Three Cheers for the Grads!

Three Cheers for the Grads!

To say it has been an adventure to arrive at this moment would be an understatement!  All along the years there have been twists, (flip)turns, cheers, triumphs, and oh so many memories for our graduating class of Barracudas.  Before these Mighty leaders leave us to take on the world though, we want to take a moment to thank them for all they have done for the NKB family and to wish them all the best for their continued success in and out of the pool!

Maddy Archer

Try and make Scott laugh every once and a goes a long way!! :) – Maddy

Sage advice from a wise woman!  Maddy certainly knows a few things about working with coaches successfully.  Added to that is an energetic passion for swimming and a commitment to putting in the hard work while finding ways to make it fun.  Together, that has resulted in a 13 year swimming career that has seen her rise in the ranks regularly on both her club teams as well as in representing Canada on the international scene.  As she graduates from John McCrae Secondary School and heads to the University of New Mexico this fall, we are certain she will continue her winning ways in and out of the pool.  While there, she will be pursuing a degree in Business, with a concentration in Accounting, as well as swimming Varsity.

When Maddy was 10 she started to demonstrate her tolerance of pain and discomfort.  She showed an aptitude to swim distances. Two weeks before her last meet of the year she got sick with meningitis. She would not let it get in the way from swimming.  She went on to swim the fastest 1500 for any 10&Under in Canada! This to me sums up Maddy the best: love of swimming and perseverance. – Maddy’s Parents

Maddy, we look forward to all that your future holds and know that you will continue making waves wherever you go … likely making friends with every person there, too!

Emily Bevington

When I was younger I was at my swimming lessons in the little pool at Nepean Sportsplex and asked my dad what the kids were doing in the big pool. He told me they were competitive swimmers all apart of a team and they were at a meet. Right away I told him I wanted to do that too. I didn't have any questions other than would I able to get a t-shirt with my name on it just like the other kids. – Emily

The year following, Emily joined our Junior Barracudas. The next year, she was on the competitive team. Nine years and many t-shirts later, we’re proud to celebrate this Mighty Barracuda as she graduates from Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School and heads to Algonquin College to pursue a life of helping others in need combined with a passion for travel and new adventures, perhaps as a travelling nurse. 

“Some of my favourite memories are my first time qualifying for Regionals, Festivals and OYJ. My first ever away meet was a great experience and I've loved going to them ever since. During meets and practices I've gotten to know many friends who I have had an amazing time with in and out of the pool.” While her pool swimming career may be drawing to a close, Emily has found her passion for open water swimming and combined that with travel too, having already travelled across Canada for open water races alongside her dad. 

It' been amazing to watch Emily and her love for swimming grow. Swimming has brought us together as a Family, from having her two little brothers join the club to watching her compete open water races with her Dad. Emily never complained about getting up for swim practice or balancing the rest of her responsibilities that come with being a competitive swimmer. As parents, we get to be a part of her experience by driving her to practice, volunteering on the side of the pool and watching her at meets, and we wouldn't have wanted to spend our time any other way. We are sad that her time with the team is over but so happy for all of the strong skills she has learned that will help her in life. - Emily’s Parents

Liam Clarke

Pitter patter lets get at ‘er.- Liam

If you spent 10 minutes with Liam, we’re sure you’ve been witness to a) sarcasm, b) political debate,  c) a random fact, d) all of the above … And we’re certain you’ve walked away smiling, too!  Even as Liam shared with us about his graduation from John McCrae Secondary School and plans going forward, he riddled his responses with sarcasm, including jabs for not being willing to “wait one more week”.  (We’re very eager to celebrate all our grads!) Liam is headed across the river to Carleton University where he will pursue a degree in Political Science.  Keep your eyes peeled when watching Parliament Hill press conferences because you’ll be sure to see him there in the future, too. 

All joking aside, Liam has been a dedicated leader at NKB and continues to exemplify the value of hard work above all else.  “We are extremely proud of Liam and how he has grown and developed during his eight years at NKB. His continued improvement in each and every season and the achievements that came with that were great to watch. His coaches award early in his NKB career is one notable achievement that we will remember as being coachable is very important in sport. The thing we are most proud of and will remember always is the dedication and commitment he showed. We believe these traits will serve him well in all future endeavors.” Liam’s Parents

Liam, while we won’t miss helping you find a lane to race… after the fact… we will miss all that you bring to the deck and to your teammates.  We’re excited for all that your future holds and watching you go “get at ‘er.”

Kevin Downing

Genetics don’t mean anything, it’s hard work that pays off. – Kevin

Kevin is the embodiment of what hard work looks like.  No matter what set Scott threw at him or what goal he laid out for himself, Kevin put in the dedication and work to get it done… and often threw in a dose of impressive dance moves for good measure.  As he moves forward from John McCrae Secondary School he is headed west to the University of Victoria.  While there, he will be continuing his winning ways on the varsity swim team as well as studying mechanical engineering. 

Thanks to everyone connected to NKB for being such a great influence on Kevin and teaching him that you can combine fun while being serious at the same time.   We are sure Kevin will make swimming a lifetime sport. - Kevin’s Parents

Kevin, the Vikes are lucky to have you and we wish you all the best!

Brynn Kennedy

Anyone who is involved in swimming will tell you time and time again that it is a mental sport. You can see it - the confidence, toughness, and persistence - in all the best swimmers. In all my years of swimming I got a lot faster, but the most evident changes were how I carried myself, solved problems, and conquered challenges. It might seem like mental toughness is something intangible and hard to develop. But as long as you show up, again and again and again, you'll soon find that you were more confident, tough, and persistent than ever before. – Brynn

The strength, dedication, and amazing taste in music of Brynn is without dispute!  As she moves forward from St Joseph High School to the University of Waterloo, we are sure these attributes will serve her well in earning her degree in Environmental Engineering.  She’s also looking forward to parlaying her swimming skills into success with triathlon, and trying out other intramural sports... ever the athlete.  Just beware though, her merit and work ethic out of the pool is a force to be reckoned with as well (and if challenged to a game of trivia, she’ll be even more fierce competition!)

As a non-swimming family, the NKB experience was completely new to us (who knew there was equipment for swimming!)  We really enjoyed the team aspect of the club and seeing how swimming at NKB built Brynn's confidence, toughness, and unrelenting focus on achieving results - all strengths that will serve her well in years to come. – Brynn’s Parents

You are a role model in and out of the pool, Brynn, and we know you are going far!

Riley McKenzie

I’ve learned that there’s always more support, more energy, and more inspiration to give so bring positivity to everyone you see and everything you do because that’s what makes a team. – Riley

Arguably one of the loudest on the pool deck, Riley has always been a leader of all things Black and Green spirited!  Without fail she has shown our Barracudas the love of team, and has a special knack for bringing a “mother’s love” combined with high energy to the pool deck.  After graduating from John McCrae Secondary School in a few short days, she is headed to McMaster University.  While there, she will continue her swimming ways, and undoubtedly continue her legacy of team spirit and singing between sets.  She will also be pursuing a four year humanities degree in Bioethics. 

It’s hard to believe it’s only been and at the same time already been six years since Riley joined NKB.  I remember how excited Riley was when told she made the team.  Too many memories since then to pick only one highlight.  I would comment that only 10 years from now will the magnitude of dedication exhibited by athletes, parents, and the organization really be felt… Thank you to all involved. -Riley’s Parents

And thank you, Riley, for all that you have given to NKB.

Colton Milne

All the team travel and training camp trips spent with my teammates are lifetime memories, especially surviving the tropical storms in the change room in Florida when I was supposed to swim in the next heat and losing my clothes that blew away in the storm (which were found in the gutter 3 days later). – Colton

Clearly, Colton has tenacity whether he is facing a tropical storm or training for elite competitions! Twelve years into his swimming career, he is showing now signs of letting up either.  Following his graduation from John McCrae Secondary School, he will continue with his studies in California, first attending New Roads Upper School and continuing into Med School specializing in Sports Medicine.  While south of the border, he will continue to compete and represent the Uruguay National Team, for whom he already holds three national records. 

I'm proud of watching Colton achieve every goal and milestone in swimming ... My proudest moment was watching him get a medal at Nationals.  I love the family that is NKB for the swimmers and their families.  Chaperoning these amazing swimmers has been a privilege I will always remember. – Colton’s Parent

Colton, congratulations on all your accomplishments!  We’re looking forward to you continued success stateside!

Abigail Moffitt

Scott always uses the motto of not thinking about your race, and just going for it. I think I took this too seriously one swim meet weekend. I had been swimming only freestyle events and on the last day I swam my first mixed event (400IM), and came up doing freestyle... I should have thought a little bit more before that one :) – Abby

We all have a story like Abby’s, and it’s what makes this journey of swimming the wonderous adventure it is.  Being nine years into her swimming career, we’re sure Abby has quite a few tales to tell beyond this one, and she’s far from done with her journey.  As she wraps up her schooling at John McCrae Secondary School, she is headed downtown to the University of Ottawa where she will continue swimming with the GeeGees Varsity swim team and pursue a degree in Visual Arts. 

Since coming to NKB she has met some of the best friends imaginable and had some amazing experiences with team travel and training trips!  She has accomplished some pretty amazing goals and continues to make us very proud both in and out of the water every single day. -Abby’s Parents

Abby, we look forward your continued accomplishments and look forward to hearing of your continued adventures.

Tram Nguyen

Cherish the time you get to sleep and remember to thank your parents :) - Tram

The early mornings are a hallmark of swim training.  Regardless of how you feel about them or your sleep routines though, it is undeniable that starting your day with a teammate like Tram makes it all worthwhile.  Whether she was being sassy or just plain silly, she was always making NKB proud.  This spring, she graduates from John McCrae Secondary School and hits the road for some fun in the sun!  She will swim varsity at the University of North Texas as she pursues a degree in Biochemistry. 

We hope the University of North Texas knows what they are getting when you arrive, Tram.  You are quite the little spitfire that will certainly make major waves!

David Quirie

Come to practice with a mindset geared towards improvement, you can't improve if you aren't present mentally. – David

It is an inarguable fact that David is successful in the pool.  Records, times, and representing Team Canada prove that.  But, that’s far from the most remarkable thing about David.  This hard worker always leads by example, lifts his teammates with him, and perpetually strives to find a way to generally “be better.”  From motivating his lane mates when a set gets tough to lending a helping hand with anything around the pool to swimming every last bit of needed warm down to keeping coaches and chaperones company when travel home goes late into the night, David always has a positive impact.  As he moves forward, we know he will continue to be successful because of these traits.  After he graduates from John McCrae Secondary School, he is headed to Florida State University to continue swimming Varsity as well pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering.

David challenges himself and others to be their best.  His ability to accomplish his goals and remain humble makes us really proud. – David’s Parents

David, NKB is better because you are part of our legacy, and we know FSU is lucky to have you!