was sad for me when I had
my last race two years ago. You want to go out on
a best time, I think. For me, that was
sad when I didn’t. And I think that was probably
a little upsetting for her. But I think that
she’s probably– she knew this was coming. One of the things that
we always talk about, swim it like it’s
your last race. I’m sure she did
that, and so I think it was a little fun for her. So you talked about
you came on the scene at the 2011 Nationals. We actually have footage
of that from you swimming in that race with Dana. It was so exciting
to watch that, because I always like that kind
of blast-from-the-past kind of thing. Oh my god. That was a long time ago. Oh, not a long time. It was yesterday. Yeah, for you, it
was like yesterday. When we talk about our races,
it was a long time ago. That was a long time ago. When you walked on the
deck here for this week, did it all just
come rushing back? Yes. So I got to go to junior
nationals last year. That came rushing back. This year, it came– It’s kind of cool. It’s neat being a
coach and having a different look on things. More than anything,
it was just kind of a cool, kind of like,
oh, wow, and thinking back, that was a long time ago. You talk about being a coach. You made that transition
immediately from swimmer to coach. How was that for you? Was it an easy transition? It was very different. So I had decided
I wanted to coach, and then I wasn’t sure if I
wanted to do it full time. And I was like, you know,
if I’m going to do this, I want to go full in. So I started coaching. And, I think, the biggest
thing I realize is it’s tough. You know, you swim so long,
and you’re so into it. You’re like, oh,
I know everything. But there’s so much planning
and so much that goes into it. And I think, to be honest,
that’s why I enjoy coaching so much. Because there’s just so
much that does go into it. And you’re now
coaching at TAC Titans– I am. –with your
former coach, Bruce. What is it like to
be now co-workers? It’s very different but good. Because some of the
sets that we do, I did. It makes it a lot
easier to coach under someone that coached
me because I know the plan. I know why we’re doing things. And I think that’s why it
works so well together. Do you think that being at the
level that you were at– gold medalist, all the things– has helped you be
a better coach? Do you think that old
swimmers, or former swimmers, make better coaches? I think so. If they’re in it, and
they want to do it, and they have a passion
for it, absolutely, yes. I think, having that
perspective of swimming so long, the biggest thing I
learned my last few years of actually swimming was
the mental side of it. And so I notice that
that’s the biggest piece that I brought to it
immediately is understanding a little bit of the nerves and
why they’re upset and being able to manage that well. So I think that that part was
really easy kind of transition for me. Give a chance for you to
give a shout-out to some of the swimmers who were doing
really well at this meet. Who’s been doing
some good swims here? So for my swimmers? Yes. Well, so we had, on the
first night, Charlotte Hook. She made it into the
B final, and then goes, like, the fourth fastest
time of the whole meet– 2.07 in the 200 fly. And it was awesome. It was so much fun to watch. And the best part about that
race was just the smile. She touches and drops
2 and 1/2 seconds. I think that’s a big
reason why coaches do what they do is the smile
at the end of that race. And then Claire Curzan swam
the 100 fly– two flyers– this morning and
dropped about a little over half a second in
the morning swim, which is really good for her. She’ll come back in
the A final tonight. I think she’s fourth right now. So those two have
been doing well. We’ve got Brooke
Zettel, who’s here, so it’s kind of
fun watching them swim their races
at an elite level and kind of see the
process they go through. It’s been– I know– I’m sorry, Jeff. One of the questions
I always get asked, right, is, well,
do you still swim? I get that all the time. So, Claire, do you still swim? Every so often. I still love it. I still get in every so often. And sometimes I’ll get in
the routine of, oh, I’m swimming three days a week, but
that’s the most I’ll ever do. Right now, it’s
been a few months. But yeah, I’ll get
in every so often. Was that easy for
you to do to just say, OK, I’m just going to
swim around for fitness, to just let that competitive,
training side go? Well, it’s funny. Because some people
have even asked, oh, Claire, you’re going
to come back for 2020? And I was like, that was
really– it’s so hard to train, and you’re in it so much. Because I enjoy coaching
so much and because of how hard the training is, it
was easy to make the decision, yeah, let’s just swim around. If I want to swim
an hour, I can. If I want to swim 30 minutes– that’s the best part. JEFF COMMINGS: Yeah. Well, that’s really good. Claire, it’s so great
to have you hear. I know. It’s so nice to be here. Just reminisce about your
life and what you’re doing now. I know all the
swimmers that you’re working with at TAC Titans are
grateful to have you on deck. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thanks. Thanks for joining us. Well, I’m living
the dream here. I’m sitting between two
Olympic gold medalists. Yeah. I love it. Yes, you do. Just soak in the glory of us. I soak it in every day. I have to pinch
myself sometimes. Just imagine if
you’re a teenager and you get to talk to
an Olympic gold medalist. Hi, my name is Brendan, and
I’m at the Phillips 66 National Championships. Today, I’m talking with
Jason Lezak and Cullen Jones. Hey, guys. How you doing? Good. How are you? I’m great. Thank you for asking. I appreciate it. You look good. Oh, stop. Now, Jason, who do you
think is the best person to take on a road trip? No dogs, Cullen. He’s actually a great
person to take on a road trip. You don’t have to say
that just because he’s here. It’s partly why
I did say that. I would say Jason as well. Because Jason and I, we’ve
been on a couple of teams. Be honest. OK, you want me to be honest? You both have
wives here, guys. Yes, that’s true. That was going to
be my second person. Of course. Next to Jason. Next to Jason? How do you feel about that? I feel really good right now. My ego is boosted. Star Wars or Star Trek? Oh, definitely Star Wars. I am not into Star Trek at all. Good. I was scared for a moment there. Oh! What’s up? Star Wars versus Star Trek. Ugh. Don’t say Star Trek. Don’t look at me. We’ll kick you out. We’ll kick you out. Just say it. Hurry. Star Trek. Oh! No! Get out of here. You have to leave. Now, you have to leave. All right. Well, I got to go. It’s OK. It happens. And now, we’ve already
asked, who’s the best person to take on a road trip? Who is not? And you guys can’t
see each other. That’s not how it works. Ryan. [LAUGHTER] Hey, man, you got this. Thank you. I feel like I can swim a
world record right now. All right, thanks, guys
for this amazing interview. I’m Brendan, as you know,
and I’ll be here all week. I love Brendan,
our kid reporter. He did such a great job
asking the questions. And there’s also someone else
who likes to ask questions. If you don’t know this, Jeff
Commings is basically like– you are the Encyclopedia
of swimming, and you love to stump people. I know you’ve got
a question for us. I do. I have a question for
you and for our viewers. I challenge you to get
this question right. There are four parts to it. From 2000 now– don’t
think about before 2000– who are the youngest and
the oldest USA swimming national champions,
male and female? So you got four
names to think of? The youngest male and youngest
female and the oldest male and oldest female. OK. I’ll give you a chance
to think of any names. Do you want me
to guess right now? Well, let’s give everybody
a chance to think about this. We’re going to give you the
answer tonight on Deck Pass Live. So you’ve got to
come back if you want to know who the answers are. No googling. Just try to think about it. You can go onto USA
Swimming’s website, see if you can do the research. I don’t think you can google it,
because I tried to google it, and I couldn’t really find it. I would be really curious
to see if anybody really gets this right. How about this– while you’re thinking
about it today, and you have your answers,
you can tweet us @AmyVanDyken. Or @JeffSwim. And let us know what you think. And we may say, you’re close,
or you’re in the ballpark. We won’t say yes or no, because
we want you to definitely wait until tonight’s show. And if you get them,
if you get all four, we will announce
you and your Twitter handle on the show tonight. Yes, you’re
going to be famous. I think two of the names are
going to be easy for people to think of. The other two, I
got to tell you, I didn’t think that was true. But our lovely, awesome
statistician, Larry Herr, did a great job of
researching this for us. So again, come back for
Deck Pass Live tonight. You’re going to be surprised
at the answers– the youngest and the oldest male and female
USA swimming national champions from 2000 until right now. OK. This is going to be hard one. I’m not going to Google,
and I will tweet you when I have my answers
so that I can be famous. Because apparently,
you can be famous. Yeah, you’re
going to be famous. Amy doesn’t know
anything about fame. We’ve got to give her her
chance in the spotlight. Please do. I’ve never had it. I want it. All right, so let’s
talk about what’s going to be in the pool tonight
at USA Phillips 66 National Championships. We’ve got the women’s
and men’s 400 IM, and we’ve got the women’s
and men’s 100 butterfly. That women’s 400 IM, actually,
is going to be pretty exciting. AMY VAN DYKEN: That women’s
400 IM, with Ms. Cox in there, she is en fuego this week, so
it’s going to be fun to watch. JEFF COMMINGS: And I’m anxious
to see how Brooke Forde and Ally McHugh do. They were both representing Team
USA at the World Championships. See if they can kind of rally. I know Brooke
Forde was not happy that she didn’t make the final. Ally McHugh did make the
final at World Championships. So we’ll see if she
can improve on that. Men’s 400 IM is
going to be great. The men’s 100 butterfly
is going to be exciting. I’m anxious to see
what Regan Smith can do in that women’s 100 fly. I think she’s just
trying to set up her program for Olympic trials,
and see how many events she can qualify for, and maybe
surprise some people with multiple events. Right, exactly. Someone else is going
to surprise people with multiple events
is Luca Urlando, who also has qualified in
the men’s 100 butterfly. And we’re going to see
what he can do tonight. Yeah, and Maxime Rooney went
50.6 in that 100 butterfly this morning, surprising people. I knew he could do butterfly
but never 50.6 butterfly. Listen, we had breakfast
here this morning, and there was some
hot, hot salsa. I think these swimmers
has eaten the hot salsa, and they caught fire. I think so. En fuego. Yeah, smoke was coming
out of the pool on those 100 butterflies. It was really intense. You don’t want to miss
that tonight on NBCSN. Steve [INAUDIBLE]
and Rowdy Gaines are going to be calling that. And then come right to us– Deck Pass Live. We’re going to be
talking about it. We’ll have a lovely
guest on the show. And again, we’re going to have
that answer to that trivia question. You do not want to miss–
a lot of great things you do not want to miss tonight. And we are on
earlier tonight, Jeff. Yes, a little bit earlier
at 9:15 Eastern, 6:15 Pacific time. So definitely don’t
want to miss it. Set your clocks for right now. Do not miss it, because we’re
not going to wait for you. We’re not going to wait. You going to wait for me? I’m setting my timer. Set your alarm right now. There we go. It’s done. So that’s all set. I’m going to be here, and
we’re going to see you tonight. Remember– 6:15 Pacific,
9:15 Eastern, Deck Pass Live on USASwimming.org. So that’s going to do
it for us today here. Thanks, everybody, for watching. We’ll see you back here tonight. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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