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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update Time!

Bates swimming has undergone some very nice changes this summer.  The arrival of our new lanelines, flags, and a upgrade to the filtration system have the pool area looking fantastic - and ready to go.  Donations from the Friends of Bates Athletics has definitely made an immediate impact with giving up twice as much as the previous year - and the proof is definitely all around us.  However, the most important addition to the program, and the biggest benefit from the FBA is the addition of Jacob Shanley to our staff.  Three years ago I took over a team of 25 total, and now we are sitting at over 50 in the program!  Another full-time staff member was a hope of mine since day one, and it feels great to be checking off another goal accomplished.

Jake recently graduated from Kenyon College as a four year letterman, multiple time All-American, and National Championship team member.  His development from a very good high school swimmer to a great college swimmer came under the tutelage of coaching great Jim Steen, but more directly it came from Jake's own desire to work hard and his ability to compete his best, against the best.  A backstroker, IM'er and breaststroker, he came out of Old Town, ME as one of Maine's finest, and clearly went on to develop into one of the best collegiate swimmers in Maine's history.  We are thrilled to have him come back home and join us as we take our next step as program.  His help in recruiting and coaching, coupled with his knowledge of big meet swimming and championship team chemistry will help everyone in the program take another postitive step toward achieving lifetime bests, and fast swimming.

Personally, I met Jake during my last year working at the Total Performance Swim Camp, and was so impressed with his attention to detail, ability to teach, and work ethic that I called him up and asked him to help me build my own swim camp.  Four years later, Jake is still on board, and remains one of our camp's most popular and admired coaches with props coming from not only the kids, and me, but also the staff and college counselors.  We are thrilled to have Jake here with us - working hard and accomplishing his goals.  Without the help from the FBA this would not have been possible, so thank you goes out to both Jake and all those that have given and helped us out with donations over the years.

On a more personal note, just last April Bates Swimming lost one of our best,  John White '39.  John was literally one of the fathers of Bates Swimming and Diving as he and his dad Harold (Bates' first swim coach) started the swim team his freshman year.   The two teamed up to help Bates swim to a 3rd place finish in New Englands - our highest finish to date!  John went on to live in Maine and the Lewiston/Auburn area, and not only make a name for himself locally, but also nationally and internationally as a US Masters Swimmer, and FINA World Record Holder.

As you know, you simply can't replace a great person with new lanelines and flags, or any equipment for that matter, so bringing another great person into the fold here at Bates was truly one of the best ways to remember and celebrate John.  We are proud of what this program stands for, and most importantly the people associated with it - and look forward to coming together again this year to see just how good we can be!

In Bates,


1 comment:

DrakeDaddy said...

Welcome to Bobcat Swimming Jake!
It is unbelieveably exciting to watch the program grow and excel these last 3 years with Coach Pete at the helm. With the addition of you Jake, your experience, knowledge and "knowing" of what it takes to be the best, only assures me and all Bates Swimming Fans that the Bobcats are on the right path to continue to move up and no longer be taken for granted in NESCAC swimming!
I'm excited to continue to watch the Bates Bobcats Swimming Program get stronger, faster and better and eventually take hold of their 1st NESCAC Championship!
Welcome aboard!
Work Hard, Swim Fast, Have Fun in 2011!
~ DrakeDaddy