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.
It’s already been a successful 2023 for Carmel coach Chris Plumb, with an early highlight being his leading of Carmel High School to a pair of state titles in February. That momentum has carried into the long course season, with Carmel Swim Club having a very strong performance at the Indy Spring Cup in mid-May.
Headlining that effort was 16-year-old Alex Shackell, who set lifetime bests in the women’s 100 free (54.69), 100 fly (57.63) and 200 fly (2:08.68). Shackell moved to #3 all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group in the 100 fly, #6 in the 200 fly and #8 in the 100 free.
We also saw strong swims on the girls’ side from 15-year-olds Molly Sweeney, who set personal best times in the 100 breast (1:08.60) and 400 IM (4:50.83), and Lynsey Bowen, who established PBs in the 200 free (1:59.82), 400 free (4:11.97), 800 free (8:38.53) and 200 fly (2:16.15).
Berit Berglund, 18, also set a new lifetime best in the 100 fly in the 100 fly, and in one of her primary events, the 100 back, she came within three-tenths of the mark she established at the 2022 U.S. International Team Trials (1:00.23) in 1:00.50.
2022 World Championship gold medalist Drew Kibler has been swimming well all season under Plumb, including going 1:45.82 in the 200 free in March, and had some solid in-seasons swim in Indy, clocking 50.07 in the 100 free, 1:48.66 in the 200 free and 3:55.98 in the 400 free.
Plumb’s swimmers earning lifetime bests in an in-season meet more than one month out of their peak taper competition shows that the training group is thriving, and we should expect for it to continue throughout the summer.
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