Competitor Coach of the Month: Joe Natina

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 Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks finished off an impressive season with a standout performance at the U.S. Junior National Championships earlier this month in Irvine, earning head coach Joe Natina Competitor Coach of the Month honors for August.

The team finished second in the points race on the girls’ side with 288, just five shy of Carmel Swim Club as they had some monstrous performances from Bailey Hartman and Raya Mellott.

Hartman was the top scorer of the entire meet, as she won the 100 free, took 2nd in the 200 free, 400 free and 100 fly, and added scoring swims in the 200 fly (4th), 800 free (11th) and 1500 free (11th) for 98 points.

A UVA commit, Hartman established new personal bests in six of the eight events she raced at Junior Nats, and took on a staggering 18 swims across five days of racing.

Mellott was the runner-up in the 100 breast (1:08.26) and took 4th in the 200 breast (2:29.84, 2:29.41 in prelims) at just 15, adding a third PB in the 200 IM. Her swim in the 100 breast also broke a 15-year-old Pacific Swimming LSC record.

Liberty Clark and Owen Berry also scored individually while hitting multiple best times, and the team’s relays also performed exceptionally well.

The girls’ relays set new team records in all five events, with three of the relays finishing on the podium and all five in the top seven, while the boys also set a new club record in the 800 free relay to finish 7th overall.

Contributing to the girls’ relay record haul was Hartman, Mellott, Clark, Ellie ButlerMadison O’ConnellSadie Suppiger and Emily Scheberies.


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The boys’ 800 free relay, anchored by Berry (1:50.18), also featured Devyn CaplesEthan Wang and Kaden Wong.


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Natina was among the coaches named to the U.S. staff for the 2023 World Junior Swimming Championships in Netanya, Israel, with Hartman having qualified for the team in the 50, 100 and 200 fly. The meet will run from Sept. 4-9.

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.

Competitor Swim is a SwimSwam partner. 

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Trent Richardson
3 months ago

Well deserved!

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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