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Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 3:08 pm

Since we’re in the midst of the summer, and summer reminds many of us of swimming, it seemed to be a good time to talk with Coronado-Navy Swim Association Head Coach Kevin Blum and get an update on recent developments with the CNSA. Born in Fresno and growing up in Fremont, Blum went on to swimming success at Mission San Jose High School. There he became a national qualifier on the club level, a CIF Finalist and league champion in the sprint freestyle and butterfly events.

Blum went on to swim at Cal State Northridge, earning a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management in 2003. While still in college he became one of the founders of the Rattler Swim Club in Los Angeles and was their head coach from 2001 to 2012.

“I was in the water teaching five, six and seven-year-olds to swim,” Blum recalled. “It turned into a year ‘round team and it just grew from there. I didn’t have any high school kids until my third year of coaching. By our fourth or fifth year we had a Junior National qualifier and a qualifier for the Olympic Trials. We had two swimmers on the USA National Team in Meghan Hawthorne and Andrea Kropp. Both women are in the Top 30 in the world rankings in their events.”

This summer Blum is making his first appearance on the international coaching stage. He has been named an assistant women’s coach for Team USA in the 2013 World University Games that will be held in Kazan, Russia. Blum talked about how he reached that level in the coaching fraternity. “Just being a swimmer most of my life, it seemed natural to go into coaching. I didn’t have a desire to do something inside. I like to be outside and swimming is in my blood. If you have a swimmer finish either first or second at the U.S. Open, they get selected to the team. Since I had two athletes on the trip, I was selected to be a coach. Meghan’s best event is the 400 Individual Medley and Andrea’s is the 200 breaststroke. The top two swimmers in an event go to the World Championships, the next best swimmers go to this event.”

Blum talked about his pending trip to Russia, which comes later this week. “I’ll be with the National Team for 11 days. This is the biggest international sports event, as far as the number of athletes and teams competing, outside of the Olympic Games. Kazan is the sports capital of Russia and they have outstanding facilities as well as a number of universities in the city. It’s located in the young, up and coming part of Russia. The World University Games are staged every other year. In 2011 they were held in China.”

Blum starting swimming at the age of 10 and is now 33. He started as the CNSA head coach in August 2012. The name of the swim club may seem a little confusing as it has no affiliation with the U.S. Navy. Blum explained, “About 75 percent of the people in the club are in some way connected to the Navy, either as civilian contractors or people who work on the base. But we are just a regular swim team.”

Currently CNSA has about 140 swimmers, with an additional 35 swimmers on their summer team. “Our youngest swimmer is five,” said Blum. “If you can swim across the width of the pool, you can sign up. We have a Masters’ program that we’re trying to get started, but we are putting that on hold for the summer. I’m going to be gone for half of July and they are going to work on the pool in August. For sure we will have open morning workout times for Masters.”

Blum discussed some of his more accomplished, veteran swimmers. “We had a high school senior this year that made the Junior Nationals in Putnam Browne. He left two weeks ago to go to U.C. Santa Barbara. Mary Roberts swam at Cathedral Catholic and she qualified for the Junior National meet and made that time standard. Haley Chasin was third in the CIF 500 Free. She and Mary are both going to be juniors in high school. We have 10-year-old Jean Younce, who is very competitive at the 10 and under level. In the 14’s we have Megan Weller, Callie Dunham, Mary Kate Lanneaux, Ella Sturm and Bella Back.”

Blum and the CNSA make the Brian Bent Memorial Aquatics Center their training home. He discussed the profile of a kid who would enjoy competitive swimming. “It’s a youngster who is self-motivated, someone who likes to be challenged and someone who sees value in setting goals and working to achieve those goals.”

Assisting Blum on the pool deck are three coaches who all have strong swimming credentials. Emmett Walling was the swim team captain at USC and is a former NCAA Finalist. “He has a degree in kinesiology,” said Blum of Walling. “He is the glue that holds us together. He is in the middle of the staff, pulling everybody together. Emmett is also an assistant coach at UC San Diego. One of our other coaches is Jamie Saffer. She swam at Tennessee and was also an NCAA Finalist. She was either the first or one of the first women to swim the 100 yard breaststroke in 59 seconds in a dual meet. Linda Schaff has been working with our 12-and-under swimmers for 20 years now. She works with the beginning to advanced level younger swimmers.”

Blum discussed his goals with the CNSA. “I would like to bring CNSA to the higher standards of USA Swimming and have a regular group of national level swimmers. I want to get back to putting kids on the USA National Team. We also plan to provide opportunities for kids in Coronado and beyond to have a fun place to swim and to get better at swimming, especially since this is a beach community. We’re just one step away from starting to take off. We need a little boost. We have some good young kids. Some of our older kids go on to play water polo. I see swimming for the great sport it is.”

Quick Wimbledon Prediction Comes True

A typical Natterer morning starts at or around 6 a.m. reading both the “UT-San Diego” and “The Wall Street Journal.” Early Monday morning as I leafed through the WSJ, I noticed a story written by Tom Perrotta entitled, “Wimbledon Could Get Even Weirder.” In the column he predicted that under the right circumstances, No. 23 seed Sabine Lisicki, who has a huge serve and a power game to go with it, could upset No. 1 seed Serena Williams. At the time Perrotta wrote his column, Williams was a prohibitive favorite in the women’s draw entering the second week of the tournament. 

Since I had seen Serena Williams look uninspired, but still lethal in her 6-2, 6-0 over Kimiko-Date Krumm Saturday evening, I thought it was an interesting prediction. At about 7:30 a.m. I turned on the Wimbledon coverage to see that Lisicki had prevailed over Williams 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. Rarely do you see a prediction come true that fast, although the eight-hour time difference between San Diego and London probably helped with the timing. 

CHS Water Polo Alumni Game Slated for July 6

One of the really fun annual events associated with the July 4th Weekend in Coronado are the CHS Islander Water Polo Alumni Games, which will be held July 6. This year it is turning into a family event, with the Women’s Alumni Game to be held at 11 a.m., the Men’s Alumni Game at 1 p.m. In addition the pool will be open for a family swim for participants, friends and kids. The site of the festivities will be the Brian Bent Memorial Aquatics Complex at Coronado High School.

The weekend will include an Alumni celebration the night before at a private residence in Coronado. At that party, the near great will become great and the great will become legendary. If you enjoy water polo, both Alumni games are fun to watch and the competition is at a high level. For more information on the event, please contact CHS Boys Water Polo Head Coach Randy Burgess at rbpolo@gmail.com.

San Diego Chargers Talent Drain Recognized in NFL Top 100 Players Poll

It occurred to me over the weekend that I watch too much live sports and sports-related programming. However, I am able to rationalize that somewhat by thinking that if I watch it and then write about it, I can save you, the reader, some valuable time. And to be honest, I really enjoy watching sports.

Over the weekend the NFL Network unveiled their Top 100 Players from 2012 list, which is voted on by the players themselves. One thing became immediately apparent while watching the show. While in the past media types and fans have thought the San Diego Chargers have fielded loads of talented players, those times have past. The guys who play the game for a living and who voted in the poll don’t agree with that talent assessment.

Only two players on the current Charger roster made the Top 100 list. Coming in at No. 80 was defensive end Dwight Freeney, who has never played a down for San Diego. Instead he made his name and reputation with the Indianapolis Colts. The other Charger on the list, coming in at No. 73, was tight end Antonio Gates, who it would be fair to say, has the better portion of his fine career behind him. Having just two players among the Top 100 is yet another sign that there is a major rebuilding underway with the Chargers this season.

The NFL’s Top 10 Players of 2012 included: No. 1 Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings; No. 2 Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos; No. 3 Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions; No. 4 Tom Brady, QB, Patriots; No. 5 JJ Watt, DE, Texans; No. 6 Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers; No. 7 Aldon Smith, LB, 49ers; No. 8 Arian Foster, RB, Texans; No. 9 Von Miller, LB, Broncos; and No. 10 Patrick Willis, LB, 49ers.

At least Arian Foster is a San Diego product. He played prep football at Mission Bay High School.

Coronado Little League 9-10 All-Stars Still Alive in District 32 Competition

A week ago we discussed the Coronado 9-10 year-old All-Stars and how they won their first round game against Scripps Ranch American in their District 32 post-season competition. The team under the direction of Manager Scott Meloche and Coaches Larry Denson and Mike Rahm played their second game last Saturday and lost 5-4 in extra innings to Clairemont.

Sam Rahm was the starting pitcher for Coronado and he toiled for five innings before being replaced by Joe Weissenfels. Offensive stars for Coronado included Rahm with an RBI; a single by Weissenfels; two singles and an RBI from Adam Mojica, who helped get Coronado back into the game; a single from Dylan Noble; and a nice effort from Brandon Smith with two doubles and two RBIs.

Monday evening Coronado went into battle again in the double-elimination playoff format. They stayed alive in the competition by defeating Rancho Penasquitos National by the score of 7-6. Three pitchers threw for Coronado in the game including JT Smith who was the starting pitcher, Luke Meloche who threw 4.1 innings to earn the victory and Jack Lockwood who got the final two outs in the game for the save.

The offensive stars were numerous and included Matthew Fucella with two singles and an RBI; Rahm contributed a single and an RBI; Lockwood added a single, two doubles and three RBIs; Weissenfels chipped in with a single and two RBIs; and both Mojica and Noble added singles. Defensive plays of note included Noble making a diving catch in right field for the third out of the fifth inning and the ubiquitous Rahm, who made a game-winning double play in the bottom of the sixth inning. Coronado returns to tournament action again Wednesday evening.

Coronado Little League Intermediate All-Stars Win District 32 Title

June 29, 2013, on a steamy 95-degree day in Mira Mesa, the Coronado Little League Intermediate All Star Team played Rancho Penasquitos American (RPA) for the District 32 Championship. With two outs in the sixth inning of the title game, Bruen Roulier came to the plate and hit his second walk-off home run in two games to win the contest. Coronado won via the 10-run mercy rule by the final score of 13-3.

This is the first year for the Intermediate Division in Coronado Little League and the competition level is designed for players between 11 and 13 years of age. It is a division between Majors and Juniors for those of you (and me) who are used to different Little League terminology. Coronado won all five of their games in the tournament, a field that included a total of 10 teams.

Coronado and RPA played each other in the Semi-Finals of the winners’ bracket two days before, with Coronado winning in extra innings, in a game that took parts of two days to complete. The game was suspended for darkness, so the teams had to return the next day to finish. The Semi-Finals also ended on a Roulier walk-off two-run homer. 

Collin Douglas was the starting pitcher for Coronado in the Finals. RPA scored in the bottom of the first, but the damage could have been worse except for a fine play on a hard grounder by second baseman Garrett Herrmann.

RPA scored in the top of the second and a fine play by Coronado shortstop Nic Kaczowski ended the inning. RPA lead 2-0 at the end of the second inning. With the score still 2-0, RPA came back to score in the top of the fourth inning. Roulier was brought in as the new Coronado pitcher.  His second pitch resulted in a double play turned by second baseman Heath Miller, to Kaczowski at short, to Douglas who was now playing first base. RPA scored once and three runners were left stranded. 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the tide finally started to turn in Coronado’s favor.  Kaczowski, Auguste Melden and Ben Williams all had singles resulting in a run to put Coronado on the board. Roulier put the ball in play for an RBI and Coronado had their second run of the game. Coronado trailed RPA 3-2 heading into the top of the fifth inning.

Coronado really came alive in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jake Lamb walked, and he was followed by back-to-back-to-back homeruns from Brandon Depperschmidt, Kaczowski and Douglas to make the score 6-3 for Coronado. Then Melden walked; Williams singled; Roulier had a perfect squeeze bunt for another RBI; Herrmann walked; and Miller had a base hit to make the score of 9-3 through the end of the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Coronado offense continued to add runs. Depperschmidt lined a single to the fence. Kaczowski added a single and Douglas reached on an error, scoring Depperschmidt. That run was followed by a single from Melden and then Williams drove Kaczowski home on a fielder’s choice.  The score was now 11-3, setting the stage for Roulier’s walk-off homer.

Both teams played great baseball-with only four strikeouts and six walks in the entire game. It was virtually an error-free game by both teams until the bottom of the sixth inning and some amazing defensive plays were made. Catchers Sean Miley and Jared Pratt did a great job behind the plate. 

Andy Rogers, who played in Game One and Hank McNeal, who saw some action in the championship game, were both injured for the majority of the tournament. But they attended practices and helped support their team on and off the field. Coronado scored 58 runs in the tournament, allowed only 23, and averaged three home runs per game in the five games they played. The team was led by Manager Rob Miller and Coaches JD Douglas and Jim Depperschmidt, with assistance from Kyle Kaczowski and John Miley. Divisional play begins July 7 in the Riverside area.

Tsunami Volleyball Club Hosts July Summer Camps

CHS Girls Head Volleyball Coach Leilani Ahmu also serves as the founder and head coach of the Tsunami Volleyball Club. Ahmu recently announced the details of her club’s summer camp, which will appeal to prospective players from second grade through high school. There are three levels of the camp, which runs from July 15-19.

The Little Waves (tsunami reference) is the level for second through fifth grades. From July 15-18 the session times are 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 19 the group will adjourn to the beach from 8-10 a.m. Cost for this camp level is $145 which includes instruction, a camp T-shirt and lunch on July 19, the last day of camp.

The Middle School group, which is for grades 6-8, runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. for the first four days of camp and also from 8-10 a.m. on July 19. The cost for this age group, with the same benefits listed above, is $165.

High School aged players, which includes incoming freshmen through rising seniors, will meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 15-18. Their beach session will run from 10 a.m. to 12 noon July 19. This division costs $185. For all divisions, the first four days of camp will be held at Coronado High School. To RSVP for the camp please E-mail Coach Ahmu at Leilani@tsunamivbc.com.  Checks can be made payable to Tsunami Volleyball Club or TVBC. Cash as payment for camp registration fees is also accepted.

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1 comment:

  • Jayden Fereday posted at 11:08 pm on Sun, Jul 30, 2017.

    Jayden Fereday Posts: 1

    It summer again and that true it reminds of us about the swimming but not where I live because its too hot to even go for the swimming and according to best australian assignment help services we need to make indoor swimming pools so that we can use them in summer too.