From fall to spring, it’s been one long season of change and evolution for Santa Clara Artistic Swimming. Between getting our Aquamaids and Aquamen training camps set up, the retirement of longtime Santa Clara Artistic Swimming head coach Chris Carver, and welcoming new head coach Bill May to the organization, the past few months have been a very busy and exciting time. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s been going on—and what’s ahead for Santa Clara Artistic Swimming!
Even coaches have birthdays, much to the surprise of student-athletes who may think they’re just built in a factory. Our new head coach, Bill May, celebrated his 43rd birthday on January 17, 2022, as he was preparing to step into the top slot, which he formally accepted on February 20, 2022. A native of Syracuse, New York, and a World Champion Mixed Pair Artistic Swimmer, we’re proud to have Bill guiding and molding the next generation of Santa Clara Aquamaids and Aquamen.
Our coaching staff isn’t the only ones making waves, though. Artistic Swimmers Rachel and Brianna Holmes, who are active in diversion and inclusivity awareness efforts both in and out of the water, created an exhibition segment for the museum at the Kelly Pool in Philadelphian, entitled “Pool: History of Segregation,” which was led by creative director Victoria Prizzia, and opened to the public in September 2021. Santa Clara Artistic Swimming is excited, proud, and honored to report that the Holmes sisters’ exhibition segment received a nomination for the Lee Pitts Award for Leadership and Organizational Excellence. We believe work like the Holmes sisters’, which showcases the richness and diversity of Artistic Swimming culture specifically and athletics in general, sends a crucial message to veteran athletes, novice swimmers, the generation yet to discover this sport, and of course, the general public. Well done, Rachel and Brianna!
As excited as we are to welcome Coach May, we are equally happy and saddened to bid a fond farewell to former SCA Head Coach Chris Carver, who served Santa Clara Artistic Swimming with diligence, joy, honor, discipline, and the highest principles of sportsmanship for over 37 years.
On February 18, 2015, Coach Carver was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, alongside luminaries like figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, legendary football coach Bill Walsh, and competition swimmer Donna de Varona.
But for the generations of young athletes, Chris has helped shape them into the best of the best, she is a far more personal and approachable figure, as the overwhelming response on our Facebook calls for memories of Coach Carter under the hashtag #ChrisCarverMoment demonstrates! We are proud to have benefited from her wisdom, knowledge, and athletic capability, and on the occasion of her 80th birthday on February 28th, everyone at Santa Clara Artistic Swimming wishes her all the best as she moves forward to the next chapter of her inspiring life and career!
The first gales of March also heralded the first announcements for SCA’s summer camps at community pools around the Bay Area, featuring classes in Artistic Swimming, water polo, and much more! These weeklong intensive camps are designed for swimmers with basic swimming and water safety experience, ages 6-12. Each camp is coached by well-known luminaries and celebrity names in the world of Artistic Swimming to make learning swimming sports fun, exciting, and of course, educational. For more information, click here!
On March 25th, the Mercury News ran a story about the urgent need for renovations at SCA’s home pool, the George F. Haines International Swim Center, whose legendary namesake was a US Olympic swimming coach.
According to the Mercury News, the Swim Center is the swimming world’s equivalent of baseball’s Yankees Stadium, with a legacy of 51 Olympic medals, 80 Olympians, and 23 world records, including one by swimming hero Michael Phelps, set within its waters. We are asking the public to raise their voices in support of renovations for this historic and history-making facility with the Santa Clara City Council until a bond issue is added to the next ballot.
Santa Clara Artistic Swimming is proud to announce that we recently participated in the Juniors Division of the 2022 U.S. National Championships, which were held in Geneva, OH, from April 6-10. Our Artistic Swimming competitors made a very strong showing, bringing home a very respectable crop of medals. The Devils and Sharks certainly did an amazing job demonstrating why Santa Clara Artistic Swimming are some of the best, most disciplined, focused, and determined aquatic athletes in the world. We are especially proud to congratulate the following Santa Clara Artistic Swimming for their performances!
Please note that the (official scores) follow the swimmer’s name and category in parentheses.
- Claire Kim: Technical Solo (75.8544)
- Free Solo (78.5250)
- Brianna and Rachel Holmes: Technical Duet (75.0925)
- Santa Clara Artistic Swimming:
- Technical Team (74.3141)
- Free Team (75.6250)
- Free Combination (76.5417)
To learn more about Santa Clara Artistic Swimming, we invite you to click here. For information on how to enroll your child in our upcoming summer swimmer camps, please click here. If you’re interested in volunteering with Santa Clara Artistic Swimming, you’re welcome to click here and send us a message. And if you’d like to support your local Santa Clara Artistic Swimming in a more “offbeat” way, we invite you to check out Aquamaids Bingo at 1600 Martin Avenue in Santa Clara. You could win huge cash prizes while helping support these enthusiastic and talented young athletes as they pursue their dreams.
Of course, it’s only April, and there’s still a lot more to come from Santa Clara Artistic Swimming. Be sure to keep watching this space and our Facebook page for all the latest news and events!