Washington Club CAAT Becomes the Seattle Metropolitan Aquatic Club

What was formerly known as the Central Area Aquatic Team (CAAT) has resurfaced as the Seattle Metropolitan Aquatic Club (SMAC). The club has undergone recent and significant growth and change in terms of coaching staff and team size, and has also added additional locations to accommodate their progressions.

Changes have been going on this spring in the wake of sexual abuse allegations against former KING Aquatic Club CEO Sean Hutchison. In April, four coaches from KING switched over to SMAC, along with over 100 swimmers.

This spurred on the decision to expand SMAC’s capabilities as a high-performance club. With the new coaches and swimmers on board, SMAC added four practice pool locations (Evergreen Pool, Kent-Meridian Pool, Mercer Island Beach Club, Newport Hills Swim Club), as well as expanding hours at existing practice pools (at Seattle University and Mercerwood Shore Club). Tommy Cunningham, Keith Ure, Tomas Mendez, and Bill Inglis joined the coaching staff from KING. Kenneth Spencer is the current head coach with SMAC.

SMAC has been around in the Seattle area for many years and will extend from the central Seattle area to South King County with these expansions. The team size has also more than doubled with these changes.

SMAC debuted under its new team name and logo at the Mel Zajac Jr. and Apple Capital meets the weekend of June 1st.

19
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

19 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Former pnw
4 years ago

The coaches listed (Ken, Keith, Tommy, Tomas, and Billy) are amazing people and amazing coaches. I am excited to see what they can accomplish as part of SMAC. The new coaches are joining an already great staff, so it will be exciting to see what this combination yields. Not only do these coaches have a profound understanding of the sport, they sincerely care about the person and not just the athlete. Good luck to Seattle metro aquatic club!

ernie and bert
Reply to  Former pnw
4 years ago

Right. At the Apple Capital meet, the new “Smac” staff tried to put several unattached swimmers into relays under the guise of the new name. This resulted in several relay disqualifications. Must have been a hoot. Oh yeah, that other thing. Ken Spencer is still a business partner with Sean Hutchison at AMG.

PNS Parent
Reply to  ernie and bert
4 years ago

Wow so that means all the people that went to get away from Sean’s sphere of influence, is currently contributing to his finances by swimming at AMG pools with SMAC/CAAT? I know I would be pretty upset if I was just figuring this out!

Stayin’ King
Reply to  PNS Parent
4 years ago

I am sure that these new swimmers and parents were not aware of the partnership that Spencer and Hutchison continue to operate Aquatic Mgt. Group. New King team is entirely new ownership that has no ties to old owner. Gee can CAAT or SMAC (isn’t this slang for heroin?) say the same?

Wilma
Reply to  Stayin’ King
4 years ago

Oops. According to these links your new owner is/was an advisor to IKKOS which if I’m not mistaken was a company owned by the previous owner of King (Hutchison). And if you look further was actually media relations of IKKOS. His twitter feed also has pictures of Hutchison and IKKOS throughout. https://angel.co/terry-yen https://twitter.com/snapdragonfirst?lang=en

David
Reply to  ernie and bert
4 years ago

Maybe SMAC coaches were just giving the younger swimmers who don’t get a lot of opportunities to do relays, that chance. Knowing they were going to be DQ’ed already (and getting the permission of the meet ref), but they still got to get out there and have the relay experience SMAC obviously wasn’t focusing on the point factor if so, they would not have mixed up the talent, and was just letting kids have fun and swim -isn’t that what is all about?

SwimFamily
Reply to  David
4 years ago

They entered their kids at EVERY level in this manner, so it wasn’t about just letting the little kids swim relays. This was the first meet with their new name of SMAC and they entered all their swimmers as if they were attached, which they are not able to at this time yet. Play by the rules. It is really simple, just play by the rules.

Swimmer
Reply to  ernie and bert
4 years ago

Ernie and Bert, in previous posts you have told the former members of King to move on and worry about their own team…might be time to take your own advice. You seem very bitter. I was told the meet host allowed the swimmers to swim the relays with precoordinated DQ’s…simply an opportunity for the kids to swim. From what I have heard it was a hoot for the kids….who this is all done for!

Elizabeth
4 years ago

Tomas Mendez left KING in August 2017 to coach college full time before joining CAAT in April 2018.

PNS Parent
Reply to  Elizabeth
4 years ago

Yeah to bad he was actively recruiting swimmers to join CAAT/SMAC after joining in direct violation of USA Swimming rules by personally contacting and through proxy by the use of ex King Swimmers. So sad, just let the Kids swim.

Former pnw
Reply to  Elizabeth
4 years ago

Tomas is one of the nicest and most caring people I know. He is an amazing coach and truly cares about the people in his life. I am grateful for his friendship and know that our friendship has helped me become a better person.

Cris Santos
4 years ago

Here’s the reality of what happened…. when Ariana came forward with her accusations,, Ken Spencer engaged with his former colleagues at king, and the former Booster club at king… ( there is a paper trail of emails on the laptops of the former booster members). The discussion started long before the above mentioned coaches resigned,, long before! In these emails it was very apparent of what the goal was- destroy king and take as many king swimmers as possible, as well as the pools that king was operating out of. This was collusion with malice- has to make you wonder about the clowns who planned it out…king is moving forward- completely fresh start.. about the swimmers and giving them the… Read more »

Adam
Reply to  Cris Santos
4 years ago

The pools that dropped KING did so on their own accord, as did the coaches, the swimmers and their families. I personally resigned because KING to me now represents child abuse and lies. That’s really all it comes down to.

GOGGLES
Reply to  Adam
4 years ago

Really Adam? You shouldn’t cast stones while living in a glass house!

Attention seeker
Reply to  Cris Santos
4 years ago

Ha good ol club drama… Not gonna lie, most of the country doesn’t care about your drama and your bitterness towards coaches who left your team. Coaches have every right to leave teams (and sounds like they left a team with a lot of baggage… I would want to leave that mess too and people like you).

And you aren’t really convincing anybody that you are moving forward with posts like this. But I guess I’m just as bad since I actually wasted time posting a reply on something like this. But I’m moving forward with a fresh start…after this comment! (I added an exclamation point to the end of mine too… makes me feel important!)

Julian Assange
Reply to  Cris Santos
4 years ago

Your booster club gets laptops? (And just cause I’m that type of person, it’s not really a paper trail then is it?)

C hanson
Reply to  Cris Santos
4 years ago

i don’t really care about this side of things. But I am curious to know about any changes king implemented since Ariana came forward? Any new/updated policies? Has King taken any action to prevent future victims? Any educational opportunities discussing sexual assuault/grooming?

ernie and bert
4 years ago

SMAC ?

Slang?
Reply to  ernie and bert
4 years ago

Lol not the best acronym, but I guess there are worse.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

Read More »