Nitro Swimmers of the Week for February 5–11, 2018

Intro to Nitro


Cedar Park: Layla McFarlin and Jonah Chen
Layla has only been in Intro for a couple of weeks, but wow, has she been impressive! She’s a great swimmer, great kicker, but what stands out is how quickly she grasps a lot of swimming concepts, even little things like reading the pace clock. I can already tell she is a strong and confident girl, and it’s awesome to witness! Jonah always does a great job swimming-wise at practice, but this week I wanted to give a shout out for his kindness. When I told the group we had a new swimmer, he immediately turned and introduced himself. His manners are always on display at practice, and whenever I ask him to do something differently, he immediately does it. Layla and Jonah, I’m so glad to have both of y’all in my group—keep up the great effort! —Coach Lindsay


Bee Cave: Chase Turner
Chase is 6 years old and firecrackers in the water. Do not let his age or the fact he’s only been in Intro since fall fool you—his is not to be underestimated! Chase is quite a hambone at times; he is always wearing a smile and has something silly to tell me. This week he really wanted to demonstrate butterfly although he did not attend butterfly week; I skimmed over his raised hand and explained this fact. He let me know he was confident that his butterfly was AWESOME. Sure enough, it was awesome! When it came time to practice breaststroke kick, Chase struggled a bit. After pulling him out and having him practice flexed feet out of the water, HE GOT IT! On his second day of practice last week, his breaststroke kick was again stellar. He had flexed feet and was grabbing some serious water. When Chase was leaving, I noticed he was walking on his heels…I didn’t think much of it except he was just being silly. When Coach Jonny asked, he explained that him mom had instructed him to walk with flexed feet to help with his breaststroke kick—touché mom! Chase, keep up that fun-loving attitude and hard work! Way to go buddy! —Coach Raven


Technique and Fitness


Cedar Park: Camilla Eskaf and Ryan Chung
Wow! That’s all we have to say in regards to your perseverance and pushing yourselves through the body position kick set. Awesome job keeping your kicking continuing while you took a breath.  Most swimmers stop at this point but you guys nailed it keeping the forward momentum.  Also an awesome job with just your basic positive attitude and wanting to improve yourselves.  We the coaches totally notice this and it makes our job so much rewarding.  Thanks for being a part of the Nitro family and we’ll see you at the pool. —Coach Stephen


Bee Cave: Joseph Sullivan
The Blimp! Or Sloppy Joe. However you know him, this kid is unforgettable. With the best attitude a coach could ever ask for, Joe is always respectful and always putting forth his best. When he first joined TF, he had the most beautiful freestyle. But over time, it started falling apart. I thought, “OH NO! What have I done? I made him worse!” Evidently not. His times keep dropping every challenge-type set we do. This past week, I saw Joe’s old (beautiful) freestyle resurface. All I could say was, “Welcome back.” Besides his swimming, Joe has to be one of the funniest kids I know. He’s like my hero in 11-year old boy form. He’s always got clean, witty jokes up his sleeve. You can tell they just come from the top of his head – it’s unbelievable. Every week, Joe makes me laugh in one way or another. He is always prepared and never caught off guard. What I admire most about Joe, however, is his integrity. Fly high, Blimp! —Coach Jonny




Cedar Park: Stella Estipona 
In her limited time with Bronze, it is becoming apparent that Stella has all the tools to be something special. All of her strokes are very clean and she is always looking to improve. This past week, we worked flip-turns, and Stella once again was a standout. She kept the flip tight, nailed her streamlines, and had some impressive underwaters. Way to go Stella! —Coach Adam


Bee Cave: Asher Chang
This young man always impresses, he works hard every single practice, his focus is first rate, when you ask for a taller body line or tighter streamline he makes quick adjustments. We Coaches look for swimmers who can make quick adjustments while they are swimming, no swimmer has a perfect stroke and this is a process that will change over time as each swimmer grows, and Asher does a great job of making his changes with a minimum amount of prompts from his coaches. Improvement is the rule swimmers strive for and Asher has been doing an outstanding job with the distance he covers with each stroke. Great Job Young Man! —Coach Chuck




Cedar Park: Daryl Guzman
This young guy recently earned a spot to swim one event on Sunday at JR STAGS.  Daryl’s event, the 50 Back, was one of the ones that was unable to be swam due to thunder, lighting, and sleet but the whole time he had a great attitude about it. He had even come to the meet the day before to recon the area in order to be prepared! The characteristics he has displayed in the past few weeks really shine brightly for a young guy – COMMITMENT,  HARD WORK, POSITIVE ATTITUDE – that is how we define a CHAMPION! Great work in and out of the pool, Daryl. —Coach Paige


Bee Cave: Connor Richardson
There aren’t many things that are a given. We know the sun will rise. Seasons will change. Birthdays will creep closer each time you have your morning coffee.. And when Connor shows up to practice, he is going to WORK. He is Determined. Fearless. A Racer. Just three tenants in the law of Connor. In fact his quote on Friday, sums it up nicely, “Well I came here to swim, and that’s what I intend to do!”… I’m not one for spreading conspiracy theories.. But part of me believes that Connor might be the physical manifestation of competition! Of course, I have no proof… yet. 

Now, although there is great fight in this young man, I can’t speak of him, without reflecting on his first day of practice. He showed up ready to swim, but… needless to say, there was a bit of a culture shock. Cut to a few weeks later, Connor is walking in with a new suit, equipment, goggles, cap, ready to roll.. and hasn’t looked back since. Since then, he has been streaming together quite a collection of strong weeks. I have countless moments to draw from – From him asking (after a hard set), “Hey Coach Nick, how bout an I.M.?”, to him pleading to swim a race in an open lane after practice (and the answer is still NO!), his LOVE for water, is simply profound. All that said, of all his strengths, the biggest strength that I find, is his ability to learn. When speaking with him, whether it’s about technique, or ways at approaching a certain set, he is always willing to peel back his resolute spirit, and to adapt.

I’ve written before that we often link our sports heroes to moments of them taking bows and blowing kisses on podiums, but rarely do we see the process that goes into it. The Struggle. The Sacrifice. The Sweat. It’s not a trip, but a journey. Connor has made quite a journey, adding a few more pieces to his arsenal, each time he steps onto the pool deck. It reminds you that while the taste is sweet, success isn’t always found in winning. Just as Fear isn’t always a product of failure. Sometimes, what emerges in the process, is something much more special – GROWTH. 
On his first day, Connor showed up ready to swim. Now, I can say without a doubt. He is a swimmer. Great Job Connor. —Coach Nick


Advanced Silver


Bee Cave: Daniel Ybarro
Daniel has steadily been chipping away and making incremental progress all season. Each day he comes in with a smile on his face ready to rock. He is a quiet leader that lights up his lane and his teammates with his desire to work hard and love what he does. Despite not initially being in the meet, Daniel made the effort to deck enter B.B. champs, which says a lot about his character given the weather conditions. Big drops there and big drops ahead. Keep plugging away, Daniel! —Coach Bobby


Gold I & II


CP Gold I: Haley Tisdale 
As most of may or may not know, Nitro participated in Junior STAGS in an outdoor pool this past weekend. Through the weather, there were tons of up and down swims, but Haley really stepped up. She knew it was her last chance to get some STAGS cuts, and she didn’t let that chance slip away. Haley came out of the weekend with 3 first place finishes, and 3 new cuts! Way to go Haley! —Coach Adam


CP Gold II: Matthew Jiampietro
Matthew has been working on his butterfly a lot lately.  He learned how to apply correct timing and deep kicks to his fly, which is in no way an easy task.  On Saturday, Matthew dove in for the 100 fly at JR STAGS and started off at a blistering speed.  On his second 50, he got really tired and started to lose his technique.  Then, to top it off, he choked on water on the last length and almost couldn’t finish, but he kept his composure and finished his race, albeit with a big add.  This was a really rough swim, especially for an athlete who was quite ill this past week.  Here’s the amazing part – Matthew is a fighter.  He came back at finals Saturday night and went a solid seven seconds faster!  That’s an amazing positive change for two swims only hours apart.  You’re the man, Matthew! —Coach Alex


Bee Cave: Ava Chozick
Every swimmer is different, we all know that. I was able to see the resilience on this little swimmer this past weekend at Jr. Stags. I always knew she was a hard worker and determined, but this weekend I challenged her to turn her mental attitude around after her prelims swims and before she came back for finals. Sure enough she came to me before her race giggling and had the biggest smile on her face. And guess what… she rocked it! Love to see it Ava! —Coach Allison