Competitive Swimming is in a crisis — reports Swimming World and Wayne Goldsmith

Must read! Must listen too. Check out a great article about competitive swimming from Australia’s Wayne Goldsmith, an author and coach. The commentary was published in Swimming World in March, 2018. Click the photo below to go to the article and then give a listen to the reply, an audio conversation from Mark and Kevin.

First, read the article

photo link with swimmers
Click photo and go read the article by Wayne Goldsmith in Swimming World magazine.

Second, listen to our reply, as an audio recording

Kevin and Mark. Click image to listen to the mp3 audio file.

Listen to a discussion in a .mp3 file and podcast format that provides a reply. Mark Rauterkus of Pittsburgh and Kevin McCarthy of Washington talk about the one-size-fits-all solution and reasoning behind the crisis and how it can be fixed.

Or click on the audio player control below to listen.


Brand is called, A3 Performance.

Boys and girls suits.
Suits have tags. Most are black and some are navy blue.

Suits are new.


Scott Township’s outdoor swim pool

The pool had a recent renovation and is completely new.

wide view of pool and park
Panarama photo

Citiparks Ammon Swim Pool on Bedford Ave in the Hill District

Outdoor swim pool photo
Ammon, an outdoor pool, is on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Memory Lane. It is a Citiparks facility.

U-Prep’s swim pool

U-Prep is also known as Margaret Milliones School

This school has the most confusing names. After the closing of Schenley High School, U-Prep opened in the rush to make schools include grades 6 to 12. Originally this building was for middle school grades: 6, 7 and 8.

Names include: University Prep, U-Prep High School, U-Prep, UPrep, Pittsburgh Milliones, University Preparatory School, Milliones and Margaret Milliones School.


Driving in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, turn off of Centre Ave and onto Heron Ave, away from Pitt. Then make a quick turn onto Vancroft Street. Go up the hill and at the top of the hill, turn right and that leads into the lower parking lot of the school.

Address: 3117 Centre Ave, but if you drive on Centre, you might just miss it.

Swim Pool is on the same floor as the cafeteria

Indoor, swim pool photo
Swim pool at U-Prep is 4 lanes wide and 20-yards long.

Other facilities

Wonderful field above the school.

open field with grass and runners
Summer Dreamers love running on the filed that is above the U-Prep school. This is the practice field for the Obama football team as well.

Cafeteria on the second floor

cafeteria space with lots of kids at tables
Cafeteria space at U-Prep is a busy place in the summers with Summer Dreamers.
Buses on road outside of U-Prep
U-Prep is on a hill and you do not want to park in the bus lanes. This view looks down to the lower parking lot.


Swimmers from The Ellis School at the Pennsylvania State Swim & Dive Championships

Good Luck to Bryn at the 2018 AA Swimming & Diving State Championship Meet.

Bryn, a junior at The Ellis School, gets to go to make the trip to states and swim the 50 free on Friday, March 16, 2018. Watch this page for updates on her results. The meet is also put on TV with a broadcast from PCN, Pennsylvania Cable Network. Another source for swim information is the website and Twitter feed from PA

Safe travels and godspeed to Bryn, her family and The Ellis School’s head swim coach, Ed Chow.


Pennsylvania High Schools can choose to compete in various sports under the organization of the PIAA. Many of the schools in and around Pittsburgh, including The Ellis School, are part of PIAA District 7, also called, the WPIAL.

A limited number of student athletes get to advance to the state championships each year by qualification at the district meets.

First step, qualify for the WPIAL Meet

two swimmers standing on deck
Violet and Bryn from The Ellis School at the 2018 WPIAL AA Swimming Championship Meet at the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Hall.

In 2018, two swimmers from The Ellis School, Violet and Bryn, both were able to swim two individual events each. In high school meets, swimmers are only permitted to swim two events maximum. Finishers in the top four positions in each event get an automatic invite to attend and compete in the state championship meet held two weeks after the WPIAL Championships. The State Championships are at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, again in 2018.


Second step, sizzle at the WPIAL Meet!

Podium Appearances in 2018 at the WPIAL Meet by The Ellis School

Watch Bryn, junior, The Ellis School, swim the 50 free at the 2018 WPIAL AA Championships — winning her heat from lane 3.

Third step, go to states and compete!

Bryn is seeded with the 25th fastest time in the psych sheet before the competition begins. All the swimmers compete in the morning prelims and the fastest 8 make championship finals and those from 9 to 16 make the consolation finals. Finals are contested in the evening.

rankings of times, 1st to 32nd.
Psych sheets for the girls 50 free, class AA, 2018. Notice how close the times are among the competitors. Click image for larger view.

History: Past swimmers from The Ellis School were able to compete at states

Marie Concilius, the most recent swimmer from The Ellis School to compete at states, swam with these results:

  • 2013 (11th Grade) 500 Freestyle (19th), 5:18.85
  • 2012 (10th Grade) 200 Freestyle (22nd), 2:00.13
  • 2011 (9th Grade) 500 Freestyle (20th), 5:19.78 and 200 Freestyle (29th), 2:01.40.Marie was definitely an exceptional swimmer to be a 3-time PIAA qualifier.There are no Ellis swimmers back through 2009, but prior record reviews and updates are welcomed.

PIAA Class AA meet in March 2018 — Noah’s seedings explained.

Noah Jamison, junior, Obama Academy of Pittsburgh Public Schools has two events at the PIAA AA Meet at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. This posting helps to explain where he is seeded going into the meet.

To get to states, swimmers can earn an an automatic invite by placing high in their respective district meets. The WPIAL Championships, District 7, is Noah’s as the Obama Academy joined the WPIAL some 6 or so years ago.

Or, swimmers can earn an invite to the PIAA meet with a fast qualifying time until all the other spots are filled, an “at-large bid” so to speak.

To figure out the seeded position, one must blend the two pathways.

Screen-shots of the psych sheets are presented below. Click image for a larger view. Also posted at PA

200 IM

Noah is with the 16th fastest time entered in the meet, 2:01.22.

Automatic qualifiers in boys 200 IM, AA, 2018
At large qualifiers in boys 200 IM, AA, 2018. Noah at 3rd, 2:01.22.

500 Free

Noah is with the 8th fastest time entered in the meet.

Automatic qualifiers in boys 500 free, AA, 2018. Noah at 8th place, 4:48.92.
At large qualifiers in boys 500 free. Noah’s time is faster than all the at-large times.

Good Luck Noah!

Seeded 16th in the 200 IM and 8th in the 500 free.

State Meet has prelims and finals in the same day.

In the PIAA Meets, both AA and AAA, everyone gets to swim in the prelims. Then the fastest 8 times get to advance to the championship finals and the places 9 to 16 get to advance to the consolation finals. The championship and consolation finals races are in the night on the same day as the prelims. Only those in championship finals, from first to eighth at the end of the prelims can finish in the spots 1 to 8. Those who finish in morning session in places 9 to 16 get to race for final positions from 9th to 16th.

The 200 IM is on the first day of the meet, Friday. The 500 free is on the second day of the meet, Saturday.