Swimming is traditionally a winter sport in high school, yet many of our swimmers have been swimming throughout the year. Northeast Ohio boasts many great club swimming programs, including the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins (LESD), University Swim Club (USC), and Solon Stars. Kenston has many swimmers spread out throughout these programs. Nick Bester and Alanna Hanlon have been swimming throughout the summer, and are new entering into the pre-season season at LESD. Christian Carter and Nicole Raab swam at USC this summer, and are now joined by Amanda Layman, Erika Rothbrust, Emily Moore, Brianna Neal, Alexa Krahe, and Eric Poe for the pre-season session. Austin Dickey and Sean Nichols swam for the Solon stars this summer, and are continuing with them for pre-season swimming.
Each one of these teams are coached by some of the greatest swimming minds in Northeast Ohio. At LESD, one of the greatest distance coaches in Ohio, Mr. Jerry Holtrey, is helping to improve the talents of our two swimmers who have stepped up to the challenge. Mr. Holtrey was recently inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame. His success in coaching includes coaching Diana Munz to the 2000 Olympics. Nick Bester has swum for Jerry for many years, and said, “LESD has turned out many great swimmers, like Olympic swimmer Diana Munz, and I am happy to swim under the legendary lead coach Jerry Holtrey” The LESD team swims every day after school from 3:30 to 5:15 at the Hawken pool.
The USC team is coached by Mr. Charlie Lownes, who was himself a 16-time NCAA All-American swimmer. He began coaching at the Paul Hanna Swim Club in Granville, Ohio, where he coached many top 16 swimmers, and even one top 25 world ranked swimmer. He transferred to the University Swim Club in 1995, and has continued to help many swimmers excel throughout the years, including those on the John Carroll University swim team where he also coaches. Nicole Raab, who has swum for Charlie for two years, said, “USC is a really motivational program. The coaches keep you going – they pay attention to each swimmer and give you individual advice. It’s a great pre-season.” The USC team swims every day after school from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Gilmour pool.
The Solon Stars Swim Club is coached by Mr. Mike Davidson, who came to the Stars organization in 2002. Before this time, Mr. Davidson was the Assistant Coach to the Penn State Men’s and Women’s swim teams. There he helped train both teams to their first Big Ten Titles, as well as a 19th place finish in the NCAA Championship in 2002. Before he came to the Stars, Davidson also coached 7 Senior National, and 14 Junior National swimmers for various teams. Austin Dickey, who is finishing his first year with Mike, said, “It’s hard maintaining the will power to go swim for three hours every day, but I know it will pay off in the end.” The Solon Stars swim team meets everyday after school from 3:00 to 6:00 at the Solon High School pool.
With the help of these great programs, our dedicated Kenston swimmers hope to develop and refine their swimming abilities in preparation for what should be a great season. If you are a swimmer, and are looking for a good pre-season workout, any of these 3 programs could be the right fit for you. Whatever your decision is, we hope to see some new faces on the team this year. Good luck to all of our Kenston swimmers in their pre-season practices, and in the upcoming season. Remember, as Charlie Lownes tells his team, “When everyone is trying with 100% effort, the person who wins is the person who tries with 100% effort for the longest.”