November 22, 2017
The unbelievable success of our swimmers at our 2017 STAT/WAVE Winter Classic last weekend was due in large part to the herculean efforts of our very own John Carabelli. I know it's a little odd to start a swim meet news article with something about a non-swimmer - but, all of this wouldn't have been possible without John. In addition to the long and arduous hours spent as the Administrative Official on the pool deck over the weekend running a very smooth meet (Probably close to 30 hours!), John was crucial in the months of planning with our partner team, the WAVE, before the meet. John does what he does to help provide our athletes with opportunities to excel and to be part of a larger team effort to bring swimming success to our area. So, please join me in giving John a heart felt thank you and a well deserved pat on the back for a job well done.
In additon to John Carabelli, there were untold numbers of parents, grand parents and sibling volunteers who pitched in and helped make the Winter Classic the success that it was. Thank you all! The meet was a success and ran smoothly because of you.
Gracie Colvin knocked it out of the pool this weekend! She won (handily I might add) all 6 of her individual events this weekend! In the process of winning her 6 events, she obtained, or bettered, her quailifying times for 5 events at the National Club Swimming Association National Age Group Championship meet this coming March in Orlando! Additionally, she broke 4 team records! One was her own that she set at State last year, and three others were from 1975 or 1977! Simply awesome. Gracie is proof that hard work works!
Miles x2 & Kitzman
Both Avery and Cale Miles also swam fast enough to get their first qualifying times for the National Club Swimming Association National Age Group Championship meet. Avery got her first cut in the 50 Free while twin brother Cale got cuts in both the 50 & 100 Breast! Super job Avery and Cale!
Meanwhile, Jack Kitzman tackled the 1,000 freestyle in manly fashion (pulling off a negative split - which is pretty hard for a 12 year-old) and broke Camden Leonard's team record in that event from 2013. Great swim Jack! There''s lots of great stuff going on in Level 3!
High School Boys
This was our last meet with the High School boys before they start their IHSA swim season. Evan Benkovich had a break through meet - he had a best time in every event he swam. His hard work on his technique is paying off. Similarly, Jalen Stimes lead the pack with personal best times in his 200 Free and 50 Free. Camden Leonard notched lifetime best swims in his 50 Free and 400 IM. Zain Miles put up lifetime best times in his 50 and 200 Free. Brandon Ngo and Nolan Hensley swam strong at the meet and are headed back to the Harlem program with some good training under their belt. Good luck this High School season gentlemen - we'll be watching out for some great results!
High School Girls Returned
Our contingent of high school girls swimmers came back to the Winter Classic after a superb showing at the IHSA Sectional meet the weekend before in Byron. It is very, very difficult to swim fast / faster on back to back weekends. However, that is what you have to do when you make it to IHSA State - so the Winter Classic is perfect proving grounds for them. All of them swam exceptionally well - despite bodies that were sore and rebelling against the demands of more high level competition. Brooke Dagefoerde was magnificent in her 100 backstroke - taking off almost 1-1/2 seconds from the weekend before! She was solid in every other event she swam as well. Elena Kitzman was very close to her times from the weekend before and just missed her first National Club Swimming Association National Age Group Championship cut by .09 in the 50 Free! Taylor Hargraves and Maclaryn Leonard were also right on their times from Sectionals and swam superbly. It is going to be great to have these young ladies back at Beloit College practicing with a purpose now that they know what to expect in their high school seasons!
As you can tell by reviewing the 2017 Winter Classic Meet Improvement Report almost every one of our swimmers notched time improvements. In addition to the time improvements, it was really great to see our newer swimmers step up to the blocks and handle their first big-time swim meet with poise and grace. Everyone who swam in the meet learned something that they can take back with them to the practice pool at Beloit College. It is this idea of competing to learn driving us to practice with a purpose that produces some phenomenal results.
Have a great Thanksgiving. See you at the pool.