Author Archives: Mike Radford

ABSC Swim-A-Thon 2017 -- November 5th!

17 Oct

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The 2017 Swim-a-thon is upon us! It will be taking place on Sunday, November 5th from 4-6 PM at the Ramsey Center! But what is the Swim-a-thon?

Fundraiser? Yes! Team bonding? Yes! A time for the coaches to be goofy? Absolutely! A chance for prizes? You know it!

It all starts next week (The week of Oct. 23rd) when the coaches will hand out Swim-a-thon “packets” to their practice groups. Those packets will contain information on what to do, as well as provide a place to keep track of donations.

Next, each family (note **”family”, not “swimmer”**) will collect at least $150 in donations for their efforts at the Swim-a-thon event. “Price-per-lap” Donations are encouraged. I.e. “I will be swimming 200 laps, so donate $.10 per lap to donate $20.

Then, at 4:00 PM on Nov. 5th, all ABSC practice groups will gather together at the Ramsey Center. We’ll break into our practice groups and, and each group will complete their lap requirements!

Each group has 2 hours to complete their lap requirements:

  • Gups: at least 75 lengths of the pool
  • Pups: At least 125 lengths of the pool
  • Superpups and above: at least 200 lengths of the pool.

Each family will need to turn in their swim-a-thon packet with collected money by the provided due date. The due dates is not yet set, but will most be mid-late November.

As always, the coaches will be “absent” and a group of strangely dressed “guest coaches” will be leading the festivities.

There will again be tiered prizes this year based on amount of money raised per family. The $150 is the minimum, but there will be three tiers of rewards based on amount raised. Some prizes in the past have included:

  • Night with the Olympians – autographs and stories
  • Party at Rush!
  • Paintball against the coaching staff

The prizes this year may include any of these, and could have some other prizes as well. Stay tuned! More details coming soon!

Go Dawgs!

Mike

 

Dawgs in College, Where are these ABSC Swimmers Now?

10 Oct

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Alexis Shirley (ABSC class of ’17) Swims for the Air Force Academy.

With Aidan Brook from ABSC’s 2017 Class making it on to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Swim Team a few weeks ago, ABSC’s 2017 Senior Class now has 5 swimmers participating on college teams!

Did you know, over the last four years ABSC has had 20 swimmers sign with college swim teams? That’s right at 5 Seniors per year going on to swim in college after their time with ABSC. Of those 20, there are 16 that are still currently swimming on college rosters! Here they are, by their year of eligibility in college:

Seniors:

  1. Cedar Hawks – Berry College
  2. Patrick Humphreys – University of Georgia

Juniors:

  1. Eliza Petersen – Carson-Newman University
  2. Anna Rose More – Georgia Southern University

Sophomores:

  1. Caroline Allen – Liberty University
  2. Mary Claire Cardwell – University of Georgia
  3. Fear Churchwell – Calvin College
  4. Ian Hentenaar – Davidson College
  5. Camille Porter – Auburn University
  6. Madison Rogan – University of North Carolina, Asheville.
  7. Skylar Rogan – University of North Carolina, Asheville.

Freshmen:

  1. Aidan Brook – Georgia Tech
  2. Danielle Dellatorre – University of Georgia
  3. Berklee Hawks – Berry College
  4. Grace Mauldin – Georgia Tech
  5. Alexis Shirley – Air Force Academy

Others that swam at least one season in college but moved on to other things:

  1. Mae McWhorter – Current Senior, swam at Georgia Southern University
  2. Kara Powell – Current Junior, swam at Towson University
  3. Robert Wylie – Current Sophomore, swam at West Virginia University
  4. Annie Williamson – Current Junior, swam at University of Georgia

It’s clear to see that ABSC has a strong tradition of athletes going on to swim in college, and this doesn’t even go back further than the last four years! There are countless others that have gone on to swim at schools all over the country.

There are three former ABSC swimmers currently coaching for ABSC as well! Dylan Kalessa, Emma Lowring, and Hannah Scarbrough are all coaching for us this year. Even those that don’t swim in college often stay connected to the sport in one way or another!

It should also be noted that while not all of our graduating seniors go on to swim in college, we are at 100% college attendance right now for all of our graduating seniors. Swimmers are routinely considered some of the most academically successful athletes, and our college attendance rates show why!

Here’s to more good things to come with our program, and good luck with our current high school Seniors!

ABSC's First Deli Dawg Night is fast approaching!

10 Oct

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What is ABSC’s Deli Dawg night, and who get’s to be a Deli Dawg?

Every year ABSC’s team gathers together once monthly to have dinner together, and honor our swimmers. That tradition will continue again this year as we bring back our popular Deli Dawg Nights!

On a given Monday each month, ABSC coaches will nominate one swimmer from each group to be the “Deli Dawg Swimmer of the Month.” The Deli Dawg swimmers are selected by their coaches based on the following criteria:

  1. Being an exemplary teammate
  2. Showing strong performance in practice and meets that month
  3. Rising to challenges or overcoming adversity

The first Deli Dawg Night of our 2017/2018 season is Monday, Oct. 23rd. We weren’t able to have a Deli Dawg night in September this year due to hurricanes and other weird circumstances, but we’ll be starting up in October!

At the beginning of practice, the coaches will gather the swimmers together and explain why each swimmer is receiving the Deli Dawg award that month. The swimmer will receive a free meal pass to Jason’s Deli on the spot!

Then, the swimmers will have an abbreviated practice, and will make their way over to Jason’s Deli where we’ll all eat as a team! Logistical Details will be sent out to the team next week.

So make sure to join us for the first Deli Dawg Night of 2017/2018! Here is a list of last years’s winners:

Gups: Kate Sullivan, Bea Graff, Ella Beard, Kai Hernandez-Gambill, Alex Huang, Grayson Malutinok, Jordan Tillman

Pups: Becket Daniel, Ashlyn Lange, David Hiss, Madelyn English, Shaan Kanaan, Julianna Bluhm, Crenshaw Halbach

Superpups: Jenny Tang, Aubree-Clare Flores, Sam Krosner, Ben Hiss, Ginny Thorsen, Ansley Halbach, Anna Schmidt

Dawgs: Emma Champer, James Xiao, Felicia Pursner, Lucy Yeomans, Will Foggin, Eileen Brook, Rebecca Pursner

Senior 2: Brendan Bowman, Joshua Joransen, Matthew Colquitt, Maddy Wilson, Ava Kennedy, Wesley Cline, Kylee Novicki

Senior 1: Charlie Logan, Erin Osborne, Aidan Brook, Danielle Dellatorre, Tyler Mazurek, Jackson Harvin, Owen Churchwell

See you at the Deli!

ABSC Shines in First Meet Weekend - Recapping Both Meets

3 Oct

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ABSC couldn’t have started the meet season on a more positive note, as both the annual Red & Black and ABSC vs. Marietta Marlins meets resulted in strong showings for the club.

Before recapping the meet, a big THANK YOU goes out to all of our volunteers from the weekend. The ABSC parents set the example of teamwork for their swimmers by willingly volunteering their time. From announcing, to selling heat sheets, to running the computers, to officiating, to timing, our parents were the engine that made the meets go. You blessed our coaching staff by allowing us to do what we love in coaching your swimmers, and you blessed your swimmers by providing them a meet to swim in. THANK YOU!

I also want to give a big Thank You to all of the 13&over swimmers – the “Big Dawgs” – that participated in the Big Dawg/Little Dawg mentoring and made the night special for our 10&Unders on Friday night.

Red & Black Meet Recap

A night highlighted by a strong team atmosphere and the unveiling of the fun new “Big Dawg/Little Dawg” mentoring system also carried it’s fair share of drama and competition. After the dust settled, the Black Team walked away victorious in this showdown of ABSC squads for the 9th time in the last 10 years.

A close battle, the Black Team was able to secure their victory by producing an outstanding performance on the closing relays. The final tally ended up: Black Team: 1091.5, Red Team: 1053.5

It looked early in the meet as if the Red Team would prevail, taking a comfortable lead after the freestyle events at the beginning of the meet. But the Black Team roared back into the competition with a strong showing on the breaststroke and IM events, taking the lead and never looking back.

A close meet going into the final relays had the Red Team trailing by only 29 points. With a first place relay finish netting 18 points to the winning team for each age group, it was anyone’s meet. Particularly considering the Red Team had a strong showing in the freestyle events early in the meet, it appeared they had a chance.

But while the Red Team had a faster seed time in almost every relay age group, the Black Team had other plans for the outcome of the meet. With a surprising win in the 11-12 girls age group, and a Red Team DQ on the 1st place senior boys relay, the black team would go on to secure their victory.

ABSC vs. Marlins Recap

After dividing and competing against one another Friday evening, ABSC reunited Sunday morning to take on the Marietta Marlins. In what became a comfortable victory for ABSC, the intrigue in the meet comes more from the historical perspective than what actually took place Sunday morning. Here’s what I mean:

The Marietta Marlins have historically been one of the fastest teams in the state of Georgia! Despite their smaller numbers this season relative to ABSC, they still boast one of the most talented lineups of any team we’ll face this year. Loaded with several individual state champions, junior national qualifiers, and former members of the Georgia Zone Team, the Marlins are no small task.

In fact, the Marlins used to participate in the same Division as ABSC, swimming the Divisionals meet at Ramsey every March. They routinely won that meet for a span of about 10 years — some years winning by a sizable margin.

History aside, on Sunday there was no drama with the final outcome. ABSC headed into the final relays with a big lead, and further distanced themselves by the end of the meet! We took first place in every relay except the 10&under boys, who were barely out-touched by some talented Marlin youngsters. The 13-14 boys actually took first on the A-relay, and second on the B-relay, with the Marlins A-relay placing 3rd.

Even as recently as last summer, the Marlins proved a big challenge as they placed ahead of ABSC at the 14&Under state meet. So for us to start the season with a big win like this, is always a great sign of things to come.

Go Dawgs!

UPDATED!! New Feature of Red&Black Meet -- First Meet Weekend Approaching

18 Sep

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Monday – Sept. 18th,

UPDATE!!!

1: The preliminary rosters for the Red Team and Black team can be found here: Red&Black Teams

Update 2:The coaching breakdown goes as follows:

  • Red Team Coaches: Makenna, Hannah, Kat, Emma, Mike, Finley, Harvey
  • Black Team Coaches: Elizabeth, Dylan, Katie, Mary Kathryn, Alexandra, Jonathan, Martin

Update 3: Here are the Big Dawg Mentorship pairings: R&B Bid Dawg Mentorship Pairings. Couple quick notes about the mentoring:

  • We decided to utilize all 13&older swimmers as mentors based on need.
  • On the girls side, some Older girls have 2 Little Dawgs to mentor.
  • On the boys side, some Little Dawgs have two Big Dawgs to help!
  • All 10&Under swimmers received a mentor
  • This mentoring responsibility is to last for the Red&Black meet only, but obviously it would be great if the relationship carried on throughout the season!

 

With the season now underway, the swimmers back in the water, and the coaches laying the groundwork for the season ahead, it’s finally time to start looking at our first meets of the 2017/2018 season!

This year’s edition of the annual Red&Black Meet surely won’t disappoint.

As usual, we will divide the team — both the swimmers and the coaching staff — into two teams for this dawg v. dawg battle. There will be a Red Team and a Black Team like always. The roster of coaches and swimmers for each squad will be provided next week.

In 2015, the Red Team broke a 7-year (!!!) losing streak to the black team, making some ABSC history. Not to be outdone for too long, the black team reclaimed their throne in 2016. The story promotes itself really, but if that intrigue isn’t enough for you, there’s going to be a new element to the Red&Black that we’ve never had before!

This year, ABSC is unveiling it’s new “Big Dawg” mentoring component of the meet! What this means is that all high school-aged swimmers will be paired with a 10&under teammate for the meet, and given the job of helping show their little Dawg the ropes. They will help the younger athletes understand where to go for their events and keep an eye on them in between races. They’ll mentor and befriend that athlete and show them what it looks like to be a part of our team.

Assignments will be posted when rosters are posted.

As another feature, and 11-14 year old swimmers that are new to the team may be assigned a peer partner to help them familiarize themselves with ABSC meets as well. This is all dependent on numbers and availability.

So make sure you come on out to the Red&Black meet on Friday evening, September 29th! This is one of three meets that we ask all swimmers to attend, along with the Classic City Quad meet in December and the Northeast Divisional Championship meet in March.

To see the meet information for the Red&Black meet, as well as the ABSC versus Marlins dual meet which takes place 2-days later on Sunday, October 1st, click here: http://athensbulldogs.com/meets/info-results/

Emails will be going out later today to sign up for both meets!

Mike

Practice Cancelled, Orientation Rescheduled Due to "Irma."

11 Sep

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Due to the passing of now “Tropical Storm Irma” through our region, ABSC is cancelling practice tonight (Monday, September 11th), and tomorrow (Tuesday, September 12). The University of Georgia has decided to close on Monday and Tuesday for safety purposes, both before and after the passing of the storm. As such, ABSC will hold off on practice.

We will resume practice Wednesday, September 13th.

The New Family Orientation Session has been rescheduled for Wednesday the 13th as well! Our team vendor will still be on site that day as scheduled to perform our second and final team outfitting of the fall.

As always, the safety of our families will be our team’s first priority.

Thanks everyone for your patience, and we look forward to seeing you at the pool on Wednesday!

-ABSC Coaching Staff.

ABSC's Casey Fights Cancer with Swim Across America Campaign

4 Sep

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ABSC’s own Simon Casey is exemplifying the type of character we hope our swimmers will always possess by participating in an open water race this September 23rd in Atlanta.

The race is hosted by Swim Across America (SAA), an non-profit organization that exists to “…Unite the swimming community by hosting benefit swims that raise money to fund life saving cancer research and clinical trials,” according to it’s website.

Casey, who will be a member of the Dawgs group this fall, is inspired by several family friends that have suffered from the disease, including a young Athens child named Hodge Rivers that Casey writes about in his bio. To read about Casey’s motivation, and to DONATE TO HIS CAMPAIGN, see here: http://www.swimacrossamerica.org/site/TR?px=1495399&pg=personal&fr_id=4377

See also this message from Simon below:

Every 15 minutes 50 Americans are diagnosed with cancer. The good news is that every year millions of Americans are beating cancer through advancements in treatments. I am swimming in a Swim Across America benefit swim to #FightCancer and hope you will support me. Money raised from my swim will go to SAA doctors and researchers pioneering new cures to beat this dreaded disease. My personal page shares my story and how you may donate. Your support would mean a lot to me. http://www.swimacrossamerica.org/site/TR?px=1495399&pg=personal&fr_id=4377

Go Dawgs, Beat cancer!

ABSC's First Ever Safe Sport Training Through USA Swimming

4 Sep

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On Wednesday, September 6th, ABSC will be hosting it’s first ever Safe Sport training through USA Swimming. Read about Safe Sport.

Ceci Christy — the Georgia Swimming’s LSC’s resident Safe Sport representative — will be coming to Athens to meet with our high school aged swimmers and their parents. She will be offering a training session on bullying, peer pressure, and social media, to help maintain a safe and team-oriented environment on our club.

Ceci is a consummate professional who comes to us with rave reviews. Most recently, she spoke to the Georgia Swimming Zone Team (of which ABSC’s own Charlie Logan and Jackson Harvin were a part) and trained them over similar topics. Here are a couple bullet points of what you need to know.

  • All high school-aged athletes are required to attend, regardless of practice group
  • 7th and 8th grade swimmers can optionally attend
  • One parent/guardian for each swimmer should be present
  • Training begins at 5:30 PM, lasts until 7:00 PM
  • First 30-40 minutes for swimmers and parents, remaining time swimmers only
  • Short practice upon the conclusion (7-7:30 or so)

If you didn’t happen to see Coach Jonathan’s email from last week on the topic, please see below:

Many of you will have seen a note about Safe Sport Training in this week’s newsletter.  Safe Sport is a USA Swimming program designed to “promote the welfare of its athlete members” and “prevent instances of abuse and misconduct within the sport of swimming.”  Safe Sport training has been used by the Georgia LSC to good effect, and we on the ABSC staff feel that our high-school aged swimmers could benefit from some of its components.  To that end, we have invited Ceci Christy, an Atlanta attorney and the Georgia Swimming Safe Sport coordinator, to give a Safe Sport presentation to the team.  
The focus of the presentation in Athens will be how to deal with peer pressure, bullying, and the proper use of social media, but related matters will be discussed.  The session will take place at the Ramsey Center on Wednesday, September 6th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.  
 
All 9th-12th graders (regardless of group) will be required to attend in order to participate in ABSC practices, and we ask that each family have a parent present. Participation for 7th and 8th graders (especially those swimming in groups with older athletes) is encouraged, but not required. The first 30 to 40 minutes of the presentation will be for both swimmers and parents; the remainder of the session will be for athletes alone.  
At the conclusion of the athlete session, we will have a short practice.
  
Our goal at ABSC is promote a culture of teamwork, sportsmanship, and respect.  We hope that this session will help give our athletes insight into some of the problems we face on those fronts today, and contribute to the maintenance of a positive team environment.  
See you soon!
Mike

ABSC's Fall Term Beginning Soon!

21 Aug

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It’s almost that time again!!! The ABSC coaching staff is ready to get the season rolling!

We’re all starting to get a little antsy about getting back to the pool! The good news is that we’ll be back soon, so I hope you’re getting ready for the smell of chlorine and the wet towels all over your house/car/self. Check out some key dates below:

  1. Tuesday, September 5th: First day back for Dawgs, Senior 2, and Senior 1 Swimmers.
    1. All three groups should plan to arrive at 5:30 PM! This includes Senior 2, who will arrive at 5:30 all week. They will then start their normal 6:30 practice time the following week and maintain that all year.
    2. All three groups should bring athletic shoes and clothes, for “dryland” practice
  2. Monday, September 11th: First day back for Gups, Pups, and Superpups swimmers.
    1. All three groups will begin practice at the Ramsey Center at 5:30 PM!. This includes the Gups, who normally practice at the YWCO at 5:00.
    2. Gups will only practice at Ramsey on Monday. They will return to the YWCO for their Wednesday practice and remain there.
  3. Monday, September 11th: New Family Orientation.
    1. Will take place at the Ramsey Center, starting at 5:15 PM.
    2. For new families of all practice groups, including the Gups, but not including the stroke clinic families.
    3. Swimmers will join their practice groups for their swim practice, while parents meet with Jonathan and Mike.
    4. Parents will have a chance to meet and greet their child’s coaches at the conclusion of their child’s practice
    5. Gups and Pups practices will last 1 hour. Superpups and Senior 2 will last an hour and a half. Dawgs and Senior 1 will last roughly 2 hours.
    6. The orientation meeting for parents should last 30 – 45 Minutes
  4. Tuesday, September 12th: First Day of the Fall Splash Session 1 Clinic.
    1. Will begin at 4:00 PM at the YWCO
    2. All swimmers will register the first day. Forms will be emailed ahead of time. Parents should bring forms pre-filled and include a check with their fee, made out to ABSC
    3. The first practice will serve as an evaluation

I hope this helps! Here are a couple of other important dates:

  1. Tuesday, August 29th: ABSC “Back to Swim” Potluck Dinner and Hangout.
    1. Starts at 5:30 PM
    2. Bring a dish of your choice – signup coming soon
    3. Games including frisbee and cornhole, and a surprise coming…
  2. Tuesday, September 5th: First team outfitting for team suits and equipment.
    1. Begins at 5:15 PM at the Ramsey Center in the stands
    2. Team suits will be on hand for try-on and purchase
    3. All necessary equipment will be available – see your swimmers practice group for details
  3. Wednesday, September 6th: Mandatory Safe Sport training.
    1. Mandatory for 9th grade and older swimmers, optional for 7th + 8th graders
    2. Led by a representative from USA Swimming’s Safe Sport Initiative
    3. Topics major topic: Social Media Safetey, but others will be discussed.
    4. More details to come!
  4. Wednesday, September 13th: Team outfitting for suits and equipment #2.
    1. Second outfitting offered to decrease lines and wait time
    2. Same details as above in terms of start time and location
  5. Friday, September 29th: ABSC Red&Black meet.
    1. First meet of the season
    2. All groups should come, every swimmer should participate if possible
    3. Warmups beginning at 4:30 PM
    4. At the Ramsey Center

Thanks everyone, and we’re looking forward to seeing all of you at the pool soon!

Go Dawgs!

– Mike

 

Former ABSC Swimmer Wilson a Hall of Famer

21 Aug

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Atlanta,Ga — August 19th, 2017.

It was a special night for the Athens Bulldog Swim Club as former ABSC swimmer, Paige Wilson (now Paige Wilson Penze), was inducted into the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame as a member of the 2017 class. ABSC Head Coach Harvey Humphries was on hand to introduce his former swimmer at the ceremony.

The accomplished Wilson, who went on to swim for the University of Georgia after graduating from Clarke Central High School in Athens, entered the Hall of Fame with two other UGA swim and dive greats: current Head Diving Coach Dan Laak, and former NCAA All-American and American Record holder Elizabeth (Hill) Newman.

Wilson moved from Ohio to Athens, Ga at the beginning of High School. When she arrived, she had already achieved Junior National qualifying times. Coach Harvey was tasked with taking the talented swimmer to the next level in her swimming career.

At the age of 17, Paige became the first ever Olympic trials qualifier for the Athens Bulldog Swim Club! She also achieved several other awards and accomplishments while training with ABSC, including becoming a 4X High School All-American for Clarke Central, and setting state records in the 100 Backstroke in 1987, 1988, and 1989, and in the 100 butterfly in 1988 and 1989.

Paige went on to swim for the University of Georgia, where she would become an SEC Champion in the 100 fly in 1991 and 1992, and would also win the 200 back in 1992. She would go on to be a 21X All-American for the Dawgs, completing her collegiate career in 1993.

Not just a talented athlete, Wilson also experienced enormous success in the classroom. She was listed as an Academic All-American all four years in college, and went on to be named a Women’s NCAA Post-Graduate Scholar — an award achieved by only 30 female athletes, from any sport, across the entire NCAA each year — for her outstanding academic performance.

On the USA Swimming side of things, Paige continued to represent ABSC. Under ABSC’s banner, she went on to be a Long Course National Champion in the 200M backstroke and 100M fly in 1991, the 200M backstroke again in 1992, and the 200M butterfly in 1993. She would go on to compete in the World University Games and the Pan Pacific games in 1993, representing team USA on the international level.

Paige Wilson Penze’s legacy still lives on with ABSC today, as she is the namesake of the “Paige Wilson Award” which is offered every year at ABSC’s end-of-year awards ceremony. The winner of the award, which given to a member of our Senior 1 group every year, is voted upon by members of the Senior group and given to a peer who they deem to be an “excellent role model and outstanding team leader.”

Congratulations to Paige Wilson Penze for her induction into the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame, and may she continue to inspire our club for generations to come.

You can see the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame Website here: http://gahof.org/

 

 

 

A big part of swimming with ABSC is creating memories, and pictures play a part in reminding us where we've been. Our Shutterfly site has everything from the most recent meet to to a "Splash from the Past." To start browsing these images, click the link above.

ABSC has been a part of the Athens community for over 30 years. We believe that healthy lifestyles lead to healthy communities, which is why we are proud to join other local organizations in promoting athletics for all ages. Click here to learn more about our Partners in Fitness.

Need to buy a team cap and suit? Want to look up a time from a past season? Interested in finding what's going on in the wider world of swimming? You've come to the right place. For answers to these questions and more, click the link above.

Still not sure what it's like to swim for ABSC? Well, if a picture says a thousand words, a video says even more. Every year we document our season, and if you take a moment to watch, we think you'll get an idea of what we're all about. Click the link above to find out more.