Nitro Swimmers of the Week for December 10–17, 2017

Intro to Nitro

  Cedar Park: Sahana Mahendran and Asher Allen
This week CP Intro did some backstroke and diving to prepare for Nitro at the Races. Sahana is fairly new to Intro, but I love seeing her progress! Diving was a new skill for her, but she immediately picked it up and was diving in headfirst by the end of practice. That’s an impressive feat for someone who has never done it before. I can’t believe I haven’t given Asher Swimmer of the Week before, but he deserves it just about every week. He’s one of our younger swimmers, but I can always count on him to be paying attention. His streamlining kicking this week was on point with a fantastic head position. Asher and Sahana, thanks for being awesome—keep up the great work! —Coach Lindsay

  Bee Cave: Alexa Giroux and Hailey Lin
Both Alexa and Hailey competed at swim meets this weekend. Alexa competed at the Jingle Bell Splash at UT; this is a huge accomplishment for an Intro swimmer! Nervous at first, excitement carried her through the meet. Alexa continues to excel at practice; her kick is getting stronger and more powerful, her underwaters are incredible, and her dives are rocking! Hailey competed in her first Nitro at the Races meet. She raced her first 50 freestyle and held a solid stroke the entire race—tall arms, only breathing to the side, and a steady flutter kick. Hailey has become a lead kicker in her practice group on Fridays; she’s small but mighty! Way to go young ladies! Keep it up Alexa and Hailey! —Coach Raven


Technique and Fitness

  Cedar Park: Rowan Dickerson
Awesome job this past week nailing your proper push-offs and really paying attention to your body position, watching the intervals and having a feel for wanting to better yourself.  In addition to that what an excellent swim meet you had this past weekend at our Nitro at the Races! Exceeding in your heats and showing the up and coming swimmers how it is done! Yeah! Thanks so much as well for helping us with the winter pool tarps on Saturday after the meet. Team effort. Thanks for being a part of the NITRO family and we’ll see you at the pool. —Coach Stephen

  Bee Cave: Tilly Streeter
Tilly is a boss. She just started swimming with us in September, but she’s already drawn the attention of all the coaches. Yes, she leads her lane. Of course, she crushed challenge week being the only rookie under 2:00 in the 100 IM. Her streamlines are incredible. Her work ethic is unmatched. Her focus is keen. Her attitude is always positive; and, most importantly, her respect for everyone around her makes me proud to be her coach. Tilly is fast and she is fierce – look out!  —Coach Jonny



  Cedar Park: Daniel Hicks 
Daniel earned this swimmer of the week award for his efforts not only in practice, but also at the Jingle Bell Splash meet. Daniel has been extra focused in practice recently, making sure he isn’t letting the other boys distract him. You could tell all that had been paying off as he nailed all his turns and walls at the swim meet! He looked like he was having a blast, too! Keep it up Daniel, great swimming bud. —Coach Adam

  Bee Cave: Sawyer Lassberg
The great thing about watching young swimmers is you can tell when they are trying to figure things out, Sawyer worked on a low stroke count on his breaststroke this week, but in his 50 at the UT Meet the emotional urgency to race was just a little to powerful, yet it was still a best time. Now we talked about how to hold his Bodyline, stay tall, let the kick carry the work load, and practice it in the warm down pool, and just over an hour later he was on the block for his 100 breaststroke, and this was something special! Sawyer had changed his stroke! Each and every stroke had his head down below his arms, he was a good four to five strokes less per length, his 50 split was a half second faster than his best time and he drops almost 13.5 seconds off his best making his first B time! The turnaround was very special indeed! Great job young man! —Coach Chuck



  Cedar Park:Vijay Selmakuvar
Vijay has recently committed to being even more serious with our sport and it is showing in practice!  He has a done fantastic job working on freestyle endurance, bodyline & turnover. This should be a benefit towards all his races. I can’t wait to see his races at his meet on Jan 6th meet. Great job young man! —Coach Paige

  Bee Cave: Declan Howell
I think as a culture, we tend to idolize the trophies and achievements of victors, yet never fully understand, ALL that goes into creating them. We set our focus so romantically on the falling confetti and epic Oscar moments, that we end up taking for granted the everyday reality of what it means to be successful. If there is a scenario where we can to define success as – never-ending progress, a great attitude and hard work, then I can only look to Declan Howell to illustrate how success, is EARNED. Thinking back to my first days at Bee Cave, I remember Declan was amongst the youngsters of the group. He wasn’t the biggest or the fastest, but you could tell, there was some part of him that was willing to fight. Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of watching him evolve, channeling that “fight” into “focus”, and in turn, becoming a force to be reckoned with. Further, he’s not only made tremendous improvements in his stroke mechanics, but found his inner BEAST MODE (which really came out at the swim meet this weekend!). And finally, I would challenge you to find a kinder or better spirited soul out there, to represent Nitro. I have never once heard him speak negatively about another swimmer, and is always the first to share a smile, or to lend a helping hand. That alone, is success in my book. So Kudos Declan!… … All that said, I don’t know what they are feeding this boy, but I just hope everyone involved, keeps it up! Great job sir, you are truly raising the bar of what it means to be in silver! —Coach Nick


Advanced Silver

  Bee Cave: Lauren Stroud
Lauren Stroud has been quietly plugging away. Every few weeks we do a 500 Kick for Time (KFT!). She started the season with a 10:10 and last week she dropped a sub 8:30. The key to a successful 500 KFT is blasting your legs the first 25 and then putting that intensity on rinse and repeat for 19 more lengths of the pool–while making sure not to let up in and out of the walls. Lauren has also diligently been experimenting with her freestyle breath and breathing pattern to tighten it up within the stroke; day in and day out her hand entry in back stroke and butterfly also continue to improve. In short, Lauren has curiosity and tenacity in spades. And I can’t wait to see what she does next. Keep adjusting, keep growing, keep grinding, Lauren! —Coach Bobby


Gold I & II

  CP Gold I: Lauren Roberts 
Lauren has been growing stronger and stronger over the course of this season. She has asserted herself as one of the leaders of our Gold group, and doesn’t back down from a challenge. She had great races over the last two weekends in both Jingle Bell meets, but it was her perseverance that caught my eye. She may have had a swim or two that didn’t go as planned, but she stepped back up to race her heart out. Way to go Lauren! —Coach Adam

  CP Gold II: Kayla Gonzalez
Kayla Gonzalez is the next big thing!  Kayla swam at the Jingle Bell 2 meet this past Saturday and performed extremely well.  Not only was she confident, smiling, and cheering, but Kayla raced absolutely lights-out.  She achieved a TAGS hard cut in the 100 breast and she’s as proud of her performances as us coaches are of her.  Stay hungry, Kayla! —Coach Alex

  Bee Cave: Whenchan Xue
Whenchan is the silent leader of the group. As she continues to get stronger and stronger in practices, I see her push her teammates to the next level as well. She may not know what she’s doing exactly but I love a swimmer who makes everyone better. This past weekend she was able to race, and her butterfly took off! She was confident and we may have learned something new about how we prep for our races. I can’t wait to continue to watch her get stronger in the water and continue to lead! —Coach Allison