Practice + Pancakes: Tom Wilkens, Brian Retterer Highlight Stroke Day at GMNY

SwimSwam’s Coleman Hodges took a drive down from Brooklyn to New Jersey, where he got to film a practice with the Greater Monmouth YMCA swim team at the Red Bank YMCA. On Tuesdays, GMNY has stroke day, and they get a couple of pretty unique guest coaches to come work with some of the groups.

Tom Wilkens, Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 IM at the 2000 Games, comes into work with the breaststroke group. Wilkens grew up swimming at the Red Bank Y, and now his son is also in the top group at GMNY but in the backstroke group. A backstroke group that, on Tuesdays, is coached by Brian Retterer, one of the most decorated collegiate athletes in Stanford history, winning 15 NCAA titles for the cardinal. He was also the first man to swim under 46 seconds in the 100y backstroke.

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Josh Davis
2 years ago

Love Brian and Tom!!

Brian and I were some the top recruits out of high school in our class of ’90. We took our recruiting trip to Stanford together and had a blast. He ultimately chose Stanford and I committed to Texas. But Brian had the best technique of all of us and was a fantastic racer!

The top 10 recruits that year were:

Brian Retterer from Reno chose Stanford,
Derek Weatherford from Florida chose Stanford,
Tyler Mayfield from Vegas chose Stanford,
Jason Fink from Houston area chose Texas,
Greg Burgess chose Tennessee,
Bill Schell chose Stanford,
Trip Zedlitz from Oklahoma City went to Stanford,
Yann deFabrique went to North Carolina,… Read more »

2 years ago

Jack Caucino is the goat

Wes Mantooth
Reply to  BigDogSwims
2 years ago

Was this the same guy that starred in the TV series called Baywatch. He looks exactly like the guy that worked with Pamela Anderson

2 years ago

Great team lead by an awesome head coach, Jack Caucino! Let’s go GMNY!

Reply to  NJswimfan
2 years ago

Good old Jack…reminds me of my days with LBP!!

cynthia curran
2 years ago

Coleman swimming is good. I can’t kick anymore but he looks real good. Maybe, he swims for exercise like I do.

2 years ago

The swammer-dad-bod vibe is very relatable. I feel seen.

2 years ago

I saw someone else mention Gold In The Water in a comment the other day and I’m going to plug it in here again. Amazing book that follows Tom Wilkens (and to a lesser extent his teammates) in his year of training heading into the Sydney games.

I’ve read the book three times over the years and I promise you that if you read it you’ll be glad you did.

Reply to  Eagleswim
2 years ago

For fans of Gold in the Water, we’d like to kindly suggest the documentary, The Water Is My Sky, which features Tom Wilkens and tells the story from the book along with a few contemporary athletes.

Reply to  Eagleswim
2 years ago

Thanks for the book plug. I’m glad you liked it! Made my day. -Mullen

Holden Caufield
2 years ago

It’s fun to see Tom and Brian a quarter century after their swimming “hay days.”

Tom was also WORLD CHAMPION in the 200 breast at 1998 WCs. Two months later, Tom led Stanford to an NCAA championship in the home pool of the defending champions, Auburn (David Marsh was stunned).

Brian was the “go to guy” in short course swimming in the mid-90s. He was a stud in the individual events, and he super-charged the relays. Brian was my son’s favorite Stanford swimmer to watch back then — he inspired the age-groupers in the stands. He made swimming fast look so effortless. And he was always very friendly!

Both Brian and Gold Medal Mel got to experience the… Read more »

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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