Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
NC State has been one of the fastest-rising collegiate programs in the United States, and that success was on full display at the World University Games.
Head coach Braden Holloway had 4 swimmers win 10 total medals at World University Games, representing both the United States and Canada. On top of that, Holloway was an assistant coach for the American team, which led all nations with 11 gold and 28 total medals.
Justin Ress was the breakout star of the Universiade, winning the 100 back (while finishing within two one-hundredths of his season-best which sits #8 worldwide), 400 medley relay and 400 free relay while taking silver in the 50 backstroke. The free relay was maybe the most notable of Ress’s performances, with a field-best 48.07 split that would put him on most nation’s top relays at the World Championships.
Ryan Held was on both of those relays as well, splitting 48.2 on the free and anchoring in a stellar 47.8 on the medley. He also won the 100 free gold in 48.36.
Canada’s Alexia Zevnik was another relay hero, coming up with a huge 54.10 anchor job on the 400 free relay to give Canada its only gold medal of the meet. Zevnik also took silver in the 200 back in 2:09.92.
And on the distance end, Hannah Moore took home bronze for the United States in the women’s 1500 free, going 16:11.68.
In the NCAA, NC State has put a premium on relays, with game-breaking relay performances keying the school’s rise into the NCAA’s upper echelon. It’s clear that focus on relays is extending to the international level, with Held, Ress and Zevnik all putting up their best showings in relay events for their respective national teams.
That’s a sign of focused coaching leading to very visible team-wide improvements in key areas – and for that, Holloway is our Coach of the Month for August.
About Competitor Swim
Since 1960, Competitor Swim® has been the leader in the production of racing lanes and other swim products for competitions around the world. Competitor lane lines have been used in countless NCAA Championships, as well as 10 of the past 13 Olympic Games. Molded and assembled using U.S. – made components, Competitor lane lines are durable, easy to set up and are sold through distributors and dealers worldwide.
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