2015 US Nationals | San Antonio, Texas

Back in Charlotte after PanAms, the entire SwimMAC Elite group overlapped for one day. We were excited to see the rest of group off to Worlds. Following a couple of weeks of training in Charlotte I  spent a week at home with my family (and my home club!) before Nationals in San Antonio. I was thrilled to have a Nationals in my home state!

Nationals was… hot. But also a ton of fun! The Northside Aquatic Center hosted a wonderful meet. The stands were packed every night and there was a lot fast swimming to watch!

Highlights of Nationals

  • Winning my first ever summer US National title in the 100 breaststroke in my home state! Don’t mess with Texas!
  • Seeing many of my previous coaches. I was lucky to have some incredibly talented and wonderful coaches when I was growing up in Texas. I am the swimmer (and person) I am today because of all these coaches. It makes my heart happy to see them on deck helping others as they helped me.
  • My dad surprised me and braved the heat to watch me swim!
  • Many, many laughs with SwimMAC Elite (as per usual).

2015 World Cup | Moscow, Russia & Paris-Chartres, France

I left straight from Nationals in San Antonio to fly to Moscow for the first stop of this year’s FINA World Cup circuit. I landed in Moscow at 11pm on Monday and the meet started Tuesday morning. It sounds crazy but the travel and the jet lag were totally worth it! The meet in Moscow was at the 1980 Olympic pool. This was the year that the US and 65 other countries unfortunately boycotted the Olympic Games. It was a beautiful pool and interesting to think that we were a handful of Americans ever to compete at this venue. The meet went great. I won the 100m breaststroke and the 50m breaststroke and won 2 mattress toppers (I’m not kidding) thanks to Airweave, the title sponsor of this years World Cups. After the meet concluded, Tim Phillips, Cammile Adams, and I did some sight seeing at the Red Square. I’ve always wanted to see St. Basil’s Cathedral in person and it far surpassed my expectations! It’s a beautiful piece of architecture. Cammile and I decided that it looks more like an Ice Cream Palace in Candy Land than a Cathedral… Isn’t art cool?

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St. Basil’s Cathedral

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Competition pool in Moscow with swimming matryoshka dolls

The contingent from the US traveled from Moscow to Paris for the second stop of the World Cup. After a long travel day (complete with sprinting full speed through the Frankfurt airport to make a connecting flight) we arrived in Chartres, a small town about 60 miles outside of Paris. Chartres is a beautiful place and is known for the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. It is one of the oldest cathedrals in the World and also one of the finest and best-preserved gothic cathedrals in France. We had a day before the meet started so we were able to go explore the cathedral and surrounding city center. It’s one of those things that a picture doesn’t do justice. It was simply breathtaking and very cool to see in person.

The meet in Chartres went well! The venue was beautiful. Not only did we have a view of the cathedral, the complex had two 50m pools, both made of stainless steal (imagine swimming in a pool of mirrors), and some great water slides. We tested them out a few times to make sure they were safe of course ;). The volunteers were energetic, enthusiastic, and extremely kind. The meet was sold out every session and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more energetic crowd at a swim meet.. They were literally standing, singing, and dancing the whole meet. I was blown away by their excitement and hospitality. Thank you Chartres! I can’t wait to come back!

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Competition Pool in Chartres

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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres


Maureen + Scott | Lake Tahoe, CA

I am by no means a wedding blogger, but I wanted to share my sister’s wedding with all who are interested! Maureen and Scott are best friends and this day was a beautiful showcase of their love. They were married on June 12, 2015 at the West Shore Cafe and Inn in Lake Tahoe, California. Take a look at some of the amazing photos by Corey Fox Photography and the video by Johnny B Films.

The best part of this wedding, besides all the dancing of course, was seeing how many of our family and friends made the trip to see Maureen and Scott get married. The amount of loyal friends and supportive family in attendance was a testament to how great of people Maureen and Scott are. There was love all around!!

Love you, Maureen and Scott!

Wednesday Lake Day

We got a bit of a treat today instead of our typical Wednesday workout. Thanks to My Aloha Paddle and Surf and to Carefree Boat Club Lake Norman we spent our practice on the lake. I’ll be honest.. open water swimming is not a strong suit of mine (I prefer all my races to be 100m or shorter) but today was a lot of fun! It’s nice to get a break from the black line on the bottom of the pool and enjoy the water in a different way.

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After a swim/paddle board combination we had a lot of laughs with one of David’s more fun brainchild’s. Here are the instructions: 1) Hang on to the tow line on the back of the boat while playing like a dolphin in the wake (imagine body surfing but better). 2) Release to catch the wave and swim with it as far as possible. It’s actually great sprinting technique work since it’s impossible for us to reach that speed on our own in a pool. Fun and effective… my kind of workout!!

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Lake Norman

Thanks to our good friends at the Trump National Golf Club we got to spend the Tuesday before the Charlotte Pro Swim up at Lake Norman. After a swim at the club’s beautiful pool and a delicious brunch, the Chasnis family took a group of us out on their rockstar boat. The Mastercraft x55 is quite possibly the coolest boat ever. We spent the day enjoying the sun and the GIANT wake this boat is capable of creating. Thanks to Megan Chasnis and Tanner Lawson of Charlotte Skit Boats for the ride. Time very well spent!!

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Arena Pro Swim Charlotte

This meet is so special to me and to our team. The SwimMAC family and entire Charlotte community does such a wonderful job of supporting us as athletes and people throughout the year and this meet showcases that support. So many SwimMAC families volunteer hours and hours of their time to make sure that the meet runs flawlessly and that it is the best possible experience for the swimmers. From the decked out athlete lounge with couches and TVs, to the omelet station and food trucks, this meet is unmatched in hospitality. I don’t think I could say thank you enough to all these people.

I swam another lifetime best time in the 100 breastsroke this weekend, 1:06.50. This is a great step for me and definitely a step in the right direction to achieve my ultimate goals. It’s a great launching off point for the rest of the season and I’m excited to get back to work to keep improving.. thank you all for the continued support, it really means a lot to me!

To all those young swimmers out there – never limit yourself. Don’t be afraid to set extremely high goals for yourself but remember you have to be willing to work diligently and tirelessly to get there.

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Arena Pro Swim Mesa

Hello there friends! I have to apologize for the posting delay. The past couple of months have felt like a whirlwind and I’ve fallen victim to procrastination.

So lucky for you all we now have TWO pro swim meets to discuss!

The Mesa Pro Swim is one of my favorites. The pool is beautiful, the Mesa Aquatic Club does a fantastic job making sure everyone is taken care of, and sunshine is the cherry on top of it all. This year was a bit more special—my 24th birthday was the first day of competition. I decided that having my birthday at a swim meet was the best way to celebrate. I got to do what I love surrounded by all my friends from all over the country… what a treat!

I also had a special birthday swim, a lifetime best time in my 100 breaststroke. I went a 1:07.16 in prelims and a 1:07.23 in finals, good enough for 1st place! I also went a best time in the 200 breaststroke the next day with a 2:28.53. I have been working on a lot of technique details in practice and I was excited to put them together for a couple of good races.

Another highlight of the meet was out team jump rope and handstand dynamic warm-up competitions before the last session on Saturday night. Team Elite definitely knows how to keep it interesting and fun but still get the job done!

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The Bahamas!

We took our second training trip of the year to the Bahamas (I know… life is rough). The Bahamas Swimming Federation invited us to present Arianna with the Bahamas’ Senior Swimmer of the Year at their first Bahamas Swimming Federation Banquet. It was wonderful to see one of our own honored for all her hard work, dedication, and just general awesomeness.

Perks of the trip included staying at Atlantis, relaxing in the sun, interacting with dolphins (dream come true… again), the ocean playground full of inflatable slides and trampolines, and Atlantis water slides – even Bob did them!! Our favorite slide was the Leap of Faith, succinctly described by the twelve year old in front of me in line as the “bomb diggity”. So there you go.

We completed the week of training with the CARIFTA time trial meet and with a clinic open to all Bahamas swimmers. The most rewarding part of the trip was definitely interacting with this group of people. Not only was everyone eager to learn and listen, but everyone was also REALLY talented and excited about swimming. It is definitely something you do not see every day and something that made me stop and smile. Thanks to this wonderful group!

 

I also have to give a special shout out to two Fleet swimmers I met on the trip, Sydney and Savannah. They sent Cammile and I the sweetest thank you note and gifts! We love our new Kendra Scott necklaces.


Thank you girls!!

The trip would not have been possible without the generosity and hospitality of the following groups and people:

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Bahamas Ministry of Education
Bahamas Swimming Federation
Atlantis Resort
Dan Knowles Tours
BTC
Dolphin Encounters at Blue Lagoon Island

For more photos of the trip, click here!

Envious Swimming Age Group Grand Prix

I had the opportunity to make an appearance at Envious Swimming’s Age Group Grand Prix Meet at Wheaton College in Nortan, MA. The goal of Envious Swimming is to create more meets in the New England area with a high level of competition for age group swimmers. I was lucky enough to get to race next to these stars! I loved getting to spend the day and share the deck with all you New England swimmers. I grew up swimming at many meets just like this one – complete with laughs and smiles for days. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reminisce a bit! This group is inspiring and energetic and I hope to be back soon… fingers crossed that there will not be 6 feet of snow on the ground next time!

Thanks Envious Swimming and Marshall! Also thanks for all the new gear. I wear my pink Envious Swimming snorkel everyday!

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Peekaboo!

Introducing a very exciting new member to the fam… Peekaboo!

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I rescued Boo from The Charlotte SPCA last week. Poor baby had a ruptured eye that had to be removed (hence the name), so now she is my little one-eyed wonder. She loves to cuddle and play but her absolute favorite activity is sitting on my keyboard anytime I try to use my computer (of course). Many thanks to the Charlotte SPCA for all their help and support, I am a fan for life!

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