By Emily Sampl//Contributor | Thursday, September 12, 2019
It’s been a highly successful year and summer for Nashville Aquatic Club, which saw standouts Gretchen and Alexandra Walsh named to the 2019-2020 U.S. National Team roster, along with Allie Raab and Ella Nelson finishing out the year as part of the National Junior Team. The team also won its LSC championships and finished seventh at the Greensboro Futures Championships.
Associate head coach Doug Wharam, who along with head coach John Morse oversee a group of about 275 competitive swimmers, called it an exciting summer that met the team’s goals.
“These were a part of our team goals, and it was a team goal to make sure we had everyone, from age group swimmers through seniors, shooting for the same things.”
The team earned gold medal standing within USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program rankings for 2019, finishing 12th overall with 24,619 points. Wharam outlines other factors in the team’s successes in this week’s Club Excellence spotlight.
National Team Members: Gretchen Walsh (50m free, 100m free), Alexandra Walsh (200m back, 200m IM)
National Junior Team Members: Allie Raab (100 breast, 200 breast), Ella Nelson (200 breast)
What are three things that have led to the team’s success this year?
1. The most important thing is just the willingness of our families to buy into the program. We have families that have been with us a long time, and when we have new families that buy in it’s really important to our team success.
2. Our athletes have worked hard to focus in practice and understand the value of competition in practice. We try to educate them in that how they perform in practice correlates to how they do at the end of the season.
3. We’re lucky to have a talented group of coaches. We’ve had new coaches come in that have fit right into the mold.