The Week That Was: Ariana Kukors Accuses Sean Hutchison of Sexual Abuse

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week, the swimming world was rocked with allegations of sexual assault and abuse by a U.S. Olympian and World Champion against her former coach as revelations of similar behavior are being brought to light across the country. Check out all the top stories on The Week That Was.

The Week That Was #5 – Kirsty Coventry Named Chair of IOC Athletes Commission

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Olympic gold medalist Kirsty Coventry has been named the chair of the International Olympic Committee Athletes Commission. Coventry was appointed by IOC President Thomas Bach in advance of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Coventry has been active on the commission since 2012, with her new appointment focusing on developing the strategy developed by outgoing chair Angela Ruggiero at the International Athletes’ Forum back in November. Coventry competed in five Olympic Games, ending her career in the final of the 200 back at the 2016 Rio Olympics. You can read the official announcement from the IOC here.

The Week That Was #4 – Stanford Takes Down Cal to Finish Perfect Dual Meet Season

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Photo Courtesy: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 Stanford Cardinal women completed their dual meet season against rival No. 4 Cal-Berkeley this weekend, defeating the Golden Bears 186-110. The Stanford-Cal rivalry runs deep, with both teams featuring some of the biggest names in college swimming. The win gives Stanford a perfect 8-0 dual meet record heading into Pac-12 Championships and extends their current dual meet win to 23. Sophomore Katie Ledecky impressed as always, pulling off the 1000 (9:13.74) and 200 (1:43.00) free double in addition to a win in the 500 (4:34.54). Notably, Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil touched out Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel in the 50 free 22.04 to 22.13, setting a pool record in the process. Manuel has recently returned to competition after sitting out much of the season with an injury. In other Pac-12 action, USC and UCLA tied 150-150 in their dual meet, ending a 10-year win streak by UCLA. You can see all the college news from the week on our College News Landing Page.

The Week That Was #3 – Carmel Girls Win 32nd High School Championships

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The girls team from Carmel high school have done it again, winning their 32nd straight Indiana State High School Championship. The Carmel team won with 363 points, more than 100 points ahead of second place Northridge (215 points). The team punctuated their win with victories to open and close the meet, winning the 200 medley relay (1:42.31) and the 400 free relay (3:21.78) by healthy margins. Junior Kelly Pash was on both of those relays and added two individual titles in the 200 (1:45.50) and 100 (48.59) frees. Also winning four titles was Carmel senior and Tennessee commit Trude Rothrock, who won the 200 IM (1:58.28) and the 100 fly (53.12). You can see full results from the meet here and photos from the meet here.  

The Week That Was #2 – High School Records Come Tumbling Down

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Several high school records were broken across the United States this week as schools around the country competed in their state championship meets. Indiana high school junior and Indiana University commit Emily Weiss turned heads with a new National High School record in the 100 breast, touching the wall in 58.40 to beat Lindsey Horejsi’s 2015 record by a tenth. At the Tennessee state championships Florida commit Trey Freeman set a new National High School record of his own in the 200 free, cruising past the field in 1:33.06 to drop two-tenths off the record. The girls from Harpeth Hall high school also took down the 200 medley relay National Record to open the Tennessee champs, while Alex Walsh took down the Independent high school record in the 100 breast (58.88). Later, out in Colorado, the girls from Fossil Ridge beat Harpeth Hall’s national record in the 200 medley relay (1:38.13).

The Week That Was #1 – Ariana Kukors Says Against Former Coach Sean Hutchison Abused Her

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week, 2009 World Champion Ariana Kukors came forward with allegations of sexual abuse against her former coach, Sean Hutchison. Kukors alleges that Hutchison first sexually assaulted her starting at 16 years old, with abuse continuing until she was 24. While Hutchison released a statement claiming their relationship was consensual and denying any abuse, Kukors has since posted a detailed narrative of the relationship on her website, including accounts of “grooming” that she states began when she was just 13. Questions regarding the nature of Hutchison and Kukors’ relationship have been around for several years, with USA Swimming conducting an investigation back in 2010 and clearing Hutchison of any wrongdoing. In light of the current allegations, USA Swimming released a statement claiming they will support her throughout the process. Swimming World will continue to provide updates on this story as it progresses.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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