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.
The Carmel Swim Club won more than half of the women’s events at the 2021 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East in Greensboro earlier this month, including a sweep of all five relays.
It was a banner showing for Chris Plumb‘s talented squad, with swimmers Alex Shackell, Berit Berglund and Devon Kitchel all earning individual victories while the 400 medley relay team broke the 15-18 National Age Group Record (SCY).
In the 400 medley relay, Berglund (52.09), Kitchel (1:00.11), Shackell (51.97) and Gretchen Lueking (49.71) combined for a time of 3:33.88, narrowly edging out the previous NAG and Winter Juniors meet record of 3:33.93 set by Fort Collins Area Swim Team in 2017.
Shackell, who was competing for the first time since turning 15, quickly asserted herself into the girls’ 15-16 historical rankings, moving into third all-time in the 100 fly (51.21) and 10th in the 200 fly (1:54.26), winning both events in Greensboro while producing significant best times.
Berglund, a recent University of Texas commit, won the 100 backstroke in a big best time of 51.32, while Kitchel, who is committed to begin swimming at Michigan in the fall of 2022, swam lifetime bests en route to winning the 100 breaststroke (1:00.53) and 200 IM (1:56.39).
Plumb’s squad finished first in the girls’ point standings in Greensboro by more than 200 points, scoring 511, and the men’s team took seventh with 148 points.
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