USC junior is first to swim Maui Nui Channel

first_imgUSC junior Becca Mann is the first person to complete the Maui Nui Channel swim, accomplishing the task in just under 21 hours.  (Photo courtesy of Becca Mann) “When it was totally dark, I turned onto my back and did some backstroke, and the stars were the brightest I’d ever seen because the moon hadn’t risen yet,” Mann said. “And it was just pitch black with all these glistening stars, and I felt like I could touch them because they were so bright and so close.” Whether she continues on to the Olympic trials or focuses on her studies, Mann hopes to continue to push herself to new heights both in and out of the water. “For this event, I just went into it,” Mann said. “I didn’t know how to train for it. I don’t even know how you can train for 20 hours … I knew that my body could do it because it was just one day of my life, and I’d spent so many hours in the water just training and pushing myself. I knew that I could physically do it; it was just going to be a matter of mentally conquering it.” Mann said she wants to take on the channel swim again one day, but she isn’t sure what else the future has in store for her in regard to swimming. Although she came up short at the qualifying event for the 10-kilometer race in next year’s Olympic Games, Mann qualified for the upcoming pool Olympic trials and is still deciding whether she will compete. After taking a year off from school to train for the Olympics, Mann has resumed her studies at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts as a screenwriting major.  “[My parents] were driving her to the practice, and I packed my bag and snuck in with her and joined the swim team, and I just never looked back,” Mann said. “I love swimming so much, the idea of my goals and reaching for them and challenging myself. It really allows me to push myself as far as I can go.” Despite the grueling nature of the swim, Mann said that for her, swimming distance feels less like a job and more like an adventure. Her swimming experience dates back to when she was 5 years old, when she ignored her parent’s concerns about pool safety and attended her sister’s swim class without permission. Junior Becca Mann became the first swimmer to finish the Triple Maui Nui Channel Swim Aug. 19. Mann, a former USC swimmer who turned pro last August, completed the historic swim in 20 hours and 53 minutes.center_img “[From Molokai to Lanai], I was swimming three times less than my normal speed,” Mann said. “So I was only going 500 meters every 20 minutes, and normally I can do 1.5 kilometers per 20 minutes, so that part was a real challenge. Just knowing that I was still 10 kilometers away [from the end], which I can normally do in two hours but would take me seven hours this time, was really hard to get through.” Since the event was Mann’s first swim at night in open water, she was able to experience the beauty of the nature surrounding her in a new way. The water grew progressively darker as she swam, and Mann was mesmerized by the phosphorescent light that appeared each time she took a stroke. Mann also harbors an interest in fundraising and aims to donate excess funds from each swim to organizations like the Navy Seal Foundation.  The Triple Maui Nui Channel Swim is a daunting 39.64 mile triangular route which begins at Maui and proceeds to Molokai, Lanai and then back to Maui. Although the swim’s distance far exceeds that of Mann’s usual competitive swims, the 10-kilometer open water event and the mile, Mann did not change her training regimen. Mann created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the paddlers, management and equipment required to ensure her safety during the swim. Although she was unable to raise excess funds this time around, Mann hopes to continue to raise awareness about the organization and its mission to keep the oceans clean through her platform as a professional swimmer. While Mann put in countless hours at the pool to physically prepare for the swim, she was surprised by the mental challenge it presented. The strong current, especially during the second stint from Molokai to Lanai, slowed her down tremendously and made her uncertain as to how much ground she could cover within each hour.last_img read more

Cannavaro in the dark as Guangzhou owner vows shake-up

first_img0Shares0000Under pressure: Guangzhou Evergrande coach Fabio Cannavaro © AFPSHANGHAI, China, May 21 – Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande are set for swingeing changes and are likely to raid Europe for new signings as a sense of crisis envelops Fabio Cannavaro’s dejected side.Guangzhou have dominated the Chinese Super League (CSL) for nearly a decade, lifting seven consecutive titles and twice winning the AFC Champions League. But under the Italian World Cup winner Cannavaro they have failed to win in six games, tumbling out of the Champions League and Chinese FA Cup, and are in danger of surrendering their CSL crown.They are fifth in the league following a 2-0 defeat on Sunday at promoted Beijing Renhe and immediately afterwards owner Xu Jiayin signalled that his patience had run out.Guangzhou Daily and Xinhua news agency cited Xu as saying that they would “adjust” the club’s foreign stars and warned that older domestic players were also in danger in the cull.Cannavaro, the Italian World Cup winner who took over as coach from the Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari in the close season, is not thought to be imminently facing the sack, local media said.But the 44-year-old said he had not been told of the drastic transfer plans announced by Xu.“But if the chairman decides to do it, we will definitely do it,” Guangzhou Daily quoted Cannavaro as saying after the Beijing defeat.“I thought it was going to be difficult at the beginning of the season, but I didn’t think it would be this hard.”Brazilian winger Alan, attacker Ricardo Goulart and Serbian midfielder Nemanja Gudelj are the overseas trio currently favoured by Cannavaro.Chinese clubs are restricted to three foreign players per match under Chinese Football Association (CFA) rules.Guangzhou Daily said that Goulart or Gudelj are most likely to be axed and the club are looking at midfielders in Europe.Guangzhou say that they are still committed to having an all-Chinese team eventually, in line with a government push to improve the fortunes of the perennially disappointing national side.The CSL, with just over a third of the season gone, is now on hold for the World Cup and will resume on July 17.The summer transfer window opens on June 18 in China.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Big chill settles over formerly hot market

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 “Our agent told us to reduce the price but I don’t think so. This is a nice area,” Chan said one day last week. The 1,602-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home is now priced at $663,000 and it’s the second reduction, too, said Realtor Josephine Chan of Paramount Rodeo Realty. “We do have an offer on the house, but the seller thinks the market is going to go up so they aren’t going to sell,” said Josephine Chan. The Chans can afford to wait. They just want to move to Northridge, but are comfortable where they are. Whether they are comfortable with this new market in a couple of months remains to be seen. A couple of months ago Alice Chan and her husband put their home in West Hills on the market for more than $700,000 and waited for the buyers to arrive. And waited, and waited and waited. Now the for sale sign is also dressed up with a “Price Reduced” banner. Alice Chan is not happy, either. Their agent recognizes the fact that a significant chill has settled over what was once a hot market. Two reports out last week – one from DataQuick Information Systems and the other from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors in Van Nuys – came to the same conclusion: Sales are well off the year-ago pace but price appreciation remains strong from year-ago levels. But on a month-to-month basis, prices have been flat in most areas. In other words, the sky is not falling, but it’s not as high as it used to be, either. In their 2006 market forecasts, analysts and industry executives predicted that sales would be off from 2005’s exceptionally strong level and price appreciation would moderate. But the big dips in January and February are somewhat surprising. So what’s the residential real estate market going to look like this time next year? San Diego County probably offers the best example, since it is farther along in its cycle than either Los Angeles County or the San Fernando Valley. According to DataQuick, sales in San Diego County fell an annual 16.8 percent last month while the median price rose by only 6.4 percent. It’s been stuck on a single-digit gain for 10 consecutive months. In the Valley the median price jumped by 18.2 percent, and in the county it increased by 15.6 percent. But a year ago the price increases were in the 20 percent to 25 percent range. The expectation is that we’re going to look a lot like San Diego, price-activity wise, one of these months down the road. Dan Blake, director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge, saw some of the directional signs in February’s numbers, most notably the one that had inventory soaring 77 percent to a five-month-plus supply in the Valley. “What typically happens in real estate markets is the quantity leads the price,” Blake said. As inventory moves up, prices move down. By how much depends on lots of variables. In June 1990, the median price of a single-family home was $240,800, down from $245,000, then a record, a year earlier. Prices then went on a protracted slide. But the economy was also in a protracted jump and the local labor force was shedding jobs. Inventory swelled to more than a two-year supply because people losing jobs could not afford to hang onto their homes. Now as this market is turning the economy is on sound footing. And it’s expected to continue to grow. That could keep prices from collapsing or the so-called bubble from bursting. Of course, back in June 1990 no one could see a price collapse heading down the road. But on the upside it did create one heck of a buying opportunity for lots of Valley residents. And anyone who bought a house or condo here during that time into the early 2000s has done quite well. That equity gain is not expected to evaporate in this cooling market. But recent buyers aren’t likely to see big annual increases in their investment, either. The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering a 40-year, fixed-rate mortgage. The state agency acts as a bank and helps first-time buyers. The new loan program can fund up to 100 percent of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is less. This loan can also be used in conjunction with other agency programs. More information is available at (818) 713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more