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.
In May of 2008, a star was rising in American swimming: Rhode Island teenager Elizabeth Beisel.
A 14-year-old member of the 2007 World Championships team, Beisel was an up-and-comer with a shot at her first Olympic berth. Her club coach, Chuck Batchelor, had the Bluefish swimming tearing it up in the month of May to set up for that Olympic invite.
In January of 2008, Beisel hit lifetime-bests in the 200-meter back (2:10.92), 200 IM (2:15.30) and 400 IM (4:41.85). Then at the Santa Clara Pro Swim in May, Beisel blasted more than five seconds off that 400 IM time, going 4:36.75 to move to #2 nationally for the season.
In Santa Clara, Beisel was also 2:11.01 in the 200 back and 2:16.87 in the 200 IM.
The very next month, Beisel would ride that momentum to times of 4:32.87 and 2:13.75 in the IMs, plus 2:06.92 in the backstroke. At 15, she was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic swim team in Beijing, competing in the 400 IM and 200 back and making finals in both races.
Batchelor’s Bluefish club also put Laura Sogar into Olympic Trials finals in the 200 breast and semis in the 100 breast (she was 17 at the time).
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