Swimmers, Coaches Remember their Favorite Halloweens

Swimmers, Coaches Remember their Favorite Halloweens

By Mike Watkins//Contributor  | Thursday, October 31, 2019

What’s your favorite or most memorable Halloween? Favorite costume? Favorite party?

Maybe your swim team traditionally held a Halloween party or costume parade after practice (or maybe you got out of practice altogether that day so you wouldn’t have to get out of costume)?

Below are some Halloween memories and costumes from swimmers and coaches. I’m sure some of them will evoke memories of your favorite Halloweens. Thanks to everyone who sent photos.  


MadisynCox-HalloweenMadisyn Cox, National Team Member

“One Halloween that has become one of my favorites was when I wanted to be a dalmatian so my dad dressed up with me (including face paint and all).”


Grothe-HAlloweenZane Grothe, National Team Member

“I don’t think I have any particularly funny Halloween stories, I did go trick or treating as a pirate for like 10 years in a row. I’ve attached a picture of my favorite costume I’ve ever made – a robot.”


Smith-HalloweenRegan Smith, World Record-Holder, 100m and 200m Back 

“For Halloween in 2006, I decided to go as a dragon princess and my older sister went as Darth Vader. Our costumes didn’t mesh at all and the pictures were pretty funny.”


vanderkaay-HaloweenRobin Vanderkaay, Mother of Olympian Peter Vanderkaay

“It was always a festive holiday at our house. With Mark being a dentist, we didn’t have much candy in our home ....so on Halloween, it was like the boys were let out of a cage!”

Melanie Margalis, 2016 Olympian

“My favorite Halloween memory ever is in college when we were at the grocery store and Allison Schmitt bought a costume for a child whose parent couldn’t afford it. But my favorite childhood Halloween memory is when I dressed up as Baby Spice from Spice Girls!”

Luther-HalloweenDakota Luther, National Team Member

“I used to love trick-or-treating when I was little. My brother and I (pictured here as Wonder Woman and the Flash) would see who could get more candy and we would then sort out all the candy and trade with one another.”


Grieshop-HalloweenSean Grieshop, National Team Member

“When I was about 5, I watched Indiana Jones for the first time. I was hooked. I wanted to be Indy. It started that Halloween with a fedora, a homemade felt satchel, toy whip and khaki pants and a shirt. Come November 1st, I didn't want to take off the costume. I literally wore my Indiana Jones outfit (in due time I was able to add additional pants, shirts, a real satchel, a real whip and an authentic fedora to my collection) to school, to church, on the weekends, to Disneyland – anywhere my mom would let me. I had Indiana Jones-themed birthday parties for several years in a row, and I hosted archaeological digs in my backyard. I became Indiana Jones. It was the Halloween that lasted 5 years! Happy Halloween!”

Cody Miller, 2016 Olympian

“Growing up in Las Vegas as a kid I was fascinated by the Blue Man Group... when I was 11 years old I dressed up as a Blue Man. We got the real blue man paint and everything. The costume was incredible. But taking it off was a disaster... I think I spent 4 hours in the bathtub scrubbing my face to get the paint off. We didn't have the proper removal jell and it was a bit of a disaster. I'll never forget that. I also went though a phase where I dressed up as a Ninja three years in a row. I was obsessed with karate movies.” 

Tom Luchsinger, National Team Member

“My family was never really into Halloween. There were three of us under the age of 4 at one point, so my mom just dressed us up in similar outfits to keep track of us.”

Seth Stubblefield, National Team Member

“My favorite Halloween memory was from when I was in the second grade and went as Darth Maul (from the Star Wars movies) – lightsaber and all! My whole family went trick-or-treating together, and it was really nice to have that time together.”

MacKoan-HalloweenMcKenzie Coan, 2016 Paralympian

“Halloween has always been a huge deal in my family, and we always go all out with costumes. My mom actually hand-made our costumes every year, and we would nearly always win our Halloween costume contest. I remember my favorite year when my brother, Eli, and I were Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein. We won the costume contest and went the entire day dressed up – even to swim practice and to the annual swim team costume contest afterwards. My club team Halloween parties have to be one of my favorite Halloween memories because my mom and the other parents would get together while we were swimming and literally make a huge haunted house for us in one of the rooms at the pool so when we got out of practice, we’d have an entire Halloween celebration.” 

Nall-HalloweenAnita Nall Richesson, 1992 Olympian

“I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a big childhood memory of Halloween. My favorite Halloweens have been with my kids when they were younger. We did pumpkin patches, hay rides and all of that fun stuff. And they always had the cutest outfits.”

Gary Hall Jr., Three-Time Olympian

“One year (when I was around 26), I wore a full-body gorilla suit in Miami Beach. It was like 90 degrees outside. After sweating 8 gallons, I lost about 27 pounds. I got a boatload of candy that year despite the heat stroke.”

Vreeland-HalloweenShannon Vreeland, 2012 Olympian

“One year, I was the teapot from Beauty and the Beast while my twin sister (the blonde one) was Belle. But this is my second-favorite Halloween when we went as Dorothy and the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz and my mom was the Tin Man. My mom always made our costumes.”

Todd Schmitz, Head Coach, Colorado Stars

“One Halloween, I was the Headless Horseman. My eyes looked out through the shirt. It was awesome and probably 30 years ago. I won the costume contest that year.”

Justin-Wright-HalloweenJustin Wright, National Team Member

“My favorite Halloween memory comes from an annual swim meet called the Merced Halloween Meet. I used to look forward to it every year because when we finished swimming all of our races, we got to put on our costumes and do a parade around the pool deck. I can remember just how fun swimming was for me. Now, as a professional swimmer, I like to keep a picture of me and my best friend at the Halloween Meet in my bedroom to remind me how much fun swimming can be!”

Rachel Stratton-Mills, Associate Head Coach, Arizona State

“Growing up, my dad loved to do elaborate Halloween makeup on my brother and me. For multiple years in a row, he dressed us up as the zombie’s from Michael Jackson’s Thriller (pictured) music video. Not positive this was quite age-appropriate because I’ve hated zombie movies ever since.”

MaritzaC-HalloweenMaritza Correia-McClendon, 2004 Olympian

“My most special Halloween memories have come since becoming a mom. I enjoy Halloween vicariously through them. Here they are from last year, dressed as a genie and the Black Panther.”



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