One Swimmer, One Team.

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Weekly Schedule

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No changes to this week's schedule. A great week to build off Saturday's meet and to prepare for the season ahead.

Group Parent Meetings
A reminder of upcoming group parent meetings. The coaches will work over the next week or two to schedule meetings with all the groups.

Blue Group - Mon 6:00-6:30pm Littleton Y
Silver/Red Groups - Mon 6:00-6:40pm Northridge
Sectional Group - Mon 5:00-5:30pm Northridge

Griffin Strong Fundraiser

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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 griffinstrong2016@gmail.com 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

HRA Equipment Night Follow Up

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If families were unable to attend last week's equipment night, you may submit orders through noon, Wednesday. The individual order forms may be sent directly to Out of Breath or you can drop by the store at Broadway & Arapahoe. The group order form should be submitted to Coach Eric.

The following equipment is required of ALL groups:

HRA Team Suit (No change from past years)
HRA Caps (Black, Blue, Red - Latex are free of charge; Silicone caps are $12 each)
HRA T-Shirts (Black, Blue, Red - Cotton T's are available in limited sizes for $5/$7.50 for short/ling sleeve; Wickable shirts may be ordered on the Team Order Form for $10/$15)
Fins
Pull Buoy
(Kick Boards are encouraged but may be borrowed from Littleton YMCA/Northridge)

Red/State/High School/Sectional/Senior groups are also required to have the following:

Snorkel (A3 highly recommended)
Paddles (Med recommended for girls; Large recommended for boys)

National group should also have their own swim parachute.

Meet Overview

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HRA Swim-A-Thon

HRA will be hosting a Swim-A-Thon fundraiser on Saturday, September 17 at Northridge. Participants have a maximum of two hours (depending on group assignment) to swim as many laps as possible (up to 200). Participants get pledges/donations from businesses, family, neighbors, teachers, friends, etc. prior to (or right after) the day of the event. If you are in the Blue, White or Silver groups a parent or a friend watches to keep track of the completed lengths.

Why do we do it? 50% of all proceeds will fund HRA's ongoing programming as well as a portion to the USA Swimming Foundation which supports lean to swim programs around the country. Athletes will also be eligible for prizes, and families will retain 50% of all funds their athlete(s) raise.

How does it work? Participants can solicit donations/pledges two ways:

Ask in person: Keep track of what you collect using the traditional Swim-a-Thon Packet (for cash/check donations) consisting of the Pledge Form and Receipts. Click on links below to print out forms.

Send a personal email/letter to Family & Friends–Using the sample Swim-a-Thon Sponsor Letter. Remember after you send an email/letter it is a great idea to follow up with a phone call to make sure they received it and tell them more about the Swim­-a-Thon and HRA!

Pledges can be made per length (e.g. $.10 per length swum) or flat donations. All donations are tax deductible. Our club's goal is to raise a total of $10,000 combined from our athletes.

Sample pledge forms | emails/letters you can use to send family/friends.

Suburban League Relay Meet

Our second meet of the season is an annual highlight on the schedule. The Suburban League Relay Meet will be Sunday, October 9 at the Univ of Denver. As usual, athletes can participate with their teammates in medley, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and/or freestyle relays in addition to the ever popular T-shirt relay.

Please indicate your athlete's intention to attend or decline by noon, Monday October 3. The coaches will create relay assignments/orders based on the athletes committed at that time.

Scary FAST Invite Meet

Meet entries are now open for our first 3-day meet of the season. Please note the revised date and location. Due to renovations at the EPIC pool in Fort Collins, he meet has been moved to VMAC in Thornton. Further, the meet has been rescheduled (twice) and is now Fri-Sun, Oct 14-16. We apologize for any conflicts with fall break schedules, but there are no suitable meets in quality venues the last two weekends in October.

The entry deadline is noon, Monday October 3. You can find meet information and select events on the TeamUnify event page listed below.

Jeffco Hurricane Meet Recap

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Results are posted on the meet page from this Saturday's meet in Arvada. As mentioned last week, we would like to recognize HRA athletes who most exemplified of our team values. Well done to the following athletes for serving as exceptional examples for their teammates:

Devon Barclay
Stewart Erhardt
Cade Rolofson
Jessica Wang

Age Group Zone & CSI Travel Funding Update

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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

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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

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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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  • Athletes Corner
  • Parents Corner
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Swimisodes - Butterfly with Roland Schoeman

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Swimisodes – Breaststroke Kick with Rebecca Soni

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Courage in the Pool

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Fu Yuanhui's Greatest Moments

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Rio Olympics 2016: Top Ten Moments Countdown

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2016 U.S. Olympic Team Flag Signing

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SNACKS FOR SWIMMERS: TIMING IS IMPORTANT OUTSIDE OF THE POOL, TOO

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Twitter | USA Swimming | Jul 4, 2016

#TeamUSA dives into first practice

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Washington Post | By Dave Sheinin | Jun 24, 2016

How Katie Ledecky became better at swimming than anyone is at anything

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YouTube | Nov 27, 2015

Navy SEALs Have a '40 Percent Rule' And It's the Key to Overcoming Mental Barriers

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Simone on Pressure of Trials: It’s Just Another Meet

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Ali: The Mission

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Why Elizabeth Marks Gave Her Invictus Games Medal Back to Prince Harry

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WHY KIDS STOP SWIMMING

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NY Times | By Conor Dougherty | Jan 1, 2016

App Makers Reach Out to the Teenager on Mobile

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Twitter | By Pieter vd Hoogenband | Sep 5, 2016

10 Tips for Sport Parents

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Positive Coach | By Summer Sanders | Aug 31, 2016

4 Ways Parents Can Help Their Kids Enjoy Sports

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USA Swimming | YouTube | Augl 13, 2016

Rio Olymipcs 2016: Silver Linings – Missy Franklin

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Your kids bored at school? Tell them to get over it

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USSA | By Jon Nolting | Jul 18, 2016

Five Tips For Parents To Help Their Children In Competition

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Believe Perform | By Julie Blackwood | Jul 11, 2015

Coping strategies for sport parents

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Stitcher | Podcast By Pat Forde | Jun 25, 2016

Forde the Father: Pat Forde on watching his kids swim in U.S…

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Yahoo Sports | By Pat Forde | Jun 25, 2016

A father's pride: From neighborhood swim meets to the Olympic Trials

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THE BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER HEARD A SWIM PARENT GIVE THEIR KID

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Parents

Registration/Volunteer Information

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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.

Snapbooster Update

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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 (leasiav@gmail.com, 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

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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

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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

Travel Meets

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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:

December

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.

February/March


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.

Sectionals
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.

May/June


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

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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.