One Swimmer, One Team.

Weekly Schedule

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Happy Monday, HRA!

Whew! After 4 BIG meets, in 2 weekends, across the country we can truly say that HRA athletes made significant gains in reaching their goals. Congratulations to all HRA teammates that competed over the past 14 days. What a great way to take stock of where you are in the process and get charged for February and March.
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Winter Junior National Qualifiers: Parker Henry, Gavin Rogers, Trevor Van Laugh and Charles Burrows

Weekly Schedule
We are entering a busy period with a combination of club and high school meets. We will have frequently adjusted schedules on Tue/Thu owing to high school meets at Northridge or Fri owing to our own meets.

Please note that only changes are listed below. If your group is not listed—your practice time has not changed.

Monday 12/10: No morning practices until after the new year.

Dryland begins again at normal times with Shannon for NAT'L/SR/SECT/HS(+)

BL/WH/SL 5:00-6:00pm at NR

Tuesday 12/11: NAT'L/SR/SECT 3:15-4:45pm at Westridge

ST/RED 7:30-8:30pm at Westridge

Wednesday 12/12: No dryland for WH/SL

Friday 12/14: WH/SL 5:00-6:00pm NR

Saturday 12/15: No practice for any group owing to the HRA Sprint Meet

Calendar questions? Contact Coach Lindsey:

Coaches Corner

Hello HRA Family,

I just returned from Junior Nationals, and I’m so excited by what I saw and what I heard from Coach Jill about the meets she attended. We’re making real progress, our kids are getting better, and they’re having a lot of fun along the way. I’m very happy with how our team is progressing at the halfway point in the season. Next up on Saturday we have our HRA hosted Sprint Meet in Colorado Springs, another great opportunity to swim fast before we move into the holiday break. Thanks in advance to all of our parent volunteers for putting on the meet. Good luck!

Finally, as move into the winter season, I wanted to share some timely words of wisdom from one of the great coaches in our sport, Ira Klein (Sarasota Y, Florida). Enjoy!

Have a great week!
Coach Bocci

Kids And Sport

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By Ira Klein, Sarasota Y, Florida

Recently I read an article from Sports Psychology magazine, written by Dr. David A. Feigley. He works with the Rutgers University Youth Sport Research Council. The article was entitled "Why Kids Quit" and contained interesting and useful information which I wish to share with all of you.

First, why do kids play sports?

There are three basic types of participants. Ability oriented children enjoy competition and "want to be the best". Task oriented children enjoy the activity itself and often focus on self-improvement. Social approval-oriented children work to please others such as coaches, parents, and teammates. To my surprise, the author says that the evidence suggests that those who work for social approval persist the longest.

Children aged six years and younger cannot distinguish between ability and effort. They believe that when they try hard, they are automatically good at what they are doing. Praise tends to be accepted positively by very young children regardless of whether the task was successfully completed or not. Children aged seven through eleven develop the ability to differentiate between having talent and trying hard. They compare themselves with others, and if they feel they cannot succeed, they would rather not try. They find it easier to attribute failure to a deliberate lack of effort, than to admit that they lack ability.

Children from age twelve become skilled at making social comparisons and realize that expending effort is no longer a guarantee that they will succeed.

What can we do to help reduce the pressures that children feel?

1. Encourage enjoyment of the activity and self-improvement.

2. Encourage children to interpret comparisons with others solely as a tool for improving. Comparisons should be constructive and never as simple as "they are better" or "you are not as good".

3. Praise must be an earned reward. As children mature, they begin to value praise for successful outcomes much more than praise for trying hard. Look for specific successes.

4. Continually remind your children that ability often changes dramatically as they mature.

Turkey Trot Swimmers of the Meet

A big thanks goes to Coach Lindsey for making the Red, White and Blue Meet happen. Wasn't it FUN! HRA meets are the best!

It was a hard decision for the staff to pick just a few swimmers for this award. Our Red, White and Blue teams set the tone for the meet by raising the bar with enthusiasm and effort. That was true leadership and was enjoyed by everyone in the pool. Several athlete's stood out as supportive teammates taking care to boost confidence in their friends as they prepared for their challenge events.

The following athletes were selected as Swimmers of the Meet based off HRA values of:

Congratulations to:
Aubrey Hutter
Elizabeth Macaulay
Shavi Koul
Ethan Caldwell
Ben Montgomery
Amelia Liechtner
Emily Silberhorn

HRA Housekeeping

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The staff have received emails about inaccurate attendance recording and we thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We love the fact that you are tracking this for your swimmer(s)!

As a staff, we realize that during most of September and October we were off a bit on our tracking. Beginning Nov. 1, we will begin earnestly tracking attendance. Please feel free to email any of us if you notice that we have made a mistake.

Also note that attendance is taken at meets so look for those days to show up beginning in November. Thanks for your patience!

HRA cap policy: Coach Bocci loves it when we look like a team from the top to the bottom. At meets swimmers will need to adhere to the Black (Fri), Blue (Sat.),Red (Sun) cap policy. GriffinStrong caps will be worn during May and June to promote the scholarship fund AND most importantly to remember Donna Griffin.

Behavior at Facilities: We have been asked to remind everyone that we are guests at the facilities we use when we are there as an HRA member. Please act respectfully throughout the facilities!

Athlete Equipment: The staff is expecting athletes to have their equipment by now including tempo trainers at every practice. Please label all equipment.

Challenge Events: Our meets in the fall have challenge events that are a MUST for our developing groups. Completing these events boosts confidence and creates a tremendous bond amongst the athletes. Please go back and look over the events your child is signed up for and include the challenge event ie., Turkey Trot. These events are listed on the TU event page. Thank you!

Meet Overview

  • PERC Sign-ups extended through 9/17/18!
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    As many of you already know, we have invested a great deal of time helping our athletes develop mental skills to become more resilient both in and out of the pool. We are planning to take this to the next level during the 2018-2019 competitive swim season.

    HRA engaged with Performance Excellence & Recovery Consulting (PERC) to develop a series of mental skills training sessions for athletes ranging in age from 11-19. PERC will be conducting once per week, 45 minute sessions, where group schedules allow, beginning Sept. 18th!

    PERC's founder, Jay Thooft, earned a Master's in Sport and Performance Psychology from the Univ of Denver, and worked with Olympic and National team athletes (in swimming and other sports) at the Olympic Training Center.

    The schedule and fees for Fall Semester Enrollment are listed below for Red through National Group:

    Tuesday 9/18-11/27/18
    4:30-5:15pm Fee: $165.00 for 11 classes
    SECT/SR/HS 5:45-6:30pm Fee: $165.00 for 11 classes
    Sept: 18, 25
    Oct: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
    Nov: 6, 13, 20, 27

    Thursday 9/20-11/29
    4:30-5:15pm Fee: $150.00 for 10 classes
    Sept: 20, 27
    Oct: 4, 11, 18, 25
    Nov: 1, 8, 15, 29

    National Team
    9:15-10:00am $90.00 for 6 classes
    Sept: 22, 29
    Oct: 6, 20 OR 29 (TBD)
    Nov: 3, 24

    Watch for more information on Winter Semester, which is intended to be a follow on to the Fall Semester, and will run Jan-Feb. Spring Semester will begin in April and run through June.

    Our athletes will be eligible to receive discounts on private sessions scheduled directly through Jay and his staff in addition to the low cost group sessions if desired.

    To register for this outstanding addition to our program please go to TU Event Page and declare Yes or No. There will be no credit for partial attendance.

    We genuinely believe this is an area in which every athlete can benefit immensely, and one which will enhance the training they are already doing in and out of the pool. If you want more information on Jay or PERC, their web site is posted here:
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    WHEN: November 6th - February 9th
    Tuesday & Thursday 3:30pm - 5pm
    Saturday 8:45am - 10:30am

    WHERE: Goodson Recreation Center (Tue/Thu)
    Northridge Recreation Center (Sat)

    WHAT YOU GET: Three technique, power, and speed training sessions per week (excluding holidays and facility/practice closures). Perfect for the high school swimmer looking to get the jump on the Competition! OPEN TO ALL HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMERS

    HOW TO REGISTER: Visit our HRA Team Unify site, or click on the link above

    COST: $100/month (Nov-Jan) + $25 Registration Fee

    FOR MORE INFORMATION: Questions? Please email us at
HRA Sprint Meet
Date: 12/15 (Sat)
Location: Pikes Peak Athletics Training Center – 6330 ft elevation 602 Elkton Drive Colorado Springs, Colorado 80907
Deadline: 12/03/2018 (Mon.)

Entries are now open for the 2nd HRA hosted meet of the season. We have a new location this year that we think all will appreciate. Remember "hot heats" from last year and children's laughter when they got to pick a prize from the Christmas tree when they won their heat??? You don't want to miss this meet. It is so much fun!

As this is an HRA hosted event, we expect all families to attend and support our efforts unless their athlete has a conflict with girls HS meets.

TXLA New Year's Classic
Date: 1/11-13/2018 (Fri.-Sun.)
Location: Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center, Univ. of Texas
Deadline: 12/17/2018 (Mon.)

To enter this meet swimmers must have Motivational B qualifying times. Altitude adjustments do apply for events 200 yards or more and can be found here. Please let Coach Jill know if you are close and need the altitude adjustment applied.

The Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center has an indoor 8 lane 50 meter competition pool. The pool is considered one of the fastest pools in the world due to its depth, gutter system, high filtration rate and lane width.

Team Hotel information will be forthcoming. This is a parent directed trip. Families will be responsible for making their own travel plans and will be assessed a coaching fee to cover team expenses associated with coaches' travel.

HRA Named to USA Swimming Club Excellence List

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For the second straight year, HRA has been awarded the honor of a Bronze Medal ranking in the USA Swimming Club Excellence program, recognizing the organization’s highest-performing clubs in the development of athletes 18 years and younger.

Achieving Bronze Medal status is an enormous accomplishment for our program and our community. This achievement is reached only through the tremendous dedication of our athletes, their parents and our entire coaching staff. It is truly a ‘team effort’ for us to help every young athlete in our program reach their highest potential. Thanks to everyone for making this

HRA tallied 5,958 points, to finish 122nd nationally (the exact same ranking as 2017). Fort Collins Area Swim Team tallied 25,325 points to earn Gold Medal status with a 16th place national finish. Univ of Denver Hilltoppers scored 7,583 points finishing in 87th place nationally and earning Silver Medal status. Other Bronze Medal clubs include Flatiron Athletic Club (6,724 points - 110th place), Colorado Springs Swim Team (5,139 points - 144th place), Jeffco Hurricanes (4,867 points 155th place), Pikes Peak Athletics (4,815 points - 157th place), and Aces Swim Club (4,053 points - 177st place).

In its 16th year, the Club Excellence program identifies clubs that execute strong, well-rounded programs to produce elite 18-and-under athletes. The top 20 clubs earn Gold level ranking and those rated 21-100 are designated as Silver honorees. The next 100 clubs are recognized at the Bronze level.

Meet Entry Procedure

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    The Hurricane Meet as well as the rest of the tentative meet schedule is included on the new HRA TeamUnify site. All meet entries will be handled completely online through the this site.

    To sign up for a meet:

    Click on the Events page or scroll to the bottom of the main page.

    Find the event you would like to attend and click on "Edit Commitment" which appears immediately below the event title.

    Click on your swimmer .

    In the "Declaration" box, click on: "Yes, please sign [swimmer name] up for this event." In the Notes box you can add specific notes if needed e.g. if you are not available for a relay or can only attend 1 day etc. Then click on "Save Changes".

    Here is where either of 2 things can happen:

    If its very early, the meet information will not be available online and your commitment intention will be complete.

    If the meet information is available you will then be able to select the specific events you would like your swimmer to race. Note: If you have any questions about which events your swimmer should race, talk to the coaching staff.

    The Hurricane Meet is the only meet available to sign up for individual events. Please indicate your intention to attend other meets through the fall, however. We will make individual entry registration available as soon as meet information is posted by the respective meet directors.

Summer Practice Schedule & Requirements

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    Blue/White Group Families

    Spring Practice Schedule

    Having returned to our regular practice schedule this week, we will remain on this schedule through the week of May 21st. Athletes are encouraged to participate in all meets through the end of our spring practice schedule (including the Suburban League Pentathlon, HRA vs. FAST vs. CUDA Tri-Meet and CUDA Steve Drozda Meets).

    Athlete Equipment Reminder/Addition
    A quick reminder to be sure your athlete(s) have all the equipment necessary for practices this spring/summer. With certain groups, we are asking for families to provide additional equipment which the coaches have dedicated to using on a regular basis.

    Blue Group: Fins, Pull buoy, Kickboard (may borrow from Littleton Y/HRCA)
    White Group: Fins, Pull buoy, Kickboard (may borrow from Littleton Y/HRCA), Tempo trainer, Paddles

    Summer Practice Schedule

    Beginning Memorial Day week, we will shift to our summer schedule. You can find the general summer schedule above. Below are notes on the schedule and expectations.

    HRA runs two parallel programs during the summer: long course training (similar to the short course season as well as the schedule of the older HRA athletes) and the summer swim clinic.

    The former is designed to prepare our athletes to qualify and compete at the 12&U LC State meet (July 27-29 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs). The summer swim clinic is designed to keep sharp the skills our athletes have acquired over the short course season. It is designed to compliment summer swim league training and to comply with the summer club state meet rules (see more below).

    Our summer schedule will begin on Tues, May 30 and run through the completion of the 12&U State meet. The first clinic session will be Wed, May 30. We will run clinic programming through Wed, July 18.

    There are no dues during June-July for either the long course season or the summer swim clinic. Those fees are covered in the annual dues paid from Sept-May. The only additional charges will be for meet entry fees, busing to Lowry and/or equipment/apparel.

    Summer Swim Rules
    Our athletes represent a number of clubs, but many of the same rules apply. There are two governing bodies: the league (MHSL for Seahawks, etc.) and the Colorado State Summer Club Swimming Association. Each body conducts championship meets as described below.

    Leagues such as the MHSL conduct dual meets as well as a league championship meet. The MHSL also conducts an All-Star meet based on the results of the league championship meet. Leagues such as the MHSL have no restrictions on participation in USA Swimming clubs such as HRA. Athletes may represent their summer clubs and train/compete with HRA.

    The Colorado State Summer Club Swimming Association conducts the annual summer club state meet. CSSCSA rules state in order to be eligible to compete in the summer club state meet, athletes much train and compete exclusively with their summer club team beginning May 15. Thus, this will be the final week of regular HRA practices for athletes following this path. Because the HRA summer clinic is simply an instructional 'camp', it complies with the requirements of the CSSCSA.

    HRA Requirements
    We want to be sure all our athletes are prepared to progress (in both skills and conditioning) when we resume our short course training in September. As such, only athletes who participate in long course or the clinic sessions will be guaranteed a spot on HRA next fall. Athletes who do not participate will be required to tryout again in August.

    While we feel athletes should focus on only one program, if athletes are considering competing for both HRA (in long course) and their summer club, we ask parents to set a reasonable practice schedule for their athletes. Our recommendations remain the same. We feel a minimum of three practices per week with HRA is required for athletes to be prepared to compete at a high level. We also expect athletes to compete in at least one meet per month. Given the short long course season, athletes should take advantage of every racing opportunity (in at least one day of competition). Please remember that IMR/IMX scores are zeroed out at the beginning of the new season. HRA athlete's aged 10&U should focus on completing the IMR Challenge. Click HERE for details.

    We do not expect athletes to participate in two training sessions in one day. A recommendation may be to join HRA practices on MWF or MWR, and summer club practices on TR or TF.

    If you have not already done so, please speak with the coaching staff to discuss your preference to participate in the long course season or the stroke clinics this summer.

    Littleton YMCA Check-In

    A quick reminder as we approach the summer schedule, our White group and summer clinic will be using Littleton YMCA frequently. Please follow guidelines with regards to use of the facility. Athletes must sign in at the front desk. If parents wish to proceed downstairs to the lounge or pool areas, please sign in as well.

    If parents wish to utilize the facility for their own workouts, please speak to the front desk regarding monthly or daily passes. The prices are very reasonable.

Words Of Wisdom

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Coach Bocci: Success In Athletics And The Role of the Coach
Adapted from The American Swimming Coaches Association and a speech given by Coach Bob Bowmen (Phelps coach)

Many parents wonder what differentiates the great athlete from the average one, and whether their kids have what it takes to be great athletes. Dr. Jack Daniels, a US Olympic runner and pentathlete, former exercise physiologist at State University of New York at Cortland, and an influential figure in developing the U.S. Swimming Sports Medicine Program, summarized it best:

"There are really only four ingredients for success in athletics. One is genetic ability. Some genetic differences are easy to see (As a Cleveland Cavaliers fan I’ve seen 6’8” Lebron James up close and he’s a physical specimen), while others are physiological and internal differences that can't be seen…

The second thing besides genetic ability is intrinsic motivation. If you have a seven-footer and the coach wants him to play basketball, but he wants to be an artist, you won't get too much basketball out of him.

The third ingredient is opportunity - providing our athletes with facilities and competition opportunities against good athletes. (HRA does an awesome job of this!)

The final ingredient is direction. Direction means a good coach and a good program to follow.”

What I’ve found in my career is that direction is the area where parents and coaches really have an opportunity to help the athlete. The role of the coach, and my personal philosophy for coaching, is as follows:

1) Teaching outstanding biomechanics to build the base for all future swimming successes and fulfillment. Stroke education from the novice through advanced age group programs must be primary. I define age group swimming from age 10 to about 17 years old, and novice swimming, ages 9 and younger. When a swimmer gets to 18 years old (around the time they head off to college), they venture into the world of senior level swimming. This doesn’t mean a swimmer under the age of 18 can’t achieve incredible things (including making the US Olympic Team), it just means we have a core focus in the program of laying the foundation for continued and sustained improvement. But make no mistake, I want our swimmers to be the best, not just the best in Colorado, but the best in the country… and it all starts with proper technique.

2) Teaching values that reflect the best of our sport. Beyond the biomechanics, we teach and foster the core values of honesty, commitment, loyalty, friendship, poise, team spirit, teamwork, sportsmanship, and self-control (if you get a chance, look at legendary basketball coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, a great reference for building a successful team and career). With that written, the pool is a giant and open classroom. So parents, next time you’re watching your swimmer practice or race, keep in mind it’s essentially the same as if you were watching them all day in school (and you can see every mistake they make). Kids fail, even us parents fail from time to time…and I’m speaking from experience as a father of two. They may not do a best time every race, they may overreact to a bad swim, they may procrastinate on homework and have to stay up late to catch up (and practice the next day may be a drag), but it’s not the end of the world… it’s a learning process. In fact, it’s good for them to fail from time to time in this safe environment so they can learn to pick themselves back up, refocus, and achieve great things.

3) Provide the aerobic training base from which science tells us great athletes develop. The easiest way to explain the aerobic training base is in terms of capacity. Aerobic training is all about improving and expanding the infrastructure of the swimmer (i.e. the capacity or performance potential). In business terms, it’s like building a bigger warehouse so you can store more inventory or purchasing more trucks to move more inventory. Once we’ve focused on and increased the aerobic training base, we can add in utilization training (although both types of training happen to some degree throughout the season, just in different percentages).

Utilization training is race pace and tempo work, speed, power, agility training, etc., all the things we take to the block on race day. In business terms, it’s whatever you need to do to generate and increase the sales. Capacity training builds the bigger warehouse to hold more inventory, while utilization training allows us to sell that inventory and make money. Please keep in mind, this is an oversimplification of the process, and there are literally thousands of books and research papers on capacity and utilization training in sports.

4) Educate parents, our athletes' primary support system, to the needs of their athletes. Swimming careers are lifelong pursuits, and parents of young athletes need a vision of the rewards attainable by their child. This is a great sport; many of my best friends were childhood teammates, I met my wife through swimming, swimming helped hone my time management skills, and the grit I developed as a swimmer made me a better military officer. At a more basic level, it’s a fun pastime (I loved relays and close races), and it’s healthier than sitting in front of a computer all day. These are all abstract or intangible rewards of the sport. It can also help open doors for college acceptance and scholarship opportunities, offer unique travel and competition opportunities, immortalize the swimmer on record boards (until the next swimmer breaks his/her record), and in some rare but expanding circumstances, provide a living as a professional athlete (i.e. some of the tangible rewards of the sport). In the end it’s the parents that provide the means for our swimmers to chase their dreams and goals… which is huge, and I thank all of you for your commitment and support to this great team.

Coach Bocci

HRA Swim-A-Thon Recap

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    Our athletes kicked off their season by participating in Saturday's Swim-A-Thon at Northridge and then chowed down on pancakes at the park! What a great community event for our team! Athletes ranging in age from 7-18 swam anywhere from 20 lengths of the pool to 200 lengths in a united effort to raise funds for the team they love. The fundraising goal for this event was set high at $25,000. Stay tuned for updates on monies turned in.

    Remember all funds are due Oct. 1 and can be turned in at the Chipotle Spirit Dinner from 5:30-7:300pm on that day. Thank you for your efforts!

    A special thank you to Kim Engler for her tireless devotion to making the Swim-A-Thon and Pancake Breakfast successful events for all! You ROCK Kim! To all the parent volunteers who began working off their volunteer hours at the Swim-A-Thon – thank you for making it fun for our team.

Travel Reimbursement/LC Championship Plans

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    Short Course Travel Reimbursement

    For athletes who attended Junior Nationals, Sectionals and/or Husky Invitational, be sure to complete the Colorado Swimming travel reimbursement form (click HERE) before April 15. Athletes must have completed a minimum of 15 individual events in Colorado Swimming open meets (Suburban League and high school meets do not apply) during the 2017-18 season. Families are responsible for applying for Colorado Swimming funding.

    Athletes who attended Junior Nationals should request funding for Junior Nationals only. These athletes will also be eligible for additional reimbursement through the Western Zone as well as the Suburban League (HRA will apply for these funds and credit the athletes' accounts).

    Athletes who attended Husky Invite and/or Sectionals may apply for 'at-large' funding provided they achieved a minimum of a Futures Championship qualifying time. These athletes will also be eligible for additional reimbursement through the Suburban League (HRA will apply for these funds and credit the athletes' accounts).

    Long Course Travel/Championship Plans

    Having achieved Bronze Medal status and won Sectional level team championships two years running, our athletes have proven their ability to compete with the best teams in the nation. We will continue to progress individually and collectively only by continuing to seek top level competition. In many cases, this means we have to seek out that competition as we do not have the luxury of hosting major meets in our state.

    We also want to provide at least one opportunity for all our athletes to compete together. With multiple qualifying meets in December and August, high school seasons November through May, and our college athletes returning to campus in August, our best opportunity is the mid-July window.

    Lastly, we hope to provide each individual athlete three distinct opportunities each season:

    The opportunity to compete where they will one of the better athletes and must learn how to prepare for prelims AND finals;

    The opportunity to challenge themselves in a meet where they will gain exposure to the next level of competition; and,

    The opportunity to be right in the mix to learn to be on point in the preliminary sessions.
    In keeping with past seasons, we expect athletes to plan for the following schedule:

    All qualifying athletes should attend LA Invite in July.

    Athletes are expected to finish their season at the highest level meet for which they qualify individually (Junior Nationals, Futures, Age Group Zones or the 13&O LC State Championships).

    If athletes wish to attend the Mel Zajac Int'l (National) or San Antonio (Sectional/Senior) Meet in June, they are encouraged to do so. However, we would prefer it to be in addition to the opportunities above rather than in place of one or both. (More on this below)

    There are a couple caveats to these recommendations:
    The Junior National Championships begin Tuesday, July 31, one week earlier than last year. This year's championship meet will concurrently with the Futures Championships.

    It is important for graduating senior athletes to train and compete at a high level this summer. I have never seen an athlete see success competing at the NCAA level without a good summer season prior to their freshman year. Alex R and Patricia V L are testaments to this. These athletes should therefore discuss with the coaches a schedule which provides them the best opportunity to contribute to their team as freshmen.

    The 13&O LC State Championships in Thornton is scheduled for the week following the LA Invite. The State meet will once again be conducted over three days with relays run during the preliminary sessions on Sat/Sun. We will therefore NOT be sending our Junior National/Futures qualifiers to participate in relays. Our State qualifiers will populate our relays.

    Championship Meet Travel Plans

    Please do not make travel plans until you discuss your athlete(s)' schedule(s) with the coaching staff. The information provided below is for planning purposes once based upon those discussions.

    Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet
    2018 Meet Dates: Fri, June 1 thru Sun, June 3
    Site: UBC Aquatic Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada

    This is an international level meet to prepare our National group athletes for the Junior National Championships later in the summer. With the recruiting process for the top collegiate programs accelerating, it is more even important for our athletes to be prepared for elite competition as soon as possible.

    If National group athletes wish to attend the Mel Zajac Int'l they are encouraged to do so. However, we would prefer it to be in addition to LA Invite and State/Futures/Juniors rather than in place of one or both.

    Flight Information
    Departure: Thu, May 31 - WS 1571/133; DEN 1:25pm - YVR 5:55pm (thru YYC)
    Return: Mon, Jun 4 - WS 112/1570; YVR 6:00am - DEN 12:40pm (thru YYC)

    George Block Invitational
    Tentative 2018 Meet Dates: Thu, June 21 thru Sun, June 24
    Site: NISD Swim Center and Natatorium, San Antonio, TX

    2018 Meet Info is not yet available. The meet is a Prelim/Final format at one of the best aquatic facilities in the country. This is a parent directed meet. All flight, hotel, local transportation and meal arrangements will be the responsibility of attending families.

    If Sectional/Senior group athletes wish to attend the George Block Invitational they are encouraged to do so. However, we would prefer it to be in addition to LA Invite and State/Futures/Juniors rather than in place of one or both.

    Los Angeles Invitational
    2018 Meet Dates: Thu, July 12 through Sun, July 15
    Site: Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Univ. of Southern California

    2018 Meet Info is not yet available. A reminder this is a "make one, swim three" meet. This means athletes qualified in a single event may enter up to two bonus events, athletes qualified in two events may enter one bonus event, and athletes qualified in three or more events may NOT enter any bonus events. Also note altitude adjusted times are used for this meet. The times listed in the Deck Pass app reflect these adjustments.

    Flight Information
    Departure: Wed, Jul 11 - SWA 1714; DEN 12:45pm - LAX 2:20pm
    Return: Mon, Jul 16 - SWA 2242; LAX 11:05am - DEN 2:35pm

    CSI 13&O Long Course State Championships
    2018 Meet Dates: Fri, July 20 through Sun, July 22
    Site: Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, Thornton, CO

    Athletes attending Junior Nationals or Futures should NOT plan to participate. Athletes attending the Age Group Zone Championship should plan to attend all three days.

    Junior National Championships
    Junior National Championship Meet Info
    2018 Meet Dates: Tue, July 31 through Sat, August 4
    Site: William Wollett Aquatic Center, Irvine, CA

    This is the true 18&U national championship. Please speak with the caching staff before making plans to attend this meet. Qualifying athletes may swim in up to two bonus events, provided they have achieved the published Bonus Event Time Standards. We have already qualified one medley relay for the meet. We may include relay only athlete(s) as necessary/desired.

    Tentative Flight Information
    Departure: Mon, Jul 30 - SWA 2479; DEN 8:15am - SNA 9:45am
    Return: Sun, Aug 5 - SWA 3202; SNA 7:45am - DEN 11:10am
    Return plans may be flexible based on athletes' final events.

    Futures Championships
    Futures Championships Meet Info
    2018 Meet Dates: Thu, August 2 through Sun, August 5
    Site: Rochester Recreation Center, Rochester, MN

    Futures is the second step in USA Swimming's national progression. Please speak with the caching staff before making plans to attend this meet. Similar to the LA Invite, Futures is a "make one, swim three" meet. This means athletes qualified in a single event may enter up to two bonus events, athletes qualified in two events may enter one bonus event, and athletes qualified in three or more events may NOT enter any bonus events.

    Tentative Flight Information
    Departure: Wed, Aug 1 - SWA 1169; DEN 11:35am - MSP 2:30pm
    Return: Mon, Aug 6 - SWA 2418; MSP 9:10am - DEN 10:15am

    Age Group Zones
    Western Zone Age Group Championship Meet Info
    2018 Meet Dates: Wed, August 8 through Sat, August 11
    Site: Roseville Aquatics Complex, Roseville, CA

    This meet is restricted to 14&U athletes only (age determined as of first day of the competition). The selection process will be based on performance in meets only through July 1. If you are undecided on whether to plan for this meet, please discuss with the coaching staff.

    Long Course Travel Reimbursement

    In order to participate, athletes must compete in 15 individual events from April 2-August 31 AND 30 individual event entries from September 1-August 31 in Colorado Swimming open meets (Suburban League, high school and dual/tri-meets do not count towards this total). Summer Junior National attendees receive 2.5-3.5 shares form the travel fund up to a maximum of $700, while Futures attendees receive 1.5-2.5 shares up to a maximum of $350.

    Athletes attending only the Los Angeles Invitational may request 'at-large' funding provided they meet a minimum of one Futures Championship qualifying time at the competition.

    Suburban League: Athletes MUST attend the Suburban League Pentathlon to be eligible for Suburban League funding. Athletes are eligible to receive $200 for participating in Junior Nationals and $150 for participating in the Futures Championships.

    Again, we will request funding for athletes attending only the Los Angeles Invitational provided they meet a minimum of one Futures Championship qualifying time at the competition.

Team Records

HRA athletes broke ten individual team records and three relay records this fall:

Natalie Arky - Open 200 Backstroke
Kate Baker - 13-14 200 Freestyle
Holley Dennis - 15-16 100 Breaststroke, Open 100 Breaststroke
Dominic Griffin - Open 1650 Freestyle
Gavin Rogers - 13-14 1000/1650 Freestyle & 400 IM
Delaney Smith - Open 200 IM
Wentao Zhang - 15-16 200 Breaststroke

Open Women's 200 Free Relay - Elsa Litteken, Delaney Smith, Jessie Beckwith, Parker Henry
Open Women's 400 Medley Relay - Natalie Arky, Holley Dennis, Jessie Beckwith, Delaney Smith
Open Men's 400 Medley Relay - Trevor Van Law, Wentao Zhang, Jack Clouatre, Dominic Griffin


Colorado Gives Day

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We have an exciting opportunity to help HRA continue to be the premier swim club in Colorado. December 4th is Colorado Gives Day, a day when donations to HRA are increased as part of an incentive fund celebrating philanthropy in Colorado.

In addition to incentive funds provided through Colorado Gives Day, this year HRA has received offers from donors willing to match donations to HRA up to a total of $20,000. If we were able to achieve the full matching amount, HRA could raise more than $40,000.

To minimize ongoing financial obligations for families, HRA dues are designed to cover only regular operating expenses of the club. Funds raised from Colorado Gives Day will be used for strategic initiatives including: new training equipment, professional development for our coaches, educational workshops for our swimmers, training facilities and the Griffin Strong Scholarship Fund. Please note donations to HRA are tax deductible.

We are excited about how the year has started for our club. The Board is exceptionally pleased to have Coach Bocci leading our team. Coach Bocci is bringing a new perspective and many new ideas to HRA. Donations on Colorado Gives Day will help provide our coaching staff with resources to help them make HRA the best swim club it can be for our swimmers and families.

You, your friends and your family may either donate directly on December 4th, or if you want to schedule your gift to HRA now, please click here. Your credit card will not be charged until Colorado Gives Day on December 4th. If this is a matching gift with your employer, please contact one of us before making a gift on the website to ensure your gift can be matched using this portal.

Please consider how you can help HRA capture the matching donations that have been offered and circle December 4th on your calendar.

A Call for Gift Card Donations

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December 15th HRA is hosting our annual Sprint Meet - one of our swimmers' favorite meets! Throughout the meet certain heats will be announced as “HOT HEATS” and the athlete who wins gets to choose a gift card from our gift card tree. But we need your help to make that happen. Mandy Fawett and Caroline Neale will be collecting gift cards to fill up that tree. If it is easier, you can provide Mandy or Caroline cash/check/PayPal and they will do the shopping for you. We are looking for a wide variety of cards - think about what your athlete may enjoy. Perhaps Starbucks, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Target, etc. You can find Mandy at Silver practices and Caroline at White practices. However, if you reach out to Caroline (text at 303.526.8121) she is happy to coordinate a pick-up time that is convenient for you. We need a total of 40 cards, ranging in value from $5-20 each.

To make this a little more enticing for you to donate, you can earn volunteer hours for your donation. You will receive half a volunteer hour for one gift card donation or one volunteer hour for 3 gift card donations. Families can earn a maximum of one volunteer hour and will be on a first come/first serve basis until we reach our goal. If you would like to donate, there will be a two-step process: please email Caroline and let her know how many cards you will donate so we can appropriately track, and second, you will need to drop off the gift card or cash to one of us by December 13th. Thanks in advance for your generosity and in helping make this meet special!

AmazonSmile Program and Painless Fundraising

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As the holidays approach, please consider listing HRA as a designee for the AmazonSmile program. Amazon will donate 0.5% of purchases to HRA if members designate us as their charity of choice.

A Note From Kim Engler
I would like to recognize our top earners from the Swim A Thon.

Top earner, winner of a personalized swim bag from MI Sports: Viola Downie

2nd top earners, winners of $25 iTunes Gift Card: Shep, Harry, and Will Kerscher

3rd place top earner, winner of $25 iTunes Gift Card: Sophie Quartaro

62 swimmers earned 200 length bag tags (delivery TBD)

24 swimmers earned 100 length bag tags (delivery TBD)

I am grateful to everyone who participated and supported our amazing team. Thank you for allowing me the honor of coordinating this event! GO HRA!

Sincerely, Kim

Total Amount Raised: $20,031.00

Scrip Program Registration

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Our Holiday order for plastic gift cards is now going on. Place your order for plastic gift cards Nov.1st – 24th for pick up on Dec.3rd. Shipping is free so this is a great opportunity to place orders for teacher gifts, neighbors or that hard to buy for person. Many retailers will be offering bonus savings the week of black Friday so keep an eye out for those. If you want more information about Script or how to get signed up please see the attachments below or feel free to reach out to Kristin Brouk, for more information.
We wanted to send out information on our Scrip fundraising program for HRA. We rolled this program out last year and will again be using Shop with Scrip. For those that enrolled last year, it has been an easy way to offset the $40 fee each month. And remember, you can earn over $40 and it will be applied to your general account.

Scrip is simply a word that means “substitute money” – in other words, scrip is gift certificates from national and local retailers. They’re the same gift certificates that you buy at the store. Many popular retailers participate in our scrip program including Safeway, Starbucks, Athleta, AMC Theaters, Red Robin, Home Depot, Noodles & Co, Target and many, many others.

You’re probably asking yourself how these stores help us raise money. It’s simple -- scrip participating retailers agree to sell gift certificates to our organization and reward you with a rebate. Member families buy the certificates for full face value, they redeem them for full face value, and our group keeps the rebate as revenue. Since we are doing e-cards (no plastic cards except at December), you can purchase on your schedule and you don’t need to coordinate with me to exchange money. Just a few of the benefits:

You get a powerful fundraising alternative that involves no selling!

Use scrip for items that you are already spending money on.

Your child defrays the cost of their $40 monthly fundraising dues.

The beauty of scrip is that you put your regular household shopping dollars to work. You earn money for your child’s swimming expenses without spending an additional penny. Just spend your regular shopping dollars with scrip at the stores that participate in the scrip program! And scrip can be used for just about any household purchase including food, clothing, entertainment, travel, gasoline and dining out.

All money earned with scrip purchases will go to our HRA account. Each month, HRA will distribute 50% of your earnings to you and will retain 50% for the team. Example: Purchase a $100 card from Athleta with a 14% rebate. You pay and receive a $100 e-card, then $7 will be retained by the team and $7 will be credited to your account in TeamUnify.

Please feel free to email me with any additional questions you may have. The attached files explain the program, give you the enrollment code you need to get started, tell you what “PrestoPay” is and how to register, and how to add “MyScripWallet” to your smart phone for super easy and almost instant access to gift cards. There are also many training videos on that walk you through the process. Once you get set up, using scrip is simple!

We will be at the Pancake Breakfast to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you!
Amanda Ford

Snapbooster Update

Effective with your December Snaps (lots of holiday receipts), if you consistently participate in the SnapBooster fundraiser, it will start putting money back in your pocket. It is as easy as "snapping" at least 50 eligible receipts per month and once you reach 50 snaps, 50% of what you earn each month will be credited to your HRA account. Your "snap" amount will reset at zero each month and will not carry over to the next month.

It can be done!!! Just ask the Hutter and Clouatre families. They reached 50 "snaps" in November!! Thank you!!!!

These 3 Easy Step Will Change Your Mind:
Buy - Buy what you normally buy from where you normally buy it
Snap - Text a picture of your receipt to SnapBooster phone number 248-246-7627.
Earn - Earn .10 - 10% for HRA from every receipt you send it

It is that easy!!! Register now with the program code HRA14.

Once registered, send your snaps to 248-246-7627.

If you are already signed up for SnapBooster with HRA, please start snapping again to a NEW number 248-246-7627. You do not need to include "Snap" in you texts anymore.

If you are a new HRA team member or did not participate, please see the attached link an information on how to get started.

Here is a video that shows the process.

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Nelson and she will help you get started. We encourage 100% participation in this year around fundraiser. It is easy as shopping where you already shop, taking a picture of your receipt and earning money for HRA!!!! Please see the flyer attached below explaining how the program works.

King Soopers Program Update

King Soopers Update
The first orders are in and I will be making arrangements starting this evening to get them to the families I have received checks from. I am working on a new order with a few families that got checks to me a little later (or were handed to me from the previous volunteer) and/or are missing. We’ll work it out. I newly acquired this position, so there was a delay in sorting through the checks that were passed to me and getting up to speed on how this works.

Thanks for your patience,
Kristen Menzel

By ordering a reloadable King Soopers card from HRA, you can earn 2.5% of your purchases and/or reloads as credits toward your HRA fundraising requirement! Here’s how the program works:

Place An Order
You can place an order by contacting Kristen Menzel by Thursday, October 20. Simply indicate that you would like to order one or more King Soopers gift cards.

Gift cards come preloaded in increments of $100.

Once your card has been delivered to you, you may begin using it immediately… You reload it at KS when you need more money on it.

Each month we will receive a statement indicating how much each family in the program has reloaded on their card. 2.5% of all reloads (including the initial $100 purchase) will be applied to your account each month.

You may use your gift card to purchase gas at any of the Denver area King Soopers gas stations. Several close by are:

COUNTY LINE & HOLLY 8200 S. Holly, Littleton

CASTLE PINES PARKWAY 7284 Lagae Road, Castle Rock

PARKER ROAD & I-225 190 S. Parker Road, Aurora

Go to the King Soopers customer service desk and ask them to reload your card with the amount you want - between $2.50 and $500. You can reload your card using cash, check, credit or debit card. You can reload the card as often as you want. The reloaded card will be ready to use within 5-15 minutes. (You may also re-load your card at the checkout stand. If you choose this location, your funds should be available immediately.)

Contact Tracy Robinson ASAP. She will call King Soopers (Mon-Fri, 8:00-4:30) and see if there is still a balance on your card and IF they can transfer that balance to a new card for you. There are NO promises that someone hasn’t already spent your balance.

Go to King Soopers and the cashier can look up your balance with the number on the back of your card. They can manually charge your groceries with this number. Use up the balance on the card and then purchase a new card from tracy Robinson.

If your card has a $0 balance for 90 days, King Soopers will cancel that card in their system. If you want to continue with the King Soopers fundraising program you will need to buy another card from HRA for $100.00.

USA Swimming's Scholastic All-America Team

USA Swimming annually recognizes excellence in and out of the pool by naming a Scholastic All-America Team. Eligible athletes must have completed 10th grade or higher, achieved a minimum 3.5 unweighted GPA in the academic year, and swum one time equal to or better than the Winter Junior National time standard.

Three HRA athletes have been recognized for the 2015-16 academic year, tied for the most honorees of any Colorado swim club. Congratulations to:

Alex Reddington - 1st time honoree
Claire State - 2nd time honoree
Patricia Van Law - 1st time honoree

Registration/Volunteer Information

For families unable to attend last night's meeting, please see the highlights below:

Returning families must resolve outstanding account balances before you will be able to register for 2016-17.

All families must complete the registration process (including all signature pages) before your athlete(s) will be permitted to participate in HRA practices.

Please take some time to review the information packet. A number of items have been revised this season including:
Group structures/expectations (White-Silver-Red-State)
Financial policies regarding consequences for unpaid dues
Policies regarding fines for missing volunteer shifts
A new social media policy

By popular demand, HRA has now created the ability to allow families to directly debit from your checking accounts monthly via online check. If you opt into this service, you will automatically be charged $1.25 per transaction as a convenience fee (that charge is passed on to TeamUnify). You will, however, avoid any late charges in the future.

Parent Volunteer Info

HRA also requires the assistance of parents to help direct fundraisers, officiate or time meets, or to serve in other capacities vital to the club's ongoing operations. We would like to have EVERY family indicate their volunteer preferences so we can have all areas filled and communicate instructions as soon as possible.

Please see the volunteer activity selection form attached below. Instruction are on the top of the page. Please complete the form and send it via email to Jeanne LaRiviere by Thursday, September 15. Placements will be distributed by end of the month.

HRA High School Participation Philosophy By EF

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    My first guidance for all our athletes is they must meet the requirements of their high school program. Each high school coach sets their own expectations for practice and meet attendance. Much as in our program, an athlete is expected to meet those requirements in order to participate. The guidance from high school coaches is generally to attend 100% of their practices and meets.

    We do not want HRA athletes trying to please multiple masters. We have seen our athlete's bury themselves physically (and likely fall behind academically) trying to keep up with high school and HRA practices at the same time. Similarly, athlete's will be racing more than ever before during high school season. We do not feel it is advantageous to add more meets to that requirement.

    If/when we have 3-day meets, athletes must be selective in participation. High school events are skewed towards the shorter distances. It is valuable to participate in some of the 200/400 events not on the usual high school event schedule. However, this often means swimming through a scheduled off day. For example, athlete's may be required to participate in high school practices/dual meets M-F, swim an invitational on Sat. If an athlete then swims an HRA meet on Sun, she/he goes straight through two weeks without any days off. In this case, the high school program assumes the athlete will be getting a day off on Sunday. We assume our athletes will get an off day on Monday. These are the situations we need to manage carefully.

    In short, there is no guidebook other than for athlete's and their families to make decisions in the best interest of the athlete's goals. Hope this helps!
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    New Far Western Qualifying Times
    Abbey Gardner - 50 Backstroke
    Emma Harper - 400 IM
    Mai Kawahata - 200 Breaststroke
    Mary Hoover - 200 Free

    Silver State Champions
    Jack Bakke - 50 Breaststroke
    Abbey Gardner - 50 Backstroke
    Shepard Kerscher - 50 Freestyle
    Ceyda Sarak - 100 Breaststroke
    Ethan Viescas - 50 Fly
    James Wood - 100 Breaststroke

    Top 3 Silver State Finishers
    Abbey Gardner - 2nd 100 IM
    Grace Gardner - 2nd 100 Fly
    Mary Hoover - 2nd 200 Free
    Mai Kawahata - 2nd 200 Breaststroke
    Sheparrd Kerscher - 3rd 100 IM, 3rd 200 IM
    Mila Nikanorov - 3rd 100 Backstroke
    Cade Rolofson - 3rd 100 Fly
    Ethan Viescas - 3rd 100 Fly

    Top 10 Silver State Finishers
    Dylan Armour - 9th 50 Fly, 9th 50 Backstroke, 10th 100 Backstroke, 10th 100 Fly
    Jack Bakke - 4th 100 Breaststroke, 4th 100 IM, 5th 100 Fly, 6th 500 Free
    Caroline Clouatre - 5th 200 Breaststroke
    Grace Gardner - 4th 100 Breaststroke
    Aubrey Hutter - 4th 50 Breaststroke
    Shepard Kerscher - 5th 100 Backstroke
    Alyssa Leven - 10th 100 Breaststroke
    Mary Macaulay - 9th 100 Fly, 9th 100 Backstroke
    Mila Nikanorov - 3rd 100 Backstroke, 9th 500 Freestyle
    Cade Rolofson - 9th 200 IM
    Amaia Sherman - 7th 50 Breaststroke
    Ethan Viescas - 8th 200 IM
    James Wood - 7th 100 Fly

Trial Preparation

Our National group is scheduled to train and stay at the Olympic Training Center from Wednesday, October 14 through Saturday, October 17. Our first practice is scheduled from 5-7pm on Wednesday with the camp ending with practice 9-11am on Saturday. We strongly encourage athletes to plan to attend the entire camp.

The cost of the trip will be $270 per athlete and will include lodging, meals and training expenses. Please reply with your intention to attend by Friday, September 11.

Sunday Long Course Training

We will offer long course practices on select Sunday mornings this fall and winter. The plan is to use this time in place of normal Saturday morning practices. 'National Plus' group athletes will have weight training from 8-9am on Saturday, but will have the day off from swimming training.

Thus far, we have scheduled dates on Sept 20, 27 and Oct 11 from 9-11am at DU. We will announce future dates as they become available.

There will be no additional expenses associated with these practices other than potential parking fees. However, there are three stipulations associated with participation:

Athletes must have achieved Futures qualifying time standards

Athletes must attend all scheduled Sunday practices

Athletes must discuss high school plans with me per the discussion above

We will discuss plans with the athletes over the next two weeks in anticipation of our first training opportunity.