Swimmer of the Month
The Swimmer of Month was introduced by the 2014 Winter Junior Board. They wanted athletes to have the opportunity to be recognized for their efforts in the pool. The athlete is selected by the coaching staff and follows the guidelines (in no particular order) set forth by the Junior Board:
- Meet Participation
- Practice Behavior
May: Grayson Gray (Developmental)
Coach Quote: "Grayson like many young swimmers was so fixated on going fast in the water he rarely slowed down to work on his strokes. Since just before the short course MRC meet there has been a drastic change in Grayson's attitude. He has slowed down and worked on his technique to get better and he is no longer as fixated on being first after every set. However the biggest change is his attitude towards the other swimmers. He can be seen helping and encouraging other swimmers in his group and at meets is usually the first to cheer a fellow team mate on. Grayson's skills are improving and he is becoming a leader that the other swimmers look up to."
April: Grace Rechtzigel (Senior Gold)
Coaches Quote: "While Grace may be a relative newcomer to our team, she has made quite an impact. Her attendance was one away from perfection for the month. Whenever she is in the water she brings lots of energy and keeps everyone smiling through the hard work. She jumped fearlessly right back into swimming competitions, after 5 or more years away from club meets. Grace is a freshman at Faribault High School where she was recently named to the Honor Roll at FHS, and is also the manager for the Boys Swim and Dive team. If you have not already met her, please find an excuse to say hello, welcome, and congrats! Perhaps you also could ask her how much she loves IM sets."
February: Maddie Moser (Pre-Senior)
Coaches Quote: "Maddie has always been one of the most energetic members of the club ever since she started. Her energy is also a positive one that the coaches can physically see move to her teammates. Maddie had some unforeseen adversity this Winter (more than just the daily grind) however it did not change her energy and she continued to be up for challenges at every turn. Practice is definitely a plus with Maddie there and it has been great to see her continued steady gains in the water. However, whether a best swim or not, Maddie will be fun and high energy with her teammates and the team is lucky to have her."
January: Aya Myint (Juniors)
Coaches Quote: " Aya had a tremendous month of practice in January. She was consistently at practice and able to consistently put forth good effort. She regularly smiles and will not let a small interruption ruin her workout. She has continued to make great strides in strokes/events that use to be tough for her and continues to be a more complete swimmer. The Juniors group benefits from Aya at practice for her hard work, her positive attitude and her ability to have fun even when tasks are challenging. She elevates the group through her actions and the rare times she is not at practice it is noticed. It will be very exciting to see Aya compete in the final meets of the season."
November: Liam Ailabouni (Developmental)
Coaches Quote: "Liam is a great worker who is almost always at practice and absorbs what is being taught. He works very hard to master all new skills to the best of his ability and is a great leader to the rest of the swimmers who may be struggling with a new skill or drill. He truly has found the ideal balance of hard work and fun at practice. Liam's hard work has allowed him to compete at a high level and he is always willing to cheer and help his team mates on. He also made the jump from Developmental to Age Group due to these characteristics and it will be exciting to see what Liam will do in the next group."
October: Ryan Malecha (Senior Gold)
Coaches Quote: "Ryan may be quiet, but he is either leading or consistently pushing the leaders on Senior Gold. His attendance is outstanding, and his presence is a sure sign that our practice will be a strong one. He is humble in his appraisal of his own skills, and is always seeking advice on how to improve. Ryan’s overall success comes from his focus and attitude that he applies daily. I also know that he applies this winning formula elsewhere, and is an inclusive leader at his school and church. In one area, I think many of us could learn from Ryan: he is quick to complement his teammates. He will go out of his way to pass along a piece of positive feedback. Ryan makes our team better in many ways and is a big piece for the team we want to be."
September: Ella Porter (Juniors)
Coaches Quote: "Despite only being 9 Ella has been with the club for a couple years and has always shown confidence in her ability. To start the Fall Session she has really emerged as one of the leaders of the Junior group. The coaches can count on Ella to be listening, to ask relevant and important questions, and to be able to manage herself during a practice. She has gone from just managing herself to reaching out and helping others as well who may have missed something or got mixed up during a set. In many ways, Ella presents herself like a Senior swimmer. However, Ella is also more than willing to have fun with her teammates at practices and meets and equally enjoys having fun with working hard/competing."
July: Lindsay Sundby (Senior Silver)
Coaches Quote: "Lindsay has always been a very strong breaststroker but over the summer made big gains in all the strokes. Her desire to be a better overall swimmer was a component of this but also the way she attacked practices. However, the end of summer was highlighted by very impressive performances in the breaststroke. She went on to set team records and perform a top 16 and top 8 performance at the state meet. While her performances were great, she is also a great teammate and is more than willing to partake in friendly banter. She makes her teammates and coaches smile (even if she isn’t intending to do so) and it will be fun to see what she does next in a new age group and in a new season."
June: Ella Palmquist (Senior Gold)
Coaches Quote: "Ella brings a commitment and work ethic to the team that many can and do learn from. Ella's attendance was incredible for the whole summer session. She has put in a great deal of work, and will see the results for many seasons to come. At each practice Ella makes sure that she and her teammates are engaged, focused, and having fun. She leads by example: by including others in conversation, working very hard, and maintaining technique even when tired. I know that she places a high priority on our team, and the opportunity we have. Her attitude, her strong work ethic, and her willingness to go the extra distance- it's what coaches hope to find in their athletes. "
May: Mara Halls (Juniors)
Coaches Quote: "Mara has been with the club for only a couple years but at every level has shown a level of maturity that has allowed her to excel. She is very careful with her strokes in the water as she wants to be as efficient as she can. She listens to her coaches and grew into the leader of the Juniors group in her time there. By being the leader, she helped lead sets and when it came to our home meet, was one who was willing to try a lot of different events (200s of strokes, the 500). Her confidence allows her to succeed and it has been a lot of fun to watch. It will be exciting to see where Mara can go with her drive and positive attitude.
April: Lars Marroquin-Haslett (Developmental)
Coaches Quote: "Lars comes to practice with the goal of improving. He never complains about a work out and always put forth 150% every time he’s here. Lars has worked very hard to overcome some major fears about the water and that alone is no small feat but his persistence in practice has allowed him to face these fears and overcome them. I don’t think there is a swimmer in developmental who puts forth more effort and heart into his workouts, above that he is a great team player always helping out others in the group and being positive in everything he does. Lars competed at his first meet this last weekend and I think he did an awesome job."
February: Chloe Mellgren (Senior Gold)
Coaches Quote: "This month we recognize Chloe Mellgren as Swimmer of the Month. She places a priority on going to practice and has the daily intention of improving. She also brings a good balance between focus and fun to each workout; helping her teammates both step up and somehow enjoy it. In competition, she knows how to finish a race (you can count on her to win a close one). She makes it fun to watch. Coaches and athletes alike, we all appreciate her and what she does for our team. We look forward to seeing where it leads her, as she leads us."
January: Nora Kortuem (Age Group)
Coaches Quote "Nora started with the club back in the Fall and has made consistent gains throughout the season. She started in Developmental and quickly got to a point where she was ready to jump to Age Group. With every meet she attended, she tried out new races. While a little nerve wrecking, Nora always approached the new challenges with a positive attitude and confidence that allowed her to excel. The result was her finding a strong ability to compete in longer races. Her willingness and attitude towards being out of her comfort zone allowed her to find new levels of success. Nora is just getting started and it will be fun to see where swimming takes her."
November/December: Sam Erickson (Pre-Senior)
Coaches Quote "Sam has been making tremendous strides in recent months. The key for Sam has been learning how to work hard with more efficiency. For a while, Sam could work really hard but his technique would take a hit. Now, he is able to maintain his technique and understands the importance of it. He has also been more regular at practice and the consistency has shown in meets. Due to the above factors Sam made the jump from Pre-Senior to Senior Silver from the Fall to Winter Session. While there has been a jump in training, Sam continues to come practice with a positive attitude and ready to work hard."
October: Whitney Gray (Age Group)
Coaches Quote "This will be Whitney’s second session with the club only but she has made amazing strides thus far. She is quickly finding the most efficient ways to move through the water for all four strokes. The positive attitude she brings to practice allows her to have good practices whenever she is at the pool (which is often). That positive attitude carries over to meets where she never shows any fear and always arrives with a smile and a mindset that is ready to race. Because of this she saw some great drops in November. As Whitney continues to grow her positive attitude and efficient strokes will allow her to continue to make great gains."
September: Rylee Blandin (Juniors)
Rylee was the only swimmer on the whole club who made every practice in September. Not only is she at every practice, but she is counted on as one of the leaders in the Junior group. She is attentive to the coaches and to the workouts. Rylee continues to make changes to her stroke as she knows to achieve what she did as a 10&Under as an 11-12 she will need to continue to grow as a swimmer. Due to her work ethic she is setting herself up for this. There has been no fear aging up or any negativity, but rather an outlook of taking on an exciting new challenge which is always fun to see in the athletes.
July: Bryce Malecha (Senior Silver)
Coach's Quote: "It is a rare day when Bryce is not at the pool. Bryce comes nearly every day and his effort is as consistent as anyone on the club. Bryce does not take sets off or goes easy at any point during a practice. The coaches can always count on Bryce to set the tone for the group, and it shows in his teammates elevated performances. Bryce is a consistent competitor for our club at meets and will do any event. There is technique and racing strategies that he still needs to perfect but with his consistent attendance and effort they will come."
June: Leah Enedy (Juniors)
Coach's Quote: Leah recently joined the Junior’s group and was one of the younger members in the group. After settling in has started to thrive. It took a little while to find the confidence and to gain some footing but now Leah has shown some great flashes of her ability. The next step will be to turn those flashes of ability into consistent effort and performance at practice. With Leah’s positive attitude, willingness to step out of her comfort zone, and focus on all aspects of the sport, the consistency will come soon and it will be exciting to see the results.
May: Caroline Peterson (Senior Gold)
Coaches Quote: "Caroline is one of the most consistent athletes when it comes to practice. Her attendance is high, her effort is terrific and her attitude is always positive. All three have played a big role in her continued improvement over the course of the last year where she saw some very big gains. Her role on the high school team and our club was bigger than roles she had in the past and her response was to take the challenge head on. That sort of mentality will allow her to continue to see big improvements and become a leader as she grows for the younger swimmers behind her."
April: Connor Berndt (Age Group)
Coaches Quote: "Connor has been one of the most consistent members of Age Group for a while. His attendance is steady and he makes meets on a regular basis. Coaches can count on Connor to know what is happening in the group, to lead the group by doing what is asked of him and to be someone who doesn’t shy away from a challenge. His performance and actions in practice have translated to success in the pool at meets in all events he does. He has grown considerably as a swimmer over the past few months and will continue to make big strides because of how he handles himself."
February/March: Victoria Campbell (Senior Gold)
Coaches Quote: "Victoria moved to Northfield from Tennessee in the Fall of 2014. Since her arrival she has been an important role model to the younger girls on our team as she demonstrates everything the coaches want in an athlete. She comes everyday with a positive attitude, willing to try new things and most importantly works hard because she knows in order to do her best that gives her the greatest chance to succeed. She has been loyal to the club through her attendance at meets, practice and volunteering. We’ve been fortunate to have Victoria as a member of the team and wish the best as she heads to college next Fall."
December/January: Paige Steenblock (Senior Silver)
Coaches Quote: "Since starting swimming Paige has been in love with the sport. She is constantly aware of what we are attempting to do in practice and asks questions to help herself know more on how to do skills better. She also is one of the loudest cheerers of her teammate and thrives in the water when the favor is returned. Paige really turned it up a notch in workouts in December/January and put out some amazing efforts. It reflected at meets in many of her races. Always smiling and always in love with being around the pool, Paige will continue to thrive in the pool and will be a leader along the way."
November: Emma Baragary (Age Group)
Coaches Quote "Emma is always excited, engaged and practically ready to burst when it comes to swimming. She is a leader among her peers, she always is asking questions on how to improve, and she is quick at making changes. Not at all afraid to ask for fins, or to work on turns, butterfly, or whatever strikes her fancy at any particular moment. It's always nice to have someone in the water that has her level of commitment to the team and our sport. Her attendance, focus, and energy level are the trifecta that led to her swimmer of the month award."
October: Luke Redetzke (Juniors)
Coaches Quote "Luke has made quick strides in his first year of swimming. He started out in our Winter Intro Clinic in 2014 and found quick success as he swam in the finals meets that Winter…first qualifying for C finals at Pre-C Finals, and then MRCs at C finals. From that point Luke has been very focused and has become a swimmer who is strong in all four strokes and all distances. He enjoys continuing to learn but has equal fun being around his teammates and cheering/watching his older brother, Alex. His first year of swimming he discovered a new passion; it will be a blast to watch his second year as he continues to grow in and out of the pool."
September: Sophia Legare (Pre-Senior)
Coaches Quote "There was only one athlete who had perfect attendance through September and that was Sophia. Along with that great attendance Sophia puts together strong workouts day in and day out. She comes with a strong focus on little details and perfecting them with every repetition. Along with her incredible work ethic, Sophia is one of the nicest, polite and generous athletes on the team to her teammates and coaches. She cares about those around her and is engaged with their performance. To have her at every practice thus far has been a huge bonus for our club.
July: Liesel Smee (Juniors)
Coaches Quote "Liesel started swimming last Fall (2014) in our intro clinic and made steady improvements over the course of the short course season. In the spring, she started to attack her swimming with a different mentality. She approached workouts with a stronger desire and displayed more curiosity with the sport. Both allowed her to make bigger gains faster. She also expanded the type of events she would do at meets and found strengths in new strokes/races that she didn’t know was in her. She finished her first year of swimming with a tremendous performance at the summer MAC championships and will have more meets like this in the future.
June: Lindy Edstrom (Senior Gold)
Coaches Quote "Lindy is a multi-talented student athlete who has found success doing debate, track and field, as well as swimming. She recently made the adjustment to senior gold and while she was concerned about that transition she not only makes it nearly every practice - but more importantly she pushes herself. Breaking the team record in the 50 free just this last weekend. It's been fun to watch her move up in the lanes. Having Lindy in the water working hard elevates the work ethic of those around her. We're excited to see what she can do when she rests up for her final competitions later this month"
May: Alice Zhang (Senior Silver)
Coaches Quote "Over the past year Alice has jumped multiple levels of swimming through hard work and attention to detail. The payoff has been the ability to surprise herself and her teammates as to what she can accomplish in the pool. She has had some of the most amazing practices of anyone in the club. This is setting herself up to be a big time swimmer for the club and for the high school team as she moves forward. She strives to get better by paying attention to details and asking the coaches questions about her strokes. As she grows and gets stronger it will be fun to see where Alice’s ceiling is…as of now we cannot see it."
April: Marcus Hauck (Senior Gold)
Coaches Quote "There aren't many on the club who have the motor and determination that Marcus has. Swimming has been a passion for Marcus since he started the sport and anyone who watches him practice or compete can see it. His attention to detail is not matched by any on the club and his appreciation and respect for what it takes to get to the top is inspiring for those who swim along side him. Marcus is humble in what he has accomplished and some of his biggest races are yet to come. All the work he has put in will pay huge dividends as he continues his career in swimming."
February/March: Liv Fossum (Juniors)
Coaches Quote "Liv absolutely loves swimming and it shows every time she is at the pool. Despite being involved with the sport for a number of years now she displays great curiosity as to how she can improve for her next race. By always being prepared and ready to go she also pushes those around her to help them to new levels. She has shown tremendous improvement in the pool and continues to be a great teammate to those around her."