Letter from coach Larry


Tennessee Aquatics Families,

I want to thank everyone for all the demanding work and many hours spent volunteering this season.  TNAQ hosted some great meets this year, including one of the largest Junior National meets ever, and I want to thank all our parents and staff that helped put all of our meets together.  We have developed a reputation nationally for hosting great competitions, and simply could not do so without all of your help.

I would also like to thank all the coaches.  Short Course season was an enormous success and our coaches did an excellent job both on and off the deck making sure our competitive, non-competitive, and Masters teams were prepared and ready to swim at a high level.  I certainly appreciate their dedication to our athletes and our program.

The competitive season ended with a tough gauntlet of competitions.  Our swimmers performed very well at the January Home Meet, the KISL City meet, the TISCA State meet, the Southeast Region meet, and finally the Speedo Premier meet. I know that these meets occurring in a relatively short time span can be taxing, but I was very proud of the competitive spirit of all of our athletes.

Over the course of the season, we have seen TNAQ swimmers break TNAQ records, be selected for USA swimming camps/teams, achieve All-State recognition, qualify for Southeastern Swimming All-Star teams, rank in the top 10 of USA Swimming, and earn USA Swimming Scholastic All- American status.  It has been a great year and we are exceptionally proud of our competitive success. However, we would be remiss not to mention our athletes who did not achieve the previously listed accomplishments. Every athlete on our team is integral to the success of the team as a whole. Each athlete may contribute to the team in a different way. Whether by was winning a race, or simply having a positive attitude in practice, we are proud of all of our athletes’ desire and willingness to help this team, and simply go out and compete every day.

TNAQ has spent considerable time building and solidifying relationships with local businesses and professionals for our families to utilize.  We believe that by setting these partnerships with people who understand the needs of a year-round athlete, we can enhance all aspects of our athlete’s lives. Our support system is listed below:

    Nutrition-- Eddie’s Health Shoppe, Eddie Reymond

    Physical Therapy-- Provision Physical Therapy

    Strength and Conditioning-- Provision Fitness, Britton Leitch

    ACT/SAT Prep – Testing Solutions, Jesse Hedrick

Before we get caught up in the Long Course season and our summer schedule, I encourage each family to take a moment to reflect on the Short Course season.  Take pride in the accomplishments that each swimmer had and accept as a new challenge any goals that went unattained.  We are very excited to be entering the Long Course season.  With swim meets taking parts of our team to Atlanta, Pensacola, and Toronto, we have some exciting opportunities on the horizon. We also have the privilege of hosting our June Home meet as well as the Southeastern Championship in July.

Finally, there are also some staffing changes to announce as we head into April.

We are very excited to bring Ben Whiteside back home.  Ben has been coaching in New York the last 2 years and has agreed to again be our Senior 3 coach as well as the Head Coach for the WSY Marlins.

Chris Pelant has been named as our Masters Head coach.  Chris has extensive coaching experience working with all age groups and has been part of the Masters staff since the fall.  We look forward to the growth of the Masters team under his leadership.

Chris Martin will begin working with the Gray 3 group as well as the non-competitive program.  He will still visit the Senior training groups from time to time, but his primary role will be in the age group program.  We are very fortunate to bring his world-renowned knowledge to our developing athletes.

Lars Hondorf will be moving to the Gray 2 practice group.  After a couple of years leading our 10 and Unders we look forward to his working with our 11-12 year olds.

Chris Goodman will be taking over as the Orange 2 coach.  Chris has been working with our Gray 3 group and Gray program for the last few years. We are excited for the new opportuitny to have him coach in the Orange program.

Lizzie Fleming will remain as the Orange program Director and TNAQ Business Manager and will oversee the Orange 1 practice group.  Bennett Monroe will continue to work with Orange 3 and Emily Allen will be assisting in the Orange program.

Jackie Bertucci will remain in her role as the TNAQ Meet Director.  She will also continue in her position as the UT Assistant Aquatics Director.  Jackie is instrumental in leading our effort to host great swim meets and is largely responsible for helping us build our reputation for hosting quality competitions.

The rest of the staff is staying put.  Jamie Haman will continue to lead the Gray 1 group and be part of our non-competitive program leadership, while Michael Hamann, Chris Franklin, and I will continue to work with the Senior athletes.

I am very proud of the staff we have put together and I truly believe with your continued support we will succeed in our effort to become the best program in the Southeast and the leader in aquatic programming in the Knoxville area.

Thank you for your time, support, and efforts this past year. Please sign up to celebrate this past year with Tennessee Aquatics at our May 4th banquet.  We are excited for the next season with Tennessee Aquatics.