Southern California Swimming Stars

Southern California Swimming Stars

Sports Illustrated, America’s number 1 sports magazine, wrote about Sean Hutchison’s team of American swimming stars, labeled the Fullerton Five training in a suburb of Los Angeles.

Sean’s unconventional approach “has drawn together an unprecedented number of female Olympians” in the new professional and postgraduate training center, referring to Katie Hoff, Ariana Kukors, Caroline Burckle, Margaret Hoelzer and Kara Lynn Joyce.

Unlike more traditional coaches, Sean does not use a stopwatch, stresses technical perfection over times, runs one daily practice instead of two and prefers to train in a 33 1/3-meter pool.

While Sports Illustrated called the quintet “the highest-octane training group of female swimmers ever assembled“, the magazine missed another aspect to the training center located south of Los Angeles in the Janet Evans Swim Complex. In addition to the female Olympians, Sean works with the highly respected veteran coach Jon Urbanchek (shown above) who has coached at the 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics and personally coached at least 34 Olympic swimmers who have won 7 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze medals.

Jon has attracted the 2005 world 10K champion Chip Peterson, NCAA champion and world open water championship swimmers Emily Brunemann, Micha Burden and Emily Hanson to his distance training group, along with world championship (pool) medalist Tyler Clary, who train alongside the Fullerton Five. Rumor has it that even a few more elite open water athletes may join. Never before have so many of America’s top open water swimmers trained together on a daily basis. Like their pool counterparts, expectations are high that success will follow.

With national champion Chloe Sutton training a bit south at Mission Viejo and fellow open water Olympian Mark Warkentin returning to competition and training a bit north in Santa Barbara, many of the swimming elites are on the West Coast in the build-up to the 2012 London Olympics.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones