Competitor Coach of the Month: Chris Plumb

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.

On the boys’ side, Aaron Shackell performed well with a new season-best of 1:58.47 in the 200 fly, while Sean Sullivan and Gregg Enoch also hit some new PBs.

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.

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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6 months ago

Congratulations to one of the most successful age group/high school coaches and (now also professional)in the country. He has guided countless athletes to international success and is responsible for preparing several athletes every year for top ten collegiate swim programs. Much deserved recognition.

6 months ago

Nice to see Chris getting well-deserved acknowledgement. Admire his ability to combine so many aspects that go into great coaching, and be one of the more open-minded American coaches.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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