Charlottesville YMCA Aquatics Club, Cavalier Aquatics Will Merge

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 44

August 01st, 2020 Club, News

The Charlottesville YMCA Aquatics Club and Cavalier Aquatics will merge operations ahead of the upcoming short course season, beginning September 8, 2020. The teams represent 2 of the 3 primary USA Swimming clubs in the area – the Virginia Gators also have a site in Charlottesville.

The emerging program, which will compete under the name Cavalier Aquatics, will remain dual registered as both a YMCA swim team and a USA swim team.

Among the changes is that University of Virginia head coach Todd DeSorbo, who previously led the standalone Cavalier Aquatics, will become the Director of High Performance for the combined club.

DeSorbo’s women’s team at the University of Virginia was seeded to score the most points at the 2020 NCAA Championship meet before that meet was eventually canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

While Cavalier Aquatics served a primary purpose of providing a USA Swimming representation for college and professional swimmers affiliated with UVA, CYAC was primarily an age group program previously.

There is some overlap in the two groups. For example, August Lamb, who holds 8 CYAC team records, is now a rising sophomore at Virginia.

Among other high-profile swimmers to come through the CYAC in recent years is Virginia high school state champion and Virginia Tech commit Athena Vanyo. The club is also home to National Age Group Record breaker Thomas Heilman.

The Brooks Family YMCA has a 10-lane, 25-yard pool that serves as the CYAC’s primary training facility. The new $19 million Brooks YMCA facility opened in June of 2017.

Among other benefits of the merger, this will give University of Virginia-based swimmers and pros access to water during the uncertain months ahead where there will be ongoing uncertainty about who will be able to access University facilities.

“We are extremely excited about the addition of Todd DeSorbo to our coaching staff,” says current CYAC Head Coach, Mike Wenert. “Todd has one of the best minds in the swimming world today. Working side-by-side with Todd will help bring our joint programs to the next level and will be an exciting addition for the swimming community of Charlottesville/Albemarle.”

“I am excited for the opportunity to partner with Mike and the YMCA on this venture to provide a premier age-group and senior club swimming program in the Charlottesville area,” said Todd DeSorbo. “I’m looking forward to working with all the athletes, of all levels, and building on the Y’s mission to develop great young people as well as great swimmers. I believe Charlottesville can be a booming swimming town, from age groupers to elite level Olympic Contenders and this collaboration will provide Charlottesville the opportunity to not only thrive in the area, but also in the state and nationally.”

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PsychoDad
11 months ago

Hmm… Is this how it works in other college towns? Definitely not the case with Longhorn Aquatics. How is DeSorbo going to coach in both places? This to me does not sound right. Eh, what do I know?

Notsofast
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

How is that not a NCAA violation? Is it ok for college coaches to be on deck while HS prospects are in the water?? What if the college coach is actually coaching these prospects?

PsychoDad
Reply to  Notsofast
11 months ago

Exactly. I am sure it is not a violation, otherwise he would not do it. Maybe it is considered as “a camp.” Maybe he cannot recruit swimmers from his club? Still does not sound right and college coaches should not be allowed to coach USA Swimming clubs. It is like a college footbal coach also coaching the best football high school in state.

Adam
Reply to  PsychoDad
11 months ago

It worked great for Longhorn/CCA back in the early 2000s. Amazing age group program with world record holders in the 100/200 breast, 100/200 back and 100 fly.

DravenOP
Reply to  PsychoDad
11 months ago

For someone who is so invested in the sport, you seem to be ignorant of what is common practice.

Coach A
Reply to  Notsofast
11 months ago

It is permissible for college coaches to coach a local club team, as long as all members reside within a 50-mile radius. And great for the summer season when your college swimmers join the club team

PsychoDad
Reply to  Coach A
11 months ago

Thanks. I did not know that rule. Weird that football coaches have limited access to players during the summer break, but swimming coaches can practice with them in the club.

PowerPlay
Reply to  PsychoDad
11 months ago

There is big money at stake in NCAA football and basketball, swimming not so much.

Notsofast
Reply to  Coach A
11 months ago

Can you specify the rule? Would like to read it…

Still, hard to believe that this is allowed – it would make no sense if it is.

Notsofast
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

Thanks Braden. This rule is bizarre to say the least… if I am the head coach of a multi-site team and also of an institution, I clearly have a recruiting advantage, don’t I? How is this allowed? What’s the logic behind allowing it?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

Never go full-on flummoxed.

Erik
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
11 months ago

Ain’t no half steppin’..

Coach
Reply to  Notsofast
11 months ago

A college coach can coach a local sports club, as long as all members of the club live within 50 miles. 100 miles for D2.

John
Reply to  PsychoDad
11 months ago

Every city and university is unique in its choices to partner with other organizations. Care to expand on what you fee isn’t right here?

coach
Reply to  John
11 months ago

I think the weird thing to many is that the partnership is with a YMCA rather than a club team run out of the University pool. Other than Salo with NOVA, I can’t think of another college coach owning/running a club team that doesn’t train in the university’s pools (although I am sure there are more out there).

New Cav
Reply to  coach
11 months ago

There is no club at the University pool (other than the one we’re merging with, of course). We already have a great pool that UVA will have access to until theirs reopens.

New Cav
11 months ago

Can’t wait to officially be a Cavalier this fall!! We’re all so excited for this amazing opportunity.

Greg
11 months ago

CYAC is also the club of NAG phenom Thomas Heilman. Great move for both CYAC and Cavalier Aquatics!

Swimmer
Reply to  Greg
11 months ago

Their amazing age group coach, who is basically responsible for the team’s success, has left for another local team.

Swimfan
Reply to  Swimmer
11 months ago

This is correct. Alex was doing a great job. Head coach has generally failed at developing the considerable talent in the cyac pipeline.

New Cav
Reply to  Swimfan
11 months ago

The head coach is absolutely amazing. What do you think he’s doing here by getting UVA involved in all levels? He’s doing the best he can, and we’ve got a great program because of it. Alex was given a hero’s farewell, then turned the tables and took a job with the rival area team. He’s excellent, yes, but Mike is our head coach for a reason, and those working with groups below ours are incredible too. Absolutely ridiculous comment.

ICUTRI
Reply to  Swimfan
11 months ago

Very grateful for all that the head coach at CYAC has done to right the ship. He came in as the fourth coach in as many years, rebuilt the team, and has them poised to make the leap onto the national scene. His swimmers appreciate and respect him as do the parents who see him doing many things – like merging with Cavalier Aquatics – to give his swimmers every opportunity to excel. Nothing against Coach Rayle who has done some great things with the younger swimmers, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Kudos, Mike, and thank you. Very excited about the future in Charlottesville.

SWIMFAN
Reply to  ICUTRI
11 months ago

It will be hard to make that leap onto the national scene when the majority of your fast age group swimmers have left to swim with Alex.

Swimparent
Reply to  ICUTRI
11 months ago

This is laughable. CYAC will have a hard time making the “leap onto the national scene” without their talented age group swimmers, most of whom are leaving to swim with Alex.

SwimFam
Reply to  Swimparent
11 months ago

Alex was amazing for some and not for many others. He coaches with negative motivation and has caused several kids to quit the sport. Most of the kids leaving to swim for Gators have never had Mike as a coach, and oh so sorry they won’t have Todd DeSorbo or UVA coaches either. Enjoy swimming with Alex at Fairview’s world class facility.

Swimparent
Reply to  SwimFam
11 months ago

You mean the once a month coaching from Todd? Wow that’s going to be amazing.

SwimFam
Reply to  Swimparent
11 months ago

Yes, it will be! Over time, that’s a lot of exposure for an age group swimmer to have to college coaches. Better than none.

Cville Swim Fan
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

Thanks Braden. I was thinking the same thing and you said it well. As a member of the Charlottesville swim community – a small-ish area with three age group teams -for many years, I’ve seen plenty of kids switching teams. It could be to follow a friend, a coach or just because the new practice schedule didn’t fit a family’s schedule. Whatever the reason, I’ve always felt it best to treat those who leave with respect and wish them luck. They are, afterall, our friends and neighbors and we’ll being seeing them at summer league meets, swimming high school together and who knows, maybe be club teammates down the road again. Stay classy Charlottesville.

ICUTRI
Reply to  Cville Swim Fan
11 months ago

Agreed! There’s nothing better than a crosstown rivalry, and nothing more fun than seeing your friends and their kids in the stands and on deck. It’s something we all look forward to, and I can’t wait to get back to that as soon as COVID clears. Miss everyone! Wishing all the C’ville swimmers (and coaches) well as we collectively raise the bar and go for gold.

Bojangles7
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

Entitled swim parents who attempt to have a head coach fired so their kids beloved age group coach can hopefully take the reigns deserve a bad reputation. This is actually sweet justice and well deserved karma. Thanks for being the moderator, Braden.

2swimfly
11 months ago

Here we go again – unfair advantages….it is the only thing I wish would go away from swimming !!

Coach
11 months ago

Shady Todd. Quite shady.

swimapologist
11 months ago

What am I missing here? Why is everyone so mad? Or is this just part of the general direction that this sport is moving where we just get mad about absolutely every friggin’ thing?

This is clearly within the rules. Almost every college program in the country has an arrangement like this. Cavalier Aquatics is the UVA undergrads + Jack Conger, basically. It’s pretty obvious why this happened – it’s easier to merge the clubs than to try and write and arrange two separate contracts at the local YMCA. Why is everyone making such a big deal out of this?

Adam
Reply to  swimapologist
11 months ago

Tones get miss interpreted in the comment sections. Guarantee most discussions would result in a much more positive outcome if people discussed in person.

DravenOP
Reply to  Adam
11 months ago

Because people can’t hide their stupid comments behind anonymity.

Nonrevhoofan
11 months ago

August Lamb must be super-smart! He just went from 1st year to Junior in 2 months. LOL. He is a rising 2nd Year (Sophomore) and we are glad to have him for 3 more years. BTW: He arrived as a 20.48/45.00/1:39.51 freestyler, and improved this year to 19.49/43.27/ 1:37.60. Those are some mighty nice drops.

STAY IN THE STANDS
11 months ago

It’s a money and pool space grab and neither is wrong. University-based club programs turn into compensation for the university coach and when you compare swim coach salaries to other sports, we should all support the collaboration. With all of the covid unknowns that could prevent the UVA team from training, having back up pool space is a dream scenario, and given the number of trial qualifiers on the UVA team (including former CYAC swimmer August Lamb), we should all support the collaboration. And yes, CYAC has developed some phenomenal swimmers but it’s been largely in spite of the head coach. It isn’t surprising that Alex Rayle accepted a new opportunity as a head coach. Coach Rayle is a talented… Read more »

Love2Swim
Reply to  STAY IN THE STANDS
11 months ago

Thomas Heilman is an unusually talented swimmer, regardless of coaching. If it had been the coaching responsible for his success, all the kids on the team would be as quick as he is. This is nothing against the coach, but let’s be real. This kind of talent comes around once in a while. And it would be ideal to have one team in the area, with the University’s program there to support it.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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