Alicia Slinger


By: Emilie Cooper


October 8th, Atomic City Aquatic Club hosted their annual home swim meet, the 2022 IMR Lois Weir Meet.  This year, the meet looked a little different than usual.  


If you’ve ever been to a USA Swimming sanctioned swim meet in the past, you may have seen that it can last 2-3 days as they allow each age group to choose from all the possible events.  This year, however, Assistance Coach Chris Franklin suggested that they try out something new - the IMR. This style of meet focuses on getting specific swims in for each age group, creating a fast meet both in terms of fast swims and a single day event.


IMR, IM Ready, is a stepping stone to the IMX, IM Extreme, ranking system.  The ranking systems allow clubs and individual swimmers to track how they are performing against others nationwide.  A swimmer can not be tracked, however, until they have swum each of the required races in a USA Swimming sanctioned meet in the current season (Sept 1 - Aug 31).  ACAC provided the platform to let many swimmers qualify early in the season. With this style meet, they could qualify in just a couple of hours.


When asking Coach Chris why he suggested the IMR and how he felt about the meet, he said that the IMR and IMX help ensure we are building “well-rounded swimmers” and working towards our goals for the mid-season championship in December.  “Swimmers had fun…. It let swimmers swim some of their off-events… and new people tried swimming 500s. It was a good opportunity for them…. The meet served its purpose.”  


Coach Sarah Corcoran had this to say: “With many swimmers doing 5 events in 2 hours, we wanted them to work on learning how to manage their systems.  How to warm up, how to check in with their bodies, how to cool down…. We scheduled breaks between events… kids had to swim again so soon.  Love the level of intensity!”


We saw strong performances from many on the team! ACAC took 1st as a team, ahead of Cleveland Aquatics and Sevier Aquatic Club. Liv Foy-McDaniel (13) and Andrew Chou (15) took high points for their age groups and across the entire meet.  Liv took 1st in 3 of her events and placed in the top 3 with her remaining 3 races. Andrew took 1st place in all 5 of his events.  


In the 12yo age group, we saw a number of ACAC swimmers shine and achieve IMR and IMX qualifiers.  Emmy Zimmer took 1st in 4 of her 5 races while qualifying for IMX ranking. She also blew away nearly 11 seconds off her time on her 100 Fly and nearly 6 seconds each from her 100 Breast and 200 IM!  Sam Duby similarly took 1st in all but one of her events, taking high points, and qualifying for IMR with time improvements in her 50 fly and 200 Free!  Dorian Volcansek took 1st in boys high points, qualifying for IMR ranking and dropping time in all but 2 of his 6 events!


Connor O’Neil(14) fought it out for high points in the 13-14 age group.  He raced in each of the needed swims to qualify in his age group for IMR and ended up tying for 1st in his age group with another swimmer from Sevier Aquatic Club.  


ACAC’s Senior swimmers had a number of high scorers with Leo Karnitz (16), Colin Suddeth (16), Egan Rawn (18), Kendall Hudgens (15), and Ella Kendall (18) all bringing in double digit points. ACAC’s youngest swimmers did their part as well.  Sophia and Mateo Volcansek (10) both scored high points and showed time improvements in multiple events.  High point awards in the 8&U group went to ACAC when Abigail Vincent (8) placed first in all of her single stroke events, and Connor French (8) placed well in all of his IMR qualifying races. 


Jasmine Kumar (10) and Evee Streeter (8) swam at this meet for their first meet ever.  Evee says she is excited to come back and compete in the next one!  Her mother, Cassie Streeter, pointed out that Evee is “very new to swimming so her comfort with the strokes is limited, but they are working on it.… Coach Sarah [is doing a] good job to connect with the kids.”


We saw veteran swimmers really help guide the younger kids along and motivate them. Jessi Schaefer (12)  was recovering and couldn’t race this meet.  Instead of staying home, she stood behind the blocks and gave pep talks before her teammates swam.  When we asked the coaching staff about the examples we keep seeing of the kids helping out, Coach Chris responded, “That is all them.  That is just how they are.  They are good kids.”


To see ACAC in action, they’ll be headed next to compete at the TNAQ Invitational November 4-6 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville. Then they’ll be in Brentwood for the XCEL meet December 2-4. 


Atomic City Swim Club - 2022-2023

Picture included with the permission of photographer, Tara Kneiser


Connor French (8) and Abigail Vincent (8) showing off their High Point Awards


Atomic City Aquatic Coaches

Jessica Abrahamson, Chris Franklin, and Sarah Corcoran

Picture included with the permission of photographer, Tara Kneiser