Gator Greetings - We are ECA!

Meet Bryn V.L. Fleming!
 
ECA Site: Carteret
 
Age: 13, turning 14 in December

Grade and school you attend: 

9th grade and I am homeschooled

When did you start swimming? 

I was first in the pool at 3 months old, but I started summer swim league at age 5.

Do you play other sports? 
 
I take dance and SCUBA dive
 
Why do you like to swim? favorite stroke? 
 
I don't really know exactly why I love swimming, but it is something that I really enjoy and look forward to. My favorite stroke is either breaststroke or freestyle.

Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer ? 

I enjoy reading, drawing, sailing, and SCUBA diving. I am also a member of SCUBAnauts International, which is part of MERROW Foundation's outreach to teach science diving to teens and to have them work with scientists to collect data underwater. I also volunteer in the library.


 

Meet Teal Edholm!

ECA Site: Carteret

Age: 14

Grade and school you attend:

8th Grade, Broad Creek Middle School in Newport, NC

When did you start swimming? 

6 years old

Do you play other sports? 

Track

Why do you like to swim? 

Because it is a fun way of exercising, getting in shape, something to do, and a way to make more friends.

Favorite stroke? Backstroke

Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?   

FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Club, BETA Club (Junior National Honor Society), Volunteering at club swim meets in the summertime, and I LOVE to go to the beach!

 


Meet Kristen Ivey!

ECA Site: Greenville

Age: 14

Grade and school you attend:

8th grade, Hope Middle School

When did you start swimming? 

I started swimming with ECA at 7 years old.

Do you play other sports? 

I am a member of the Hope Middle School Cross Country and Track teams.  

Why do you like to swim? 

I like swimming because it allows me to spend time with my friends and I like to work hard in practice. I really enjoy being part of the ECA Big Fish/Little Fish program as well. 

Favorite stroke? Breaststroke

Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?   

I play the Violin and Bass with my school orchestra. I volunteer with ENC AMBUCS as often as I can. ENC AMBUCS is a non profit organization that provides adaptive bikes to children with disabilities. I like to volunteer at home ECU swim meets as well at ECU Club meets when they need help. 

 


Meet Aubrey Woolard!

ECA Site: Washington

Age: 10

Grade and school you attend:

5th Grade, John Small Elementary School

When did you start swimming? 

At 6 years old in the 1st grade

Do you play other sports? 

Basketball

Why do you like to swim? 

It s just fun! 

Favorite stroke? Butterfly

Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?   

Aubrey likes to play piano, sing, drawing, enjoys the outdoors, and volunteers in the special education classes at school. 


Meet Max Bryant!

ECA Site: Camp Lejeune

Age: 13

Grade and School:  7th grade at Brewster Middle School on Camp Lejeune


When did you start swimming? 

Max started swimming at age 10 with the United States Naval Academy Summer Swim Program the “Navy Junior Seals” when we were living in Annapolis, MD. 

We wanted to find a “summer fun sport” that we thought would help build Max’s endurance, as he is super active, but does not have very good endurance. His sister Ava wanted to be on the summer swim team-and we thought it would be a great “individual sport” for Max. 

Do you play any other sports?

Max is originally from Ukraine and was adopted by our family at age three.  The orphanage he was living at did not realize he was profoundly deaf until not long before we brought him home to be part of our family; therefore, he had no language when he came to the United States.  No spoken language or sign language. He started signing as soon as he came home, and we are an ASL (American Sign Language) Family.  

Because of his significant delay in language and speech, team sports with hearing kids were hard for Max, because he could not hear his teammates calling to him to pass or catch a ball. He has played soccer and basketball in the past and likes them but has not continued to pursue them.

Why do you like to swim?

Swimming on the other hand is different. Max can be part of a team, but each practice or race is really about your individual performance. 

When we moved to Camp Lejeune last summer, Max’s sister Ava wanted to swim for ECA, and Max came to the tryout as well.  Unbeknownst to us, Coach Jodie grew up with a deaf cousin, and knows ASL (American Sign Language)! 

Max was immediately drawn to Coach Jodie, and was placed on the green team, which she would instruct. Coach Jodie has been amazing in coaching, instructing, and encouraging Max! 

Max is usually dependent on either Mom or Dad, or one of his three sisters to communicate what is going on... this was his first time having a Coach that could directly communicate with him, and it has made all the difference!

Max’s Mom, Rebecca came to practices to “help interpret” so that Coach Jodie could coach, (as clearly Max was not the only swimmer that would need her direction).

Most of the kids in the green team ALSO wanted to learn how to sign! They learned 5 new signs M-T-Th, and were able to communicate basic things to them

teammate Max! Max has NEVER been part of a team that was so invested in him or with so many teammates wanting to be his friend!  For the first time in Max’s life, after only a few months of swimming with ECA Max told his mom “go, I don’t need you.” Although that probably doesn’t seem like a big deal for most boys of 13, to be confident enough in his surroundings, his teammates, and coaches to have his interpreter leave, and fend for himself is a very big deal!  He clearly feels at ease in the pool, with his coaches (new coach, Coach Scott Rosenbach is also awesome!) as well as his friends and teammates. Amazingly, there are now TWO coaches that can sign at ECA: Coach Jodie and Coach Gabby.  And many swimmers have started learning to sign as well as swim!

Favorite stroke?

Max’s current favorite stroke is breaststroke, though he goes back and forth between that and back stroke.


 

Meet Tink Niebel!

 
ECA Site: Carteret
 
Age: 17
 
Grade and school you attend: 
 
Senior; Croatan High School
 
When did you start swimming? 
 
Started swimming in 2nd grade in Hawaii
 
Do you play other sports? 
 
I have never done any other sports, only swimming.
 
Why do you like to swim? 
 
I like to swim because when I swim I have no worries and it is something I will be able to enjoy forever. 
 
Favorite stroke?   My favorite stroke is  backstroke!  
 
Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?   
 
My hobbies are going out on the boat, deep sea fishing, being with friends. I am also Vice President of Key Club and high school swim captain.
 

Meet Meghan Paschall!

 
ECA Site: Carteret
 
Age: 17
 
Grade and school you attend: 
 
Senior; West Carteret High School
 
When did you start swimming? 
 
Started swimming club when I was 11 years old
 
Do you play other sports? 
 
I do not play other sports currently
 
Why do you like to swim? 
 
I swim to maintain a healthy lifestyle and for “stress relief”.
 
Favorite stroke?   My favorite stroke is butterfly.  
 
Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?   
 
I enjoy playing the piano and the French horn. I participate in several school clubs that organize school functions and the community.

 

Meet Chloe Lyles!

 
ECA Site: Roanoke Rapids
 
Age: 8
 
Grade and school you attend: 
 
3rd grade, homeschooled
 
When did you start swimming? 
 
I started taking swimming lessons at age 4. I started on the summer swim team at age 6 and have been on the ECA team for 2 years.
 
Do you play other sports? 
 
I play soccer and softball.
 
Why do you like to swim? 
 
I like to swim because it is good exercise and it makes me want to get better each time I swim in competition with someone.
 
Favorite stroke?   My favorite stroke is freestyle and I also like backstroke.  
 
Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?   
 
I like to read, ride my bike, and spend time with my friends.
 

 

Meet Collin Bullard!

 
ECA Site: Greenville
 
Age: 13
 
Grade and school you attend:
 
7th grade, Hope Middle School
 
When did you start swimming? 
 
I started swimming with GASSL and the GCC Frogs when I was 6, and began swimming with ECA when I was 11.
 
Do you play other sports? 
 
I spent many years playing Winterville Baseball and Future Stars Soccer, but now I primarily swim.   
 
Why do you like to swim? 
 
"I enjoy swimming because I am competitive, and swimming pushes me to do my best.  I also enjoy spending time with the other swimmers I have become friends with over the years."  
 
Favorite stroke? Freestyle
 
Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?   
"I enjoy reading, attending youth activities with my church, playing football with my brothers, and playing FIFA and Madden on the XBox."
 

Meet John Hinchey!

ECA Site: Washington

Age: 14

Grade and school you attend:

8th grade at Washington Montessori Public Charter School

When did you start swimming? 

4 yrs old for fun; 7 yrs old competitively 

Do you play other sports?

Soccer

Why do you like to swim?

I’ve always loved the water. Swimming is a fun sport and you get to compete with a team. 

Favorite stroke?

My favorite stroke is Breaststroke- 100 and 200 yard

Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?

I am a certified advanced open water scuba diver and I also love sailing. I am hoping to start a sailing club this spring. 

 


Meet Nadiyah Schellenger!

ECA Site: Camp Lejeune

Age: 10

Grade and school you attend:

6th grade at Brewster Middle School

When did you start swimming? 

Age 4

Do you play other sports?

Not right now because I want to have my focus on swim!

Why do you like to swim?

Swimming makes me feel calm and happy. At school people always say how small I am, but when I swim it doesn’t matter and I feel confident in the water.

Favorite stroke?

That’s hard to choose, I like backstroke and breast stroke.

Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?

I am in band right now playing the flute. I love to read books. I also like to help kids who do not understand math or reading. I love when we volunteer as a family to help the homeless.

 


Meet Claire Chesnutt!

ECA Site: Carteret

Age: 14

Grade and school you attend:

Freshman at Croatan High School

When did you start swimming? 

Age 7

Do you play other sports?

No

Why do you like to swim?

I enjoy swimming for many reasons. It's great exercise, allows me to be competitive, and I have made a lot of friends through the years. It also allows me to challenge myself and see the results of my hard work in my times. 

Favorite stroke?

Freestyle and Backstroke

 


Meet Ainsley Delbridge!

ECA Site: Greenville

Age: 17

Grade and school you attend:

Senior at John Paul II Catholic High School

When did you start swimming? 

Age 8

Do you play other sports?

No

Why do you like to swim?

I love swimming for the physical challenges and the reward of individual improvement in a team setting.

Favorite stroke?

Freestyle

Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement? 

Teaching swim lessons, school ambassador/recruitment, high school team captain, service through the National Honor Society and Carolina Pregnancy Center

 


Meet Parker Byrd!

Age: 10

Schoool/Grade:  I am in the 5th grade and I attend John Small School in Washington. 

ECA Site: Washington

When did you start swimming?

August of 2017

Why do you like to swim? What is your favorite stroke?

I swim because it is fun, competitive, and it makes me stronger. My favorite stroke is the butterfly. 

Do you play other sports?

Yes, I play baseball and indoor soccer. 

Hobbies, extracurricular activities and/or volunteer involvement?

I like to hunt, fish, skimboard, kayak, and hang out with my friends.

 


Meet Mikey Hartson!

Age: 14

Schoool/Grade: Mikey is an 8th grader at Chaloner Middle School 

ECA Site: Roanoke Rapids

When did you start swimming?

I started swimming with Roanoke Valley Swim Team at 7 years old. The last 3 years I have been swimming with ECA at Roanoke Rapids.

Why do you like to swim? What is your favorite stroke?

Swimming is my favorite sport. I like to compete in meets while staying active year round. I am looking forward to 9th grade and becoming a member of the RR swim team. My favorite stroke is Freestyle

Do you play other sports?

I play basketball.

Hobbies, extracurricular activities and/or volunteer involvement?

Hobbies, extracurricular activities &/or volunteer involvement?   I enjoy playing the trombone in the school band. I also kayak, fish and hike on the Canal trail.

 


Meet Matthew McCray!

Age: 14

Schoool/Grade: Matthew is a Freshman at Croatan High School.

ECA Site: Carteret

When did you start swimming?

I started swimming on a summer league when I 5 years old and started year round swimming when I was 8. 

Why do you like to swim? What is your favorite stroke?

I enjoy swimming because it is a competitive sport and because of all the great friends I’ve made.  My favorite stroke is freestyle 

Do you play other sports?

I play baseball and run cross country 

Hobbies, extracurricular activities and/or volunteer involvement?

Surfing, hunting, fishing, riding dirt bikes, boating Matthew McCray. I like volunteering with my church family at the soup kitchen. 

 


Meet Kaitlyn Ormond!

Age: 15 

Schoool/Grade: Kaitlyn is a rising 10th grader at Beaufort County Early High School in Washington.

ECA Site: Washington

When did you start swimming?

2016

Why do you like to swim? What is your favorite stroke?

I like swimming because it helps me maintain a healthy balance of self-discipline in other aspects of my life. In addition, it helps me gain confidence when I beat personal goals and helps me stay fit. It's also fun. LOL. My favorite stroke is freestyle.

Do you play other sports?

Not at the moment, but I want to try volleyball. I played volleyball and softball when I was younger.

Hobbies, extracurricular activities and/or volunteer involvement?

In my free time, I like to read, play video games or study language. However, I spend most of my time doing schoolwork. Last year, I dabbled in Fitness Club, but this year, I think I want to try out Greenhouse Club or Science Olympiad. 

 

Meet Geoff Hatfield!

Age: 13

Schoool/Grade: Geoff is an 8th grader at Swansboro Middle School

ECA Site: Camp Lejeune

When did you start swimming?

I started swimming at age 5 when we were stationed in Okinawa, but I started competing at age 9

Why do you like to swim? What is your favorite stroke?

I enjoy swimming because it is very different from other sports and is very difficult at times.  My favorite stroke is Breaststroke.

Do you play other sports?

I also enjoy running.

Hobbies, extracurricular activities and/or volunteer involvement?

A couple of my hobbies include going to the beach and hanging out with friends. 

 


 

Meet Emily Armen!

Age: 12

Schoool/Grade: Emily is in 7th grade at Hope Middle School

ECA Site: Greenville

When did you start swimming?

I started swimming at the age of 5

Why do you like to swim? What is your favorite stroke?

I likes swimming because I love spending time with my friends every day.  My favorite stroke is freestyle.

Do you play other sports?

I enjoy playing with my dog Boomer, cooking, hanging out with my friends, amusement and water parks, and being outdoors.

Hobbies, extracurricular activities and/or volunteer involvement?

I am involved in Beta Club, Viola and Youth Group and serves breakfast at the homeless shelter with church.