MT Swim Excels at Western Zone Diversity Select Camp

Montana Swimming was well represented at the recent Western Zone Diversity and Inclusion Select Camp held at San Diego State University in sunny San Diego, California.

Representing our Big Sky state were athletes Bennett Apostol (BY), O'Shay Birdinground (BY), and Sara Guillen (BOZ). Also attending the camp summit were BY head coach Kristen Wyatt and MT Swim Diversity and Inclusion Chair Susan Huckeby (BTST).

Head coach for the camp was Chris Sheppard from Boston, Massachusetts. Assistant Coaches included Maddy Sheblessy from Cincinnati, Ohio, Audrey Bell (Utah), Emily Melina (Oregon) and Andriana Conteras (California).

Athletes had practiced in both short course yards and long course meters. Each day included dry land practice, nutrition talks, team building exercises, classroom education, walks to and from the pool, goal setting, and great food in the campus dining hall. Giles Smith, national team athlete and winner of a gold medal at the Pan Pac Games spoke to the athletes and adults on his path in swimming and as he trains for Nationals and the Olympic Trials.

MJ Truex led the adults in the summit classes with assistance from Juan Caraveo. The group discussed implicit bias, privilege, D&I Chair 101, the new transgender membership changes, the Western Zone all star team, and more. Ben Lee, coach with Team Elite, spoke on community activation. Kent Yoshiwara, Pacific Swimming, led the WZ D&I committee discussion.

Everyone participated in the community service outreach helping the Surfrider Foundation Net Patrol clean up the Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. Following the cleanup the group enjoyed a picnic lunch.

The last evening was spent bowling, eating pizza, and having fun. The athletes received some nice swag -- including a backpack, practice suit, and three camp t-shirts courtesy of USA Swimming, TYR, and Arena. It was a great camp and a wonderful experience!

Thank you Montana Swimming for sending us to the Western Zone Diversity and Inclusion Select Camp!! We are looking forward to the 2020 camp.