October 12, 2010
Welcome everyone, as we celebrate the 14 season of Osprey Aquatics. It was a tremendous year, our best yet and we have much to be grateful for. The 2009-10 season was marked by many accomplishments and saw the team reach new heights of success. Our swimmers earned an unprecedented 567 Silver Stars, which represent an astounding 1701 improved times. We also had 82 new Far Western times swum, 45 new PRT's and 1 National and 3 new Junior National times.
We added 10 brand new Far Western Swimmers to bring our total to 21, an all time high. And, we added 6 new JO swimmers to bring out team total to 35. Along the way to these accomplishments were many highlights. Our 13-14 girls set 3 new short course Pacific Swimming relay records. They also won 3 relays at LC FW's. Linnea Mack set the team's first individual Pac Swim record, breaking one of the most special in the book, the 100 yd backstroke record set by the great Natalie Coughlin in 1997. Linnea earned her 1st Sr. Nationals cut with that swim, and then went on to be part of our best CCS group in team history, finaling twice and winning the 100 back, another team first. Linnea also earned All American honors for her 100 back, 50 free and 100 free.
We had 6 different swimmers final or consol at CCS, another team record. We saw 8 different swimmers final at SC or LC FW's, another team record.
Another sign of team wide improvement and excellence was the 251 new top 5 records for the different age groups on the team. And we had awarded a team record 45 Gold stars to swimmers this year for improving every swim at a meet. Leading the way in that category was Gabe Taikeff with 4 and Owen McCormick with 6!
We had some outstanding young people finish their years with the Osprey and go onto college. Four of them, Jamie Walitsch, Whitney Dean, Mollie Selfridge and Kellen Power are currently swimming on their University's Div.1 swim teams. Meanwhile, Jennifer Dean entering her sr. year at WSU has been awarded an increase in her athletic scholarship, from half to a full ride!
So as we celebrate our outstanding young people and their accomplishments from last year, I want to take a moment and look ahead to 2011 and the Olympic Year to follow.
Our Mission Statement remains: To develop individual potential towards excellence within a team concept, to qualify swimmers for Olympic Trials and beyond.
We want to see each swimmer improve, grow and develop character. We know there are different types of excellence, and the best way to achieve excellence is to simply be your best, whatever that potential may be.
We have set up our Team Awards to reflect that belief. We recognize improvement and accomplishment thru several avenues, including those that focus entirely on self improvement, like the stars, the commitment and most improved trophies. We value each individual as an important member of this team, and each is provided an opportunity to succeed based upon their willingness to work hard, learn, grow, sacrifice and do what it takes to succeed.
We want to help develop each individual towards their potential, whatever that is.
For 11 years now, since Sept. of 2000, I have stood before you at this awards picnic and stated our goal to qualify swimmers for Olympic Trials. IN 2000 that goal was like a distant star, visible across time and space but far away. Now that goal is very close, like a satellite orbiting our world, ready to descend upon our deck.
No one ever did more than they imagined. We stand today a team on the rise, a team that has the structure, the system and the talent to fulfill that ever present goal. The Olympic Trials cuts are out and I have seen them. I believe we have a number of swimmers who can achieve them in the next 2 years. I believe we as a team, as parents, swimmers, and coaches need to embrace that goal. And that if we do, we can send 5 or more swimmers to Omaha for the 2012 Olympic Trials. That's the goal. We can't allow ourselves to fear failure more than we strive for Success. Next week Scott Lathrope, a Stanford post grad swimmer working on his masters will be joining the team. He went to Trials in 2008 and still has the hunger to do more. He wants to return and improve upon his results. He has chosen the Osprey as the team he wants to join in pursuit of this goal. Who else wants to go with him to the meet? Who else will make the sacrifices necessary to achieve something wonderful that you can be proud of the rest of your life?
We have another goal for the entire team. I want to see us increase our total of JO swimmers by the Olympic year to 50. I want to see us increase our FW number of swimmers to 35.
If that's going to happen, it means that many swimmers here today that are C & B swimmers are going to become JO swimmers in the next 2 years. It means that many who have A times or are close are going to become FW's swimmers. Realize we've seen swimmers have B times at the beginning of the year and go on to final at FW's. Kimmi Perry did it and so have others. Why not you? But if it's going to be it's up to me. You have to come to practice regularly. You have to push yourself and step out of your comfort zone. You have to make sacrifices, but the rewards are great.
Anything you will ever do that dramatically improves your life will require a great deal of work. Our awards are a celebration and recognition of the hard work that has gone into some amazing accomplishments.
Remember this team had 2 JO swimmers our first year. No FW's, NO PRT's, No NRT's, No Pacific records, No Sr. Nationals............look how far we've come and look how close we are to being truly excellent.
It's up to all of you, swimmers and parents. I've devoted the better part of my life's work to this, so has Shannon. We want to be great, we want to be excellent, we want to be the best we can be.
Come on, let's do it!
Head Coach Osprey Aquatics