Meet Recap: Mother's Day Invite

17 May

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Athens, Georgia – May 12th – 13th 2017.

Your ABSC Bulldogs took to the pool for the second long course meet of the 2017 season this past weekend, and like the first meet, they once again did not disappoint. Even with the fast and furious Swim Atlanta in town for a duel in the pool, the Dawgs stood strong and raced VERY well.

Proving once again to be an unstoppable force, Danielle Dellatorre set the pace for ABSC’s Senior 1 group. Danielle started her meet with a 1st place finish in the 200 free (2:08.36), and continued on with 3 more 1st place finishes, and one 2nd place spot. Charlie Logan from Senior 1 turned in a very impressive day as well, with three 1st place finishes, and 5 out of 5 personal best times! Ryan Wylie also swam a fantastic meet, completing 5/5 personal bests, with 2nd place finishes in the 1500, 200, and 100 freestyles.

In the Senior 2 group, Matthew Colquitt demonstrated impressive resolve in his first long course appearance of the season. He bounced back from a small time add in his first event to then improve his personal best in each of his next four events! The bounce back included a 12th place finish in the 50 free (27.34), and a 2.13 second drop in the 100 breast. Aisha Schulz also turned in an impressive meet with 4/5 personal best times, and a 2.44 second drop in the 200 free to begin her meet.

The Dawgs group was a force to be reckoned with, and none were more forceful than Daniel Huang. With precision and skill, he sliced and diced his previous personal bests. Daniel had separate time drops of 25.13, 21.04, 21.65, 5.58(In the 50 free), and 26.70 in his events. It was unheard of! Bouncing back off of injury, Rebecca Pursner turned in personal bests in all 5 of her events, including 15.80 seconds in the 200 IM. Jenna Champer also proved quite a force, with 2 first place finishes in the 50 fly and 50 back. Proving her versatility, Jenna dropped 1 minute and 35.89 seconds in the 800 free. She can sprint and swim distance!

Ryan Xiao lead the Superpups group in what was nothing short of a beastly performance by a 10-year-old swimming in the 12&under division. Ryan blew his old best times away, with times drops of 19.44 in the 200 IM, 14.09 in the 100 fly, and 3.67 in the 50 free. Ginny Thorsen turned in her second consecutive impressive meet, dropping time in all 5 events including a 5.29 second drop in the 200 IM. Wanting to join in on the time drop party, Miracle Turner took off 8.76 seconds in her 100 back, and 21.23 in her 100 breast!

Finally in the Pups and Gups groups, the Fireshark (Shaan Kannan) from the Pups was on the hunt! Dropping 12.63 in his 100 free, 14.80 in the 100 back, and 18.06 in the 50 fly, there was no escaping the jaws of fire. Even the Gups group got in on the fun, as 8 year-old Lucy Attaway competed in her first long course meet! And might I say, her kick on the 100 backstroke was a thing of beauty. Older swimmers take notes!

Other Notable Swims and Successes:

Eli Bates dropped 20.39 in his 200 IM and 6.13 in the 50 back. Eileen Brook dropped 8.01 in the 200 IM and came in 1st in the 100 back. Emma Champer swam her first 800 free, then proceeded to drop time in every other event she swam! Gunnar Churchwell took 42.68 seconds off of his 1500 free. Olivia Dellatorre took 38.16 off of her 200 breast! Ansley Halbach swam her first 800 and then dropped time in everything else. Lauren Harrison won her heat 4 times out of 5! Gavin Jones dropped 9.04 in his 100 back. Grace Lang took 41.60 seconds off of her 800. Grace Mauldin took first in the 200 back. Geetam Mistry somehow dropped 7.67 seconds in a 50 freestyle…! Emily Schulz improved her 800 free by 1 minute and 17.40 seconds! James Xiao dropped 24.93 in his 200 free and 13.35 in his 200 IM! Lucy Yeomans dropped in 5/6 events, including 8.19 in the 200 IM. Karen Zhao placed second in the 800 free and took off 49.67 seconds.

Kai's Story: Swimmer of the Quarter

8 May

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The 2016/2017 swim season has been an extraordinary one for the Athens Bulldog Swim Club. It all started last summer, when ABSC was represented at the Olympic games by Hali Flickinger, Gunnar Bentz, and Olivia Smoliga, of UGA. By fall, ABSC began experiencing record numbers in terms of roster size, with the largest Red&Black meet in team history.

By December at Senior State, ABSC was able to place 7th overall in Georgia (3rd for medium-sized teams), with 17 year-old senior Danielle Dellatorre once again accomplishing the title of state champ, this time in four events.

At Age Group state in February, ABSC again placed 7th overall, but came second overall out of medium sized teams (and even defeated a couple of the large division teams). Finally, ABSC rounded out the season by winning the Northeast Divisional meet for the first time in 8 years!

Despite all of the success, one other award should not be forgotten. 8 year-old Kai Hernandez-Gambill of ABSC was named the “Age Group Swimmer of the Quarter” by Georgia Swimming at the age group state meet in February. Kai, who had been diagnosed with Perthes Disease, made a miraculous comeback throughout the season, progressing from wheelchair, to crutches, to walking just before Northeast Divisionals.

You can read Kai’s story here: Kai’s Story

Also, Kai’s family has given permission to share a video they created about his disease and recovery. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, give it a watch! Thanks for reading and here’s to another great season of ABSC swimming as we head to long course 2017!

Meet Recap: 2017 Dynamo IMX Spring Blast

3 May

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Chamblee, Ga – April 29th, 2017.

ABSC participated in it’s first long course meet of the 2017 season at the IMX Spring Blast hosted by Dynamo swim club. Despite not having trained any long course during practice yet this season, the ABSC swimmers rose to the challenge offering up a surprisingly successful meet performance.

The meet consisted of an Individual Medley-themed format where swimmers participated in 100s (12&under) or 200s (13&over) of the strokes, with some 400 frees and 200 IMs mixed in. Between huge personal best time drops, swimmers competing in their first long course meet, and new ABSC swimmers logging their first meet as a Bulldog, the successes were plentiful for the Pups, Superpups, Dawgs, and Senior 1 swimmers who competed.

John Morgan McDonald, 17, led the way for the team as the only Senior 1 swimmer entered in the meet. He posted personal best times in the 200 fly (2:18.77) and 400 free (4:25.30), placing 3rd and 4th overall respectively in those events.

The Dawgs group was paced by Jenna Champer (12) and James Xiao (12) at the 12&under session, and Karen Zhao (13) in the 13&older session. Jenna posted personal best times in all four of her events. Achieving a 4th place overall finish in the 100 fly, Jenna managed to knock 7.14 seconds off of her best time for a finishing time of 1:14.09. James managed to sneak out a 1st place overall finish in the 100 fly from an outside lane, dropping 11.49 seconds off of his old best time in route to a 1:12.54 swim. He continued to drop time on all four of his events, including over a minute in the 400 free! Karen managed personal bests in 3 out of 4 events, including a 1st place overall finish in the 400 free with a time of 4:53.58 in a new personal best.

The Superpups were led by excellent performances from William Johnson (11), Simon Casey (12), and Parker Fagrell (10). William posted personal best times in all four of his events, including drops of 17.62 seconds in his 200 IM, and 17.99 seconds in his 100 fly from last season. New to the team, Parker and Simon didn’t disappoint. Parker managed to swim his first long course 100 fly, achieve 3 other personal bests, and pull out a 1st place overall finish in the 10&under boys 200 free in a time of 2:41.17. Simon managed time drops in all 4 events as well, including a drop of 18.65 seconds in his 200 IM for an 8th place finish at 2:51.91.

Several ABSC Pup swimmers competed in their first ever long course meet, including Zach Krosner, Tianjie (TJ) Lu, and Sierra Pape. Ava Scott from the Superpups also competed in her first ever long course meet.

Other Notable Items:

– Impressive finishes and time drops in the 400 free: Eileen Brook (24.66 seconds), Jenna Champer (5th overall in 5:12.02), Brynn Halbach (9.93 seconds), Daniel Huang (41.44 seconds), Sam Krosner (11.47 seconds), Grace Lang (1 minute and 1.89 seconds!!!), Macy Mullis (36.69 seconds), Emily Schulz (33.56 seconds), James Xiao (1 minute and 2.02 seconds!!!),

– Daniel Huang 4/4 personal best times, Ginny Thorsen 4/4 personal best times, Payton Morrison 4th overall in 100 breast, Shaan Fireshark Kanaan 1 minute drop in the 100 back.

Note – This is the first in a new series of meet recap blog posts by the ABSC coaching staff. We plan to continue these posts through the summer, and if they’re well received, we’ll continue into the fall. 

Holiday Training 2016

14 Dec

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With the Ramsey Center being closed between Christmas and New Year’s, this year’s Holiday Training Schedule will be different from the past.  Seniors will be doing self-directed workouts, some Dawgs will be traveling to Swim Atlanta, and Supers will be training at the YWCO.  If you have a question about what you should do, please check with your group’s coach.

Senior Swimmer Camille Porter decides on Auburn

23 Oct

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ABSC has had a second of our seniors commit to swim in college, this time to a school just across our western border.  Camille Porter, a sprint freestyler and backstroker signed this week with the Auburn Tigers.  In explaining her decision Camille says,

I chose Auburn University because it felt like home as soon as I stepped on campus last summer. I loved the family atmosphere and everyone on the team. The Auburn coaches have been awesome throughout the process and I know they will help me achieve all of my goals in swimming and life. I was born into a family divided between Auburn and Georgia but now I am so happy to say I’m 100% an Auburn Tiger. War Eagle!

Congratulations to Camille on her decision.  We look forward to her return to Athens next year when she’s wearing the orange and blue!

ABSC Senior Mary Claire Cardwell signs with UGA

23 Oct

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ABSC Senior backstroker, Mary Claire Cardwell has decided to stay home and don the Red & Black. In explaining her decision she says:

I chose UGA because it’s a great academic school and I absolutely love the team and coaches. I also feel very comfortable there because it’s where my club team practices. I’m so excited to be a Bulldog!!

Mary Claire looks to contribute to the Bulldogs’ depth in the backstroke and sprint free. Congratulations to this, the first of our Seniors to find a college home.  We on the staff of ABSC look forward to seeing where the rest of our swimmers land!

Swim-a-Thon set for October 5th

24 Sep

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With October on the horizon, It is time once again to begin thinking about our annual Swim-a-Thon. This has always been an important fundraiser for our team, but this year it is even more essential that all members of ABSC participate. Let me take a moment to explain why. We at ABSC are fortunate in that our home pool is one of the premier facilities in the country, but such access does not come without associated costs. Over the past few years our pool rental hascontinued to increase. We have been able to offset much of the increased cost through swim meets and sponsorships, but to keep from raising swimmer dues further, we must have an effective Swim-a-Thon.

In the Swim-a-Thon each athlete is asked to gather pledges from neighbors, family, and friends. Pledges can either be based on the number of laps swum (with a maximum of 200) or set for a fixed amount. On the day of the Swim-a-Thon, the entire team gathers at the Ramsey Center where they have two hours to complete their laps. Gups generally swim as many laps as they can in the time allotted, Pups are encouraged to swim a minimum of 100 laps, while Super Pups, Dawgs and Seniors do the entire amount. Superpups, Pups and Gups need to supply a counter (usually a friend or a parent) who sits in the stands and keeps track of the laps swum. After the Swim-a-Thon is complete, participants collect their pledges and turn the money in by the due date (Monday, October 20th). Prizes are awarded to all who participate and top fundraisers will receive a special awards package.

This year the Swim-a-Thon will be held on Sunday, October 5th from 4 to 6 pm.  For more information, click here to download the 2014 Swim-a-Thon information form.

World Class Swimming coming to Athens

2 Jul

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From July 10th through 13th, ABSC will be hosting some of the top swimmers in the nation at the first-ever Bulldog Grand Slam.

Conceived as meet to fill the “void in the racing schedule between the final stop on the Grand Prix circuit in Santa Clara in mid-June and USA Swimming’s National Championships,” the Grand Slam was originally intended to be for swimmers from ABSC, North Baltimore, SwimMAC, and Swim Atlanta.  However, in the time since it was announced at the Charlotte Grand Prix, it has grown to include world class athletes from over a dozen teams.

Headlining the competition will be the expected matchup between NBAC’s Michael Phelps and SwimMAC’s Ryan Lochte, but the catalog of swimming’s elite doesn’t end with the two men.  ABSC’s Megan Romano and Shannon Vreeland will be reunited with their UGA teammate and current NBAC swimmer, Allison Schmitt.  And the rest of the psych sheet reveals a meet that will be both deep and fast, with names like Yannick Agnel, Ous Mellouli, Conor Dwyer, Nick Fink, and Nick Thoman among the men; Micah Lawrence, Lotte Friis, Olivia Smoliga, and Kylie Stewart among the women.

All Session Passes for the Grand Slam Passes are available, and will be sold online from June 30th – July 8th.  Passes are $35 each and include a Heat Sheet.

Single session tickets will be sold on a first come/first served basis.  Tickets for individual sessions will be available at the Ramsey Center ticket booth at a cost of $5.00 for Prelims and Timed Finals; $10.00 for Finals.  Individual session ticket sales will be cash only.  Ticket windows will open 1 hour prior to each meet session.

For more information, see the Bulldog Grand Slam updates in the Hosted Meets section of this website.

ABSC assists in World's Largest Swim Lesson

26 Jun

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On Friday, June 20th, over a dozen ABSC swimmers launched into the pool to help out with The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.

This event, sponsored by a coalition of the nation’s leading water safety and training organizations, takes place every year at the end of June.  All across the nation, swim instructors and their students take to the water at the same time, in an effort to promote water safety and introduce children to the sport of swimming.

Organized locally by the Athens Clarke County Department of Leisure Services, this was the debut of the WLSL in our area, and for those who participated, the experience was well worth the time, as over a hundred non-swimming children at four locations received instruction on their strokes.

ABSC Swimmers helped spread the love of swimming at the WLSL’s East Athens location

ABSC swimmers who participated include:

East Athens:  Coach Kevin Taylor, Anna Ash, Jacob Colquitt, Grace Mauldin, Nick Mauldin, Jake Mauldin and Lena Visser

Lay Park:  Caroline Allen, Megan Measel, and Alexis Shirley

Rocksprings:  Evan Brook, Hannah Scarbrough and Troy Zhao

Memorial Park:  Danielle Dellatorre, Madison Rogan, and Skylar Rogan

In a letter to the ABSC participants, Ben Nyquist, the organizer for this year’s event wrote, “I got nothing but great feedback and complements on the program and how much help you all were. I know all of you have a very busy summer schedules with practice, coaching, etc., so to take the time last Friday to help these kids improve their swimming skills meant not only a ton to me but to the parents of these children as well.”

To those who helped out we, on the staff, would like to echo those sentiments, saying “great job and taters all around!”

ABSC adds Two Groups for Summer Swimming

2 Jun

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Now that summer is here, it’s time to turn our attention to long course pools and swimming outside.

Though our schedule for the summer will, for the most part, remain the same as it has in years past, ABSC is pleased to announce that through our partnership with the YWCO and ACC Leisure Services, we will be offering an opportunity for Underdawgs, Gups, Pups, and Masters to extend their training through the entire summer season (May 27th – July 25th).

Bishop Long Course

Bishop Park looks great,
with its long course lanes.


Masters will switch their training time to the mornings and move outside, as they take up residence at Bishop Park, which can now be set up in long and short course configurations.

Though most practices will be short course, the schedule will include a long course training session every Wednesday.  The cost is a $125 flat fee.  Practices will run as follows:

  • Monday,  6:00 to 7:00 am at the YWCO,
  • Tuesday through Friday, 6:30 to 7:30 am at Bishop Park (long course on Wednesdays)

For Pups, Gups, and Underdawgs, we are offering “a taste of long course” to supplement their summer league schedule.  This includes a weekly practice at Ramsey and an invitation to participate in long course meets.  The cost for the Taste of Long Course is a $100 flat fee.

  • Wednesday, 9:00 to 10:30 am at Ramsey

Questions about Morning Masters should be directed to Coach Tim Demott.  For information about at Taste of Long Course, contact Coach Mike Radford.


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.

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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.