Ivan Kurakin - Once a Tuna, Always a Tuna

Posted by North Bay Aquatics on Jun 18 2024 at 12:24PM PDT

Hello Team NBA

Sometimes swimmers want numbers…try these on for size

26.30/28.90/29.57/29.91/30.14/29.84/29.93/28.80 = 3:53.39

Ivan Kurakin’s splits in Indy at the Olympic Trials in the 3rd heat of men’s 400 meter freestyle.

His goal was to win his heat…he was second and if the race had been another 10 meters he might have pulled it off…of the 60 swimmers in the event he was one of 23 to record a personal best.
His previous best was 3:54.43…Ivan has swum 4 × 400 meters in Olympic Trials competition…2 in the “b” Olympic Trials in June of 2021…1 in the “a” Trials in 2021 and then this one today…4 times in 3 years in the toughest meet in the swimming world (yes that’s what most consider the USA Olympic Trials to be) and each swim got faster…

Put that on a resume and you’ll get a second interview and maybe (haha) get hired…

Ivan came to Marin 12 years ago in the days after Christmas as a 6th grader…only English word he knew was “No”…strange he did know all the lyrics to a ton of heavy metal songs…go figure

Went to Hall Middle and then RDWD High…then UC San Diego swimming for Coach Marko (same place where another Tuna legend Sophia Bell is swimming today) …learned English…graduated, then got his Masters both in Structural Engineering with a focus on aerospace structures…kept racing…got a job…keep racing…special favorite of Geoff Spellberg’ s (gave Geoff a few lessons )

His name is on the Record Board at RDWD – see for yourself next time to are there – like all summer!

Words that describe him include humble, self-assured, encouraging to others, loves and appreciates his Mom (Elena swims on our masters team!)…never late to wkot…(hard working, duh)

Oh, fun fact…Ivan and brother Yaroslav (actual Russian rocket Scientist – grad of Cal Poly and works at Space X) rode their bicycles from their apartment in Larkspur to Com and RDWD and school every day…rain or shine…winter or summer…no complaints, never

Though Ivan was known to poach a ride now and then his senior year, but we won’t tell

He started with NBA when he was 12 and he is now 24 years old…been a solid 12 years (most folks would love to have a 12 year run like that)…once a TUNA always a TUNA

Tuna on 3…

Thank you,

Don Swartza


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