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Old 03-02-2022, 08:50 AM   #1451
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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SAA Conference Championships - Final Scores

Code:
Gold Slv Brz Score Points 1 BSC 8 8 6 812 614.2 2 Rhodes 7 3 2 694 551.4 3 Berry 1 5 6 675 569.0 4 Centre 1 4 3 592 556.4 5 Hendrix – – 3 389 473.8 6 Sewanee – – – 269 466.9 7 Millsaps 3 – – 196 451.1

As you can see Birmingham Southern dominated the meet, winning by over 100 points, and taking 22 medals. The interesting thing above is Rhodes. While they won 7 gold medals and finished 2nd, their points for their average swim was lower than Berry's. That's where the depth of the Berry lineup comes into play. Add in the fact that Berry lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 points due to the injuries to Noah and Emilio and that gap should have been wider.

Berry will have 1 last chance, next year, with their strong swimmers to push for a conference championship, but they will need to have a good recruiting class and so far that's not looking promising. Fingers crossed that the Vikings can find 3 more strong swimmer/divers to add to the roster before next season.

Note: The Points column in the table above is the collegeswimming.com swim score that I referenced earlier when breaking down the teams coming into this event. The number is determined based on a preset time for each event, and then a swimmer's result is measured against that standard and a score is derived.

Last edited by Breeze : 03-02-2022 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 03-03-2022, 09:55 AM   #1452
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SAA Conference Championships - Post Meet Info

It was a good meet for the team, and an especially good meet for the last 2 recruiting classes. The Sophomores had Ross scoring 54 points, Bear and Hunter were in the low 40s, Ryan got 37 and Harrison got 27. The Freshman, Sam, with 3 bronze individual medals got 48 points, Ethan got 42, Billy got 29.5, Breck got 28, Andrew got 20, and Emilio Rico was in line to get around 30 pre-injury. Here is a breakdown of the full scoring, and it also includes the medal breakdown and swim score points for each swimmer.

Code:
Swimmers (16) Name Gold Slvr Bronze Score Pts 1 Ross Valdez 1 2 – 54 707.0 2 Samuel Tate – – 3 48 628.8 3 Hunter Kenny – – 1 43 578.6 4 Ethan Whiting – – – 42 626.0 5 Bear Breeze – – – 41 640.3 6 Ryan MacKinnon – – – 37 583.3 7 William Blood – – – 30 537.3 8 Carter Richards – – – 28 508.3 9 Harrison McNeil – – – 27 569.5 10 T Stephenson – – – 24 523.6 11 Andrew Horn – – – 20 512.6 12 Alex Bartik – – – 15 544.1 13 Paxton Smathers – – – 11 529.0 14 Riley Croker – – – 10 482.2 15 Diego Torres – – – 4 345.0 16 Emilio Rico – – – 1 545.7

Last edited by Breeze : 03-03-2022 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 03-04-2022, 10:14 AM   #1453
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SAA Conference Championships - Post Meet Info


Here's some additional information that might be of interest:

Code:
Berry's Top Swims Name Event Round Place Time Pts 1 Ross Valdez 500 Y Free Finals 1st 4:32.72 B 745 2 Ross Valdez 1650 Y Free Finals 2nd 15:52.41 B 732 3 Ross Valdez 500 Y Free Prelims 1st 4:36.99 711 4 Ross Valdez 200 Y Free Finals 2nd 1:41.05 695 5 Bear Breeze 500 Y Free Prelims 4th 4:42.44 671 6 Bear Breeze 500 Y Free Finals 6th 4:43.35 664 7 Ethan Whiting 500 Y Free Finals 7th 4:43.62 663 8 Ethan Whiting 500 Y Free Prelims 7th 4:44.36 657 9 Ross Valdez 200 Y Free Prelims 3rd 1:43.21 652 10 Samuel Tate 100 Y Breast Prelims 3rd 57.54 644 11 Samuel Tate 200 Y IM Prelims 2nd 1:53.78 642 12 Samuel Tate 200 Y IM Finals 3rd 1:53.93 639 13 Ethan Whiting 400 Y IM Prelims 2nd 4:07.94 638 14 Bear Breeze 200 Y Free Finals 5th 1:44.03 637 15 Bear Breeze 1650 Y Free Finals 5th 16:38.10 636 16 Hunter Kenny 200 Y Free Finals 6th 1:44.12 635 17 Samuel Tate 100 Y Breast Finals 3rd 57.96 630 18 Bear Breeze 200 Y Free Prelims 5th 1:44.83 622 19 Bear Breeze 200 Y Free Finals - 1:44.88 R 621 20 Ethan Whiting 400 Y IM Finals 4th 4:10.09 621 21 Harrison McNeil 100 Y Free Finals 6th 46.89 616 22 Ryan MacKinnon 400 Y IM Finals 6th 4:11.17 613 23 Hunter Kenny 200 Y Free Prelims 8th 1:45.53 610 24 Samuel Tate 200 Y Back Finals 3rd 1:52.88 610 25 Samuel Tate 200 Y Back Prelims 3rd 1:53.03 608


Above are the top swims by Berry swimmers based on their swim score points.


Code:
Top Swims for the Meet Name Team Event Time Score Pts 1 Bryan Sullivan Mil 100 Y IM 49.83 – 786 2 J. Icimsoy BSC 200 Y Free 1:38.54 B R – 749 3 Daniel Snyder Rhodes 1650 Y Free 15:46.33 B 20 746 4 Ross Valdez Berry 500 Y Free 4:32.72 B 20 745 5 Daniel Snyder Rhodes 500 Y Free 4:33.32 17 740 6 J. Icimsoy BSC 400 Y IM 3:56.48 B 20 735 7 Ross Valdez Berry 1650 Y Free 15:52.41 B 17 732 8 J. Icimsoy BSC 500 Y Free 4:34.45 16 731 9 E. Ziolkowski Rhodes 200 Y Free 1:39.74 B R – 723 10 C. Fountain BSC 500 Y Free 4:36.35 15 716 11 E. Ziolkowski Rhodes 200 Y Free 1:40.17 20 713 12 Ross Valdez Berry 500 Y Free 4:36.99 – 711 13 H. Henderson BSC 100 Y Breast 55.89 B – 703 14 J. Icimsoy BSC 100 Y Free 44.88 B 20 703 15 C. Fountain BSC 1650 Y Free 16:06.77 B 16 700 16 Ross Valdez Berry 200 Y Free 1:41.05 17 695 17 C. Fountain BSC 400 Y IM 4:01.21 B 17 693 18 Daniel Snyder Rhodes 500 Y Free 4:39.93 – 689 19 Daniel Snyder Rhodes 200 Y Free 1:41.42 16 687 20 C. Fountain BSC 500 Y Free 4:40.62 – 684 21 H. Henderson BSC 100 Y Breast 56.46 20 682 22 Joseph Swing BSC 500 Y Free 4:41.22 14 680 23 Chase Bolding BSC 200 Y Fly 1:51.00 20 675 24 Bryan Sullivan Mil 100 Y Back 49.66 – 672 25 J. Icimsoy BSC 100 Y Free 45.56 – 672 26 Bear Breeze Berry 500 Y Free 4:42.44 – 671 27 C. Fountain BSC 400 Y IM 4:04.02 – 669 28 J. Icimsoy BSC 500 Y Free 4:42.70 – 669 29 E. Ziolkowski Rhodes 200 Y Free 1:42.39 – 668 30 E. Ziolkowski Rhodes 100 Y Free 45.66 17 667


I think this pretty well illustrates my notes from the pre-meet write-up. You'll recognize the swimmers I tabbed as "Elite" or just below throughout this list. It is also based off of swim score points.

Code:
Swimmers Name Team Gold Silver Bronze Score Pts 1 Bryan Sullivan Mil 3 – – 60 658.9 2 Chase Bolding BSC 2 1 – 57 645.7 3 Jakob Icimsoy BSC 2 – 1 56 681.0 4 Ross Valdez Berry 1 2 – 54 707.0 5 Daniel Snyder Rhodes 1 1 1 53 705.2 6 Arthur Bishop Rhodes 1 1 1 53 600.2 7 A. Henderson BSC 1 1 – 51 644.3 8 Evan Ziolkowski Rhodes 1 1 – 50 649.7 9 Kai Oddo Centre – 2 – 49 609.8 10 L. Fountain BSC – 1 1 48 693.0 11 C. Rubin BSC – 1 1 48 623.1 12 Samuel Tate Berry – – 3 48 628.8 13 P. Higgerson Hendrix – – 2 47 615.4 14 Connor McClain BSC – 1 1 44 607.8 15 Hunter Kenny Berry – – 1 43 578.6 16 Joseph Swing BSC – – – 42 650.8 17 Ethan Whiting Berry – – – 42 626.0 18 Bryan Killian Centre 1 – – 41 623.2 19 Bear Breeze Berry – – – 41 640.3 20 Max Milburn Rhodes – – – 41 549.9

Above, are the top scorers in the conference.


Code:
Top Swimmers for the Meet by Swim Score Name Team Gold Silver Bronze Score Pts 1 Ross Valdez Berry 1 2 – 54 707.0 2 Daniel Snyder Rhodes 1 1 1 53 705.2 3 L. Fountain BSC – 1 1 48 693.0 4 Jakob Icimsoy BSC 2 – 1 56 681.0 5 Bryan Sullivan Mil 3 – – 60 658.9 6 Joseph Swing BSC – – – 42 650.8 7 E. Ziolkowski Rhodes 1 1 – 50 649.7 8 Chase Bolding BSC 2 1 – 57 645.7 9 A. Henderson BSC 1 1 – 51 644.3 10 Bear Breeze Berry – – – 41 640.3 11 Samuel Tate Berry – – 3 48 628.8 12 Ethan Whiting Berry – – – 42 626.0 13 Bryan Killian Centre 1 – – 41 623.2 14 Chris Rubin BSC – 1 1 48 623.1 15 P. Higgerson Hen – – 2 47 615.4 16 Aden Kraft BSC – – 1 30 612.0 17 Kai Oddo Centre – 2 – 49 609.8 18 Connor McClain BSC – 1 1 44 607.8 19 Carson Maggio BSC – – – 38 607.0 20 Jackson Fears Centre – 1 – 39 606.3

Top meet performers based on the swim score points. Again you'll recognize the swimmers noted in the pre-race write ups.

Last edited by Breeze : 10-25-2022 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 03-07-2022, 09:38 AM   #1454
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SAA Conference - End of Year Swimmer Rankings

Code:
Season 2021-2022 Name Team Points 1 Daniel Snyder Rhodes 739.00 2 Jakob Icimsoy BSC 738.40 3 Ross Valdez Berry 734.90 4 C. Fountain BSC 705.45 5 Bryan Sullivan Mil 678.05 6 E. Ziolkowski Rhodes 673.67 7 H. Henderson BSC 667.90 8 Joseph Swing BSC 666.45 9 Chase Bolding BSC 665.75 10 Bear Breeze Berry 650.15 11 Ethan Whiting Berry 649.05 12 P. Higgerson Hendrix 638.95 13 Bryan Killian Centre 637.40 14 Samuel Tate Berry 635.35 15 Arthur Bishop Rhodes 635.10 16 Jackson Fears Centre 633.55 17 Chris Rubin BSC 631.25 18 Carson Maggio BSC 626.00 19 Henry Lang Centre 625.85 20 A. Carbone Sewanee 625.60 21 Noah Brand Berry 625.55 22 Kai Oddo Centre 622.85 23 Connor McClain BSC 616.55 24 Noah Prevost BSC 614.35 25 Aden Kraft BSC 610.50 26 Hunter Kenny Berry 608.15 27 Ryan MacKinnon Berry 598.25 28 Jalen McDade BSC 595.60 29 Max Milburn Rhodes 593.85 30 George Mabry Sewanee 587.10



Berry Rankings

Code:
Name Team Points 3 Ross Valdez Berry 734.90 10 Bear Breeze Berry 650.15 11 Ethan Whiting Berry 649.05 14 Samuel Tate Berry 635.35 21 Noah Brand Berry 625.55 26 Hunter Kenny Berry 608.15 27 R. MacKinnon Berry 598.25 32 Harrison McNeil Berry 576.30 33 Emilio Rico Berry 575.15 34 Billy Blood Berry 569.50 39 Alex Bartik Berry 561.45 42 P. Smathers Berry 554.80 53 Breck Richards Berry 532.85 56 T. Stephenson Berry 522.45 62 Andrew Horn Berry 511.55 70 Riley Croker Berry 500.10 82 Collin Dillard Berry 451.90 91 Hunter Erb Berry 387.05 94 Diego Torres Berry 377.68

Keep in mind Noah, Emilio, Collin, and Hunter Erb didn't get to swim conference so their scores didn't get the benefit of full tapered racing at the end of the year.

Last edited by Breeze : 03-07-2022 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 03-08-2022, 10:19 AM   #1455
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SAA Conference Championship - Scoring Review

Here is a breakdown of the scoring by class:

Code:
Team BSC Rhodes Centre Hendrix Sewanee Mill Berry Seniors 108 128.5 140 26 50 60 34 Juniors 271 0 54 76 2 0 80 Sophomores 58 116 83 0 46.5 16 152 Freshman 104.5 170 107 101 18 0 168.5 Returning 433.5 286 244 177 66.5 16 400.5

Again, keep in mind the 400.5 returning points for Berry doesn't include the approximately 80 points that would have been provided by Noah and Emilio if they had been healthy.

Last edited by Breeze : 03-08-2022 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 03-22-2022, 08:08 AM   #1456
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Berry - General Update

Quite a few things going on at Berry. I've got to get my thoughts around the best way to present the information. Plus working on a post season write up, just busy at the office right now, which is delaying the post.

Hope to have something soon.
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Old 03-25-2022, 11:57 AM   #1457
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Berry - General Update

The first tidbit of information is:

Almost immediately following the conference championship GA coach Shelby Hall resigned effective immediately. This was her 1st year of a 2 year stint and she quit without even a 2 week notice. It was shocking that it went down the way it did, however, it was not terribly surprising that she didn't return.
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Old 03-28-2022, 07:55 AM   #1458
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Berry - General Update

The second tidbit of information is:

About 2 weeks after the conference championship we received an email from Coach Flinchbaugh announcing his decision to step down as the Berry swim coach. This was a complete shock as Flinchbaugh started the Berry program in 2008. We aren't sure of what prompted his decision, and knowing that this thread has now been located online, I don't want to speculate, but I do know this was a tough season for him. The feeling around the team was that he would coach for a few more years before retirement, but coming into this season there were no indications this was a possibility.

Coach Flinchbaugh was selected as the SAA's Coach of the Year for the men's team in 2015-16 season, the 2019-20 season, and again in the Covid year of '20-'21. He also won the honor for the women's team in 2017-18. He has coached well over 100 combined SAA All-Conference swimmers and over 200 SAA Academic Honor Roll honorees.

The team has announced they are starting a nationwide search for his replacement. We mentioned the opening to Bear's former club coach Andy Eaton, who's been bouncing around the college ranks now for several years building a resume. He was intrigued a bit, but it's not really what he wants so we don't expect he'll apply.

I doubt we will know anything before the announcement of the new coach, but if I hear anything I'll be sure to add it.

Last edited by Breeze : 03-28-2022 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 03-30-2022, 09:12 AM   #1459
Breeze
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Bear - Academic Update

The final tidbit of information involves Bear's academics. Last week Bear registered for his Fall and Spring '23 classes. When he finished he realized he only had 6 hours remaining that were required before graduation. During high school Bear took numerous AP classes, and he did dual enrollment during his senior year, so when he enrolled at Berry he was basically a Sophomore. To try and extend his time on campus and allow him to get all 4 years swimming he decided to take minimum hours and to double major (Biology and Bio-Chemistry). However, because he now has some interest in potentially going to medical school, he's recently increased his rigor to show he's capable of taking a full schedule.

Having only 6 hours needed before graduation for an entire senior year, caused some soul searching on Bear's part, and the realization hit him hard. We listened as we worked his way through several options that might allow him that final 4th year of competition, but the obvious result was too much to overcome. It makes no sense to try and find filler classes to meet the 12 hours needed to retain his scholarship. Now the plan is for him to take 1 of the 2 additional classes over the Summer and other as part of his upcoming Fall or Spring semester, meaning he will be graduating at this time next year.

That also means this will be final year of his swimming and the final year of this blog. I've known from the start this could potentially occur. However, even with that knowledge, there is a small part of me that is disappointed this will likely be the last year I get to watch any of my kids swim.

Last edited by Breeze : 03-30-2022 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 04-13-2022, 08:05 AM   #1460
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Bear - Injury Update.

Bear recently finished up his shoulder PT, and the therapist and the swim team trainer both expected him to much better off than he currently is. They have suggested that he schedule an MRI to get it looked at. While this is the last thing I wanted to hear headed into his final year, it's also not terribly surprising. Bear is currently working with the school to get this scheduled, but honestly, I'm not sure what he's going to do with the information. We all know from baseball that rotator cuff surgeries take about a year to fully heal, which would prevent Bear from competing in his final season. We'll see where this goes, fingers crossed they find something small that is fixable and will allow him to be ready to hit the water in September.
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Old 04-20-2022, 10:24 AM   #1461
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Bear - Injury Update

Bear met with the doctor about his shoulder and the doctor wants to proceed with the MRI. He's concerned that Bear may have a torn labrum. Waiting on the date of the procedure. Will update when I know more.
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Old 04-21-2022, 08:15 AM   #1462
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Bear - Injury Update

Bear's last exam is 5/3, but unfortunately his MRI is 5/5 so he'll be delayed coming home for a couple of days.
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Old 05-03-2022, 11:32 AM   #1463
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Got an interesting letter in the mail yesterday from the insurance company. They sent us approval for Bailey to have an MRI, which is great, but it's Bear that is getting the procedure done. That created a frantic call last night trying to get that corrected so insurance would cover the scan today. After about 90 minutes on the phone, they finally gave us a new confirmation number that we relayed to Bear. Always great when the insurance company screws up the orders then tells you if it isn't corrected they won't cover the cost of the scan.
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Old 05-06-2022, 08:21 AM   #1464
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Bear - Injury Update

Bear got his MRI results yesterday. Turns out he has a small tear in his labrum, but it's not serious enough to require surgery. The doctor also told him his labrum has basically been smashed flat, which means his shoulder joint is bigger than it should be. He will continue to do physical therapy for a while trying to strengthen up the whole shoulder to counteract the over developed areas from the overhand freestyle motion.
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Old 06-09-2022, 02:58 PM   #1465
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Escobar Named New Swim and Dive Head Coach


MOUNT BERRY, Ga. - With a wide knowledge of the sport and of the Southern Athletic Association, Astrid Escobar has been named the new Head Coach of Berry's Men's and Women's Swim and Dive programs. The announcement was made by Berry Director of Athletics Dr. Angel Mason this afternoon.

"Astrid is a tremendous young coach with a passion for swimming that is matched by few," said Dr. Mason. "She is someone I believe will have a positive impact on our swim and dive student-athletes experience and on the athletic department in general."

"I'm excited for the opportunity to join such a supportive and engaged community," said Escobar. "I am thankful to everyone involved in the hiring process, including the hiring committee, the swim and dive teams, Berry President Dr. Stephen Briggs, Debbie Heida, and Dr. Mason."

In 2021-22, Escobar was an assistant coach at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minn. Helping the program transition from Division III to Division I, Escobar helped a pair of Tommies to All-Summit League status, with Will Goldman and Grace Urkiel each setting school D-I records in the 100-Yard breaststroke on the men's and women's side, respectively.

Prior to arriving at the University of St. Thomas, Escobar served as Head Coach of Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving at State University of New York at Fredonia from 2019 to 2021. In her first season with the Blue Devils, two individuals and one relay earned All-SUNYAC honors at the conference championship meet and four school records were broken. A total of 14 athletes were named to the SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll for the 2019-20 academic year and both the men's and women's team captured the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America All-America award for the 2020 spring semester.

In the 2018-19 season, Escobar was an interim assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. While there, she helped the men's 200-yard freestyle relay team to D-III All-America status. The men's and women's teams combined to set eight school records during the season.

Escobar began her collegiate coaching career at Hamilton College, serving as an assistant coach for two seasons and as the interim head coach for a season.

The new Berry head coach has spent time coaching at numerous camps across the country, including the University of Georgia's Bauerle Bulldog Swim Camp, Harvard's Technique Academy, and Kenyon's Total Performance Swim Camp.

A 2014 graduate of The University of the South, Escobar was a three-time NCAA Division III All-America in the breaststroke and an 11-time conference champion - three in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and eight in the Southern Athletic Association. She set Sewanee's school and pool records in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events and was a member of both school-record setting 200- and 400-yard medley relay teams. Escobar was the 2014 Sewanee Senior Athlete of the Year, the 2014 Evelyn J. Mooney Award winner as the top senior female athlete, the Bishop Juhan Award winner for excellence in swimming, and a Vice Chancellor's Scholar for Scholarship and Leadership.

Escobar still holds the Berry pool record for the 200-yard breaststroke, set in 2011 at 2:25.60

"I'm so grateful to my parents and life mentors that have modeled and instilled the values in me that align with those of Berry College to prepare me for this new and exciting chapter of my life," Escobar said.

Escobar will begin her post on July 1, 2022.
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Old 06-10-2022, 12:18 PM   #1466
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A quick follow up to the announcement of a new coach. Prior to Bear returning home for the Summer, he was aware that there were apparently 2 people in the running for the position, this lady and an older guy. For a long time, there was no word on what was happening, and he wasn't even sure if things were proceeding or if the Athletic Director was attempting to find additional candidates. However, of the two people that were up for the job, this was the one that the team captains preferred. Apparently, one of the captains on the team reached out to some of her former swimmers to find out what they thought of her, and they all expressed the fact that she was great to swim for. That she kept things fun, which in swimming isn't really an easy thing to do.

We'll see how this plays out, but I know that if Bear had a vote out of the two options, based on what he was told, this would have been his choice.

While this is Bear's last season, I'm going to be very interested to see how she recruits going forward. I felt for a long time that Berry should be a better team than they've been, and that lack of effort in recruiting was holding them back. This coach is young enough that she might embrace it more, and if she does, it could be fun to see where this goes.
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Old 07-15-2022, 07:51 AM   #1467
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Bear has been going to PT for a while now, and he thinks he's making some progress. He's had a lot of needling done - including a few times with an electro-stimulus attachment. Recently, the therapist did what she termed a "fan" technique on his bad shoulder, and it apparently lit him up. He said it was excruciating, but apparently also effective. He's hopeful more of that will lead to big jumps in how the shoulder feels.

Also, Bear just recently started swimming again. Wanting to ease back into it and get in shape before the team ramps up in early September. The good news is the inflammation in the shoulder is mostly gone due to his taking time off, the bad news is - he's really sore when he swims. The therapist suggests it's scar tissue that built up because he's been inactive for a while and it's going to take some time to break it up. He's not looking forward to that.

Hopefully, he can find a happy medium before his final season that will allow him to thrive one last time.
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Old 07-17-2022, 11:16 PM   #1468
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Is there any chance you are going to adopt a youngster so this thread won't be ending in a year?



Just something to think about and discuss with Mrs. Breeze.
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:46 AM   #1469
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The pain in Bear's shoulder wasn't subsiding as much as he had hoped so we scheduled an appointment with the Dr. that initially diagnosed him with the overtraining issue. The plan now is to continue PT until early September, at which point if there is still pain, they will look into doing injections. I'm assuming when they say injections they mean cortisone/lidocaine, but it could be something different. He also indicated if that doesn't work, there is a secondary type of injection treatment that they can do, but they would wait until around the first of the year to do it.

Bear has been hesitant to use any sort of pain killer for fear of causing more permanent damage by masking the symptoms. However, given this is his last season, he figures he's got nothing to lose at this point.

Will keep you updated on what ends up happening.
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Old 09-07-2022, 07:43 AM   #1470
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This morning at 6 A.M. was the first practice of the season, so Bear's final swim season is now officially underway.

Sorry there hasn't been much in the way of updates about the team or the schedule but things are still very much up in the air. Bear was initially under the impression the only recruits for the men's team were Mac (a former Gold swimmer with Bear, who he helped recruit to Berry) and another swimmer who wasn't a year round guy, but that's apparently not the case. I believe there is a 3rd swimmer and a diver that also joined. When the team updates the roster I'll update the thread.

The schedule was also initially released a few weeks back, but it was seriously lacking. It had the team competing in only 6 meets all season, including the intra-squad meet. Obviously, Coach Paul was let go before he could finish the schedule and the new coach wasn't hired in time to have an impact on what was already in place. Bear indicated that the coach is apparently trying to add some additional meets. Again, once we get a firmer understanding of the schedule, I'll post it here.
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Old 09-19-2022, 11:28 AM   #1471
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2022-23 Berry Vikings Swim Schedule

Code:
10/8 - Intrasquad Meet - Home 10/22 - Univ of Montevallo & Emmanuel College - Home 11/6 - Centre College - Away (Danville, KY) 11/12 - Sewanee - Away (Sewanee, TN) 12/2 - SCAD Invite - Away (Savannah, GA) Summer Training 1/13 - Viking Invite - Home 1/28 - Birmingham Southern College - Away (Birmingham, AL) 2/8 - SAA Conference Championships

Last edited by Breeze : 09-19-2022 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 09-20-2022, 08:47 AM   #1472
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2022-23 Berry Vikings Swim Schedule - Review

The schedule was released about a month ago, but when it was released there was an indication that the new coach was attempting to add some meets to the schedule. If she was successful in doing so, no announcement has been made. As you can see, the schedule this year is significantly smaller than the one last year. I'm sure that is a direct result from the coaching turnover. In some ways it's disappointing, given this is Bear's final season and we'll only have 7 or so meets to watch him swim (and a couple that are far enough away that watching him will be an online experience). In other ways, it's probably good. Last year's schedule was way too involved. Having meets every weekend impacts your ability to train. It's the same reason that year round teams swim in meets only about once a month. In addition, given Bear's shoulder issues, less racing might be beneficial.


Here are my thoughts around the actual meets:

Intrasqad meet - always a fun one for the kids. In the past, recent graduates would return to field a 3rd team for this meet, but it doesn't look like that's on the agenda this year, which is unfortunate. I know that Bear's group still sees Dylan White regularly, and I believe Michael Bemis was planning to return, which would have been a fun reunion for the guys.

Montevallo & Emmanual - both of these schools are D2, and thus can provide athletic scholarships. The talent level here is much higher than Berry, so the Vikings won't be close in the scoring. The only good aspect is, the team will get to swim against some fast opponents.

Centre College - conference opponent, who's improved dramatically over the last couple of seasons (driven by the promise of a new multi-million dollar facility I'm sure). This one should be fun, too bad it's so far away.

Sewanee - another conference foe - another one pretty far away. This is an improving team, but Berry should still be a good bit better.

SCAD Invite - Bear isn't really a fan of this meet. It's so dominated by Emory's B team that it takes a good bit of the fun out of it.

Viking Invite - not sure who's invited this time around. Could be a totally new group of schools with the new coach. Will be interested to see.

Birmingham Southern - the annual conference match up at the end of the season, right before conference. It's a good measuring stick against what's consistently been the best team in the conference.

Conference Championship - This is going to be fun with several teams bringing their best roster in years to the event.

Last edited by Breeze : 09-20-2022 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 09-27-2022, 07:47 AM   #1473
Breeze
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General Update

The confusion with this new coach continues. We haven't received any communications from her yet, which is a bit surprising. The only things we have to go on are communications to Bear. To begin, it sounded like she was going to try and add some additional meets to the schedule, but no word on that since. Now the schedule has been released, but we find out the Intra-squad meet on the 8th, looks like it's just going to be a regular practice. Not sure when she's planning on letting parents know, because I suspect quite a few are planning to show up.

The team roster for the season hasn't been released yet (which is why I haven't updated it here). In addition, the Vikings website and the collegeswimming site for Berry still show Flinchbaugh as the coach. Not sure what she's doing on a daily basis, but if this were my new job, I think I'd be working on making sure I updated all the relevant websites and reached out to the parents to introduce myself. It's been very odd. We'll see where this goes.
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:38 AM   #1474
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Still no word from the coach, but Bear confirmed last night that the "Intra-sqaud" meet would just be a typical practice with maybe some races mixed in. Which means, there is really nothing to watch and if you did want to watch, practice starts at 5:30 AM. For us to make it - we'd have to leave the house around 3:45.

This last season isn't getting off to a great start. Our viewing opportunities are already very limited. Not really please that this meet is basically being cancelled.
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Old 10-19-2022, 03:10 PM   #1475
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2022-23 Berry Viking Menís Swimming Roster

The season starts this weekend, so I'm going to post the roster as best I can. The one posted on the schools website includes a couple of people that aren't on the team, so I'm not sure how accurate it actually is, but we'll go with what we have (I'll drop the swimmers that are listed but I know aren't active). Also projecting how the swimmer will do this year is going to be next to impossible. The conference has another large influx of talent and it's going to make finals significantly more challenging. Until I have an idea what events these freshmen are going to swim, and what times they post, I'll be simply guessing based on outdated data.

The team had a very small recruiting class in 21/22. They added just 2 swimmers and 1 diver. However, they did get a diver that quit the team right before conference last year to return, and another swimmer that was academically ineligable also rejoined. This is important because it gives Berry over a full roster. In fact, if everyone is capable of swimming at conference (a big if based on last year's results) there will be 1 person on the men's side that won't count towards the team's totals.


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Alex Bartik (Sr.)
Alex has been a great performer for the Vikings. He's capable of competing in several areas as his best event is still probably the 200 IM, with his Free and Fly being his best strokes. In fact, he managed to swim a personal best in the 100 fly (52.78) last year. In his first 2 years Alex earned 24 and 23 points at conference. Last year he had a disappointing 15 point result. Ultimately, his point total was impacted by 2 things. One - the depth of talent in the conference, and Two - a bad strategic decision on how to swim the 200 IM at finals. In 2020, Alex finished 10th in the 200 IM. In 2021, he finished 9th. Last year, in prelims, Alex posted a time only .3 off of his finals swim the year before, but it was only good enough to qualify 13th. In finals, he decided to hold back a bit early to ensure he had energy to sprint home, but that left him battling choppy water, which ultimately cost him about a full second and placed him 15th overall. Combine that with a 13th place finish in the 100 free, again because of improved depth in the field, and you can see why his point total was down. Alex continues to be one of the strongest swimmers on the B relays and will be expected to at least help bolster those units with an outside shot of sneaking onto an A relay.

Billy Blood (So.)
In his Freshman year Billy scored 29.5 points at conference, right on that target goal of 30 points. He showed real good improvement in his sprint freestyle during the 21-22 season, posting personal bests in both the 50 and 100. This makes him a potential participant on B sprint frees. However, his primary role will continue to be one of the team's top backstrokers. In conference last year, he managed to make A finals in both the 100 and 200 back, finishing 7th and 6th respectively. His third event was the super deep 200 IM where he placed 12th. I'm not sure the 200 IM is the best option for Billy, despite his strong showing. He's very capable of competing in a number of other events. Moreover, just slight improvements in the 200 back could place him in a position to medal.

Noah Brand (Sr.)
One of the most disappointing things from the 21-22 season was the injury that kept Noah from competing at the conference championships. His absence was a significant impact on the team. Noah is the best sprinter the Vikings have, and removing him from the equation created a ripple effect that was felt the entire weekend. All of the sprint relays were impacted, and to a lesser extent some of the potential energy that can be generated from exciting and successful swims was lost. If Noah returns to form this season, he'll be in for some amazing races. It appears that all of the big time sprinters from last season elected to return, taking advantage of their extra year of eligibility due to Covid. Noah will have a chance to medal in whatever events he chooses to swim, and he'll be the primary piece on all 4 of his relays.

Andrew Horn (So.)
Andrew had a nice freshman season at conference totaling 20 points. All 20 of his points came from his primary stroke - Breast, where he finished 9th in the 100 and made A finals in the 200 finishing 8th. He's capable of making A finals in both distances which would increase his point total by a couple. Unfortunately, he failed to point in his 3rd event. In 21-22 he entered the super deep 200 IM and finished 21st in prelims. I don't believe the 200 IM is his best option, and certainly with the strength of that field, it's asking a lot to get into the top 16. If I were the coach, I'd plan to groom him this season to swim either the 200 Fly, 400 IM, or 1650. If he did any of those events as the 3rd option he'd almost certainly score, and he's talented enough to be a top 10 finisher in any of the 3 events mentioned. If he can score in his 3rd event, his overall total will likely improve to over 25 and maybe as high as 30 points.

Hunter Kenny (Jr.)
Hunter had a huge 21-22 conference championship, earning a whopping 43 points, a significant improvement over his freshman total of 33 points. Much of his point total improvement was due to changing his events. As a freshman, Hunter focused on sprint free competing in the 50, 100, and 200. He managed A finals in the 50 and 100 and just missed A finals in the 200. In 22-23 he decided to compete in the 50 and 200 frees and added the 200 fly as well. This was a big change, but it paid off handsomely. In the 50 free he popped personal best in finals (21.37) and finished 5th overall. In the 200 free he was only about .1 of a second off his PB and he finished 6th. Then in the 200 fly he managed another PB, this time with a significant drop of 4.33 seconds (1:55.82) to finish 3rd and earn the broze medal. It will be interesting to see where Hunter focuses this year. Obviously, 40+ points is an excellent showing, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him duplicate his schedule this year to see if he can also duplicate the results. In addition to his strong individual performances, Hunter is a key element in the relays due to his strong sprint ability. Given Noah's return it's hard to project what Hunter will swim in relays, but I'd assume, at a minimum, he's in the A relay for the 200 Free and 400 Free, while anchoring the freestyle on the B medleys. It also wouldn't be a surprise to see him on the A 800 free relay, especially if he swims a lot of 200 free and 200 fly during the season.

Ryan McKinnon (Jr.)
Ryan is another of the Berry swimmers that improved on an his strong results from his freshman year. As a freshman, Ryan scored 33 points. Last year he upped his total to 37 points, and seems to have found a niche as an all-rounder, rather than just a breaststroker. As a freshman, Ryan focused on the 100 and 200 breasts, and as you can tell from his point total he was very successful. Coming into the season last year, breast was clearly one of the team's strengths. In fact, in my preseason write up last year, I wondered several times about some swimmers potentially finding other events so the they didn't effectively steal points from themselves by having so many swimmers in the same races. I also noted that Ryan had potential to be a strong 400 IMer. Well, last season Ryan proved me correct. He decided to move off of the 100 breast and instead focus on the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 Breast, a schedule of events that seems to fit. Ryan is a big, strong kid, and the longer tougher events seem to suit him as he posted personal bests in all 3 events last year. He just missed the A finals in the 200 IM taking 9th in prelims and finals. Then he finished 6th overall in the 400 IM, only .15 seconds from 5th. Moreover, he took 4th in the 200 breast, just missing out on a medal. Another season of slight improvements could see Ryan top 40 points and maybe take home a medal.

Harrison McNeil (Sr.)
Harrison is one of the 3 swimmers that came in when Bear did, but will be leaving a year early. Harrison is part of the 3/2 engineering program, which consists of 3 years at Berry followed by 2 years at Georgia Tech, so this is his last season swimming. He's been a great swimmer for Berry, posting 30+ points as a freshman and 27 last year. McNeil is a sprint freestyler competing in the 50, 100, and 200 over the last 2 years, and will undoubtedly do it again this year. He's capable of making 3 A finals, but so far he's been unable to crack the top 8 in the 50, settling for 9th back to back seasons. The sprint frees are arguably tightest of all the events, because pretty much every swimmer can swim free fast. The problem with that is that the margin for error is so small. I honestly believe we haven't seen Harrison's best yet. He is so fast in the middle of the pool, quite possibly as fast as anyone in conference, but his dives and turns are hit or miss. If he can clean those up, I think 3 A finals and potentially 3 top 5 finishes are possible.

Breck Richards (So.)
One of the strong freshman from last year, Breck, like Billy above was right at that 30 point goal score, posting 28. Breck, also like Billy above is primarily a backstroker. In fact, all of last season Billy and Breck alternated as the top backstroker on the team, and their season best swims for both the 100 and 200 were close. Hopefully, because the two are so close in times they will continue to push each other to improve. Last year Breck made both A finals in the backstroke finishing 8th in both. He actually probably would have done better in the 200 back, but he slipped on the start, costing him 4 full seconds and killing any chance he had to do better. Breck's 3rd event is the 50 free, where he made the middle of the B final. Again the extremely tight field magnifies slight improvements or mistakes, so if he stays with that race, he could finish anywhere from back of A final to missing the B final all together.

Emilio Rico (So.)
Another one of the strong freshman class from last year. Unfortunately, we were unable to see how impactful Rico could be at conference due to an ankle injury he suffered right before the competition. He started off competing at the event, but ultimately withdrew due to pain and fear of doing further damage to the joint. Despite the fact he was injured, he still managed to finish 16th in the previously mentioned deep 200 IM. Uninjured, his times indicate he's a potentially an A finalist in both breaststrokes and both IMs. In addition, the 500 and 1650 are potential options for him. I'm not sure what he'll compete in this season, but I'd expect the 200 breast for sure, as his personal best is over 1.5 seconds faster than Ryan's, and Ryan finished 4th in conference last year. Honestly, I believe the 100 breast, 200 breast and 4 IM are his best events, but to do that schedule he'd have to double up because the 400 IM and 100 breast are the same day. If he's healthy, I'd be suprised if he isn't easily over 30 points this year at conference. In fact, he will probably be closer to 40 than 30.

Paxton Smathers (Sr.)
Paxton had a big year last year. He posted personal bests in the 50, 100, and 200 frees. Unfortunately, he just missed finals in the 50 free, finishing 17th in prelims, despite being just .2 seconds off his best ever time. He finished 9th in the 200 free and 15th in the 100 free for a total of 11 points. He also helped the relays significantly. Coming into this season, I was expecting more of the same from Paxton, strong freestyle swims that would require a good performance at conference to score, again due to the tightness of the sprint free races, along with a serious presence on the team's relays. Unfortunately, Paxton has had some tough luck recently. Over the summer Paxton was going through boot camp for the Marines (which he'll go straight into following graduation in May), and when he returned home it was determined he developed a stress fracture in his leg. This had him laid up for several weeks, preventing him from staying in shape or swimming. Making matters worse, almost immediately following the injury he developed mono, and has been extremely sick. Apparently it'll be around November 7th before he's released to begin training, which places his entire senior year in jeopardy.

Sam Tate (So.)
Sam had a huge 48 point total at conference last year. How strong was his performace - he took home 3 bronze medals. Making it even more impressive - he did it in 3 very different events, the 200 IM, 100 Breast, and 100 Back. Oh, and in case you weren't convinced about how strong an all around swimmer he was, he was on both A sprint free relays. Tate is a threat no matter what event he chooses to enter, but I believe the 3 he chose for 2022 are his 3 best.

Diego Torres (Jr.)
Diego continues to improve, as he posted personal bests in both the 50 and 100 frees. Unfortunately, those are spint frees and his times are not in scoring range. Last year at conference he did manage to finish 13th in the 100 back and earn 4 points. This year, if he wants to be part of the 18 person travel team, he really needs to look for ways to back-end points. Typically, the best way to accomplish that is swim the longer races. His best options would probably be the 200 back and 1650 free. With training to handle the distances, he should be able to post competitive times in those events by the time conference rolls around in February. If he dedicates himself to those 2 events he could earn 10 to 12 points this February. If he insists on staying with freestyle swims, he's potentially going to be the odd man out.

Ross Valdez (Sr.)
During his freshman year, Ross had just returned from Covid protocol 3 days before the conference championship, and he still managed to get 44 points. However, last year the SAA conference got to see what he's truely capable of. Ross finished 1st in the 500 free, 2nd in the 200 free, and 2nd in the 1650 for a grand total of 54 points! Ross also managed to earn a D3 NCAA B cut (though he didn't actualy get invited to swim). I'd expect his goal this season is to get the actual invite to the NCAA championship meet, but that will take a pretty significant improvement. It's not out of the realm of posibility, but it's not a forgone conclusion either, especially since times have gotten even tougher following the additional year of eligibility due to Covid. Regardless, of what his goals are, Ross will be a threat to win whatever event he choses to enter. That includes the 3 he swam in last year, plus both of the fly races and the 400 IM.

Ethan Whiting (So.)
Another of the strong freshman from last year, Ethan scored 42 points at conference, and he did it competing in events I wasn't expecting. I viewed Ethan as more of a distance freestyler, and I expected him to be in the 200, 500, and 1650. Instead, he illustrated that he's an all-around swimmer by competing in the 500 free, 400 IM, and 200 fly. His decision worked out well as he finished 7th, 4th, and 4th respectively. Truth is, he was so close to earning a medal in both the 400 IM and 200 fly. He finished prelims in the 400 IM in second, but slipped to 4th at finals, and in the 200 fly he was 3rd in prelims, but teammate Kenny beat him in finals to take the bronze. He is another swimmer that will be a factor to earn a medal this year.

Collin Dillard (So.)
Collin was a freshman on the team for the first semester of the 21-22 season, but was unable to compete second semester due to academic issues. Meaning, he missed the conference championship so we don't have a full assessment on him. Collin is basically a breaststroker and based on his personal best times he should be in the top 10 to 12 in the 100 and 200, which is a strong showing and should earn him around 12 to 15 points. The biggest item for Collin is developing a 3rd event he can score in. The best option is likely the 200 fly, but that would require buy in from Collin, because it will take a good bit of effort to do that race, and it doesn't appear to be a race he's done frequently (if at all). Based on his times, the rest of the options fall into 1 of 2 categories - he'll either need to improve a decent amount to get into scoring position, or he'll need to buy in and train up to compete in a longer event that requires more effort. We'll see where this goes.

Keith Scarbor (Fr.)
One of the 2 freshman that signed with Berry despite very little effort put into recruiting by the coaches and then the tumultuous offseason that saw Coach Paul fired late in the process and the new coach not hired until right before school started. Keith comes in with two events that appear to be in the mid to lower B final scoring range, the 200 fly and the 1650 (extrapolated from the 1000 Free). If he adopts the attituted that swimming these events and ones similar is the best way to help the team, he could be a surprise at conference capable of earning double digit points. If instead, he insists on swimming the sprint frees, then he likely won't earn any points and could be left off the 18 person conference team.

Mac Shefchunas (Fr.)
The second freshman added to the team, and Mac is a nice get for the Vikings. He was a swimmer with Bear at Gold for serveral years and then again at SwimAtlanta when both moved over within a few months of each other. Mac is another swimmer on the team who's best stroke is breast. In fact, he's a very nice replacement for '22 graduate Tyler Stephenson, who earned 24 points at conference last year. Mac's personal best times in the 100 breast is half a second better than Tyler's and in the 200 he's closer to 2 seconds faster. This is important because Tyler finished 7th in both those events last year. Meaning Mac is in A final range in both breaststrokes and he's capable of making finals in his 3rd event. One of the two IMs is probably his best option, but without any improvement at all he should be middle of the B final in eiher of those races. This puts him in striking distance of that 30 point goal.

Bear Breeze (Sr.)
This is Bear's last go around, and it's also a very unsettled season for him. His shoulder has not improved, and given his level of discomfort I'm not convinced he's going to stick with the distance races. He may elect to go with other options so his training distances will be shorter and the number of shoulder revolutions will be lower. He's certainly capable of being competitive in the 400 IM and the 200 Fly, and with some focused training might find he's much faster at the sprint frees than he shown in the past. He also may elect to sprint early in the season, then try to ramp up mid season and winter training to prep for swimming distance at conference. A lot is up in the air still. However, given his health, I'd expect that he probably won't beat his personal best times in the 500, 1000 or 1650 this season, which I was hoping he'd do. I really wanted him to go out with PB swims in the events he battled through for so many years.


DIVERS

The team actually has 2 divers this season, which is big because each diver counts as half a competitor at a swim meet, so two allows the team to maximize the returns. Moreoever, one of the two divers is acting as the diving coach, and he's taking it so seriously the team goes to an offsite facility a couple of days a week to work on the 3 meter board. That's another huge development because it will give both divers a chance to earn points in 2 events rather than just 1.

Kevin Fuentes-Bonilla (Sr.)
Kevin is the diver that quit last season, right before conference because of a conflict with Coach Paul. With the new coach for '22-'23 he's elected to return for his senior year. Last year, Kevin began to show serious signs of improvement before a concussion put him on the shelf for a while. Hopefully, this new coach will be able to continue pushing the right buttons to get most out of Bonilla. Keep in mind, that before he showed any signs of improvement he earned 12 points at the 2021 championships only competing in the 1 meter board event. By doing both events and improving his technique it's possible he could earn 20 points this time around. That would be a huge windfall for the Vikings if he can pull it off.

Joshua Tolson (Sr.)
Meet the new diving coach. Joshua comes to Berry from UGA, where he was not a member of the dive team. However, he has been a diver for a long time, and he placed in the top 8 in Georgia state and high school meets 3 straight years. He should be a strong competitor in the conference - no idea how well he'll match up, because I haven't watched enough of the diving at the conference championships to get a gauge, but his resume would indicate he would probably be in the running for a medal on both of the events. He could end up with a large conference point total at the end of the day.
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Old 10-21-2022, 09:58 AM   #1476
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University of Montevallo, Emmanuel College vs Berry College @ Cage Center - 10/22

Finally, the first meet of the season. Berry will be squaring off in a double dual meet against University of Montevallo and Emmanuel College. Both of these schools are D2, which will make it a tough match up for the Vikings.

Montevallo - This a relatively new team with their first season being 2019. However, they have used their ability to provide athletic scholarships well, and have fleshed out a relatively large and competitive team in a short time. I'm unsure how many swimmer are currently active on the team, but it appears that only 12 have competed so far this season, so they may be under their recent roster size.

Emmanuel - In the last few years the Lions have gone from an afterthought team, to one that ranks in the top 20 in all of D2. Not terribly surprising when you consider all the talent in the state of Georgia. In fact, this team is a perfect example of why I've been frustrated by Berry's lack of efforts on the recruiting front. If Emmanuel, a tiny school with a very unimpressive campus, in the middle of nowhere can pull the talent they've been pulling, Berry should be able to do the same. Anyway, the Lions have 20 swimmers that have competed this year, and while they have some roster fillers on the backend, they also have a several very strong swimmers.

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Bear - from his schedule of events in meet 1, it doesn't appear that he's going to start off avoiding distance. He's scheduled to swim the 200 Free, 500 Free, 200 IM, and he's in the 400 Free relay.

200 Free - early in the season last year Bear was getting just under 1:50, so if he's on or around those times he's in pretty good form for an early, in season swim. In this event Emmanuel has had 7 swimmers compete ranging from 1:46 to 2:01, while Montevollo has had 4 compete with times of 1:46, 1:51, 1:52, and 1:53. So Bear could have some good racing in this one, but likely not to win the event.

500 Free - this one is a bit harder to get a read on early in the season. Last year, in the intra-squad, Bear swam a 5:27 in this event. Then a couple of weeks later it was a 5:07. He's easily capable of going under a 5, even early in the season, but it will depend on a few items, the biggest (minus the way the shoulder feels) is likely the order of events. If the 500 is first, and he can get a good warm up in, then he could do well. If he swims the 200 free or the 200 IM first, then he'll likely be gassed enough that I wouldn't expect much on the time. Too early in the season to have the stamina to race a 500 after a long sprint race. Montevollo's 500 times are right in line with Bear's - the top guy has gone a 4:58, with the 3 remaining swimmers in the event logging around 5:15s. Emmanuel has 5 that have competed in the event so far this season and they are falling between a 4:48 and a 5:32.

200 IM - This one isn't one that Bear swims frequently. Bear has managed to break 2 minutes a couple of times, but last year he only swam it 1 time and he posted a 2:11. Given he rarely practices backstroke and almost never practices breast, I expect the 2:11 is probably going to be closer to his time. That's going to make the race a tough one for him because Montevallo hasn't done this event this season, but they do have 2 returning swimmers who did it last year and they are 1:57 and 1:58, and Emmanuel has a 1:54 guy from this season.

Free Relay - Bear's personal best in the 100 Free is a 49.29. I'm sure he wants to get to low 48s in the relay, maybe even 47s, but I don't expect him to do it this time around. This will likely be the very last event, and after swimming 3 races of 200 or more yards, I think if he can get under 50.5 he'll be doing well.

Last edited by Breeze : 10-28-2022 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 10-26-2022, 11:42 AM   #1477
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University of Montevallo, Emmanuel College vs Berry College -Results

Well the first meet under the new coach is in the book and here are my thoughts:

Good:
- The team swam pretty well. Some very fast swims against very strong competition.
- The coach seems very nice and totally engaged with her swimmers

Bad
- The meet results were not uploaded to the App - Meet Mobile so spectators could follow along
- The scoreboard wasn't working so no one in the stands had any idea about the swimmers times (not sure why this wasn't tested before the meet)
- The meet was exceptionally long - it took about 4 hours to complete. Normal college meets take closer to 90 minutes.
- The team elected to provide 1 cool down lane (lane 1), which probably wouldn't have been an issue in a normal meet, but with 2 very large teams, plus Berry's ~50 swimmers that 1 lane was packed and worse - it churned up the water bad for swimmers in lane 2 (Bear swam all of his events from lane 2 - by the way)
- The team warmed up at 8:30 for and 11 o'clock meet, then didn't get to warm up again before the meet started, meaning the kids sat around for hours tightening up before racing.
- Some very odd selections for swimmers, heats, and events. The coach apparently relied on a team member to assist with the line ups, and it showed.

Bear - like I mentioned above, there were no official times for the meet, but I did some unofficial timing and it was pretty obvious he wasn't swimming well. In fact, his times this meet (found the results after doing some searching on the Monvevallo swim site), were very reminiscent of his times in the opening meet from last year. Hopefully, he'll build on this like he did last year and end up having a strong season.

Note: I couldn't find the final scoring for this meet anywhere.

Last edited by Breeze : 11-04-2022 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 10-28-2022, 12:31 PM   #1478
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Sewanee Invite @ Sewanee TN - 10/28-30

A new event was added to the schedule but not listed on the swim website. This meet is going to be very similar to the one last week because the teams competing are:

- Sewanee Tigers
- Montevallo Falcons
- Emmanuel Lions
- Berry Vikings

Yep, all 3 teams from last week plus Sewanee. This time around the event will be swim over 3 days.

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Bear - It's beginning to look more and more like Bear's distance days are over. He will again not be swimming the 1000 free, and in fact this time around he won't be swimming the 500 either.

- 100 IM - this is an interesting choice because it isn't swum at conference, but it might be a good way to get him some extra back and breaststroke laps if the 400 IM is going to be part of his future events.

- 400 IM - this is looking like a strong possibility to be one of Bear's 3 conference races. He's got a lot of work to do on his off strokes to be competitive here.

- 200 Free - Hoping for an improvement over last week to show he's trending in the right direction

- 100 Fly - Bear's fly in the 200 IM last week looked great. Not sure he has sprint speed to compete in this event long term, but the 200 fly might be in his wheel house.

400 Medley Relay - Bear will swim the fly on the B relay

400 Free Relay - Bear will be on the B relay

800 Free Relay - Bear sill be on the B relay

Last edited by Breeze : 10-31-2022 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 10-31-2022, 09:18 AM   #1479
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Sewanee Invite - Addendum

Once the meet posted on the Meet Mobile app, I realized the Sewanee Invite was larger than Bear originally led me to believe. In fact the participation included:

- Berrry
- Montevallo
- Emmanuel
- Sewanee
- Life College
- South Georgia State College
- Birmingham Southern - (divers only)
- University of the Cumberlands - (divers only)

I also made some assumptions on the events, but I'll clean that up on the post race write up.

Last edited by Breeze : 10-31-2022 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 11-04-2022, 08:28 AM   #1480
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Sewanee Invite - RESULTS

Emmanuel - 1109
Montevallo - 728.5
Berry - 708
South Georgia - 339.5
Sewanee - 293
Life - 272


This meet was very interesting. In addition to not knowing all the teams, I was also wrong about some of the relays I indicated that Bear would be swimming. I assumed when Bear mentioned he was in the 100 Medley Relay and 100 Free Relay, he was indicating he was swimming a 100 leg in the 400 yard relay. Nope, he swam a 25 leg in a 100 yard relay. Like he used to do as a pre-teen during summer league. It was very odd. In fact, the entire first day was odd, it was a bunch of 50 yard swims that are no longer a part of any championship meet. It was probably pretty fun for the swimmers though.

Berry did a nice job, with some of their relays winning the short sprints and giving some of the bigger teams a run for their money in the longer ones. In fact, Berry held a lead on Montevallo for quite a while, but the Falcon depth finally won out.

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Bear - another pretty rough meet for Bear. His short races and relay swims were ok, but some of the others looked painful.

100 Medley Relay - B Team - Not sure of splits because they weren't kept for this race, but Bear's team was the fastest B relay in the entire meet.

100 IM - pretty good swim, fly was good, back and breast were a bit of a struggle and free looked a bit labored coming home, but he posted a 58.80 which is a personal best. However, it's not completely surprising. Last time Bear swim this event was in 2018.

100 Free Relay - B Team - again no splits on this race (probably didn't have touch pads on both ends of the pool, making 25 splits impossible). Bear looked great in his leg, and his B team was not only the fastest B team in the meet, they actually beat 2 A teams as well.

400 IM - Fly time seemed conservative, especially with how he's looked swimming that stroke recently. He split around 1 minute. The back was a 1:12, and the breast a 1:25, he needs to get those back to around 1:0 and 1:15 respectively if he's going to be competitive in this event. His free at the end was a clearly labored 1:07, when it should be sub 60 if he's in shape and feeling good. In all he posted a pedestrian 4:45.79 - good for 11th place.

200 Free - this one was just bad. Bear failed to break the 2 minute mark in this race. I believe the last time he failed to break that mark was in 2016. There wasn't much recovery time from the 400 IM to this race, and the fact Bear took the Summer off to rest his shoulder clearly appears to be impacting his stamina still and getting into shape is going to take longer than expected.

100 Fly - solid effort for end of meet race. Posted 57.74.

200 Free Relay - B Team - This came directly on the heals of the 100 fly, so Bear posting a 23.05 wasn't terrible. His PB in this event is 23.27, so he's about right where he should be with a rolling start for this time of the year.

Last edited by Breeze : 11-04-2022 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-04-2022, 12:45 PM   #1481
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Berry College and Asbury College vs Centre College @ Centre College - 11/5

This could be a fun meet. Centre has improved significantly, and things were close in dual meets the last couple of years anyway. Now, the Colonels have a huge diving contingent that inflates their overall scores and will probably be the difference in this meets scoring, but even without that there should be some good races. Add in Asbury, which is a pretty large NAIA school that has finished top 10 in that division several years in a row and you can see where this should lead to some pretty good match ups.

Really struggled trying to decide if we were going to go watch. However, Danville, KY is about 6.5 hours from here, which makes it a bit cost prohibitive to go and watch a 2 hour swim meet when your son will be in the water less than 10 minutes. Plus I'm not doing at 13 hour out and back on the same day, so we'd have to get a hotel room, and we're already doing that next weekend.

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Bear

Bear was originally set to swim the 200 Free, 500 Free and 2 IM, but do to a change on the team that we'll get into later he's now swimming the following:

200 Free - Currently listed at a 1:53.53 time, which is well off his personal best time, but also well below last weekends terrible 2 minute effort. I'd like to see him under the 1:53 mark, but at the very least be around that number.

100 Free - This is the switch event, Bear was moved here to fill a void. It was a logical choice given this event needed someone and the 500 free was extremely deep with Ross, Ethan, Bear and Kevin all swimming. Ross is likely to win the event, so you don't move him. Kevin's strength is only in the distance events. That leaves Bear or Ethan, and Bear is a slightly better sprinter and Ethan is clearly swimming the distance events better.

200 IM - I think Astrid is still keeping the 400 IM as an option for Bear at conference and want him to race the medleys. I'd like to see improvement on the back and breast and hopefully and improvement on the free because he's in a little better shape than he's been the last couple of weeks.

400 Free Relay - B Team - This is also a fill in spot, as Bear wasn't scheduled to do the relay initially. It appears he's filling the same void from the 100 Free race.
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Old 11-10-2022, 11:27 AM   #1482
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General Update


Normally, I would be updating the swimming results and the upcoming meet this weekend, but things have become very messy at Berry. I was hoping to have some clarity on what's going on before updating this thread, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. Given this thread was located last year by some of the Berry team, I'm not comfortable going into too much detail, but to provide a quick illustration of the problems - the following swimmers have quit in the last few weeks:

- Paris Thornberg
- Breck Richardson
- Emilio Rico
- Hunter Kenny
- Collin Dillard

The sad part is it's not the coach's fault. There are some swimmers on the team that aren't happy - though I suspect they will NEVER be happy (remember this is the same group that ultimately forced Coach Paul to resign at the end of the last season). Interestingly, the ones quitting are guys, but the ones complaining aren't. I'll let you figure out how that works for yourselves.

Last edited by Breeze : 11-10-2022 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-11-2022, 10:03 AM   #1483
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Berry College and Asbury College vs Centre College - RESULTS

Centre - 179
Berry - 118

Asbury - 81
Berry - 191


This meet was striking in how much better the Centre swimmers seemed to finish races verses the Berry swimmers. In fact, it was so startling I'd venture to guess that Centre elected to drop taper for this meet. An odd choice but given the timing, it could work. Drop taper now, ramp up for a December invite, then get to winter training and start over to prep for conference.

I'd say it'd be fun to see how this plays out at conference, but with the significant number of men leaving the Berry team, I'm not sure we'll get to see it play out in the water.

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Bear - continues to struggle, and there are, by my estimation 3 potential issues:

- Stamina - took the entire summer off to see if he could get his shoulder to heal. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to help the shoulder at all, and now he's got to get back into shape. I'm not sure he'll accomplish it at all, but almost certainly not before winter training ends.

- Pain - the shoulder is still a problem, and the continued wear and tear may finally have caught up to him.

- Technique - because he took the entire summer off, Bear is struggling to find his form. He admitted everything feels wrong and he's having a hard time trying to dial it back in.

Taking the time off was a risk, probably one that was worth taking, but it's looking like the gamble isn't going to pay off.

Another item to keep in mind. Centre currently has a small 6 lane pool, so there was no warm up or down, which is a problem for Bear. He needs extra time to get his shoulder warmed up. Also, they had the pool extremely cold, which is odd, most competition pools are kept between 77 and 82 degrees. Centre's pool was 72 (thermometer was in the pool). This made it very difficult to warm up - and in fact, it was so cold most swimmers didn't even want to get in the water to warm up during the short periods that warm up times were offered.


200 Free - Swam a 1:54. Opened with a 54, which isn't terrible, but coming home in over 60 seconds isn't good.

200 Fly - quick turn around from the 200 free, and Bear only managed to go 2:15. Fatigue was clearly an issue here.

100 Free - posted 53.50, around 2 seconds off where he probably wants to be, but it was another pretty quick turn around so fatigue is again a factor.

400 Free Relay - B Team - here Bear swam pretty well for in season. he posted a 50.90, the second fastest time on the B relay, only .5 behind Ross. This swim was much later in the meet, so Bear was able to adequately recover. Hopefully, this is a sign that with adequate recovery time he can still swim fast.

Last edited by Breeze : 11-11-2022 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 11-11-2022, 02:51 PM   #1484
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Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Berry vs. Sewanee @ Sewanee TN - 11/12

Berry has what I believe is a dual meet tomorrow at Sewanee. We are planning on making the trip to watch. We debated not going given the current unrest on the team, but figured we are running out of chances to watch Bear swim, so we're going.

I have no idea what Bear will compete in at this point, and in the grand scheme of things, it's not that important. I'll provide details in the follow up. It will be interesting to see what shuffling the coach does offset the recent losses.
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Old 11-15-2022, 09:28 AM   #1485
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Berry vs. Sewanee - RESULTS

Berry - 182
Sewanee - 80


It was a nice trip up to Sewanee, Tennessee. The campus was very nice, similar architecture to the Rhodes campus, but much more spread out. It was also very cold, with a high of 37 degrees, a surprising 10 degrees cooler than Chattanooga, which was not far down the highway. The almost 2000 feet of altitude probably had something to do with that.

The team seemed to adjust ok to the loss of several swimmers. With a few posting some very fast times in unusual events.

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Bear - unfortunately, Bear is still struggling, and at this point I'm not sure he's going to recover. He's way off where he needs to be at this point in the season to position himself for a good conference championship meet. It's looking more and more like the shoulders are just completely shot, at least for anything more than a sprint.

400 Medley Relay - B Team - Bear swam the free leg at the end of the relay. When he dove in, he was about half a second behind Sewanee, but by the end of the first 50 he had taken the lead, and he pulled away to secure second place in the meet. Bear split a respectable 50.61.

200 Free - Once again Bear struggled in this event, and at this point he's about 10 seconds off where he needs to be at this point in the season. Maybe he'll respond for the December mid-season taper event, fingers crossed.

200 Free Relay - A Team - Bear lead off the relay and posted a personal best time of 23.13, a nice little reward, especially in this tough season. I know he wants to get sub 23, but in season, no taper, that's a good swim.

1000 Free - I know, given Bear's struggles why is he swimming the 1000? Well, he actually requested it. I believe this was a test to see what it would feel like to do this race, so he'd have information to decide how he wanted to handle the remainder of the season. Unsurprisingly, he didn't swim well, but what's more important is how he felt doing it and how he felt afterwards. I can't answer those questions because he's not volunteering any information on what's going on. I guess we'll know more based on what events he swims moving forward.

Last edited by Breeze : 11-23-2022 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 11-29-2022, 02:00 PM   #1486
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General Update

A lot has transpired since the last general update so I figured I needed to update the thread.

Meeting with the AD
The swimmers and coach met with the AD recently to air their issues and following that meeting the parents were invited to a discussion to outline how things were going to work moving forward. Basically, it came down to improving communication between the swimmers and the coach, while also requiring the swimmers to hold each other more accountable.

While this all seems pretty standard, are some issues that are making this harder than it should be. For instance, the coach has no assistant. Basically the GA coach left a year early, and the program is for a 2 year stint. Meaning no one is looking to jump into that roll for just 1 year. They would rather wait until next year, so they can have the full 2 year option.

Moreover, for some reason the coach never named captains. I'm not sure the logic behind this, especially given the lack of an assistant, but that's the way it was prior to this meeting.

While all of this sounds good, there are indications that some of the problem children are still griping.

Captains Announced
Following the meeting the coach named a men's and women's captain for the Sr. Jr., and Soph. classes. Bear was named the senior men's captain.

No Winter Training Trip
Because the former coach used to borrow against next year's budget to go on the winter training trip, the new coach inherited a deficit on day 1. The school has decided this is the year to correct that practice and as such - will not allow the team to take a travel trip for training purposes around the new year. Therefore, the team will be training at the school. A seriously unfortunately outcome for Bear's senior year.

The lack of a winter training trip may not be the only thing that the swimmers end up without. There is a possibility that the school won't be purchasing team competition suits for the conference meet. Not an insignificant thing considering how much it costs to purchase these suits.

Bear's No Longer Doing Distance
The biggest news to update is the fact that Bear will officially no longer be a part of the distance group. After struggling with mid and long distance events this season, he and the coach had a long discussion. They determined that his shoulders just can't handle the workload anymore, and that he needs to shift his focus to sprints in hopes of getting his times down before conference. It currently looks like he'll be focusing on the 50, 100, and 200 Frees, and the 100 and 200 Flys.
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:09 AM   #1487
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SCAD Invite @ Chatham County Aquatic Center - 12/1-3

Last year Berry participated in this event with about 7 other teams, most of them very small ones, like South Georgia, Thomas, Point, Brenau, and Life. The one major exception to that was Emory that brought their B team, which was still by far the largest and fastest in the pool. This year most of the above mentioned teams are back, but the meet will also feature Wingate, and top 5 D2 school, with a very large roster.

This event is a preliim/finals meet, and last year it appeared short races brought back 24 and longer races brought back 16. In the past, when this event was larger every event brought back 24, we'll see what happens this time around.

This is a taper meet, so hopefully the rest helps Bear and he's able to swim fast.

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Bear - as I mentioned above, Bear is finished with distance so this will be his first sprint event since adjusting his training to sprint only. I'm hopefully, he'll pop a few good times. As far as where he'll finish...it'll be tough to make finals against this group of swimmers, especially in sprints.

50 Free - got a personal best in the relay during the last meet. Says he's beaten that time in practice. I know he wants to get in the 22s here. If they bring back 24 and Bear can get mid 22s, he might have a shot at finals - but I don't expect him to make it back. He's currently seeded mid-30s and there are over 24 swimmers going 22 low or better.

100 Fly - his form in fly has been very good recently, but the speed hasn't been there. Not sure why - could be as simple as he doesn't practice it enough. He hasn't commented on the impact it has on his shoulder, but I hope it doesn't hinder him in this and the 200 fly moving forward. Again, he's not likely to return. He's seeded mid-30s again, so quite a few swimmers to jump to make the top 24.

100 Free - personal bests at practice in the 50 free, bode well for a potentially good swim here too. He ultimately wants to get into the 47s, I don't think he'll be close to that here. Even with a taper that would be a huge drop, especially considering he hasn't be training sprint for that long. He's again seeded mid 30s, so he'll need a big time drop to leap enough swimmers to make top 24.
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