Shaker Shark Invite
Another successful weekend to mark what is about the halfway mark of the season, and USCNation is in great shape! All year long we've had increaased meet attendance, new faces at meets, swimmers challenging themselves to new events at meets, and PLENTY of time drops. That was all on display this weekend as we had a bigger crowd, new faces, and FAST SWIMS!
First, congrats to our finalists on Saturday: Izzy Trem, Zoe Pesek, Owen Pesek, and Caleb Ortman. Congrats to Izzy Trem for achieving her 1st A time in the 50 Breast! Congrat to Owen for his 3rd place finish in the Boys 10&U 50 Back. And shout out to the girls 11-12 200 Medley Relay (Sophie Trem, Karlie Morbeto, Zoe Pesek, and Paris Hirsch) who STEPPED UP with some fast splits (and an awesome dance and cheer before the race!). We also saw our first swimmers complete their IMX checklist after this meet, congrats Owen Pesek and Alex Pesek!
The Meet Monster this weekend was Alex Pesek, who took on both the 500 Free and 400 IM on Friday night with huge time drops (Lake Erie look out come March!), and proceded to post great swims in tough events the rest of the weekend, including his first ever 200 Backstroke and 100 Breastroke! Stepping out and trying new events is great for a swimmers development, and Alex is a testament to that (his IM's now rival his better strokes in terms of competitiveness, and that wasn't always the case!).
Swim of the meet this weekend goes to Izzy Trem for a huge time drop and a great RACE in the 50 Back! Like Andrius a couple weeks ago, Izzy came to race, and ended up winning her heat from lane 10! We work on our technique and habits on practice so that we can let instinct take over when it's time to race. Izzy has done just that over the last few weeks, as she has focused on her flutter kick after getting feedback about her "bicycle" kick at Strongsville. She has been working on that in practice, and through her diligence has started to change her natural habits (or "algorithm" as you'll hear us say at practice). The result was a nice finish and an almost 3 second time drop. Way to go Izzy!
All of the NAG times achieved as well as the IMR/IMX checklists are attached. Full results can be found on LakeErieSwimming.com
The process continues tomorrow, but remember there are only 5 meets left before championship seson.
Don't miss your opportunities to finish your IMR/IMX, get your first B time, qualify for Lake Erie Age Group Champs (last year's meet doc with the time standards are attached), and HAVE SOME FUN WITH USC NATION!
See everyone at the pool.
Mark Braun Fall Invite
This is the fastest meet of the year and USC came to play. This meet is big, with half of the athletes coming in from out of town (we even adopted some boys from Rochester NY who were there without a coach this weekend!). Winning an event here takes faster than a AAA, and often Jr National cuts or faster for the big kids. It's the point of year where those who started in September are in race shape, with a few meets under their belt, and are ready to go FAST! And it's a prelims/finals meet, which brings out the best in everyone.
Little guys were 90% for lifetimes with some huge drops. Big guys were posting tons of lifetimes or best ever in season times. USC was impressive all the way around. Shouts to Owen Pesek, who raced to a 3rd place overall finish in both the 50 Back and 100 Back, as well as a slew of other top 10 finishes, all lifetime bests. Congrats to Sydney Howell, who posted a 1:00.77 in the 100 Back to get her first ever USA Sectional Cut (joining Andrius Kijauskas & Maggie Perry as qualifiers for the meet in April, who's next?). All of the coaches left this meet fired up about where we are, the progress we've made, and what the end of the year could hold for USC Nation. With the way the way practice went yesterday, it was clear that the swimmers did to.
Swim of the Meet goes to Andrius Kijuaskas in the 200 Fly. Andrius went into the B final of the Open 200 Fly Saturday as the 8th seed, after posting a 2:03. That night, he dropped 7s to win the heat with a 1:55.39, USC's first AAA time of the season, a USA Sectional Cut, and good for a new team record (previously held by Andrius himself at a 1:58).
The sport is about, above all else, stepping up to RACE! To be great it requires a competitive drive and a willingness to dig in when the race starts to hurt and settling for nothing short of everything you've got. This mindset is a skill, something we try to develop as kids get older. And no one on USC is better at stepping up for a big race, on a finals stage, under the bright lights than Andrius. When the pressure is on, he decides before he is gets to the blocks, that he is going to do whatever it takes to win the heat. And more often than not, he does. In this case, it resulted in a big lifetime, in a tough events, a 1st place finish in the heat, and a new team record.
This was a fantastic meet for USC where we had swimmers truly "Breakout!". We had a big crew of swimmers from all groups, a ton of USC first timers (Ethan Belkin, Jayce Burdecki, Reed Livingston, Karli Morbeto, Drew Morbeto, & Alice Pesek), and all who were there posted some great times. This is such an important meet for us, it's a great chance for our crew, no matter which group you are in, to break into meets, try new events, and continue your progress!
Swim of the Meet goes to Brad Perry in the 200 Free! Brad is swimming his first fall in the 11-12 age group after making the jump from 10 & Under. His 200 Free was his first event of the meet (a tough one!), and not only was he swimming against 12 year olds for the first time, but he was in the final heat in the outside lane. He was understandably nervous, but he put those feelings aside and attacked his race without fear, taking the race out in his lifetime best 100 free! Watching him swim the race you would have had no idea he was nervous before hand; he took it out aggressively, stroke was relaxed, there were no mental snafus. He swam it like a pro, raced hard, beat quite a few of his older competitors, and posted a lifetime best time of 2:34.47, a whopping 15s time drop! Congrats Brad for your swim of the meet honor, not just for posting a fast time, but for demonstrating how to put nerves and anxiety aside to swim your race without fear!
Splash Out Cancer Meet Recap
We continued to make great strides this past weekend at the Strongsville Splash Out Cancer meet. Great meet attendance, big kids posting great in-season times, little guys trying new events and posting tons of lifetimes, the details and race execution continue to improve, and we had some fun relay action!
First, congrats to our USC first timers: Carly Rutkowski, Brayden Barnett, and Joey Mausser!!!
Meet Animal this weekend goes to Jonah Stephenson who competed in 6 events this weekend: 50 Free, 200 Free, 50 Back, 100 Back, 50 Fly, and 200 IM. He swam some of every stroke, didn't shy away from the 200's, and all this after just recently getting back in the water after a bout of illness. Anyone who knows Jonah however isn't surprised that he wouldn't back down from a tough schedule!
Swim of the Meet this weekend goes to Bella Klug in the Mixed 200 Free Relay! Bella was excited to represent USC in some relay action this weekend and it showed by her performance. She dropped about 1 second from her individual 50 earlier in the meet. Even more impressive, we asked her to anchor a MIXED relay, which means she was closing out the relay against some of the older, faster boys from other teams. It clearly did not get to her though as she split a 26.9 for a fantastic swim. Congrats Bella! Way to represent USC!
The full results of both meets can be found at LakeErieSwimming.com
In IMR/IMX news, we have 3 new swimmers who completed their IMR checklist: Annalisa Di Cerce, Campbell Tierney, and Andrius Kijauskas. They join Sophia DeRenzo, Alex Pesek, and Zoe Pesek bringing our season total to 6 swimmers!
We also had a slew of NAG times achieved this weekend. Shout out to Carly Rutkowski for getting her first ever NAG time in the 50 Free, Caleb Ortman for getting his first A time of the season in the 50 Fly, and Andrius Kijauskas for joining Owen Pesek in the AA club with his strong 200 Free.
Our next meet is this Sunday at the Fall Breakout meet where we have a ton of first timers competing! Once again we have over 20 athletes entered, keep up the great meet attendance USC Nation!
See everyone on deck,
USCNation was in action at two challenging meets this weekend; the Peg Neal Pentathlon (where everyone swims an event of each stroke plus an IM), and the Mile Meet, where athletes swim, you guessed it, the mile! There was great swimming all around with plenty of lifetimes, but more importantly the weekend was a great marker of how our training is going. We loved the details and toughness shown at the pentathlon (great turns, and hard racing through to the end), and impressive paces held at the mile meet!
Congrats to everyone who swam this weekend. At the pentathlon we had Sophia DeRenzo, Owen Pesek, Caleb Ortman, Kathleen Delaney, Zoe Pesek, Alex Pesek, Sydney Grzincic, Haley Howell, Audrey Zorman, Anika Duhig, and Ian Grzincic. We were represented at the Mile Meet by Audrey Zorman, Annalisa Di Cerce, Andrius Kijauskas, and Carter Faulkner.
Meet Animal this weekend goes to Audrey Zorman who competed at both meets this weekend and put up solid efforts both Saturday and Sunday. Special shout out to Owen Pesek who took 3rd place overall in the 10&U boys division at the Pentathlon (aggregate score based on all events!).
Swim of the meet this weekend goes to Sophia DeRenzo in the 100 IM. The time and effort was fantastic, racing hard and pushing a BB time in just her 2nd USA/USC meet in a tough event, and her 5th event of the day! What was most impressive though was the HOW. We say all of the time in practice that "HOW we do what we do matters", especially when we're tired. We want our swimmers to work hard, but keep a focus on the details and maintain those skills when things get tough. That's how we get stronger and form great habits. Sophia has bought into that motto this season and it shows. The technique was fantastic, progress on all fronts. We've worked really hard on our turns, and even in her last swim of the day Sophia remained focus, tucked tight and stayed low on all of her turns. She even made an in-meet adjustment in her butterfly after taking some feedback about her head position (took out her 50 fly in about 25s for the first 25, took out her 100 IM in 20s!). Her effort and focus on the details are paying off. Congratulations Sophia!
The full results of both meets can be found at LakeErieSwimming.com (pentathlon results are there, mile meet results will be posted shortly).
In IMR/IMX news, we now have 3 athletes who have completed all of the events in IMR challenge! Congrats to Sophia DeRenzo, Zoe Pesek, and Alex Pesek! We have many athletes 1 event away from completing the IMR checklist, and a few creeping closer to completing the IMX challenge (the longer version of the checklist). Keep plugging away at those events USC Nation!
We also had a slew of NAG times achieved this weekend. Take a look at the attached spreadsheet to see all of the times achieved!
We are back in action Nov 4-5 at the Kelley Kinney Splash Out Cancer meet. We have over 20 athletes signed up yet again! The coaches are thrilled to see the meet attendance up big time this year, with kids from all ages, all groups, and all skill levels. Meets are important to our development, keep it up! If anyone else is interested in competing in the Splash Out Cancer meet, Deck Entries might be available (the meet host will announce the week of the meet, we will keep everyone posted).
In the mean time we have a few weeks of practice... let's stay committed, consistent, and continue the process...
See everyone on deck!
CCS Age Group & Open Recap
And we're off! Meet season is officially underway after USC's strong showing at the Canton City School Age Group & Open! We had many lifetime bests (which is tough to do this early in the year), event champions (congrats Owen Pesek and Caleb Ortman!), and many first timers represented USC well at their first USA Swimming / USC meet (congrats Kaitlin Johnson, Carly Sharpe, Sofia DeRenzo, Gia DiRenzo, Whitney Lieberth!). We were pleased to see that many of the skills and details we over and practice show up in the meet. Not only are we getting fitter, but we are forging great habits and skills. We say all of the time at practice : "HOW we do what we do matters!", and the "how" (technique, turns, race execution) were on point all weekend long. The meet left all of us on the coaching staff eager to get back to practice and keep the ball rolling (I'm sure everyone else is just as eager for practice Monday!).
Swim of the meet goes to Theresa Lazanich in her 200 Free! Theresa has stepped up big time this season in a lot of ways. She moved from the beginner to the intermediate group and has fit in seamlessly, meeting the demands of the group and even acting as the leader of her lane most days. She also moved to the 11-12 age group, where the competition gets tougher and the events start to get longer. Because of how she has stepped up this year, the coaches challenged her to swim the 200 Free at this meet. Everyone would be nervous for their first 200 Free, but not only was Theresa swimming the event for the first time, she did it while getting over illness. It would have been easy to come up with excuses to take the event easy, but Theresa set the tone from the start and swam the race at a challenging pace (as it should be done!).Theresa we are SO PROUD of you for overcoming illness, nerves, fear, to conquer the event with a stellar showing. We can't wait to see you continue to develop this year!
If anyone is looking for a great opportunity to conquer some IMR/IMX events, the Kelley Kinney Memorial Splash Out Cancer Meet is a great opportunity. The meet is two days and most of the events on the schedule. The deadline to sign up for the Splash Out Cancer meet is TONIGHT (hint hint...)! We've got 20 swimmer signed up so far so it looks to be another large showing for USC Nation!
We are back in action this Saturday at the Lakewood Pentathlon, and Sunday at the Mile Meet in Akron. Look for an email with event details this week.
See everyone on deck!
Nov 19-21 Mark Braun Classic
Wow!!! We had a great weekend of racing at the Mark Braun Fall Classic! This is the fastest, biggest meet on the schedule before championship season and USC Nation stepped up to the plate!
We had quite a few notable accomplishments this weekend. Andrius Kijauskas notched USC's first AAA time this season with his 1:47.75 in the 200 Free on Saturday and posted multiple lifetime bests. Zoe Pesek snagged her first ever A time in the girl's 10&U 50 Breastroke with a 41.40. The entire Pesek Clan (Owen, Zoe, and Alex) represented USC at finals on Saturday night. Silvija Taraska threw down lifetimes in the 200 IM (2:17.94) and 100 breaststroke (1:10.61) to prove she is way more than just a freestyler (although she is a very fast freestyler). Conor Merritt swam a lifetime in the 100 Breastroke securing a qualifying time for the Ned Reed High School Invite. Ben Firstenberg swam lifetime bests in the 50 & 100 freestyle, putting himself in the mix for his high school relay team. Brad Perry, who swam one event at this meet last year, swam a full schedule with multiple lifetime bests in some tough events (200 IM and 200 Freestyle), demonstrating how far he has come in the last year. Maria Jones, who has stepped up her training habits in the last few weeks, saw her committment pay off with lifetime bests and A times in the 50 & 100 freestyle. Many other members of the Advanced and Senior Crew posted lifetime bests or best ever un-tapered times.
The swim of the meet, however, goes to Alex Pesek for his swim in the 100 fly. Alex dropped 5 seconds in his swim (in just 1.5 months!) to finish in 3rd place overall with a AAA time of 1:12.31!! And as a 14&U athlete, his AAA time secures him a spot on this summer's Lake Erie Zone team, which will be competing in Wisconsin against teams from IL, IN, LE, MI, OK, WI. Alex, who has been working very hard and leading the intermediate group, challenged himself to swim his 100 fly without fear (aka he took it out very fast!), and overcame some nerves at this very fast and competitive meet. He has also been working very hard on his open turns (i.e. butterfly and breastroke turns) which was evident in that race. Alex also secured top 10 finishes in the 50 fly (3rd place), 50 Back, 100 IM, and 100 Free. Congratulations Alex!
We will be back at it again in a few weeks at the Shaker Shark Invitational. High Schoolers, GOOD LUCK this season, and be sure to say hello to Coach Charlie and I at the Viking Invitational in a few weeks (I will also be at Hilltopper and the Northeast Classic)
Nov 13th Breakout Meet
Shout Outs: We had a slew of first time USC Meet participants, including Jade Fondran, Ryan O'Connell, Charlie Fishman, and Quincy Brown! And congrats to Olivia Kitchen and Jonah Stephenson for completing their IMR events!
Swim of the Meet: Owen Pesek for his swim in the 100 backstroke. Owen swam a best time time of 1:24.76, good for first place at the meet and a BB time! Owen, despite being one of the younger kids in the intermediate group, is one of the hardest working. In the last 6 months that we've been working with Owen, he has become one of the most driven kids in the lane, and competes hard every day at practice! He is also very focused and pays attention to the details, which is why his slip turns were so fantastic! Can't wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for Owen!
Nov 12th Mile Meet
Shout Outs: Maura Delaney for being the sole USC member to take on the 1650 free, and Campbell Tierney for swimming her first ever 400 IM to be the first USC member this season to complete her IMX Challenge! Nice job Campbell!
Nov 5 and 6 Splash Out Cancer
Shout Outs: Addison Oreh took 2nd place in the 7 & under 25 free, 3rd place in the 50 free, 2nd place in the 100 free, 2nd place 25 breast in her first ever USC Meet! Nice job! And Kathleen Delaney completed all of he revents for the IMR challenge! On to the IMX Kathleen!
Swim of the Meet: Kathleen Delaney for her 100 Breastroke. Kathleen took 4th place in the 11 year olds 100 Breastroke with a time of 1:34.68. More impressive, however, is the fact that Kathleen dropped 11 seconds! This is the direct result of some very hard work. Kathleen has been focusing on her breastroke a lot in practice, heeding instruction and asking for feedback. It was no surprise that she did so well. Congratulations Kathleen!
Freestyle frenzy Oct 23rd
the kids all stepped up and swam great! some best times and some early season bests! Kudos to all!
Swim of the meet goes to Olivia Kitchen for her swim in the 200 Free! Olivia had a great meet overall, posting B or ALMOST B times in every swim, but in the 200, her most challenging event, she really got after it! She held good form, maintained great turns thoughout the race and finsihed like a champ! Nice job Olivia!
We are back at in two weeks at the Kelley Kinney Memorial Splash Out cancer Meet Nov 4-5.
Silivija Taraska - 100 Fr, 200 Fr
Josh Oh - 200 Fr
Maria Jones - 100 Fr, 200 Fr
Lilija Taraska - 100 Fr
Maura delaney - 100 Fr, 200 Fr
Ian Grzincic - 50 Free, 100 Free
Josh Grzincic - 50 Free, 100 Free
Olivia Kitchen - 50 Fr
Grace Delaney - 50 Fr, 100 Fr
Romeo Palmieri - 50 Fr, 200 Fr
Jonah Stephenson - 200 Fr
Ian Grzincic - 200 Fr
Peg NEAL OCT 15th
Another solid meet in the books! Congrats to all of our swimmers who took on the challenge of swimming 5 events (1 of e stroke + an IM) in a quick one day meet! Our small crew at this meet took 6th place overall. Congrats to Alex Pesek for taking 3rd overall for the 10& under boys and Zoe Pesek for taking 7th overall for the 10&under girls! Special shout out to Aaron Kim, who swam his first ever USC & USA sanctioned meet, and did an awesome job! This was quite the meet for your first ever!
The swim of the meet this week goes to Zoe Pesek for her 50 Breastroke! If anyone has been around for the Euclid Intermediate practces, Zoe is always leading the lane, helpong others out and keeping everyone on track, demonstrating incredible leadership for a 10 year old! She works hard, listens to feedback, sets a fantastic example and the results are paying off. Zoe went a best time of 43.92 in her 50 breastroke a BB (and almost A!) times, taking 2nd place overall in the event. Awesome job Zoe! This is just the start of some awesome swimming this season.
See below all of the time standards achieved at this meet, and the attached spreadsheet of our running tally (scroll through the tabs, for a data nerd like me it's neat to see the spreadsheet fill up the colors change!). Please note, we are using the 2017-2020 time standards for all of our tracking this year, which are slightly faster than the current times for 2012-2016. USA Swimming updates they're time standards every 4 years (coincides with the olympic cycle). While there are a few swimmers whose BB times would be A times by the current standards, starting in January USA Swimming will be using the new standards. Because we will be ending the season with these time standards we are using them from the beginning. The new time standards are attached, and will be updated on the website and in the team training guide soon.
We are back at it this weekend in Solon for the Freestyle Frenzy!
Alex Pesek - 50 Bk, 50 Fl
Josh Oh - 100 Fr
Zoe Pesek - 50 Br
Maria Jones - 100 Fr
Alex Pesek - 50 Fr, 100 IM
Owen Pesek - 50 Bk
Matt Stipkovich - 100 Fr, 100 Bk
Josh Grzincic - 100 Fr
Ian Grzincic - 100 Fr, 100 Bk
Josh Oh - 100 Bk, 200 IM
Zoe Pesek - 50 Fr, 50 Bk, 50 Fl, 100 IM
Maria Jones - 100 Bk, 100 Fl, 200 IM
Audrey Zorman - 100 Br
Owen Pesek - 50 Fr, 50 Fl, 100 IM
Alex Pesek - 50 Br
Josh Grzincic - 100 Bk, 100 Fl, 200 IM
Matt Stipkovich - 100 Br, 100 Fl, 200 IM
Ian Grzincic - 100 Fl, 200 IM
Canton CCS Oct 8 and 9
Fantastic job last weekend USC nation! The coaches were a very eager for the meet, we've seen a lot of great signs in practice. I'm glad to say our excitement was warranted. We had countless personal best times or best ever un-tapered times for the big kids, a couple of top 3 finishes (congrats Andrius Kijuaskas, Alex Pesek, and the boys open 200 Medley Relay!), and strong showings from some first-timers (congrats Alyssa Cruz, Olivia Kitchen, Jonah Stephenson!). Way to kick off the season!
Swim of the meet goes to Campbell Tierney in her 100 Fly. Campbell had a fantastic meet all around, posting lifetime bests in every swim and coming away with a medal in the 500 freestyle, but in her 100 fly Campbell saw a 5 second drop from her previous best time (that is a LOT for a 100!). It was no fluke, Campbell began working hard this summer on changing her head position in butterfly (finishing her stroke with her head down) and maintaining a continuous kick/stroke with no pauses, even when she gets tired. In addition, she moved up from the intermediate to the advance group, and has done an awesome job with the more challenging practices and increased committment level. The result was a fantastic meet to start the season. Nice job Campbell! We can't wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for you.
Time standards achieved are below. You can see all of the NAG times achieved this season in the attached spreadsheet. Full results are posted on the bulletin board at Euclid.
We are back in action this Saturday at the Lakewood Pentathlon. Look for an email with event details this week.
Alex Pesek - 100 Fly
Andrius Kijauskas - 200 IM
Campbell Tierney - 50 Fr, 100 Fr
Alex Pesek - 100 Bk, 50 Fly
Matt Stipkovich - 50 Fr, 100 Fr
Joe Smith - 50 Fr
Ben Firstenberg - 100 Fr
Andrius Kijauskas - 100 Fly
Campbell Tierney - 500 Fr, 100 Bk, 200 Bk
Sydney Howell - 50 Fr, 100 Fr, 100 Bk, 200 Bk
Sam Erich - 50 Fr
Alex Pesek - 50 Fr, 100 Fr, 50 Bk
Brad Perry - 50 Fr, 50 Fly, 100 Fly
Jack Faulkner - 50 Fr, 100 Fr
Carter Faulkner - 50 Fr, 500 Fr, 100 Bk, 200 Bk, 100 Fly, 200 IM
Ben Firstenberg - 50 Fr
Connor Merritt - 50 Fr, 100 Fr, 100 Br, 200 Br
Anthony Fragassi - 100 Fr, 500 Fr, 200 Bk
Josh Oh - 500 Fr, 200 Bk, 100 Fly
Matt Stipkovich - 100 Bk, 200 Bk
Andrius Kijauskas - 100 Bk, 100 Br, 200 Fly
Joe Smith - 200 Br
Colin Savage - 50 Fr, 100 Bk, 200 Br
Olivia Kitchen - 50 BR,
Audrey Zorman - 200 Br
Campbell Tierney - 100 Fly
Sam Erich - 100 Bk, 200 Br
Jonah Stephenson - 50 Fr, 100 Fr, 200 Fr, 50 Bk
Brad Perry - 500 Fr, 50 Br, 100 Br
Ben Firstenberg - 500 Fr, 100 Bk, 200 Bk, 100 Fly
Matt Stipkovich - 100 Br, 100 Fly