1. Club News - March 12, 2013

If you have a swimmer swimming in age group champs there have been some significant changes to the meet format.  The meet for Saturday and Sunday is NO LONGER split into two sessions. Everyone regardless of age swims in the morning. Warm ups are at 7:30 and the meet starts at 9:00.  Some swimmers will be swimming in the shallow end and others will be in the deep end. It will be a crowded meet so please try and arrive early to give your swimmers time to find coaches and stretch. On Saturday Coach Max and Coach Shannon will be on deck. Sunday Coach Max, Coach Jim, and Myself will be on deck so your swimmer can look for one of us.  I am going to attach the meet entries for this meet so you can look at what events your child is swimming.  This is an end of year Championship Meet for our swimmers and they are ready to swim FAST!

Revise Age Group Champs list

I also want to give an update on our Championship meet for swimmers who went out to Chartiers Valley this weekend. We had over 30 best times! Emma Polen took 4th in the 200 freestyle and achieved a BB time! Jewel Thomas also took fifth overall in the 100 IM, and Brendan Mahoney placed in top 12 in 100 free. Our team did a great job representing the club and coaches are really excited about the fast time drops these swimmers have made.

Coach Liz

NHA families,
Unfortunately the last splash meet at Pine Richland has been closed. We will be moving locations to the last splash at South Park Aquatic Club. It is the same meet with same events, same weekend just new location. I attached the meet entries that have been sent in. Take a look at events your child is in and day and let me know if you see any issues. If the location change is an issue let me know as well and I can remove your child from the meet. Please let me know by tomorrow if any changes need to be made as that is when the meet closes.  Again I apologize for any inconveniences the change of location might cause. I am going to attach that meet invitation as well that shows directions to pool.

South Park Last Splash invite

South Park Entry list

I am also going to attach the meet entries for Age Group champs that is happening next weekend so families can see those as well.

Age Group Champs

Coach Liz

Dear NHA families,
I have some news for the meet this weekend.  Warm ups for morning swimmers swimmers is 7:30. The meet starts at 8:35. Warm ups for the afternoon are 12:00 and the met starts at 1:00. This meet structure is different than meets in the past. All 11 and 12 year old swimmers swim in the mornings. 10 and under are in the afternoon sessions. There are two pools one for boy events and one for girl events. For all swimmers who are 11 and older this meet is a prelim finals meet. This means that if your swimmer is in the top 12 they will advance to the finals and swim again at night. Again this is only for 11 and older swimmers. If you have a swimmer who qualifies to come back at night to swim and you can not participate at night  just let me or another coach know at the meet and we can scratch them. I am reattaching the meet invitation for developmental champs in case you need directions or to verify what pool your swimmer will be swimming in. Click here for the Developmental Champs invite.

Also I need to know by Tomorrow March 6 by practice time if you are planning on swimming The last Splash. This is our final meet this season and a good way to close out the season. I encourage any and all swimmers to participate.  It is being held at Pine Richland March 23-24.  As always let me know what days your swimmer is available to swim.  Click here for the Last Splash invite.

Coach Liz

We are winding down the year and getting ready for our last meets. I am attaching our March Calendar. Our last day of Practice is March 22nd. I am currently finalizing our spring scheduled and will have those dates and information out next week. Also if you have a swimmer that is a part of the Hurricane Group they no longer need to come to practice early at 4:30 Tues and Thurs for dryland. They are beginning their end of year taper and so that will no longer be needed. Thanks  for all your hard work this year and support of the program.

We had as great meet this weekend for our mini champs. Ours 200 medly relay comprised of Hannah Cloonan, Jewel Thomas, Zoe Skirboll, and Maddie Fullmer won the event taking first place medals! Zoe won the the high point award taking first in all her events. Jewel Thomas won the 50 breast. All swimmers who competed went best times!!  We have a really strong young group and the coaches are proud of their fast development.

We have an upcoming meet called Developmental Champs. This meet is hosted at Chartiers Valley and is March 8-10.  This is for Swimmers who DO NOT have BB or faster times. If you have a swimmer who has not attained BB or faster times and may still be  developing this is a great meet for them to shine.   I am going to attach a meet schedule and invitation. Please let me know what day your swimmer can swim no later than Sunday.  This is one of the last meets of the season and is a great way for your swimmer to build confidence.

Click here for ..... Development Champs meet info

Thanks so much for all the support with the lap-a-thon last night. We can take donations up until the end of the month. Below is the entries for the meet this weekend at Woodland Hills. All of our swimmers are in the morning sessions either Saturday or Sunday. We have a 7:35 -8:05 Warm UP. Please arrive at the pool 15 minutes prior to warm up. I am looking forward to some fast swimmer. 

Woodland Hills Meet Info

The lap-a-thon is being moved to Monday due to some possible freezing rain that is coming around 5. A reminder that you can get donations up until the end of the month. Each coach will calculate your childs laps on Monday. A reminder to Tuesday/Thursday swimmers that you are encouraged to come Monday and participate in the lap-athon. We have until the end of the month to collect donations so please continue to do so. Thanks so much and use good judgement when coming to practice. We are not cancelling practice at this time just the lap-a-thon.
Coach Liz

I have one big update for this week's practice schedule. There will be no practice on Thursday the 7th. The reason behind this is we have our Senior Night and Last home meet for Varsity. The warm up times have to be pushed to accommodate Senior Night and I do not think we would have enough time for club practice. I do invite all club swimmers and families to come watch the last Varsity meet. All club swimmers and families can come for free with no admission costs. This is a good way to show our young swimmers what they have to look forward too in the future if they work hard and stick with swimming.  Also just another reminder that we have our lap-a-thon on Friday the 8th and encourage you to continue to go out and get some donations.

We are going to  be having our annual lap-a-thon for the Brandy Hartman and Grant Rava Scholarship. If you are new to the team this is a way to raise money for our annual scholarships we give to two senior swimmers who demonstrate a positive attitude, commitment to swimming, and development of our younger swimmers.  Brandy and Grant were both in my class and I was lucky enough to swim with them. I was very moved that NHA swim club has continued to honor their amazing spirits by keeping this tradition going all these years. They both loved the sport of swimming and had the biggest hearts on the team.  I was honored my senior year as one of the first recipients of this scholarship and it means a lot to me as a coach to keep this  scholarship going strong.  I attached the forms that explain how to ask for donations. On February 8th we will have a practice and we will track the amount of yards the swimmers accumulate. If you read the attached forms it explains how to go about getting donations.

Lap-A-Thon Letter

Lap-A-Thon Contribution Letter

Lap-A-Thon Contribution Form

Thanks so much for all you do and your support for our club and swimmers.
Coach Liz

We were able to get into the last chance meet that is being held at Woodland Hills February 16th and 17th. So we will be going to this meet instead of the one hosted by FAST. Also we have Mini Champs coming up for our eight and under swimmers. It is held February 23 at Penn Hills and is only a one day meet. Please contact me by no later than Thursday before practice as I want to get entries in early.

The mini distance meet is this weekend. They have moved the start time of the meet back to 9:05 due to possible inclement weather. North Hills will be warming up from 8:00-8:30. Please remember to bring extra towels as it will be cold.  I also will be reattaching the meet invitation. I have no new updates on if we got into last chance meet in February but should know by tomorrow.

I also wanted to congratulate all our swimmers who competed at the Junior Olympics: Mary Claire Smith, Chloe Salopek, Brianna Joll, Julie McNally, Grace Cloonan, Joshua Bogniard, and Kate Wells.  As a whole we achieved two more A times and 10 more Best times!  We are all proud of their hard work and success!

Unfortunately both last chance meets coming up have been filled and North Hills Aquatics is on the waiting list.  Th FAST meet filled up a week before entry deadlines and I am still hoping we can get in. In the meantime I would like to try and get into the Woodland Hills Seneca Valley Meet February 16th and 17th as a back up. Please let me know no later than Friday if your child can attend as I want to get entries in as early as possible to avoid this. So as of now the last chance meet that was being held on Feb 9th and 10th is at moment on hold until I find out if we got in. As a back up please let me know if your child can swim Woodland Hills Meet. The same standards apply as before. This is a last chance meet to try and get some cuts.

There is a meet coming up February 9th and 10th at Franklin Regional High School. This meet is designed for swimmers to try and get some fast swims and or cuts before championship meets. There are no qualifying times and it is open to all ages. I am going to attach the meet invitation that accompanies this meet. Please let me know by Friday if your swimmer is interested in swimming. I need to know what day(s) your swimmer can participate. If you read the meet invitation it says what sessions your swimmer could be participating in depending on their age. Some of our swimmers over the weekend were very close to A or BB times so this is a meet where they can try again to reach those motivational time standards. If you have a very beginner swimmer 8 or under this is not a meet I would recommend.  Please let me know by Friday by practice time. Go Hurricanes!

We are getting close to our home meet.  The warm up times for Saturday and Sunday morning sessions are 7:30-8:00.  The warm up times for Sunday Afternoon are 12:30-1:00. Please have your swimmer here 15 mins earlier than start time. Please remind your swimmer to talk to a coach before and after each swim as we want them to be as prepared as possible.

As we all know our club hosted meet is approaching. Just a reminder that the deadline has passed and I can not accept any more entries for this meet. This was an invitation only meet and you would have gotten a separate email from me alerting you that your swimmer qualified.

We also have an upcoming mini/distance meet. This meet is for eight and unders and has distance events for 12 and unders and seniors with certain qualifying times.  This meet is at Western Allegheny Aquatic Club. This is a good opportunity for those 8 unders to compete who did not get to swim in our home meet. Please let me know no later than Sunday about what days your swimmer can swim. 

Our home swim meet is just a few short weeks away, January 12-13th, so it is time to round up volunteers to help make our meet as successful as it has been in the past and to also get that $100 credited to your swim fees!Each family is asked to volunteer for two sessions.

Couple of items we need to address so you can plan for when you want to volunteer.  The sessions for the different age groups are as follows:

Saturday/Sunday morning
    9-10 girls and boys
    13-14 girls

Saturday/Sunday afternoon
    11-12 girls and boys
    13-14 boys

If you are new to the swim scene and are unsure of the duties of the position please feel free to ask.  I see it as two categories, wet and dry.  Dry would be doing ribbons, refreshments and 50/50.  Wet would be timers, place judges, marshals, desk host, and runners.  If you are not afraid of a little water and want to get up close to your swimmer join us on the pool deck!  If you are a born salesperson push the 50/50 tickets and food, no matter what you volunteer for, we really appreciate it.

We are going to use an online signup form making use of a spreadsheet that is shared via Google, click on this link and you will be taken to the signup site.


The signup form is broken down into four sessions(Saturday morning and afternoon, Sunday morning and afternoon).  Please enter your last name and first name.

I was happy to see so many people come out last night and celebrate the Holidays together.  It is always nice to see kids play in the water and have fun outside of the practice setting. I talked to some parents and there seems to be some confusion around Christmas Training Schedule and upcoming meet.  The NHA hosted meet is unfortunately only for 9 and up swimmers with slower than BB times. The Allegheny Mountain Swim Association has some meets that eight and unders are not allowed to age up in and this happens to be one of them. We as as club have no control over this and I apologize if this can be an inconvenience. The reason behind this is to encourage our younger swimmers to sign up for mini meets where they will swim with athletes there own age with smaller events to help breed confidence with there  newly developing abilities.  

As for the training schedule we have practice as normal for the remainder of the week. Club has off Monday and Tuesday for the holidays. We pick back up Wed-Friday from 9:30-11. Mary Janes Groups are from 9:30-10:30.   Monday is again 9:30-11 (9:30-10:30 for MJ) and off on Tuesday.  Practice will resume again normal time Wednesday. I am going to attach another copy of the December Calendar for reference. 

We are hosting our meet January 12 and 13th. I am attaching our meet invitation. This is a Slower than BB meet. That means your swimmer can not swim races they have a BB and faster time in. This is a great meet for our developing swimmers and beginners. It is also a time athletes can swim events they normally would not swim and try and achieve a BB or faster time. I am attaching the meet invitation. Each swimmer will be limited to three individual events per day as a way to make room for other clubs to participate. Please let me know by this Friday if you want your swimmer to participate. I apologize for short notice but January is coming faster than I anticipated! 

 Click here for the Invitation Info.

The Christmas party will be held tomorrow night 12/19 from 5-7. All groups and swimmers are invited and encouraged to come. We will be having a family open swim from 5-6 and a pizza party in senior high cafeteria from 6-7. I hope to see everyone there!

We had an exciting last day at the Christmas Meet.  In the morning Mary Claire Smith competed in both the 100 free and 100 breast stroke.  She got two best times and went a 59.33 in the 100 free breaking a minute for the first time.

In the afternoon Zoe Skirboll, Madelyn Mahoney, and Hannah Cloonan swam fast swims in the 50 free and 50 back.  Hannah dropped over a second in her 50 back and places in top 30. Madelyn had an impressive 50 back and placed ninth with a time of 41.00!  Zoe Skirboll had an eventful last day and won the 50 free with a time of 30.27!   Zoe achieved a new meet record and won high point trophy for her age group!! North hills ended meet being ranked 20th and this is a huge achievement and step for the club.

I am proud of all our swimmers and want to use this year as a starting point for our club and recognize the potential of this talented team.  Congratulations to all our athletes who competed this weekend.  Also one last reminder that we do not have practice tomorrow.

It was another exciting meet today at the 51st Annual Christmas Meet at Treespool in Pitt.  This morning Sara Custer dropped 1.5 seconds in her 50 freestyle with a quick time of 26.73. Katelyn Schmidt also went her best US Swimming 50 free time and placed 30 spots ahead of her original seed. Mary Claire Smith swam both 50 and 200 breast and finished strong with a 2:42.94 that landed her in the top 30 for her age group.

In the afternoon both Zoe Skirboll and Jewel Thomas swam 100 IM and 50 Breast. Zoe swam two best times in her events with an impressive 2nd and 3rd place with a time of 1:18.73 in her 100 IM. Zoe earned 33 points for NHA today! Jewel finished in top 25 in both events and went a time of 51.41 in her 50 breast!

All our swimmers have done exceptional and we still have one more day of events on Sunday.   All the coaches are proud of how well our athletes are doing and are excited for one more day of fast swimming.  Go NHA!

Today was the first day our NHA athletes competed in the Annual Christmas Meet hosted by Team Pitt at Treespool In Oakland.  There are over 150 teams at this meet and over 1500 swimmers entered. I want to first recognize all the athletes who qualified for this highly competitive meet:

  • Jackson Kress

  • Zoe Skirboll

  • Jewel Thomas

  • Hannah Cloonan

  • Madelyn Mahoney

  • Caitlyn Schmidt

  • Mary Claire Smith

  • Sara Custer

Today Zoe Skirboll won the 100 free with a time of 108.61 and got second in the 50 fly with a time of 35.15! Hannah Cloonan and Jewel Thomas both placed within top 25 in their age groups in 100 free and 50 fly! Jewel went an impressive 1:36.37 in free and Hannah went a best time of a 45.00 in the 50 fly. These are big accomplishments for our 8 and unders and they set the standard high for the rest of the meet.  At the moment North Hills Aquatics is ranked 12th in the age group women's division. This is another first for the club and something we all should be excited about.  I will continue to give recaps throughout the weekend and have fast swimming thoughts for our swimmers throughout the weekend !
Go NHA!!
Coach Liz