Our Partners
FISH of the Month

January FISH of the Month



Charlie Scogna


Congratulations to Charlie Scogna for being named the FISH of the Month for January!  Charlie’s highlight in January was her performance at the 2018 Retriever Classic at UMBC where she won 5 races and was the High Point winner in the 10 & Under Girls age group.  In addition, Charlie swam the 1000 Freestyle for the first time at the January Distance meet and rocked it!  Charlie always brings a smile and a good attitude to the pool deck, and her laughter is contagious!  She is one of the hardest workers you will see – as evidenced by her impressive attendance record this season – and has already improved by over 63 seconds this season!  If you see Charlie on the pool deck tell her congratulations!  We are all excited to see what the future has in store for her!


1. When and where did you start swimming?

            I started on my summer team, Highlands, when I was 4 years old.


2. What do you like to do outside of the pool?

I like to play with my friends and spend time with my dog Milo and my guinea pig Nugget.


3. What does The FISH mean to you?

            The FISH means being part of a team and working hard to chase your goals.


4. Quick response:

            Gatorade or Powerade: Gatorade

            Favorite Word/Phrase: Um…I dunno!

            Least Favorite Word/Phrase: Butterfly

            Favorite Color: Purple

            Favorite Breakfast Food: Pancakes

            Favorite Event: 100 Free


JonDavid Bulford is the December FISH of the Month

JonDavid Bulford is a nine-year-old Age Group swimmer who has a great work ethic and team spirt.  During the first week of December, “JD” made his first JO Qualifying time in the 50 back at Christmas Champs.  JonDavid had a great swim in the prelim session and tied for the second alternate position.  As a result, he had a swim off in which he dropped more time, won, and made his qualifying time.  JonDavid’s attendance during the month of December was stellar.  He made every practice during the holiday practice period and worked extremely hard! During the holiday practice time trials, JonDavid supported his teammates by cheering loudly for them. 

1. When and where did you start swimming?

     I began swimming as a mini Wildthing with the Langley Club in the summer of 2013.

2. Favorite event and why.

      I really enjoy swimming the 50 butterfly because it’s a hard event and it pushes me to do better.

3. What hobbies, sports, activities (besides sleep) do you participate in outside of swimming?

I play lacrosse, tennis, soccer, and also enjoy playing football and basketball with my friends.  Basically, anything that involves a ball.  I also like to fish, play chess, build things, and I really like to collect fossils. 

4. First thought response questions:

     Gatorade or Powerade?   Gatorade

     Favorite word?  Psyche!

     Least favorite word?  Loser

If you were stranded on a desert island what three movies would you absolutely have to bring?

      Surfs Up!, Star Wars the Last Jedi, and  Ice Age Collision Course

5. What is FISH to you?

Fish means working hard, never giving up, and always trying your best.  It also means trying to beat your friends’ times, but still being happy for them if they beat you!

FISH of the Month 

November Fish of the Month-Gabriela Cid

Gabriela Cid is the November 2017 Fish of the Month.  Gabriela’s practice attendance has been flawless.  While at practice, she has an excellent attitude, good work ethic and follows directions.  These factors are the reason that Gabriela swam 11 personal best times at the November Open and Christmas Champs. 

Gabriela began swimming at age two at the Washington Lee Pool.  Her favorite event is the 50 free because it is an event she has worked hard on to improve.  When not swimming, Gabriela plays the piano and cello.  In addition to these activities, she also participates in theater.

First thought response questions:

Gatorade or Powerade? - Gatorade

Favorite word? – fun

Least favorite word? – braces

 If you were stranded on a desert island what three movies would you absolutely have to bring?

1.       Mary Poppins

2.       Descendants

3.       High School Musical

What is FISH to you?

For me FISH is my TEAM, where I make new friends, laugh and have fun swimming.





FISH of the Month for October - Collin Moore

After a successful two months of training and fast swims, the FISH of the Month for October is Collin Moore of Mini FISH.  The FISH staff have seen Collin carry his experiences from past seasons and really thrive so far this season.  He brings smiles, leadership, and excitement to every practice!  

Collin is eight years old but you wouldn't tell from his maturity and speed.  He started swimming when he was five, but missed one year because of a broken arm.  Surprisingly, his favorite stroke is butterfly!  

At the Fall Gator Mini Meet, Collin dropped a total of 40 seconds over six different swims and placed in the top ten in four events.  We see this as only the first step in a fast, successful season.  When asked for the biggest reasons in his improvement, Collin points to "practice and tips from coaches for something to improve."  When not at the pool or school, Collin enjoys reading, soccer, and Minecraft.  

Quick Response Questions:

  • Gatorade or Powerade?
    • Gatorade (I've never had Powerade.)
  • Favorite word?
    • Galumphing (It's just a funny word.)
  • Least favorite word?
    • Hairy
  • What does FISH mean to you?
    • Excitement.  Something I enjoy.  More swimming! 

FISH of the Month for June - Sofia Creeks

Sofia Creeks.JPG

Congratulations to our June FISH of the Month, Sofia Creeks!

Sofia is in her 4th year with the FISH, and currently swims in Advanced Age Group. Her unwavering work ethic and her awesome success in her long course season made her a stand out for this honor.

Since the beginning of the summer season Sofia has been lighting it up in the pool. Her favorite sets at practice include sets with very difficult intervals and any sets containing breaststroke kick. Not afraid of tackling difficult tasks, Sofia’s favorite FISH team moment was swimming (and watching her teammates swim) the 1000 yard freestyle at the January Distance meet. All of her hard work last season and throughout the summer paid off, and at the FISH Derby she qualified for her first LC Age Group Championships in the 50 Breast. She hopes to add to her championship meet repertoire by qualifying for the 2018 Junior Olympics this spring. If she continues to keep up her stellar attendance record and hard work in the pool, it looks like that is a very achievable goal.

As a sister to three brothers (her fellow triplets Raymond and Brian, and their older brother Mathew), Sofia is used to being part of a group. However in AAG, Sofia has stood out and gained the attention of her coaches and her teammates; not only from her incredible hard work during practice, but also her quick wit. In her spare time, Sofia enjoys writing stories and working on her handwriting. She can often be seen on the pool deck hanging out with her friends and adding hilarious side-comments to every conversation.

We the coaches have thoroughly enjoyed watching Sofia grow and improve this season and are looking forward to see where next season takes her. Congratulations Sofia, you deserve it!

5 Quick Questions With: SOFIA!

  1. What is your favorite event?

The 100 and 200 breaststroke

  1. Who is your favorite TV character?

Flo from the Progressive commercials

  1. What is your favorite animal?

The otter

  1. What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter and Percy Jackson

  1. What would you do for a Klondike bar?

I would do the dishes five times in a row!

Bonus: Who is your favorite brother?

Hard question. ALL OF THEM!

Mathew is one of my 'favs' because he always gives me advice, and gives me a hard time for touching my plate with the serving spoon and “contaminating” it. (I do it just for fun!)

Raymond is also one of my 'favs' because he will do things with me such as playing games, trading candy or helping me with my math. He also likes to hang out in his PJ’s when I have friends over. Why? I don't know.

Brian is also one of my 'favs' because he makes excellent eggs and donuts, and he can also be very sweet and kind. He also forces me to use all of my creativity by stealing something from me and making me find a way to get it back without going in his room.



FISH of the Month for December - Natalia Rongione

Congratulations to Natalia Rongione, our 2016 December FISH of the Month! Natalia showed us how her amazing work ethic, undeniable will to excel, and her strong drive to always do her best put her above and beyond her teammates in the pool during the Holiday Break Training.

Natalie showed up to almost 100 percent of the practices available for the Incredible FISH during the Holiday Break Training and gave it her all each day! She never held back. She always challenged herself to make the interval – no matter how tough. She embraced her new lane change and never looked back - no matter how much more challenging and demanding the new intervals proved to be. All amazing qualities that not only impressed the coaches but helped her to have an unbelievable two weeks of training! 

Natalia says that her favorite part of the Holiday Break Training was being able to get faster and faster each practice and seeing all of her hard work payoff each and every day! In fact, her favorite set of the entire two week training came on the last day of break where they showed how fast they could swim and how strong they were by doing 5 x 150 ALL OUT for time and Natalia hit a faster average than the previous year

Natalia not only dominated and conquered all the practices but managed to even work through the pain of smacking her ankle on the wall and continuing to train and swim as if nothing had happened. This proved that Natalia is not only physically strong and ready to step up her game but she is also mentally ready as she pushed through the pain and keep training. No injury was going to stand in her way

As we continue on with the season, it is going to be very exciting to watch Natalia in the pool! With her hard work ethic and constant perseverance anything is possible – including adding more Sectional cuts to go with the ones she earned right before the Break at the RMSC Holiday Invitational in the 1000 Free and 1650 Free! Natalia hopes to add the 500 Free and 200 Free to her Sectionals schedule! Congratulations Natalia, keep up all the hard work!!

FISH of the Month for September - Mathew Creeks

Written by Coach Matt

Congratulations to Mathew Creeks on being named the FISH of the Month for September!  Matt has impressed the coaching staff in the early season with not only his practice attendance (one of this highest percentages in his group) but especially with his practice performance.  Matt has really raised the bar at practice, and staying focused on his goals is one reason for the higher standard. 


Mathew is in his 5th season with The FISH, and his most memorable moment with the team came at his very first practice. “It was so hard and I struggled so much,” he remembers, “that really motivated me to come back the next day and as many days as I could.” Matt has come a long way since that first practice. Nowadays, he swims with the Awesome FISH and is thriving.  His favorite sets are long swims followed by 100’s sprint.  His favorite race was his 100m Freestyle at the Red & Black Invitational this past summer because he broke :57 for the first time. 


Outside of the pool, Matt enjoys spending time cooking with his family.  His favorite food is any type of soup, and his favorite color is ‘blueish-green.’  If you see him on deck, make sure to congratulate him!

FISH of the Month for March - Emma Redman


Written by Coach Nicole

Congratulations to our March FISH of the Month, Emma Redman!

Emma is in her 3rd year with the FISH; starting with the Age Group FISH at Wakefield and moving up into Advanced Age Group this season. Her fantastic practice effort and her contagious good mood have lead her to an incredible short course season and made her a standout for this honor.

Emma is as unique as they come – whether it’s her bubbly personality or her amazing body awareness in the water. Although she is only 9 years old, Emma is never afraid of a challenging practice or event line up at a meet. At the Super FISH Bowl, when Coach Nicole asked Emma which events she would like to swim she selected the 200 Fly, 200 Back, 400 IM, and 500 Free. With the 200 Fly and the 500 Free back to back, and the 200 Back and 400 IM close together, Emma got up behind the blocks and fearlessly raced the events which many swimmers shy away from.

This confidence in her own abilities has helped lead Emma to an outstanding championship season, where at the 2016 Junior Olympics she was able to make finals in each of her 6 individual events, placing 3rd in the 200 IM and no lower than 6th in any of her other swims. Two weeks later, Emma traveled with 23 of her teammates to Clearwater, Florida for the NASA Showcase Classic; a national level age group meet. While in Florida, Emma competed against some of the fastest 9 year olds in the country, and she was able to win all 10 of her individual events, and help the 10&Under Girls to sweep the 4 relay events. Scoring 110 points (with the next closest swimmer scoring 83), Emma earned the High Point honors for 9 year old girls.

 Despite her incredible success, Emma is humble and embodies what is most important in this sport: having fun. She can be seen on deck cheering for her teammates, laughing hysterically, or dancing crazily. She is a delight to work with and an inspiration to those around her. We are excited to see what she can take on next. Congratulations Emma!

5 Fun Facts About: EMMA!

  1. In addition to her accomplished swimming career, Emma is also a very talented gymnast!
  2. Her favorite FISH team moment was having fun with her teammates at the Swim-a-Thon!
  3. Her long-term goal is to beat her older brother Liam!
  4. Her favorite stroke is butterfly, but her favorite event is the 200 IM!
  5. She cannot tell the difference between a Red Panda and a Raccoon!

index.jpe  index2.jpe

Which one is which?!?

FISH of the Month for February - Nicole Fye

After having a great month of training and challenging herself every chance she gets, the FISH of the Month for February is Nicole Fye of Awesome FISH.

Nicole Fye is new to our FISH Family, by way of Illinois and Georgia. She started swimming at the age of six for the Huntington Estates Seahawks in Naperville, IL. When asked what her favorite event is Nicole says the 200 Free, “because it’s the perfect mix of speed and endurance.

This past Virginia 4A States meet Nicole competed for Rock Ridge High School. At first see was nervous since it was her first year of high school swimming, but once she got into the pool she was just excited and happy to be representing her school. When not swimming, or doing schoolwork, Nicole likes to read and hang out with her dog Roxy.

To Nicole FISH is family! She loves to swim, but getting to hang out with her teammates and talk to the younger swimmers makes swimming with FISH really special to her. The favorite moment of Nicole’s since joining FISH was last year in Buffalo. The girls had won sectionals and Coach Ray bought 100 chicken wings to celebrate. “I had just joined the team, and that night I had so much fun and felt like I really belonged here”.

Quick Response Questions:

1.     Gatorade or Powerade?


2.     Favorite word?

  • Bovinespongiformencephalopathy

3.     Least favorite word?

  • Rural

4.     If you were stranded on a desert island, what three movies would you absolutely have to bring?

  • The Sixth Sense
  • Spongebob Squarepants the Movie
  • Elf


FISH of the Month for December - Natalia Rongione

Written by Coach Kelly Rose

Congratulations to Natalia Rongione, our December FISH of he Month! Natalia’s hard work, perseverance, and constant drive to challenge herself each day over the Holiday Break Training made her a stand out candidate for the FISH of the Month.

Natalia has loved swimming all her life thanks to her big sister Isabella. She has always wanted to follow in her sister’s footsteps so she began swimming at the age of 5 for her summer league team, the McLean Marlins. That fall, Natalia joined the FISH Swim Team as a Mini FISH and has now worked her way up to being an Incredible FISH.

Natalia had almost near perfect practice attendance during the Holiday Break Training and would push herself each day to make the harder intervals, achieve new goal times, and improve her strokes. As coaches, it was so exciting to watch Natalia crush practice after practice and keep getting faster each day. Natalia will tell you that “the Holiday Break training was hard, but she hopes it will make her a better swimmer”. However, her favorite part of the Holiday Break Training was getting to swim with her teammates each day, while helping each other improve and challenge themselves to be the best that they could be.

As we continue on with the season, it looks like Natalia’s hard work and dedication are going to lead her to great successes! It will be exciting to see how far Natalia pushes herself in practice and how much she will improve heading into the New Year! Congratulations Natalia, keep up all the hard work!! 

5 Fun Facts About… Natalia!

  1. She is a triplet (2 brothers)
  2. Loves everything BLUE
  3. Big Football Fan… especially the New England Patriots
  4. Loves animals and nature
  5. Her favorite vacation place is Hawaii


FISH of the Month for November - Ignat Miagkov

Written by Coach Callan

Congratulations to Ignat Miagkov, our November FISH of the Month and our second FISH of the Month for the 2015-2016 season!

Ignat started his swimming career with his summer team the Kingstream Kahunas when he was 5 years old. He joined FISH shortly after starting year-round swimming.

Ignat, aka Ignatius as he is known is these parts, has been having a great fall season coming off a great summer of training. At Swim & Rock this year he had a good showing in finals including his performance in the 100 Backstroke. His prelim time of 57.94Y was turned into a 57.18Y that night at finals. Ignat didn’t stop there. He took the experience of Swim & Rock into this past weekend’s Christmas Championships and CRUSHED IT! He had many great swims including 3 top 8 finishes, but the one race that stood out to me was his 200 IM. His seed time of 2:12.10 had him seeded 14th going into the meet. In prelims he went a 2:14.21Y and was disappointed with it. This is where as one of his coaches I was tremendously proud of Ignatius. He came back that night determined to improve. His effort turned in a milestone time of 2:09.17Y with over a second faster average each 50. He taught himself a valuable lesson of always giving his all to achieve his goals.

Ignat is now looking forward to improving his other events the same way, especially his 400 IM. In his own words, “I honestly like the 400 IM a lot, because it not only involves speed and technique to complete, but stamina is essential to finishing the event. It is also the first event that I achieved a AAA time in, and I have enjoyed swimming [it] since.”


Fun Facts about: Ignat!

1.      Plays pick up soccer with his Dad.

2.      He enjoys eating, playing video games and doing schoolwork in his off time.

3.      He participates in Science Olympiad and Quiz Bowl for Langley High School.

4.      He thinks he is a better bowler than Coach Callan (we shall see).

FISH of the Month for October - Stefan Jafari

Written by Coach Nicole

Congratulations to Stefan Jafari, our October FISH of the Month and our first FISH of the Month for the 2015-2016 season!

Stefan is in his 5th year with the FISH; starting in the Mini FISH at age 6 and progressing up to the Advanced Age Group this season. His incredible work ethic and positive attitude made him a standout for this month’s recognition.

Stefan is not one to back down from a challenge, and when he is given an opportunity to shine, he takes it. His best showing of this quality was at the Harvest Moon Invitational. At this meet, swimmers are scored by adding up their cumulative times for each of their 6 events (either having swum a “Full Moon” or a “Half Moon”). Stefan swam the “Half Moon”, meaning that he competed in the 50 Fly, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Free, 100 Free, and 100 IM. After the first day, Stefan was 5th in the overall standings, despite having gone all best times. However, once Stefan saw how close he was to placing in the top 3 (and earning a coveted kick board trophy) he stepped up and raced with all his heart. With three more amazing swims under his belt, he was able to not only break into the top 3, but take control of the 2nd place spot. This was by far his favorite accomplishment this season.

Looking towards the future, Stefan hopes to get his JO cut in the 100 IM and add to his event list of 50 Back and 50 Breast. If he continues his hard work at practice and bright outlook, there is no doubt that more great successes are in the near future. Congratulations Stefan, we are SO proud of you!

5 Fun Facts about: STEFAN!

  1. His favorite stroke is backstroke!
  2. His favorite FISH team moment is the annual Holiday Bowling Party!
  3. He is a good football player!
  4. His favorite football team is the New England Patriots!
  5. He loves to read!

FISH of the Month for December - Mason Greenblatt

​Written by: Coach Tom

Congratulations to Mason Greenblatt  on being named  FISH of the Month for December!  Mason's dedication and  hard work have truly stood out to his coaches, especially during December winter training.  Despite the heavy yardage and demanding schedule during the holidays, Mason tackled every practice head on with a great attitude and dedication. By the end of Christmas break, his practice attendance was almost perfect.

Mason has been with the team for 6 years and currently swims with the Incredible FISH. His started at age 7from  humble beginnings at his grandparents summer team, The Lake of the Woods Barracudas.  His love for competition boiled over - leading to him joining the FISH at age 8.  “When I first joined the Fish, my nickname was sushi, because I was by far the youngest and smallest kid in Age Group. Also, a lot of people say I look like Coach Matt when he was younger.”

 On the subject of favorite stroke, Mason has none. “I don't really have a favorite stroke, but backstroke is definitely my least favorite out of the four, because I get bored after staring at the ceiling for so long.”   When it comes to favorite practices, Mason responded with humor , “10x400 Best average. Haha, just kidding. 16x25 sprint IM order, on the minute."

When asked about his favorite part about swimming, he answered “The feeling of accomplishment after a great race, especially at a championship meet, when everything just seems to click.” A great example of that feeling came to him at the NASA meet in 2012, “When I was 12, my relay team almost won on the first night, from an outside lane in finals. Everyone on deck and in the stands was going crazy the entire race, and even though we got out touched at the end, we each crushed the time we went a month earlier at JO's.”

To stay motivated, “I keep a list of my end of year goal times in my practice binder, so I can look and be motivated by them on a daily basis.” When asked about his projected future Mason responded “With the Olympic trials a little more than a year out, that's always a distant possibility. But right now I'm trying to make Sectionals in March, and hopefully Junior Nationals in the summer.”

 After Zones this summer, Mason looks forward to water skiing and inner tubing with his cousins, on the lake near his grandparents house.


FISH of the Month for October - Victoria Valko

Written by Coach Nicole

Congratulations to Victoria Valko for being chosen as our FISH of the Month for the month of October! Victoria’s outstanding performance at the Harvest Moon meet and her incredible hard work at practices made her a stand out for this honor.

Victoria is swimming her 3rd year with the FISH. One of her favorite memories was having the opportunity to swim a few events at last year’s Junior Olympic Championships, alongside some of her fastest teammates. Transitioning this year into Advanced Age Group after her successful season in Age Group, she has set some very high goals for herself. Prior to the start of the season, she hoped to qualify for the NASA Showcase Classic, an elite National Age Group meet held in Clearwater, Florida in early April. So far, Victoria has already qualified herself in four events, including two of her favorites: 50 fly and 50 free. While she used to be most fond of the backstroke, she is starting to find a new love of fly and freestyle the more she swims them. Victoria also hopes to achieve a quadruple A time (AAAA time) prior to the summer season, a feat which seems quite attainable if she continues to train and race as hard as she has been thus far.

But Victoria is not all work and no play. In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to music, cooking, and using technology. She can often be found in between events at meets with her teammates, posing for funny photos on her iPad. She also plays lacrosse and enjoys figure skating. Despite her many interests, Victoria’s favorite part of swimming is that “you have to use your WHOLE body including your brain, not just your limbs”. Also, she enjoys the fact that you have to “race yourself and the clock, which is sometimes very challenging”.

Victoria would like us to know that:

“Swimming has changed my life and I can’t imagine what I would be without it. Thanks to swimming I have so many new friends and wonderful coaches. Swimming has also taught me that you need to be very organized and work hard to reach your goals. I would like to thank to all coaches for all they do for us. I hope that all my FISH teammates will accomplish their dreams.”

She is a true team player and an exemplary young athlete. Congratulations Victoria, we are so proud of you.

FISH of the Month for May - Vania Zeledon

Written by Coach Meredith

Congratulations to Vania Zeledon for earning FISH of the Month for May!  Vania's hard work and dedication have truly stood out to her coaches, especially during the month of May as she made the transition from Mini FISH to the Level 2 Group.  Despite the increase in yardage and intensity, Vania has shown up with a smile on her face ready to tackle the practice with determination and her best effort. 

Vania has been swimming with the FISH for 2 years.  She was in the Mini FISH group this year and her hard work and awesome attitude made her stand out as a candidate to get moved up to Level 2 for the summer.  It was Vania's success in the long course practices leading up to the FISH Derby, as well as her outstanding performance at the Derby, that really showed her coaches she was ready.  It is appropriate then, that her favorite memory with the FISH is from the FISH Derby!  She loved swimming in our Derby and especially  enjoyed when the song, "Let It Go" played and everyone was singing and dancing. 

Her favorite event to swim is the IM because it is an opportunity to swim all 4 strokes which she thinks is really fun!  Her goals are to train really hard this summer and hopefully break some records at her summer league pool.  Vania's hobbies outside of the pool include reading (she loves fantasy novels!), riding her bike and scooter, and playing "Scratch" on the computer.  Vania wants everyone to know that she loves being a member of the FISH Swim Team!

Vania, your coaches think you are doing a great job! Keep up the hard work and keep that smile on your face!  Congratulations! 

FISH of the Month for April - Nick Spicer

Written by Coach Meredith

Congratulations to Nick Spicer for earning FISH of the Month for April!  Nick truly stood out to his coaches this year with an incredible work ethic, a positive attitude, and a strong desire to always better his swimming.  In April, Nick's hard work really paid off with some amazing results and races at the FISH Spring Fever Meet. 

Nick has been swimming with the FISH for 6 years.  This year, Nick was a part of the Incredible FISH .  Despite being one of the youngest members of Incredible, Nick quickly stepped up and you can often see him leading his lane.  Nick also has the best attendance in Incredible  which shows just how impressive his work ethic is!  Nick is always very positive and he never gives up and always pushes himself as hard as he can.  With his strong work ethic it should be no surprise that his favorite events are some of the toughest events - the 1650 Free, the 1500 Free, the 500 Free, and the 400 Free.   Nick's future goals in the sport are to swim in college and to hopefully go to the Olympics in the distance free events! 

One of the things that Nick enjoys about FISH is having the opportunity to go to different places to train with his friends.   In fact, Nick's favorite memory with the FISH is when he was able to go on the Omaha Training Trip and got to see Olympic trials and hang out with his friends Ben and Mason (and Coach Matt!).  Outside of swimming Nick enjoys playing soccer, football, and spending time with his friends. 

All of the coaches at FISH are very excited about Nick's future in the sport!  Nick - Keep up the good work!  We are all very proud of you! 

Fish of the Month for February - Mitch Rigsby

​Written by Coach Tom


Congratulations to Mitch Rigsby for being “FISH of the Month” for February.  This has only been Mitch’s first season with the FISH and he has already made big strides in all of his strokes, including his favorite, the Breaststroke. Mitch currently trains at the Wakefield site with the Age group. Every practice he comes to training with a positive attitude, hard work ethic and a push to learn proper technique.  Regardless of being new to this team, Mitch has taken charge leading his lane and being as attentive as possible to his coach’s directions.  When asked about his favorite part of swimming he said “The feeling and sense of freeness in the water, it’s a complete stress reliever.”

                At only his second meet, Mitch had a break out swims that unknowingly qualified him for the Junior Olympics. When asked if he was excited about his first JO cut, Mitch replied in surprise “Cool!... What’s that mean?”  By the end of the meet, Mitch had made 3 cuts. When asked of his favorite practice set this season, Mitch responded “The relay practice before JO’s. It was crazy” While at JO’s, Mitch dropped a quarter of a second in his 50 free and close to a full second in the 50 fly. On the topic of the future, Mitch replied “I’d like to continue to refine my stroke, make the JO finals and eventually make it to the Olympics one day.”

Outside of swimming Mitch enjoys playing soccer, basketball, video games and hanging out with his friends.

If Mitch keeps up his work ethic and dedication, we can expect exciting results in the future. Congratulations Mitch and keep up the great work!

Fish of the Month for January - Selah Dean

Written by Coach Meredith

               Congratulations to Selah Dean for being chosen as the FISH of the Month for January!! Selah has had an exceptional season so far and we are very proud that all of her hard work is paying off.  Selah really embodies the qualities we look for in a FISH of the Month.  She is an incredibly hard worker and a leader by example.  Selah doesn't let anything stop her from trying her best.  Even when she injured herself earlier this year she didn't let that stand in her way from coming to practice and working her hardest.  Selah started swimming with the FISH when she was 7 years old as an age grouper at Wakefield. Selah began swimming with the Amazing FISH this year and has really blossomed under the harder workouts.  Selah has a wonderfully positive attitude and all of her coaches really enjoy working with her.  She has steadily improved in all her meets and dropped a ton of time which culminated when she qualified for multiple events at the Retriever Meet!  Selah had an amazing meet at Retriever, and even provided one of the most exciting moments of the meet when she won a swim off in the 100 back, dropping 3 seconds and achieving a 'AAA' time!  Selah recalls this as her favorite memory with the FISH so far. 

               Although Selah is always happy to swim any event, her favorite event is the 100 backstroke.  Selah's goals in the pool include getting cuts for Junior Olympics and beating her dad's times (which she is getting closer and closer to doing!).  Selah is also planning on doing the 1 mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim this summer, which will be a huge accomplishment.  Selah is also very active outside the pool as she participates in gymnastics, she plays the baritone, and is always chasing her 3 little brothers!  Congratulations on an amazing season so far, Selah, and keep up the good work!


FISH of the Month for December - Hanna Boughanem

  Written by Coach Nicole

Congratulations to Hanna Boughanem for being chosen as our FISH of the Month for December! Hanna is currently in her second year with the FISH, having started as a Mini FISH last year. This season, Hanna is thriving in Age Group. Her hard work and dedication really showed over Winter Break, when Hanna attended all of the offered practices for her group. Never backing down to a challenge, Hanna’s favorite stroke is butterfly because it is the hardest stroke to learn and perfect. Her favorite set was an IM set done over winter break, (8x125 IM) because it was challenging and she felt very satisfied and tired at the end of practice.

At practice, Hanna leads by example.  She often leads her lane, and does an excellent job leaving on time and executing the sets properly. She radiates positivity and commitment to hard work, with a constant smile on her face and a fire in her heart. When asked what she loves most about swimming she said, “My favorite thing about swimming is the perseverance and hard work it requires to learn and perfect every little detail in every stroke. I also love the satisfied and tired feeling you experience after each practice.” Some of her goals include improving enough to be moved up into Advanced Age Group, and maybe someday going to the Olympics.

Outside of the pool Hanna enjoys running, playing tennis, reading, writing, math, and spending time with her 2-year old golden retriever and her family.

If Hanna continues her hard work and dedication she certainly has a bright future ahead of her. Congratulations Hanna and keep up the great work!

Joe Schaefer - FISH of the Month

written by Coach Matt

Congratulations to Joe Schaefer for earning FISH of the Month for November!  Joe is in the middle of a breakout season, having just won the 100 Breaststroke at the 2013 Swim & Rock Invitational.  That performance is one of his two favorite memories of being on The FISH.  "I won the 100 Breast at finals and all my teammates were cheering for me like crazy, everyone was high-fiving me, and Coach Matt ran over and celebrated with me.  It was awesome!" 

He not only had an impressive showing at both of his November meets, but Joe has really stepped up his effort and intensity in practices.  In fact, he attributes his success this season to two big changes he has made.  "First, I now believe I can do things-like win, so I changed my attitude.  Second, I have been pushing myself really hard in practice, like trying to stay in the front of my lane even when I'm tired and I also try to go to one "extra" practice a week.  I love swimming and it's worth it."

Outside of the pool, Joe is an accomplished Boy Scout, having recently reached the rank of First Class.   He has been inspired this year by three main people:  Ryan Lochte - due to his tireless work ethic, his Boy Scout troop leader - who helped him to reach First Class, and Pope Francis - whose kind and compassionate nature have inspired Joe to become a better teammate and leader.  His favorite sets in practice are 40 x 50 freestyle working on pace, or anything with breaststroke.  His least favorite sets are butterfly sets.  His favorite food is spaghetti, and he eats a lot of it! 

If you see Joe on deck, tell him congratulations!

FISH of the Month for October Bridget O'Shaughnessy

written by Coach Meredith

Congratulations to Bridget O'Shaughnessy for being the FISH of the Month for October and our first FISH of the month for the 2013-2014 season!  Bridget started swimming with the FISH at the beginning of the summer and she has made a big impact on the team with her impressive swimming skills and her big personality!  Bridget made quite the statement at the Harvest Moon Meet in October by winning the 3rd place trophy for the Half Moon competition and getting her first 2 Junior Olympic cuts - a very large feat for a 9 year old!  The Harvest Moon Meet is actually one of Bridget's favorite memories as a FISH swimmer because she got the opportunity to hang out with her friends in between swimming fast and dropping lots of time!  Beyond her accomplishments at swim meets so far this season, Bridget is a joy to work with.  She has a wonderfully positive attitude and always comes to practice with a big smile on her face ready to work hard and do her best.  Bridget also regularly attends morning practices at Spring Hill to give herself every opportunity to improve. 

Bridget started swimming when she was 5 years old.  Her favorite event to swim is the 200 free because she likes the challenge of swimming fast for a longer distance and trying to sprint to the finish even when she is really tired!  She also likes the 200 IM because it gives her an opportunity to swim all the strokes.  Bridget's goals for the season include getting AA times in the 100 and 200 free before the end of the season as well as competing in the 500 and 1000 freestyles for the first time. 

As well as being an accomplished swimmer, Bridget is also an awesome water polo player.  This past summer she traveled to California with her team to compete in the Junior Olympics.   Bridget loves to read - her favorite kind of book is historical fiction. 

Bridget would like everyone to know how much she is enjoying her first season at the FISH.  She loves her coaches and teammates and really enjoys how nice and supportive everyone is.  She really loves being surrounded by people who love swimming as much as she does!  The coaches at the FISH are so excited to see how Bridget does the rest of this season and beyond in swimming.  Keep up the great work Bridget!


FISH of the Month for July - Leo Goldblatt

Written by Coach Steven

Congratulations to Leo Goldblatt for being recognized as FISH of the Month for July!

Former baseball player Sam Ewing once said “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."

The spotlight was on Leo this summer, and his character shined bright.  Leo maintained 100%+ practice attendance, the highest in Level 3.  At practice, Leo was a lane leader by working hard and focusing on stroke technique.  Leo never backed down from a challenge, and he put himself in a position to succeed at PVS LC Age Group Championships.  All of Leo's hard work paid off!  As a young 11 year old, Leo qualified for Zones in 3 events: the 50, 100, and 200 Fly!

FISH swimmers receive the honor of FISH of the Month for more than just individual achievements.  The FISH of the Month must demonstrate good sportsmanship, work ethic, and team work.  Leo is a great teammate who leads by example, and gets along with everyone.  Leo works hard while at the same time inspiring and encouraging others around him to work even harder.

We thank Leo for the leadership and positive attitude he brings to the FISH Swim Team, and we look forward to working with him next season.

Get to know Leo Goldblatt - Athlete Questionnaire

1. What other activities/hobbies do you enjoy away from the pool?

I enjoy reading (preferably Stephen King) and watching all different kinds of horror movies with my dad.

2. What's your favorite swimming memory?

At NASA in 2012, I worked my last 50 in the 500 free so hard that I ended up throwing up right when I got out of the pool, and I still got a best time by seven seconds.

3. Share one of your goals/dreams with us (doesn't have to be swimming related)

Making Junior Nationals in both the 100 and 200 fly when I’m 14.


FISH of the Month for May - Nicolas Sobenes

written by Coach Eriko

Congratulations to Nicolas Sobenes for earning FISH of the Month for May!!  Nicolas started as a Mini FISH two seasons ago and you will find him swimming with us this summer in Level 1.  Nicolas swam with Age Group over the short course season and has done a remarkable job earning him an invitation to swim in the FISH Long Course Derby in May as a young eight year old.  Nicolas always comes to practice with a smile, ready and excited to swim!  This past season Nicolas was part of the team record breaking 100 Freestyle Relay at the Snowdude Mini Meet.  He also scored points for the FISH at the 2013 Mini Championships in the 25 and 50 Butterfly.  Nicolas's favorite memories as a FISH swimmer is doing really well at the Gender Blender Mini Meet this past short course season and being allowed to go to morning practices afterwards.  His favorite stroke is the butterfly.  He knows that it is a difficult stroke but he feels fast and confident.  He also finds butterfly to be a fun stroke saying that it feels like flying.  His goals are to make A times in all his strokes and he says that in order to achieve those goals he needs practice hard and listen to his coaches.  He has been doing those things all season and it has been paying off!  Way to go Nicolas!

FISH of the Month for April - Chase Bradshaw

written by Coach Steven

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”-John Quincy Adams

Congratulations to Chase Bradshaw, aka "Money Bags," for being recognized as FISH of the Month for April!

Once a month, one out of three hundred and forty-eight FISH swimmers is chosen by our coaching staff for demonstrating stand-out performance, winning attitude, and team leadership.  This is our TOP GUN, the best of the best.  Just think  Maverick, Goose, Iceman, ...Money Bags!

Chase has had a fantastic 2012-2013 season with the FISH Swim Team, capped off by break-out performances at PVS Junior Olympics and the NASA Showcase Classic.  Some athletes get "too big for their jammers", or can slump following great success, but not Chase!  Chase flew home from the NASA meet with a renewed motivation/appreciation to go along with the medals around his neck, and his sunny Florida tan.  Since then, Chase has demonstrated incredible work ethic, competitiveness, and desire to improve at every practice.  Chase was an easy choice for the FISH coaches because he is so enthusiastic in practice.  His attitude spreads throughout the group, encouraging his teammates to push themselves harder, better, faster, stronger!

The quote by John Adams at the beginning of this article explains how to lead by example, an invaluable asset that Chase provides at every practice.  We thank Chase for the leadership and positive attitude he brings to the Incredible FISH, and we look forward to a bright, bright future.

Get to know Chase Bradshaw - Athlete Questionnaire

1. What other activities/hobbies do you enjoy away from the pool?

I enjoy playing the electric bass in my band, “Stereotype.”  I also spend some free time programming, and taking apart computers.  I also like to sleep & eat—besides going to school and doing homework that’s all I have time to do!

2. What's your favorite swimming memory?

My favorite memory was when I first made Junior Olympics when I was 10.

3. Share one of your goals/dreams with us (doesn't have to be swimming related)

I hope to swim through high school and possibly college.  I would like to study computer science as I get older and make a career out of it.

FISH of the Month for March - Kyla Grigg

written by Coach Nicole

Congratulations to Kyla Grigg for earning FISH of the month for the month of March! Kyla swims in the Amazing/Fantastic FISH group at Wakefield with Coach Meredith and Coach Simon. Although Kyla has only been with the FISH for about 7 months, her hard work and dedication at practice, as well as her outstanding support for her teammates made her a standout for this honor. Kyla’s top performances this year so far came at the 2013 PVS Junior Olympics Championship meet at the University of Maryland and at the Eastern Zone Championship meet in Buffalo, New York.

            At J.O.’s Kyla swam the maximum 6 events, placing in the top 8 and making it back to finals in 5 of them. Her 6th event, she still placed in the top 10, coming in 9th and being seated as the first alternate for finals. Of her 6 individual events, she achieved 6 out of 6 best times, with her top performances in her favorite events, the 50 freestyle (3rd place, 27.81) and her 100 freestyle (1stplace, 1:00.41), qualifying her to compete at the Eastern Zone Championships. The following week, Kyla traveled with 5 of her FISH teammates to Buffalo, where she once again bettered her best times in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle.

            As well as her incredible success in the pool, Kyla is also full of team spirit and good sportsmanship. One of her favorite FISH memories this year, was giving her teammates pep talks at the Spring Championships Meet, in the characters of Coach Simon, Steven, and Matt. Despite poking some fun at her coaches, Kyla could also be seen at the meet helping her teammates practice mock relay starts and good racing habits before many of their events. Always seen laughing and smiling, Kyla has a great attitude about the sport and the team. Congratulations again to Kyla, and keep up the hard work!


Fish of the Month for February: Reagan Osborne

written by Coach Meredith 

Reagan Osborn         Congratulations to Reagan Osborne for earning FISH of the Month for February!!  Reagan has been swimming with the FISH for the last 2 years after doing Summer FISH Clinics and in that time she has done an remarkable job.  Reagan has steadily proven herself to be a quiet leader of the Age Group FISH by showing an outstanding work ethic, a high focus and great team spirit.  Reagan always works as hard as she can in every practice she comes to.  She inspires her teammates with her positive attitude.  Reagan always has a smile on her face at practice!  Reagan's hard work at practice has brought her a ton of success at meets this season.  

       Reagan always has a smile on her face at practice!  Reagan's hard work at practice has brought her a ton of success at meets this season.  She steadily dropped time throughout the season and even earned a coveted spot on a JO relay!  She is a great competitor as well as a great teammate - her coaches often see her encouraging and cheering for her fellow FISH swimmers.  Reagan's favorite memories as a FISH swimmer include being on the 200 free relay at JOs for the past 2 seasons as well as playing laser tag with the team!  Her favorite events are the 50 Free, 200 IM and 200 Breast and she is really looking forward to trying out the 500 Free soon.  Reagan's favorite swimmer's are Nathan Adrian and Michael Phelps.  For Christmas she even got an autographed photo of Nathan Adrian!  Reagan is truly a great role model for our younger FISH swimmers and her coaches are so excited to see where she goes in swimming!  Keep up the good work Reagan!!