The Latest NOVA Noteworthy News





NN TAKES A DEEP BUT QUIET BREATH . . . in the Mother’s Day calm before meets resume again this coming weekend. Then we will begin what will seem like a quick sprint through the summer meets. Buckle up. And please mind those meet sign-up deadlines.

SAD TO GLAD . . . - that’s an announcement path I can happily follow. So we move quickly from the sadness of Benji’s departure to happier elevations. We have a replacement for Benji and his position! And that will be a well known quantity: David Schreck! When Benji told me that he would be leaving, I explored possibilities for about two days before realizing that the ideal replacement was already on staff. So when David approached me asking what we would be doing, I told him not to worry, that I’d already found a perfect replacement. His curiosity piqued, he held his hands up in query. I told him, “You.” Then I told him the many reasons why I thought it would be a great fit for NOVA and for David and family. David listened patiently and told me he would think about it, but that he was intrigued. The rest is now in the NOVA history books. David will begin working with Senior and Senior Development Gold in the fall but will begin sliding into the administrative aspect before he arrives. He will also resume his supervisory role with the website. Exciting news in my book!!

That re-assignment means that David will no longer lead AGDS. But that sad news is also quickly attended by good news. Coach Mike McKee will take over that role and that will mean a seamless transition since Mike has worked with David in that group for longer than NN cares to remember. Mike will remain the lead coach with AGP so no worries there. I’m excited to have Mike leading that important developmental group. His peerless leadership of AGP has been a big part of the success of our club over the years.


REGARDING UPCOMING LONG COURSE ENTRIES . . . . Please look at the website and check out meet deadlines and limitations. We only host two long course meets so we cannot extend the usual NOVA entry kindnesses. Promptness is required. We have to ship entry files early to ensure we do not get shut out of meets. A proverbial word to the proverbially wise should be sufficient.

THANKS AGAIN TO ALL WHO HAVE PLEDGED FOR THE POOL EXPANSION PROJECT  . . . . thus far. Our goal remains 100% family participation. We are continuing to work with Henrico County to secure final approval and with the bank to clear the final hurdles to secure financing for the 50 m pool project. Please consider pledging if you have not done so. We still need $50,000 in new pledges to reach our $2.1 million goal. Updates will swiftly follow any new information so stay tuned!!!


SWIM-A-THON CHUGS ALONG AND STEADILY NEARS . . . our 103 K goal. Our current total as of publication is 87 K and we have nine swimmers who have topped the $1000 marks. Swimmers who missed the Swim-A-Thon are strongly encouraged to use the NOVAFit hours between 2 and 4 to make-up. To reiterate the point made in last week’s NN, the NOVA S-A-T is the fruit of the labors of many parents and staff. S-A-T is, at its warm and beating heart, a teaching moment: it is an opportunity for swimmers to get some sense of the structure behind the team, to remind them that bills have to be paid, that checks must be signed or credit cards swiped; it is also an opportunity to remind swimmers and parents that they, not the coaching staff, are the “owners” of NOVA. And this is their chance to be part of that process and to become aware of just what enables them a chance to pursue aquatic dreams. 

Leaders?  Let’s go a Gold/Silver/Bronze salute to three young ladies currently contending for the S-A-T laurel leaves.

          Currently #1   Brantley Patterson (topping 2K!!!)

          Currently #2   Oakley Cotropia

          Currently #3   Bella Little

Group leaders? Currently locked in a tight four-way battle are AGDS, AGDG, AGS and AGG. AGDS holds a slight lead followed closely by the other three. Thanks and congratulations to all.



WARM WEATHER WARNINGS FOR THE WISE . . . . We all love the onset of spring. Blossoms, warmer weather, that yellow dust - OK - mixed blessings. Here are some heads-ups from the coaching staff that might make your spring/summer swimming experience more pleasant and more effective:

      -Swimmer’s ear prevention: A 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar will do the trick. All a couple of drops to each ear during the more humid spring and summer months and that bit of unpleasantness and expense will be avoided.

      -Use sunscreen - weekends and gym classes can bring unnecessary ouch to a practice.

        Wear sandals or shoes. A cut toe, a skin flap, a significant slice can be highly annoying when exposed to the movements and length of a practice

      -Hydration. Thirst is a sign of dehydration. The practice performance of dehydrated swimmers will suffer. Drink 8-12 ounces before going to bed to battle any creeping dehydration. Bring a large water bottle to practice!!

SPRING AND THEN SUMMER CAN BRING UNSETTLED WEATHER . . . in the form of thunderstorms. We have a grounded pool and practices will proceed without being interrupted by the sound of distant thunder. We do evacuate the pool when a storm is right on top of us as an extra precautionary measure. As soon as the storm has passed, we will get back in. We have no mandatory 30 minute policy as many summer pools do.

OUR COACHING STAFF’S EXPRESSED GOAL . . . is to answer e-mails promptly. If promptly isn’t possible because we are on-deck, working out, or out to dinner, for example, we aim to answer inside a 24 hour cycle. That 24 hours or less goal applies to the M-F workweek and some coaches extend that to include Saturday AM. A weekend e-mail may not get answered until Monday; a vacation e-mail may not get answered until a staff member returns from vacation. When we are on-deck or at a meet, that “prompt” response cycle may also be interrupted. Hope this clarification helps.     


PERUSE OUR LIST OF COLLEGE-BOUND SENIORS AND YOU WILL NOTE THE PRESENCE OF SOME IMPRESSIVE SCHOOLS . . . . We are delighted to announce the following future destinations. Our rule here is simple: gotta know before a name is added to this list. So here’s what we currently know and I think we may all our destinations settled at this point. If you know and we don’t, stay calm and drop me a line.

Drew Acquaye    University of North Carolina

Maya Atkins        Virginia Tech

Caroline Baber     Washington & Lee

Brennan Branch    Randolph-Macon

Carter Bristow      University of Virginia

Ian Densley          Roanoke College

Isabella Dula        California Polytechnic

Grace Edwards     Boston College

Cade Elliott         Washington University in St. Louis

Luke Garcia          VCU

Cole Gvozdas       Boston College

Maddie Hadd       Georgia Tech

Alec Harrison        JMU

Candace Kanney   Florida

Jack Kline              University of Kentucky

Ana Kuzemka        George Mason

Madelaine McDowell      Dickinson College  

Sarah Malloy         Texas Christian University

Streett Martin          Loyola of New Orleans

Lauren Meeker         Virginia Tech

Ashley Meyer           University of Richmond 

Elijah Ozbat              Emory

Rebecca Rogers       William and Mary

Annie Sanchez          Campbell

Nori Sanchez            Barton College         

Kayleigh Seitz           Oklahoma Christian

Parker Stevens          Utah                   

Sophie Svoboda       Air Force Academy

Patrick Townsend     University of Tennessee

Maria Vinson            Roanoke College

Jacob Walker            Virginia Tech

Matthew Whelan      Duke

Gracie Wielar           Villanova


We will aim to have some of the pictures from the senior signing event posted on the lobby TV’s so that the entire team can connect a name with a face.


THE COACHING STAFF IS ALWAYS LOOKING TO IMPROVE THE MEET ENTRY PROCESS . . . both for parents and for our meet management folks. Each meet entry is posted and coaches strongly request that parents either accept or decline a meet entry. We do aim to accommodate late entries whenever possible but that means extra work for our meet entry team. So please let us know your intentions for meets listed for your swimmer’s training group.  Just log in, find the appropriate meet and let us know your intentions. The coaching staff will also often send reminder e-mails as meet deadlines approach.


PARENTS BE ADVISED THAT CHILDREN PLAYING OUTSIDE THE BUILDING ARE NOT UNDER THE SUPERVISION . . . of any NOVA staff member.  If your child plays outside and that is OK with you, please remind them that ours is a “trafficked” parking lot and that swiftly darting young children should be wary of the driving lanes.  On the other hand, we are asking that all parents be especially vigilant when you enter our parking lot.  On a slightly related note, please respect the handicap parking places.  I know folks like to use these spaces for picking up swimmers but they are there to provide easy access for handicapped or special needs swimmers and visitors.  We appreciate your support !


DO YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL FAMILY MEMBERS WHO HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST IN NOVA? FRIENDS WHO SEEM INTERESTED?  We stand ready to evaluate any and all who have summer swim team level abilities.  Evaluations are quick, easy and free. Interested? E-mail Drew or Geoff. We can take care of most swimming levels somewhere in our program.  From lessons to Masters, NOVA is a full service swimming organization, the best in Richmond and in Virginia.  Modesty forbids us to say more so we’ll stop with that minor bragging.


WE HAVE THE NOVA FLAT HAT BULLETIN BOARD . . . that traces, through pictures, the travels of NOVA families and their NOVA caps. I thought it would be fun to see NOVA’s international bloodlines. Here is the rule: only parents and children count. So parents or children have to be first generation here in the United States.  Here’s what we have gathered - I suspect we have more. 33 countries and counting! Don’t hold out on us regarding your point of origin! 

South Africa                      
Sri Lanka 
The Philippines 

Czech Republic 
Seychelles Bosnia & Herzegovina

E-mail Coach Geoff with any additions. I suspect we will have an amazing NOVA tapestry when we are done.

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