One Swimmer, One Team.


Weekly Schedule

National group members who did not attend the Junior National Championships will return this week on the following schedule:

MWF 5-6p Weights; 6-7p Swim
TR 6-7p Swim

All other groups will begin on Thursday, September 1.

Please see the schedule or visit the online calendar.

Griffin Strong Fundraiser

As many of you may already know, the Griffin family is currently dealing with challenging circumstances. Donna Griffin's previously cured breast cancer has returned and metastasized into other organs. As a show of support for our valued team members during trying times, the National Group has organized a fundraiser to provide some financial assistance with medical bills. In addition, at the request of Mrs. Griffin who is a CU Alumni, a portion of the funds raised will go towards breast cancer research at the University of Colorado.

During practice the week leading up to this summer's annual Sprint Eliminator, we are encouraging every team member to wear a swim cap or wristband with the message "Griffin Strong" on it. Designs for the caps and wristbands are pictured below. Caps will sell for $18.00 and the wristbands for $8.00. Families may also make a donation above the desired item(s) costs if they desire. Ideally, we hope to see every swimmer wearing a swim cap and the adults a wristband during the meet on June 22.

All purchases and optional additional donations will be charged to your HRA account and are tax deductible. If you would like to place an order or have any questions, please email Claire State and Jamie Nats at by June 10. Please indicate the number of each item you wish to purchase, as well as any additional donation your family may wish to contribute.

The amazing coach-athlete-parent support system of our team is what makes HRA so special. Dominic is loved by all his peers and his parents are valued and respected members of our HRA community. We encourage everyone who is able to participate in this fundraiser, not only to support the Griffin family but the fight against breast cancer.

We are HRA and we are Griffin Strong!

Sincerely, The HRA National Group

Meet Overview


Western Zone Age Group Championships August 10-13, Kearns, UT

HRA's Amaia Sherman represented Team Colorado this past week in Kearns, Utah. Team Colorado placed 2nd overall behind the Pacific Northwest team, but the women's team outdistanced the field by more than 400 points.

Amaia competed in all four 50 events as well as the 10&U Girls 200 Medley Relay. She placed 15th overall in the 50 Backstroke and led her 200 Medley Relay team to an 11th place finish.

Meet Results

HRA completed a record-setting series of meets over the past two weeks. Our athletes set nine new long course team standards (making 46 total records during the long course season), nine HRA athletes have now achieved Junior National time standards, and HRA recorded its first Olympic Trial qualifying athlete since 2008.

Futures Championships

HRA took 9 athletes to the campus of the University of Texas to compete in the second level of USA Swimming's development ladder. HRA's women's team took 9th place, and our combined team placed 17th overall. Among the highlights:

Individual/Relay Championship Finalists
Delaney Smith - 200 Backstroke, 200/400 Individual Medley
Emma Spotts - 100 Breaststroke
Patricia Van Law - 200 Backstroke

Individual/Relay Consolation Finalists
Women's 800 Freestyle Relay - Delaney Smith, Patricia Van Law, Parker Henry, Kaitlin Nats
Women's 400 Freestyle Relay - Parker Henry, Kaitlin Nats, Holley Dennis, Delaney Smith
Women's 400 Medley Relay - Parker Henry, Emma Spotts, Patricia Van Law, Delaney Smith
Patricia Van Law - 100 Backstroke, 400 Individual Medley
Cameron Weese - 200 Breaststroke

New Winter Junior National Qualifiers
Emma Spotts - 100 Breaststroke

New Winter Junior National Qualifying Times
Delaney Smith - 200 Backstroke

New Futures Qualfying Times
Patricia Van Law - 100 Butterfly

Junior National Championships

Five HRA athletes athletes competed against the top 18&U athletes in the U.S. on the campus of the University of Minnesota. HRA scored for the first time at this level since 2008, and placed in relays for the first time ever. HRA's women's team took 25th place, our team's highest ever finish at the Championship level. Among the highlights:

Individual/Relay Championship Finalists
Women's 400 Medley Relay (7th place) - Natalie Arky, Kaleigh Haworth, Alex Reddington, Elsa Litteken

Individual/Relay Consolation Finalists
Women's 400 Freestyle Relay (13th place) - Elsa Litteken, Madison Hoehn, Kaleigh Haworth, Alex Reddington
Natalie Arky - 100 Backstroke (14th place)

Individual Bonus Finalists
Alex Reddington - 100 Butterfly (19th place), 200 Butterfly (19th place)

New Olympic Trial Qualiers
Natalie Arky - 100 Backstroke

New Summer Junior National Qualifying Times
Alex Reddington - 200 Butterfly

New Futures Qualifying Times
Elsa Litteken - 100 Butterfly

Age Group Zone & CSI Travel Funding Update

Two updates based off discussions at this past weekend's Colorado Swimming Board of Directors' meeting:

Age Group Zone Selection Criteria

This year's Western Zone Age Group Championship meet will be conducted August 10-13 in Kearns, Utah. This is the highest level 'age group' competition for which our athletes can participate.

Swimmers must achieve times on/before Sunday, July 3rd, 2016. *Please note: CSI-LC State Championships will NOT fall under this deadline and those times will NOT be considered for team qualification.*

Applications for team consideration MUST be received no later than July 3rd, 2016 as team selection will be from pool of applicants ONLY.

Colorado Zone Team will use a tiered selection process based on the number of CO 'Priority' and Zone time standards achieved, in order of Priority Level, until team max of 80 swimmers has been reached.

We will post links to the application and selection information once it is formally published.

CSI Athlete Travel Funding Update

Colorado Swimming uses a share system to reimburse athletes for travel to regional (Sectional/Grand Prix/Futures) and National (Junior Nationals/Nationals/Olympic Trials) competitions. This system awarded shares of the CSI Travel Funf based on the highest level meet attended in a given season (fall/spring and summer).

In order to allow for greater flexibility in meet scheduling, the BoD passed a proposal to fund 'at large' meets (such as Husky Invitational, Las Vegas, and/or LA Invitational) provided an athlete performs a given time standard. This may not be enacted in practice until the winter-spring season, but we will inform you once it happens.

To that point, there is a requirement to participate in 15 individual events for the fall season and 30 cumulative total events for the reimbursement year in any Colorado Swimming, Inc. open sanctioned, open sanctioned invitational, or approved sanctioned meet or Senior Circuit Meet that collected the swimmer surcharge. Suburban League meets do not count towards this total (we receive travel funding from a separate pool for attending these meets), nor do high school meets.

Athletes planning to travel to Futures or Junior Nationals this summer should be aware of the number of events in which they have participated this season to ensure they meet the 30 cumulative event total to qualify for travel funding.
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New Team Records

This season, 23 HRA athletes broke a total of 42 team records in short course yards and long course meters (8 relay & 34 individual):

11-12 Girls 200y Free Relay - Kate Baker, Makayla Hoehn, Alyssa Leven, Lyndsey Wehr
13-14 Boys 400y Free Relay - Zane Sokolowski, Will Kerscher, Trevor Van Law, Jack Clouatre
13-14 Boys 400y Medley Relay - Trevor Van Law, Wentao Zhang, Jack Clouatre, Zane Sokolowski
Open Women's 400 Free Relay - Jamie Nats, Alex Reddington, Kaitlin Nats, Delaney Smith
Open Women's 400 Medley Relay - Natalie Arky, Kaleigh Haworth, Alex Reddington, Delaney Smith
Open Men's 200 Free Relay - Dylan Nasser, Dominic Griffin, Frank Ruppel, Gabi Sasia
Open Men's 400 Free Relay - Gabi Sasia, Dominic Griffin, Frank Ruppel, Dylan Nasser
Open Men's 200 Medley Relay - Frank Ruppel, Gabi Sasia, Dominic Griffin, Dylan Nasser
Natalie Arky - 15-16 Girls 100m Back, Open Women's 100 Back
Jack Clouatre - 13-14 Boys 200y & 400y IM
Dominic Griffin - 15-16 Boys 200m Free
Kaleigh Haworth - 13-14 Girls 100y & 200y Breast, 100m & 200m Breast, 200 IM
Makayla Hoehn - 11-12 Girls 200y Back
Shepard Kerscher - 8&U Boys 100y Breast
Dylan Nasser - 15-16 Boys 400y & 400m IM, Open Men's 400m IM
Jamie Nats - Open Women's 100m Free
Abbey Owenby - 15-6 Girls 1000y Free & 400m Free, Open Women's 1000y Free
Alex Reddington - 15-16 Girls 100y & 200y Fly
Gabi Sasia - Open Men's 100y Back & 200y Fly, 50m & 100m Free, 100m Back, 200m IM
Delaney Smith - 15-16 Girls 200m & 400m IM, Open Women's 200m & 400m IM
Patricia Van Law - Open Women's 200m Back
Cameron Weese - Open Men's 200y Breast
Wentao Zhang - 13-14 Boys 200y Breast

Meet Entry Procedure

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.

High School Swimming

I have spoken to a number of families individually or collectively regarding high school swimming this season. I bring up this topic as we consider the opportunity to qualify for Olympic Trials. This is an opportunity which only presents itself once every four years. Athletes who have competed at this level will tell you it was the most rewarding and exciting moment of their swimming careers.

For athletes with the goal and ability to qualify, the reality is we cannot operate business as usual. As such, I have arranged for some long course training during the season as well as a training camp at the OTC for our National group. I will distribute more information on both below.

I also believe it is not my place to dictate whether our athletes compete in high school swimming. There are a number of coaches within the state who do just that. Many high school and collegiate swimmers balance the demands of their scholastic schedule with the training demands for a meet such as Trials. I have espoused our athletes work under one training plan, either club or high school but not both.

Thus, my recommendation for athletes who wish to pursue Trials qualification is to have minimal club training disruptions during the high school season. Every high school coach has different requirements, but we will have to sit down and chart a schedule which selectively includes participation in high school practices and meets. We will also need to be on the same page regarding preparation for League and State meets.
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Olympic Trials Travel Fundraising

This is a special time in the sport of swimming as we approach the Olympic Games in Rio this August. Athletes around the world will be competing to earn spots on their respective national teams for the upcoming Games. We would like to assist our HRA athlete in their pursuit of their own Olympic dreams.

The US Olympic Team Trials will once again be conducted in Omaha this June/July. As such, we are creating Trials themed HRA apparel in Bronco colors to not only celebrate the upcoming Olympic Swimming Trials, but also our city's Super Bowl Championship. The cotton/poly blend t-shirts and zip hoodie sweatshirts will feature the HRA logo on the front and 'Omaha!' on the rear. Proceeds will go travel funding for HRA athletes attending the Olympic Trials and/or the Trials preparation event in Omaha.

T-shirt: $15 Men's sizes XS-4XL
Sweatshirts: $30 Men's sizes XS-2XL
Email Coach Jackie by Friday, April 15 with sizes/quantities

Snapbooster Update

Hello and Happy-Happy Holidays! We hope you are enjoying this time with your loved ones, and finding peace and joy during this holiday season!

Our SnapBooster monthly earnings for September, October & November are as follows:
September - $305.09
October - $274.93
November - $235.01

This brings our SnapBooster earnings to $2,247.19 for 2015. Congratulations to Jeanne LaRiviere, Stephanie Clouatre & Stacie Root, our top earners in September, October & November, respectively. Please enjoy a Starbucks coffee on HRA to thank you for your Snaps.

We had a mass SnapBooster registration in August and September; however, only 1 new participant registered in October. We combined August and September new participant drawing, as the parent meeting announcement was so late in August and to have full month of snapping participation. Congratulations to Liz Holzemer for winning Aug/Sept drawing, and to Stacie Root for winning October’s drawing. Both are the lucky winners of $25 gift cards. Thank you for taking the time to register and snap!

Please take a moment to look over the participation list attached below. If you are registered but are NOT showing on this list, your snaps are not linked to our HRA account. Please login to the registration site and be sure to enter “HRA14” to link your account/number to HRA. Registration instructions are attached for your reference.

On behalf of the HRA fundraising committee and your board of directors, thank you for your participation and for taking the time to snap. If you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact Leasia Van Dieren (, 303.319.8587). Drawing winners and Higher Snappers, should coordinate with Leasia Van Dieren to receive your gift card. Thank you!

Have a safe and happy New Year, and please continue to SNAP!

King Soopers Program Update

Please see below for updated info on one of our most successful fundraisers. If you already shop at King Soopers, you can continue to do so AND give back to HRA. Fundraising is vital for us to be able to provide opportunities for all our athletes and to retain our outstanding coaching staff.

Please see the flyer or contact Jill Hecomovich for details.

USA Swimming's Scholastic All-America Team

Before heading to the week ahead, I want to take some space to recognize two HRA athletes for their achievements this past year. USA Swimming annually recognizes athletes who excel both in the pool AND in the classroom. The Scholastic All-America Team is chosen based on the following criteria:

Athletes must have completed 10th, 11th or 12th grade

They must have achieved a minimum 3.5 GPA in the current academic year

They must have achieved at least one time equal or better than a 2011 Junior National bonus time in any event during the qualifying period

For the 2014-15 academic year, Jamie Nats and Claire State each earned their first-ever recognition as USA Swimming Academic All-America. Congratulations to both young athletes for their hard work in and our of the pool.

Travel Meets

Our tentative schedule for the fall/winter is posted on the TeamUnify site, the Google calendar and within the Information packet. With all these meets, please discuss individual plans with the coaching staff.

You will notice a couple changes from last season's schedule which I will describe below:


There will be four meet options available in December for our athletes:

Winter Junior Nationals
The Winter Junior National meet will be held in Austin from December 9-12 with a LC time trial on Sunday, December 13. Assuming the schedule is similar to last season, Wednesday will be relays only with individual events swum Thursday-Saturday. As such, I have made the following flight itinerary for the weekend:

Wed, Dec 9 - SWA 138 Depart DEN 9:40am, Arrive AUS 12:45pm

Sun, Dec 13 - SWA 2569 Depart AUS 3:20pm, Arrive DEN 4:40pm

Factoring in CSI and Suburban League reimbursement, my initial estimate for the total cost of this trip (including flight, hotel, car, dinners and entries) to be $400-450 per athlete.

Las Vegas Meet
With USA Swimming Winter Nationals being held in Federal Way, WA, the Husky Invite we have been attending has been rescheduled to January. As this conflicts with our girls' high school schedule, I have been exploring alternate options.

Since there are a number of other teams in this situation, a group of coaches has been working to organize a meet in Las Vegas from December 4-6. This will be a high level age group meet (11-12, 13-14 and 15&O divisions) and is slated to include top teams from the western zone including Sierra Marlins, Clovis Swim Club, Sandpipers of Nevada, Jeffco Hurricanes.... We do not yet have details on the meet as the director is still working on obtaining meet sanctions.

As soon as more specific information becomes available, we will pass it along. We have discussed having our 13&O athletes treating this as a team travel meet, meaning they will room together. If this is the case, my estimate for the total cost of this trip (including flight, hotel, car, dinners and entries) to be ~$650 per athlete.

Pioneer Invite
We will once again be attending the Pioneer Invite at DU. This is a great option for our age group athletes (11-12 and 13-14) and we traditionally swim very well. Please see the qualifying standards once they are posted.

FAST Mid-Season Invite
Lastly, athletes who do not qualify for Pioneer will have the option of attending the FAST Mid-Season Finale in Fort Collins. We will have hotel information for that meet soon.


Age Group State Championships
The Age Group State Championships will be held once again at VMAC. Unlike past years, this season's meet will be the weekend prior to Silver State. There is much debate among the Colorado coaches regarding this format, but the rationale was to make Silver State into a 'destination' meet rather than a 'last chance' meet. Again, we will have hotel information for this meet soon.

I contacted the families of our current Sectional qualifiers a couple weeks ago regarding options for the meet in March. I presented three options: 1) Attend the Sectional meet in Federal Way March 17-20; 2) Attend the Junior National Cup in Clearwater March 22-26; or, 3) Attend the Sectional meet in Austin Mar 31-Apr 3.

The virtue of the Clearwater meet was that it fell over the spring breaks for the majority of our athletes. However, the projected cost of that meet was nearly twice that of the other options.

With the costs of the Federal Way and Austin meets being similar, I decided to attend the Sectional meet in Federal Way for a number of reasons:

Pushing that meet two weeks later makes it very difficult for our boys to attend given the high school swimming schedule.

Our girls showed some signs of mental and physical fatigue approaching last year's Sectional meet in Austin. Seven straight months of training without a significant break began to take a toll.

I am concerned about maintaining focus and training intensity during spring break. Last year's meet fell over the DCSD and LPS spring breaks so our kids were traveling like many of their friends and classmates.

We can actually offer a real break to our athletes (apologies to Regis & St. Mary's students). While I do not advocate taking a full week off training, we will have some down time for our athletes before preparing for the summer season.

We can begin preparing for Olympic Trials and/or last chance qualification meets two weeks earlier.

As such, I have made the following flight itinerary for the weekend

Wed, Mar 16 - SWA 3253 Depart DEN 8:15am, Arrive SEA 10:10am

Mon, Mar 21
- SWA 1469 Depart SEA 6:00am - Arrive DEN 9:35am

Factoring in CSI and Suburban League reimbursement, my initial estimate for the total cost of this trip (including flight, hotel, car, dinners and entries) to be $500-550 per athlete.


Scottsdale Cactus Classic
At last check this meet had not yet been added to the Arizona Swimming calendar. Once we receive more specific information, I will distribute to the families. For athletes requiring a last chance qualifying meet for Olympic Trials, we will discuss this and other options with those athletes individually.

US Olympic Trials
Our first opportunity to qualify for Trials will be in December at the Junior National Time Trial. We will have a second opportunity at Sectionals which will be conducted in long course meters. Pending results from those meets, we will arrange travel plans individually.

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.