S.D. swimmers & divers participate in ‘Hour of Power’ relay for cancer research

South Dakota's swimmers and divers hit the pool Tuesday for a good cause.

The Coyote swimmers and divers took part in the Ted Mullin Leave it in the Pool Hour of Power Relay for Pediatric Sarcoma Research on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

The event — held in each team's home pool—is a one-hour, all-out, leave-it-in-the-pool practice consisting of continuous relays, using any stroke. Wherever possible participating teams begin and finish the "Hour of Power" workout at the same time, using their respective and corresponding time zones from the East Coast to the West Coast. This means thousands of swimmers were in the water at the same time in support of the battle against cancer.

"It was an outstanding environment for our kids to be in," South Dakota coach Jason Mahowald said. "I think it was a great team bonding experience. We just did the same workout as 6,000 other college swimmers at the same time, with the same goal in mind, it was pretty powerful."

South Dakota joined with nearly 6,000 athletes from 124 collegiate, high school, and club teams across the nation — as well as students-abroad teams — to participate in the "Hour of Power," honoring those who are fighting or have succumbed to cancer, including former Carleton swimmer Edward H. "Ted" Mullin, who passed away from synovial sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer, in September 2006.

As of Nov. 3, a total of 89 collegiate swimming programs encompassing 37 conferences have registered to take part in this year's event. The event includes programs from NCAA Division I, II and III. Additionally, 35 club, high-school and students-abroad teams will participate.

First held on Nov. 7, 2006, the "Hour of Power" Relay has grown from 15 teams the first year to its current level of participation noted above.

All teams are invited to get involved in the "Hour of Power" whether or not they decide to raise funds. Since the event began four years ago, participants raised more than $190,000 for the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital where Ted received treatment.

The "Hour of Power" also aims to promote team spirit and to generate awareness of sarcoma, a rare cancer that disproportionately affects adolescents and young adults.

Funds raised during the event act as seed funding for the University of Chicago pediatric sarcoma research program, allowing collaborative efforts between clinicians and physician-scientists in the identification of the causes of sarcoma, at the most basic molecular and cellular levels. With a team of dedicated pediatric oncologists, orthopedists, and radiation therapists in place, the Ted Mullin Fund enabled the University of Chicago to recruit Stephen X. Skapek, M.D., an expert in the study and treatment of sarcomas. Dr. Skapek and team are working in the lab to translate new scientific discoveries into improved therapies for sarcoma patients like Ted Mullin.

As a team, South Dakota raised more than $400 for the Ted Mullin Fund. If anyone else would like to donate please send a check to the: FJC/Ted Mullin Fund P.O. Box 437 Winnetka, IL 60093-0437

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