Nitro Swimmers of the Week for April 2–8, 2018

Intro to Nitro


Cedar Park: Naomi Sharples
I remember watching Naomi do breaststroke kick when she first joined Intro. She concentrated hard with every kick, flexed her feet and got the movement right…it just took her forever to get down the pool! Fast forward to this week and WOW, has she improved that kicking! Naomi has figured out how to get some power in her glide and is now zooming down the lane, even while kicking on her back. I can tell how hard you’ve been working, Naomi—awesome job and keep it up!—Coach Lindsay


Bee Cave: Tomas Gomez and Soleil Bryant
This week Intro had a lot of fun improving streamlines! I have to recognize two of our “streamline-champs”—Tomas and Soleil. These two made underwater streamline push-offs look easy. Tomas was already a phenomenal streamliner, but this week—with the opportunity to compete against his teammates—he took his streamlines to a whole new level. In addition, Tomas has been working hard to improve each stroke: discovering how to feel the water with flexed feet in breaststroke, stretching the arms out in butterfly, and conquering the diving blocks. Soleil had one of the most improved streamlines. This week she really understood how to sink under the water deep before pushing off the wall and how to tuck her head below her arms. This improvement is going to transfer into her all four strokes improving her head position and bodyline. Tomas and Soleil are not only streamline-champs but also world-class kiddos. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to coach them both! Keep it up Tomas and Soleil! —Coach Raven


Technique and Fitness


Cedar Park: Brielle Cardenas and Seungwan Son
Awesome job this past week working on all of your breaststroke turns. Backstroke to breaststroke and breaststroke to freestyle.  In addition to that a HELLO to the amazing job on getting your hands on top of the water as you begin your breaststroke pull!! No more underwater pulls below the hips. Great job you two this past week and thanks for being a part of the Nitro family and we’ll see you at the pool.—Coach Stephen


Bee Cave: Bill Mar
Bill works his hardest every practice. I can tell because his cheeks turn red and he’s huffin’ and puffin’ as they say. Bill is always trying to be first in his lane. That kind of drive can be detrimental, however. Some kids will sacrifice technique during practice because they’re too busy racing. Not Bill! Over the last year, his breaststroke kick has improved so much. This past week in particular, Bill’s open turns were some of the best in TF. It looked like he’d been doing them for years – so crisp and advanced. He was firing on all cylinders. He never questions or complains about the hard sets I give him; instead, Bill gets excited by embracing the most intense sets. It seems the harder it is the better for big man Bill!—Coach Jonny




Cedar Park: Zachary Dennie
I was totally surprised with how focused Zachary was this week! He was on it with paying attention and acting on the advice that was given. He also told me that he was really excited about swimming and was excited for his future. This took me for a loop because Zachary is more of a quiet kid and keeps to himself, but I am so happy for him to share this part of his thinking with me. This is a huge step! I am so excited to see his progress and where his positive attitude towards swimming will take him!—Coach Makaylee


Bee Cave: Madison Hilgenfeldt
Great week for Madison the length of stroke has greatly improved, her work on bodyline, along with a great effort on keeping the armpits up and holding a higher balance in here strokes is easily seen. When the group does drill after drill after drill it can be hard to hold a tall balance, the young swimmer just get tired but Madison has just stepped up her commitment to finding the tallest and stronger stroke she has, add in a solid kick and you find yourself saying “WOW!” it really is a strong stroke and this isn’t easy for young swimmers just learning that the correct feel cost a lot of sacrifice. Great Job Young Lady! I can’t wait to see this tall stroke race the 100 free!—Coach Chuck




Cedar Park: David Yeo
This week it is REALLY hard to pick just one… our entire silver team had the best kicking week we have ever had! We did the same kicking set all week and the swimmers were able to track their improvement… and wow… was it incredible to see their faces on the last day as they realized how much they had improved since Monday. But, I did end up picking David as our Swimmer of the Week for Silver. This young man is very dedicated, attending almost every practice in the 8pm slot. David has also been working quite hard on his freestyle and kicking as well recently, changing a challenging habit of late breathing in freestyle to appropriate timing and has much stronger kicking!Way to go David!—Coach Paige


Bee Cave: Mallory Webb
I never get tired of writing about progress, and how on so many levels, we simply misunderstand it. I’ve said before, we often get caught looking for those “AH-HA” moments. The cool hooks that we can tell others about… “I looked out over the horizon, the wind at my back, It was then, I became great.” …or…”As the sun finally fell, and the last drop of sweat hit the earth, I knew, I was ready.” I’m not entirely sure if every revolution begins with one moment.. but if they do, then over the past few months, Mallory MUST have had her share of them! Every bit about her swimming game, went to another level. Let’s break it down. Strokes – although she was always strong in her technique, her willingness to learn, allowed her to make even more improvements to her mechanics. Confidence – Where she used to be, slightly timid, she now is comfortable taking lead in her lane, AND setting the tone for sets. Racing – She always had a solid racing tempo, but somewhere in there, she found an entirely new gear, and became a dangerous RACER. Countless times, I’ve had the group watch her perform a “break-out” and “finish”, just to get an idea of the standard.. I’d jump in and show it myself, but at this point, I’m afraid hers might be better than mine! Of course, this next gear was put on full display over the weekend during our Red Vs. Black meet (Go BLACK TEAM!).. Although there were many great swims, she definitely stood out, putting together some solid long course performances!

All that aside.. And, not to undermine her accomplishments… But I think, equally as important.. She is a GOOD person. I recall, a note given to me by the front desk. I had given out “nitro Jr.” to her the day before (the unicorn), and because she was going to miss practice, rather than holding onto it another day, and causing someone to miss their chance, she had her family come to Nitro and drop it off at the front desk. I was blown away. Of all the great moments I have experienced  here, that one definitely sticks with me. Just, what someone is willing to do, for others. Not because they’ll get something in return, but because, they want to. Because, it’s the right thing to do. It seems like Mallory has the market cornered on the right thing – Both In and Out of the water. So I would say this is the swimmer of the week, but if I searched myself honestly, I’d have to say.. She could possibly be the swimmer of the year! Really, I can’ speak enough about her qualities. If I tried, it might look like some cheesy inspirational library bookmark: hard working, optimistic, honest, determined, passionate, good listener.. I’m sure I could continue the list for miles, and the strangest thing, is that every word of it, would hold true. So rather than continue that list, I’ll just say.. I am honored for the opportunity to coach this young Lady. Great Job Mallory. I know you’ve only just begun. Keep on breaking through!—Coach Nick


Advanced Silver


Bee Cave: Luke Wood 
Luck has jumped right into Advanced Silver at anything but lukewarm pace. His desire to learn more and steadily apply this new knowledge is apparent day in and day out. He entered our meet last minute due to another sport’s schedule change. A lesser athlete would have taken the day off but he decided to come in and rack up two best times. He communicated what worked well for him in previous races and we built off that confidence. Keep grinding, Luke!—Coach Bobby


Gold I & II


CP Gold I: Akriti Mandal 
What a great week of work for Akriti! She really pushed herself through our kicking test set, surprising me with some of her times. Akriti was thrilled to hear we’d be working some butterfly as she has really taken to the stroke. Fast tempo, great timing, low and quick on the breathing. Akriti showed off her racing abilities at the red vs black swim meet, setting herself up for a great Long Course season. Way to go Akriti!—Coach Adam


CP Gold II: Olivia Brown
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize how incredible some swimmers are when they’re surrounded by such amazing Gold II teammates.  Olivia, however, is a diamond among gold.  Whether she knows it or not, she’s always helping her teammates by setting the bar high and with an infectious smile to boot.  This past Saturday, Olivia was the only Gold II athlete to swim the 100 fly—a daunting event in LCM—and she absolutely crushed it.  Good preparation, good attitude, and good effort resulted in a fantastic swim.  Your rock, Liv!—Coach Alex


Bee Cave: Austin Kar
WOWza, this kid just seems to impress me week after week. He swims so effortlessly and does an amazing job of taking initiative and leading a lane when need be. If anything, I wanted to give Austin SOW this week simply to let him know how very talented he is. I am so excited for the upcoming weeks, months, and hopefully years in his swimming career! I also have to mention how very respectful and attentive Austin is during each workout. There is never a moment that I don’t think he isn’t listening with full attention. I love that in a swimmer!—Coach Allison