Hey Ronnie and Donnie,
Hope all is going well back West. Saw Steven Stumph won pac-12's in 2 br, that's so awesome.
I just wanted to update you with some recent news. I'm graduating med school in May and this past Friday, I found out that I was placed at my home institution SUNY Downstate/Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn for Emergency Medicine training for the next 4 years. Although I had initially hoped to be placed in CA, I'm pretty excited to train alongside an incredible group of ER physicians in one of the busiest and most badass trauma centers in NYC.
Brooklyn has cleaned up a lot and undergone significant gentrification over the last few years, but East Flatbush, Brooklyn is no Moraga, CA. The patient population is incredibly poor and underserved, gun/knife violence is prevalent (please don't tell my mom haha), and diseases that shouldn't exist still do. The next 4 years will definitely be the toughest of my life and I hope at the end of it, I can reflect back knowing I did some good.
Several OA Class of '14 Reunite in Santa Barbara
Annie Larsen, Hannah Grubbs and Allison Stevens at UCLA vs UCSB vs BYU
OA Alums turn Collegiate Triathletes!
Two OA alums have added new “gear” to their repertoire! Last spring, while working on her engineering degree, Allie Light (OA ’12) joined UCLA’s Triathlon Team (Spring 2014 Female Champions). The season begins in January, so Allie has only been in one race, the Goleta Beach Long Course Triathon (1 mile swim, 22 mile bike, 5 mile run), where she came in second in her age group (20-24) with a time of 2:09.47 and third woman overall. She has been invited to help promote the idea of making triathlons an NCAA sport for women at the 2014 Women’s Collegiate National Championshhip in Florida in early November.
Megan Howard (OA ’13) has turned her extracurricular focus from the US Naval Academy’s Swimming and Diving team to their club Triathlon Team. At the recent Richmond Rox Olympic Triathlon, Megan was the first woman out of the water! After swimming 1500 meters (first female out of the water!), 40 K Biking (through the hills of Virginia) and 10 K running (along the river, through downtown Richmond), Megan finished 4th in 2:26:36.99. Looks like those OA open water experiences such as the Tiburon Mile and the Escape from Alcatraz inspired Megan! Her combined team finished first in the Collegiate Cup that day.
Way to go OA Ladies!
Allie in OA Shirt on Oregon Training Trip
Go Megan, way to finish STRONG!
Hi Donnie!! September 2014: Kelly Noah
How have you been? How is the team going? Did you have a nice summer?
I'm writing to you from Singapore! I have been here for almost 2 months now, and it has been an absolutely incredible adventure. Studying abroad is one of the most important things that I have ever done in my life. I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity during my time in college.
So guess what...I am swimming with the National University of Singapore swim team! I never thought I would be swimming on a real team again after high school. At UCSB I go to the rec center frequently to swim before class with friends, but I haven't swam competitively for 2 years now. I am severely out of competitive shape, but it feels wonderful swimming with a real team again. The triathlon team practices with the swim team, so the practices are less technically oriented and more endurance-based. The coach is welcoming, as is the team and its captains. Swimming has been such a fantastic way for me to meet local students here. There are a few other exchange students swimming with the team, one from Norway, one from Denmark, and one from the Netherlands. I have found that swimming is a universal language in that no matter where you come from in the world, you can connect with others through a shared passion for the deep satisfaction earned from completing a challenging workout together. I am pretty proud of myself for being able to swim on a team again. It is rewarding knowing that I am still physically capable of working through difficult sets and that I still have the drive to complete a set even when I am tired. During my first practice I was surprised by how exhausted I felt just half-way through the main set. I was thinking about your "climbing the mountain" analogy, and that was what kept me going. I think about OA a lot, actually, because clearly the lessons I learned in self-discipline and motivation have stuck with me through all of this time. I am grateful to you and Ronnie for giving me tools that will last me my whole lifetime.
Speaking of OA, I also wanted to let you know that I saw Kim Vandenberg competing at a swim meet in Singapore! Singapore held this "Swim Star" meet in their new swimming complex, and I got a free ticket to go from my coach here. It was a blast, the whole team went and we got to see Nathan Adrian and other Olympians/national swimmers compete. I didn't know that Kim would be there too. I took a picture of her standing behind her block before her 100m fly. I have attached it to this email for you.
So I hope that this email finds you and the team well. I believe school is starting soon again for the high schools over there, so you must be very busy around this time preparing for the new season. Good luck with another fresh start, I am sending you good swimming vibes all the way from Singapore! :)
NESCAC Championships 2014: Colleen O'Brien (Hamilton), Sam Swinton (Tufts), Jenny Hu (Tufts), Aly Levine (Williams)
Quote from OA alum Brooke Woodward (Emory Senior)
"I feel like no matter what happens at NCAAs, I couldn't ask for more from the past 18 years. I've made every one of my best friends from swimming, learned countless life lessons, had great successes and failures too, challenged myself, laughed so hard I cried, and persevered. I nearly quit four years ago and now I've had the best four years and none of it was about times."
Hi Ronnie and Donnie!!
I hope you and everyone on OA are doing well! I just wanted to update you on how my season went this year. We had our conference meet this last weekend and we won for the second year in a row, which is very exciting! Looking back to even a year and a half ago, I never would have thought I could be a part of a team like UNH. My teammates and coaches are great and so supportive.
I don't know if I ever thanked you or could ever thank you enough for keeping me in the sport I love. Without both of your support, there is no doubt in my mind I would have quit swimming and I would not be where I am today. Swimming in college didn't seem like it would be an option two years ago and now I am a part of a great team, I am able to train harder than I ever had and I have had no problems with my shoulders.
This last weekend I swam 100, 200 back and 200 IM and made consolation finals in all three events. I got all personal best times with a 58.45 in 100 back, 2:06.14 in 200 back, and 2:07.91 in 200 IM. It was such an exciting meet to be a part of and I can't wait for next year. Spring break is in a few weeks and I can't wait to come home!
See you soon!
My swimming career is wrapping up really quickly (we had two dual meets this weekend and our last meet before conference is on Saturday)! I swam the 200 fly and the 500 free, not really my events, but there was no pressure/expectation and I ended up doing pretty well so that was nice! I wanted to tell how grateful I am for the support that you provided for me and my teammates in high school. You and Orinda Aquatics gave me a foundation in perseverance and a "Character First" mentality that has supported me through college and will continue to support me well into the future.
Thank you so much for all you have done for me and all you continue to do for OA!
Biology & Environmental Studies '14
Student Life Intern - Athletics
Lewis & Clark College
Achiever - Deliberative - Learner - Relator - Responsibility
Ward Named MPSF/Turbo Female Athlete of the Week
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Senior Andrea Ward concluded the regular season in historic fashion by taking home her school record fourth MPSF/Turbo Female Athlete of the Week award, as announced by the conference.
Ward was part of four victories on senior day, which also was the final home meet of her career against rival Cal Poly, taking the 100 yard butterfly (54.54) and 200 yard freestyle (1:51.76), along with providing a leg on two winning relays. Ward joined the relay team of Allie Knight, Sophia Yamauchi, and Anne Peanasky in taking the 200 yard medley relay (1"45.20). In a fitting end to senior day she joined the all senior team of Yamauchi, Peanasky, and Monica Garcia en route to first place in the 400 yard freestyle relay (3:30.50).
Ward now has seven total MPSF Female Athlete of the Week honors in her career.
Hi Donnie and Ronnie,
I just had my first meet yesterday against Boston College and it actually went really well. I swam 100 and 200 back and then 50 free in both relays. I got best unshaven times I think. I also got to see Megan Fuqua! Don't worry we got a picture! You're not going to believe how pale we are... It's embarrassing. It was nice to finally see someone I know from home! Training is really hard and it is still a huge adjustment, but I am loving it! I I love my teammates and my coaches are great. We have dual meets every Saturday for the next four weeks that I am really excited about. I think I will mainly be a backstroker but I will probably swim 200 IM or sprint free a few times. And parents weekend is next weekend so I will get to see my parents which will be really nice. I hope everything is going well for you and at OA. I can't wait to come home in December! I miss you! Emily
Women's Swimming & Diving Opens 2013-14 Season at Middlebury Tri-Meet
MIDDLEBURY, VT - Divers Sami Bloom and Kylie Reiman won for Tufts to highlight the women's swimming & diving team's effort in a tri-meet at Middlebury College with Connecticut College on Saturday.
The host Panthers topped Tufts 190-108. The Tufts - Connecticut College final score was 186-102 in favor of the Camels.
Bloom won off the one-meter board with a total score of 210.98. Reiman, who had finished fourth in one-meter diving, scored 224.93 points to win the three-meter event in her collegiate debut. Bloom placed second at 222.38 points.
Senior Jenny Hu returned from an off-season injury to swim a 1:07.50 in the 100 breaststroke for second place.
Junior Samantha Sliwinski recorded a pair of thirds for Tufts. She timed 25.05 seconds in the 50 freestyle and 54.58 in the 100 free.
The top first-year finish among the swimmers came from Amanda Gottschalk with a 2:31.44 touch in the 200 breaststroke for third.
To close the meet, Tufts was the runner-up in the 200 frestyle relay. The foursome of Hu, first-year Sophia Lin, Sliwinski and sophomore Sarah Mahoney was less than one second off the winning pace with their 1:39.94 time.
Sophomore Samantha Swinton had three fourth-place finishes in the 200 free (2:00.73), 200 butterfly (2:17.22) and 100 butterfly (1:02.78). Another fourth-place showing was produced by Mahoney in the 1,000 freestyle (11:05.27).
The Jumbos compete in their home opener next Saturday against Keene State at 1 pm.
(Pictured from Left to Right) OA Alums: Sven Campbell (Cal), Molly Larsen (Cal Poly), Jill Jones (Cal Poly), Rachel Cleak (Cal Poly), Padon Sivesind (Cal Poly) and Chris Leon (Cal) reunite when Cal traveled to Cal Poly for the King of the Pool/Queen of the Pool Pentathlon Meet.
Ward Leads UCSB In Tri-Meet Victory. 10/30/2013 - Swimming & Diving. UCSB kicks-off season with reigning MPSF Swimmer of the Year Andrea Ward combining for six victories, three individually. Read More [+] ...
Ward Named MPSF/Turbo Female Athlete of the Week
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior Andrea Ward was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation/Turbo Female Athlete of the Week after winning three individual events and three more relays as UC Santa Barbara swept a pair of victories in last weekend's tri-meet against Cal Poly and Hawaii.
Ward won individual races in the 500 freestyle (4:55.18), 100 butterfly (55.31) and 200 butterfly (2:03.46). She was also a part of the Gaucho foursomes that won the 400 and 200 medley relays and the 800 freestyle relay. The San Leandro, Calif. native was also a member of the second-place 400 freestyle relay squad.
"Andrea had some great swims for this early in the year and is very deserving of this honor," said UCSB head coach Gregg Wilson. "This should be a very exciting year."
Ward and the Gauchos will return to the pool on Friday, Nov. 1 when they travel to UCLA for a four-way meet against the Bruins, Oregon State and Florida Gulf Coast.
I just wanted to check in and update you on my college experience! I'm very happy so far with how things have been going here, and I am kept quite busy! The community at PLU is so supportive and kind, and I know that it is the right place for me to be. My classes have been going well so far. I love that students can meet with the professors one on one if they have any questions on homework, studying, or just want to talk about life in general!
Swimming at PLU has also been such a positive experience for what little time I have spent with the team so far. In September I told you briefly about how the team would have to run two miles, complete a cross fit challenge and complete a mile-long lake swim for our first practice. Although this was one of the most challenging practices I have endured, it was also one of the most positive experiences I have been through. The support that my team mates gave each other and everyone's high-quality effort during the whole practice was just amazing, and it is an experience I will not soon forget. Our first swim meet had the same supportive atmosphere. During the whole meet, the team was cheering and watching every single event when they weren't warming down or preparing for their next event. The team that we were competing against was a team that is not even in our conference, and we knew that we would beat them pretty handily, but everyone swam each race at 100% and didn't slack off on the cheering. This makes me so excited for our meets against teams in our conference. The energy will be very high, and I cannot wait to experience it.
My coach, Matt Sellman is a big part of why the team is the way it is. He promotes integrity and commitment within the team. He also promotes positive attitudes and a family-like and supportive atmosphere amongst the team mates. The other day he told the team to focus on your possibilities and potential for success, and to not get bogged down by your insecurities and uncertainties. I just felt really inspired by this and it reminded me of you and your articles you give out.
I hope everything is going well on OA, and I am very excited to come home and see the team at Thanksgiving!
Erica Muller, Pacific Lutheran