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.
Georgia Bulldog-affiliated swimmers crossed the country to dominate the Mesa stop of the Pro Swim Series, with 5 of the Athens Bulldog postgrads winning 9 events.
Coach Bauerle’s crew included three-event winner Olivia Smoliga, the only American record-setter in Mesa, and the Bulldog pros probably could have dominated even further had they entered more events.
Smoliga swept the 50, 100 and 200 backstrokes, showing excellent range for a swimmer more known as a sprinter. Smoliga put up the fastest 50 back time in American history at 27.43, and did so in the third round of a tough, three-round shootout. Race video here.
The only three-event winner on the men’s side was fellow Bulldog alum Chase Kalisz, who swept the 200 and 400 IMs for the third-straight meet and won the 200 fly.
Additionally, Nic Fink won the men’s 50 breastroke shootout. And elsewhere in the meet, Georgia pro Hali Flickinger won the 200 fly and Melanie Margalis the 200 IM. Margalis could well have won the 400 IM and mystery 200 IM, too, had she swum them.
And of course, for college coaches, the big wins and losses of this time of year come in recruiting. Bauerle got one huge win by recruiting Zoie Hartman, the #6 recruit in the nation who should be the best Georgia breaststroker since Margalis graduated in 2014.
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