Competitor Coach of the Month: John Morse & Doug Wharam, NAC

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 American team of juniors had a dominant showing at Junior Pan Pacs, winning 27 of 35 golds medals and more than half of all medals awarded. Nashville Aquatic Club swimmers accounted for 9 total medals, 7 of them gold.

John Morse and Doug Wharam (listed as coaches of record for all four NAC swimmers on the team) led all coaches with four athletes on the Junior Pan Pacs squad, and all four made A finals appearances.

Gretchen Walsh was perhaps the individual star of the entire meet, winning five gold medals and a silver over the four-day meet. Her medals included wins in the mixed medley relay (where she split a blistering 53.78 on freestyle), the 100 free (a meet record 54.47), the women’s 4×200 free relay (1:59.72 split), the women’s 4×100 free relay (54.92 leading off) and the women’s medley relay (54.7 on freestyle). She was also second in the 50 free (25.57) and about two tenths out of gold.

Older sister Alex Walsh won two golds. She was 2:12.06 to win the 200 IM by nearly three full seconds, and also split 54.92 on the 4×100 free relay. In fact, the two Walsh sisters had identical splits on that winning relay. Walsh was also 9th in the 100 back, but her finals time (1:00.23) would have earned bronze without the rules limiting each nation to only two A finalists.

Ella Nelson chipped in a silver medal in the 200 breast, going 2:27.83 and coming up within a half-second of gold. And while Allie Raab didn’t win any medals, she was an A finalist in three events and near the medal finishes in all three. Raab was 4th in the 100 breast (1:08.83 and three tenths out of bronze), 4th in the 200 IM (2:15.53 and six tenths out of bronze) and 5th in the 200 breast (2:31.41), while swimming the 200 IM and 200 breast in a tough double on the meet’s final night.

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BBQBilly

John Morse keeps cranking out National/World class swimmers year after year. Congratulations John.

ken baker

It’s amazing to me how coaches are given so much credit for the success of the swimmers (college included). Coaches are truly lucky to have swimmers fall in their pool or commit to their school. Most swimmers are born with a natural ability to excel in the water and have the “it” factor to dominate. When it comes to age group swimmers, some coaches benefit from kids that transfer clubs to be with their friends, leave a team where coaches are clueless or the family moved to a new town (all the case with these 4 ladies). These ladies benefited by training everyday and pushing themselves to be the best. Let’s give the credit to the ladies please.

Coach

I don’t know where to start, I usually don’t reply but feel obliged as I am very proud of my profession and how I can and have impacted many young lives, not just swimmers.

Yes these girls are incredibly talented, but the NAC staff is world renowned and coaches with their track record carry this pedigree for a reason. Do you really think it is such a coincidence that FOUR athletes medal at the international level? There is a reason good swimmers go to good programs. The results speak for themselves

Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger

Yes, four swimmers together should have been named Coach of the Month.

Superfan

Ken Heis from Mason Mantarays was probably a close second! Hopefully anyways

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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