As you may or may not know, our National Group Coach, Tim O’Brien was selected by USA Swimming to be the Head Coach of the USA’s Junior Pan Pacific Championship team. The team is comprised of the top 18 and Under swimmers in the US, and it is quite the honor. Nitro also has two athletes who were selected to be on the team, Matt Ellis and William Licon. They are all in Hawaii right now preparing for the meet which begins tomorrow. Here is Tim’s recap of the trip so far and what has been going on with USA’s Jr Pan Pac team. For those who enjoy reading, here you go. – Coach Mike
All 46 swimmers and 12 staff members travelled to LA and had team assembly at LAX. The group then flew 6 hours to Honolulu. From airport 30 min trip to hotel and late dinner waiting for team.
7:00 breakfast followed by first visit to pool for training session #1. The team swam 5k together general and we shared the pool with the Aussie team which created a little buzz as both teams were sizing each other up!
Lunch back at the hotel and staff meeting to prep for pm practice which we then split swimmers into stroke and distance specific groups. PM practice 4-6 followed by dinner and team meeting where team goals were discussed as well as swimming for the flag on the cap. Captains picked and our own Matt Ellis was named men’s team captain!
Other tidbits—the team has awesome gear which is planned by each practice or meet session. For instance this am was USA Blue t shirts and awesome board shorts tapping on Hawaiian theme. Great gear and great treatment from USA Swimming and we hope to have many many more Nitro swimmers qualify for trips like this in the near future!
Aaron Piersol is the National Team Athlete and he has been awesome sharing his experiences with the athletes as well as just hanging out with them. He hopped in pool to help with turns at practice too.
Team spirit is high and athletes really binding well together as well as taking their roles as ambassadors for the US very seriously Staff is amazing as Jack Roach is a true inspiration! All the coaches sharing sets and training thoughts. Great info from Yuri Suguiyana who is Katie Ladecky’s coach and all that went into her coming from nowhere to win the 800 free gold in London Lastly many of the swimmers went to beach to watch sunset and saw a whale breach right in front of them!
Great change of pace for the swimmers as we offered an ocean swim warmup today instead of am practice— led by Aaron Piersol. Beautiful scenery and awesome for team morale and bonding!
Normal practice tonight followed by more team meetings and team building activities as the build up to the meet continues. Coach Jason Turcotte, Jack Roach and myself have head coach meetings weds with the other charter nations as we lead up to competition which goes Thursday through Sunday followed by the 10k open water race on Monday at Waiamea Bay.
Nitro swimmers Matt Ellis and Will Licon are having the time of their lives…but also ready for meet to start and to compete! No suprise Matt got elected captain he is really demonstrating great leadership and would not be suprised at all to see him as captain of a US Olympic Team down the road. Will is getting his first round of International experience at this competition.
More to come from Hawaii!