CUBU Tops SwimAtlanta for 2012 USA Swimming Virtual Club Championship

  27 Braden Keith | September 11th, 2012 | Club, Featured, National, News

It has been an up-and-down summer for the mega-club formerly known as Curl Burke, now officially CUBU, in the Potomac Valley/Washington DC Area.

Competitively, though, they still churn out elite junior swimmers like few other programs in the country. With the scoring period over, CUBU has won their second-straight USA Swimming Virtual Club Championship in long course meters, earning 248,876 points to top arch-rivals SwimAtlanta with 246,655. That narrow, 2000 point margin is equivalent to two Katie Ledecky swims.

The scores are tabulated on the basis of the USA Swimming Database and the single age-group power point system (faster times = more points) for 11-18 year olds (17-18’s are combined on a single power point scale). To account for different sizes of teams, only the top two swimmers per event/age have their scores considered, and no swimmer can be considered for more than 4 events. The goal of these rankings is to compare clubs that might have different year-end focuses, based on season-best times.

CUBU/Curl Burke, with yards results included, is on a four-season streak of victories, after SwimAtlanta had won the previous two long course titles. Overall, their point total is the highest we’ve seen in long course since the 2006-2007 season.

Among CUBU’s major success stories are National Age Group Record destroyers Katie Ledecky(now the American Record holder at just 15) and Cassidy Bayer, who has taken big chunks out of Dana Vollmer’s NAG fly records. Other standouts include 15-year old Carsten Vissering, who won Junior Nationals in the 100 breast, and Andrew Seliskar, another 15-year old who was on the Jr. Pan Pacs team and swept the Jr. Nationals IM titles.

The majority of the teams at the top of this list are the typical juggernaut, huge-program powerhouses. After CUBU and SwimAtlanta came the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club and SwimMAC Carolina, both former club champions (note the success of SwimMAC even without the inclusion of David Marsh’s post-grad group).

But next, in 5th, is a team that we’ve been alluding to the rise of for a few years now, finally coming to fruition: Nitro Swimming in Austin. Led by Mike Koleber, this team is only 5 years old, and is already in the top 5 teams in the country. The team came to be in 2008, and despite competing against well-established teams in the area (Longhorn Aquatics, Circle C), have clawed their way up the rankings. They were 14th last year, 21st the year before, and now after opening a second indoor, 50-meter, club-owned pool have burst into national prominence.

It’s not often that we see different clubs emerge near the top of these rankings, so for Nitro to come so far so fast is the biggest story of this year’s top 10.

The striking things about all of the teams at the top is not just that they’re big, but how they got that big. They are predominantly business-focused clubs that have paid business managers with business backgrounds. Egos are minimized, and customer focus is the key. This has allowed them to develop great facilities and elite, enthusiastic coaching staffs that have grown their memberships.

It would be great to see a breakdown of club enrollment along with these scores to see the talent pools available to pull from, but that is not discounting the quality that has had to be to build swimming empires and brands like those near the top of this list.

Also of note, the Sarasota YMCA was the highest-ranked YMCA team at 16th in the country.

Below are the top 10 teams from the long course season, along with their head coach. We welcome all to recognize their club and notable achievements in the comments (highest rankings ever, etc.)!

(If you really want to have some fun with club-swim-geeking, including rankings by Zone and LSC see all of the reporting options here.)

Note that many of these programs have head coaches for specific sites; we have listed the head coach for the overall program but welcome you to visit their websites to learn more about their staffs.

National Rank VCC Team Score Team Name Head Coach/Director LSC City State
1 248,876 Curl Burke Swim Club Pete Morgan/Tom Ugast PV Damascus MD
2 246,655 SwimAtlanta Chris Davis GA Lawrenceville GA
3 241,662 Rockville Montgomery Swim Club David Greene PV Rockville MD
4 240,285 SwimMAC Carolina Russ Kasl/Pam Swander/David Marsh NC Charlotte NC
5 237,493 Nitro Swimming Mike Koebler ST Austin TX
6 235,911 Dynamo Swim Club Jason Turcotte GA Atlanta GA
7 233,117 Alamo Area Aquatic Association (Multiple) ST San Antonio TX
8 233,053 Irvine Novaquatics (None listed) CA Irvine CA
9 231,047 North Baltimore Aquatic Club Bob Bowman MD Baltimore MD
10 229,060 Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics Tony Batis PC Palo Alto CA

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27 Comments on "CUBU Tops SwimAtlanta for 2012 USA Swimming Virtual Club Championship"

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4 years 1 month ago

Congrats to CUBU and RMSC — interesting to note that these two powerhouse clubs come out of one of the smallest LSC’s in the country. So congratulations to Potomac Valley swimming, and all of the parents, officials, coaches and swimmers for being part of such a great club swimming environment. My children (CUBU swimmers) have certainly benefitted.

4 years 1 month ago

The listing you have posted is from the 2008-2009 season.

4 years 1 month ago

The LSC might be small in square miles but large in population which is what really counts.

4 years 1 month ago

That concentration of population offers PVS a huge benefit. It is one of the only, if not the only, LSCs in the country in which you can sleep in your own bed for all meets up to the sectional/national level. Would have loved that for my kids.

4 years 1 month ago

Anyone else find it interesting that 3 of the top 10 clubs in the country are in the state of Maryland.

Yet it is a state whose flagship college doesn’t have swimming program.

4 years 1 month ago

Well said. Wouldn’t it be nice if 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Ms. Ledecky had the opportunity to stay close to home to attend a great academic institution, the University of Maryland AND swim for college and represent them?

4 years 1 month ago

Though based in MD, CUBU also has a very large region in northern Virginia, where at least half of its best swimmers come from, such as seliskar and bayer, along with many others. Still, the northern Virginia swimmers from CUBU and all the other PVS clubs in that area can get to UMD’s pool (where many big meets are) in 30 minutes, so they still benefit from the small area of the LSC.

4 years 1 month ago

Look at GA with two teams in the top ten. Simply incredible. Definitely one of the best swimming states.

4 years 1 month ago

Look at MD with 3!

4 years 1 month ago

CUBU is huge,and has many different sites with different coaches and more importantly, many different coaching styles and philosophies.
Although Pete Morgan is listed as head coach, I do not think he actually coaches any of the above mentioned athletes.It would be nice to recognize the young and up and coming coaches that have revived CUBU,as well as what they do in training.

4 years 1 month ago

Amen! I do not feel that the coaches who are actually in charge of the development of the young athletes get the recognition they deserve.

4 years 1 month ago

The whole VCC is really meaningless unless it was scaled for club size. Who cares if CUBU can pee higher on the wall than RMSC? They both have like 3000 athletes. How about in the under 250 catagory? or 250-500? that might mean something.

4 years 1 month ago

just wanted to point out how cute amber mcdermott looks in the background of that pic

4 years 1 month ago

The one glaring trend is that at least 7 of these clubs have over 1500 swimmers and are basically multi-site programs. I read that you have to have at least 125 swimmers ages 11 and over to just score 2 deep in each offered event. Of course the largest teams are ranked highest- some of these teams alone are larger than our smallest LSCs.

4 years 1 month ago

Excellent point! Advantage mega clubs!

swim coach
4 years 1 month ago

very true… size DOES matter. at one point usa-s “thought” about doing a vcc based on team size, but i guess the idea was canned. maybe the big teams fought against the idea because they would have less of a chance of being #1.

it would be nice to see which teams are producing by ratio. for example, how many jr, snr, trials kids is a team producing based on its overall membership?

if team “a” has 1500 swimmers and has developed 5 OT level kids and team “b” has 40 kids and has developed 2 OT level kids, which is the “better” program?

and i mean developed, not inherited or had move-ins.

i find club excellence to be the better gauge of program versus vcc.

4 years 1 month ago

Or – at the very least – it would be nice that next to the team name, they published the number of athletes in the program – or allow for a sortable report by team size . That way at least I could see how we compare to others at our size, whether we received VCC credit for it or not.

PV Swimmer
4 years 1 month ago

How about NBAC. I believe they have about 250 swimmers. Every team has move ins including NBAC but not many in the under 18 category where these points are earned.

4 years 1 month ago

ummmm they sure do have “move ins” under 18. start with Runge, Ryan, and Morris (although the later moved in yrs ago because her brother moved in then). Those r just off the top of my head

PV Swimmer
4 years 1 month ago

That is why I said, “Not that many”. I didn’t say none. The two you mentioned, Runge and Ryan, didn’t come to swim with NBAC. They came to NBAC when their coaches accepted jobs there this past fall. Runge still lives in her original house in PA and didn’t relocate here. As a parent of a PV swimmer, my daughter who is also 16, knows these girls from meets.

4 years 1 month ago

Not passing judgement, but to imply NBAC has a normal amount of “move-ins” is disengenous. All programs do not have move-ins. NBAC has a number of big-scorers in the VCC who are move-ins. You’re forgetting O’toole. Annie Zhu is a move in. Peltons were move-ins. Lauren Hine was a move-in. Runge and Ryan should certainly be considered move-ins. If there are 10, that’s 10 more than most teams.

4 years 1 month ago

Felicia Lee was a move in.

PV Swimmer
4 years 1 month ago

Oh my goodness. I think I hit a nerve with someone. Where did I say there were no move ins? I made a simple statement about “under 18s”. My point was simple. There aren’t that many. If you think 10 over the last 8 years is a lot , then yes, it is a lot. Lauren Hine did not move in. She still lives in PA as does Morris. They did not move here. Just because you change LSC’s in a small area such as Maryland, less than an hour from VA, DE, PA, WV, you could easily be in a number of different LSC’s. We didn’t move but switched from MD to PV. They changed teams. Runge did not move here. She changed teams. Still lives in her same house and drives. Pelton and Lee did move and you missed Wang who also moved with BB when he returned to the team. Ryan moved here with her coach. Lee is not in the VCC results because she is in her 3rd year of college. To me moving involves changing houses. Anyway, I am sure we have missed a few. But still, even 15 move ins over 8 years is not that many. Point being they do well for a small team…… that’s all I am saying.

4 years 1 month ago

You’re wrong about a few of the current swimmers. I would say NBAC has more move-ins than any other team – other than Boles – on the list. That is all.

PV Swimmer
4 years 1 month ago

Which ones am I wrong about? One of them is my daughter’s best friend which is why I am familiar with these swimmers. We see her every weekend at her home in PA.

4 years 1 month ago

At what point is some one no longer a “move in” lee moved to nbac when she was 12 Pelton was maybe 13 and Morris was like 11. Hine was also ver young I believe… These girls all swam for nbac for the past 4-5 years before heading to college (Pelton to t2) one year maybe two I understand the argument that they are “move ins” looking for a better training situation. But 4-5 years?


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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