Sunday, July 25, 2010

Final day at AGN

I don't think that everyone understands how exhausting a 5 day meet is until they've been through it. I'm not even sure what day it is (kidding, its Sunday) and I am exhausted. I cannot even begin to think how tired our athletes are.

Men were in the East pool again today which, honestly, is a sub par pool. It's much smaller, the blocks aren't as good, it isn't as deep. Very little fast swimming happening there throughout the week, even when the women were in it on Friday and Saturday. Our swims today were strong, but as I said before, a week long meet is exhausting!

Karl lead off in 200IM. Very strong 150 mark but had a hard time holding on at the end. Even still, Karl equaled his best time of 2:26 and had a very good week overall. He finished 39th.

Kyle's 200IM was also a bit of a struggle. Breaststroke was a little off and Kyle added a little over a second to his best. He finished 21st.

Matt Fox's 400FR was deceivingly well done. At first I was puzzled with his splitting, but Matt was the closest to his best time today with only adding 3 tenths of a second. I think Matt handled himself very well this weekend considering that he is one of the youngest athletes here AND the youngest Blue Fin. Matt qualified as a 12 year old in a 13 year old category and that needs to be applauded.

Mitchell's 400FR was faster than he was a provincials AND he held on VERY hard at the end for a solid finish. I was pretty proud of the way Mitchell turned around his week!

The end of meets is always a bit sentimental and sad for me, especially since this marks the official end of the season. I have no idea why I feel sad, especially since I'll be seeing all these athletes in Sudbury at Ontario Summer Games (Kyle is going for Triathlon, the others are going to swim). I guess when I think about it, I am just so proud of what we have achieved as a team in the past 2 years that I have been at the helm. We have come a LONG way from the 46 member club I joined in 2004.

Most of you will be interested to know that I have signed on for 2 more seasons as head coach of HHBF (at least I hope that you will be interested to know...). Changes to what we do and how we do them are inevitable, but trust that they are all for the betterment of HHBF and the development of all its pieces.

The past 2 years have been some of the most fulfilling I have had. Lets continue on in our quest for excellence.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kyle Haas 5th in 100BK -- HHBF sits in 50th place

Kyle Haas was 5th tonight in 100bk in a PB of 1:01.00. 4th place finisher was 1:00.95... Who says finishes don't matter!!??

Kyle was in it the entire race and was out touched.

"I'm happy with the race'" says 15 year old Haas. "everyone who beat me is older than me." Kyle just turned 15 at the end of June. "I'm better than (silver medalist and soon to be 16) Zac Zandona was last season and its a good benchmark."

Congratulations to Kyle for an outstanding week so far. He will finish up the season tomorrow with 200IM.

HHBF is also sitting in 50th place. With something like 178 teams present from across the country, I think HHBF is sitting quite nicely with 1 day to go. Congratulations to our athletes and good luck with our last day.

Day 5 tomorrow -

Kyle Haas and Karl Massey in 200IM
Matt Fox and Mitchell Krafczek in 400FR

Go Blue Fins!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Morning of Day 4 @ AGN

100BK was a great event for everyone. Mitchell started the day with a pb of 1:08.26. Mitchell placed 30th overall. Matt followed with a decent 100BK which was just a little bit slower than his best at 1:11.27. Matt finished 24th... don't forget that this is also a 13 and under category and Matt is only 12.

By far the race of the morning was Karl Massey's 100BK where he took off 1.22 seconds and swam almost perfectly! The video of this race is above. Please note Karls start, turn and finish were textbook as well as his ability to regulate and maintain his stroke rate on the second 50. Karl's final time was 1:03.24 and he JUST missed the final by 6 tenths of a second. He finished 13th. I am very proud of this race!

Kyle's 100BK was good enough to make it into the final in 5th place. 1:02.14 was his second best long course time ever, but we have a few things to tighten up for tonight if we want to move up the ladder from 5th to medal position (which is a possibility).

Matt and Kyle's 200FR were both pretty flat. They both added time, but both had to wait around for almost 2 hours between 100BK and 200FR.

This will likely be HHBF's last final this weekend so PLEASE tune into the webcast tonight. Coverage will start around 6:30pm eastern time and Kyle will swim at about 6:40 - 6:45. This should be a very exciting race, so please tune into for 6:30pm and think powerfully positive thoughts for Kyle!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Winnipeg Pool

I have gotten a lot of emails asking what the pool in Winnipeg is like. Its a very nice pool! I swam here quite a bit when I swam. This is video of the pool deck in the west (competition) pool. There is another 8 lane 50m pool on the other side of the warmdown pool in the shallow end.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A quiet day, but a couple of great 50FR races

Matt Fox and Mitchell Krafczek had today off from racing (they will practice tonight at finals), so all we had today were 2 50FRs by Karl and Kyle (video above). Both races were very well done and continued our trend of solid races through the meet.

Karl was very quick and nailed his start and finish for a half second best time of 27.32. About a month ago, Karl had never been under 28.11 so the advancement we have had in sprint FR is outstanding. I was really happy with this race and proud of Karl. This was a bonus race so we didn't expect much in placing. Karl ended up 61st out of 66 in his age group.

Kyle was going in 18th in 50FR this morning and was faster than he was at provincials. As you can see in the video above, Karl had a better than usual start and a great first few strokes to set his pace. He was able to gain some ground into the finish (which is obscured by a doofus with a big head) which is not the usual way that Kyle swims 50FR. Best time and new club record of 25.77. He finished 19th overall.

I can be heard in saying in Kyles video "this is going to suck". To clarify, I was saying that because the view of the finish was obscured, not because the race was going poorly.

No finals tonight. Matt and Mitchell will workout tonight from 4 to about 5:30, then we're done for the night. Tomorrow is going to be a HUGE day! 4 people swimming 100BK (a good event for all 4) and then Matt Fox and Kyle Haas both swimming 200FR (325 men swimming 200FR in total).

I am still very proud of what we are doing out here. Stay posted to this blog for more details. Click on some adds on this page. Listen to D-Moos Radio, our newest bunch of supporters ( I'll update again tomorrow.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kyle Haas 8th in 100fr and 4th in 50bk

Wow! What a 50bk we just saw. Kyle was less than .2 seconds out of 3rd place with a blistering time of 28.31. I am super proud of Kyle and that race. He did everything he was suposed to do and deserves the great finish he got. A half second best time in a 50bk is a huge thing! Good work, buddy!

The 100fr was a gift (a lot of slow 100fr's resulted in kyle's 8th place spot in finals). We certainly made the most of it with a best time of 55.91. Great racing today... And can you believe that the meet isn't even half way done yet!!?? 3 more days of competition.

Tomorrow is a little bit quiet, only Kyle and Karl swimming 50fr. Not sure if we'll get any finals out of it, but I am sure to keep you all posted. Stay tuned!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.

Kyle Haas squeaks into 8th place in both 100FR and 50BK... Should buy a lottery ticket.

Today was MUCH better than yesterday. As of the end of finals last night, HHBF stood in a 3 way tie for 64th place, ahead of both Markham and Milton. Today was even better than yesterday.

Mitchell's 100FR started the day. It was a little rough, but a big improvement on yesterday's events. Mitchell finished 52nd.

Kyle's 100FR was next. He actually looked great this morning and raced to a .02 best time... and squeaked into finals by .02 seconds. He'll swim again tonight.

HHBF then had a 2hour and 45min break (there were 29 heats of 400IM between 100FR and 50BK). Or guys all took of for a while and came back to re-warmup at 11:45. 50 back was Awesome! Karl was first and went under 30 seconds for the first time ever. 29.87 was his time and he finished in 13th place. A great race!

Matt Fox was next with a time of 33.98, also a bets time. Matt's start was significantly better today than yesterday, and that is where a good chuck of that speed came from. He finished in 30th spot.

Mitchell's 50BK was also fantastic, breaking 32seconds for the first time. Mitchell went 31.95 and finished 26th. A great sign for Mitchell for the balance of the weekend.

Kyle's 50BK was a little flat (could have been the almost 3.5 hours between events). It was good enough for an 8th place spot in finals. All we need is a lane.

Don't forget to check out the live finals feed tonight at 6:30 eastern time. Kyle is set to swim 100FR at 6:42. 50BK will be approx an hour later.

Stay posted, I will post again tonight after finals.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kyle Hass 4th in 200BK... not bad for an off event!

--ANOTHER UPDATE-- video here on my facebook page...!/profile.php?id=518231222

--UPDATE-- video is too big to be posted on this blog. I am posting it on my facebook page now. Check it out in about an hour.


A fairly good day to start the 2010 Canadian Age Group Championships. The day started with 12 year old Matt Fox competing in boys 13 year old 200BK. Matt looked outstanding in warmup and I was looking forward to a great race. Unfortunately, Matt's foot slipped off the start which gave him about a .90 seocnd disadvantage. Matt still swam very quickly and was only off his best time by .03 seconds. It was a great first National race and an indication of things to come from this youngster. Matt's time of 2:33.22 placed him 31st out of 57 (many of those people were 13, as were many of those who beat him).

Mitchell Krafzcek was next. He had an outstanding race for the first 150m, then had a tough time finishing. Mitchell added a few seconds and finished 35th out of 44.

Karl's 200BK was a little slower than his best from provincials a couple of weeks ago. Again, not a bad race at all, mostly the final 50 that was a bit rough. It is to be expected on the first day on a big stage like this. Karl still finished 15th out of 37 which is pretty decent.

Kyle's 200BK was ugly in prelims, but fast enough to start him in 4th spot in finals.

Mitchell also swam 1500 this afternoon which was also a bit rough... although since there were approx 40 heats of 1500, the energy level in the pool was a bit low. The results for that event are not posted right yet, so I am not sure where he is going to finish... more on that when it gets posted.

Kyle's 200BK (video above) was really good. To be 4th after being in the age group for less than a month is great... especially when it is not your best event. As you can see from the video, Kyle's 3rd 50 was a little slower than we would like and he picked it up A LOT when he saw his rival Brandon Bronson from Oshawa gaining on him. The finish is probably a little too tight to see in the video, but Kyle DID finish 4th with a best time (and new club record) of 2:13.43 (old time of 2:13.88). He out touched his rival by .16 seconds. Who says finishes don't matter.

50BK and 100FR tomorrow so stay tuned... 4 more days to go in this meet!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Winnipeg... 12 hours from GO TIME.

HI everyone. I am writing from my hotel room in sunny Winnipeg (WAY less humid than at home). We arrived yesterday morning around 10am and got settled. We then went for a practice at the PAN AM pool. The complex is one of my favorites (some interesting memories exist there from my swimming career). It has 2 x 8 lane, 50m pools and a 4 lane, 25m pool for warm down. It also has a full color "mini-jumbo-tron" as well as a all of the state of the art knick-knacks for accurate timing and replay.

This meet has over 1400 swimmers entered (which should make for an interesting warm-up session). It is going to be insane and VERY competitive. HHBF probably stands to make a few finals and possibly a medal or 2 if things go well.

Tomorrow's line up: Karl, Mitchell, Matt and Kyle in 200BK. Mitchell also swims 1500FR early in the afternoon.

Stay posted to my Facebook page, I will be updating who has made finals, etc. If someone (or multiple people) make finals tomorrow night, finals will be available by webcast at .

I am very excited! Our guys are here to be competitive and I feel that they will be. Coming out early gave them a chance to get used to both competition pools and to get acclimatized to Winnipeg and to the travel.

Wish us luck!

We miss you guys!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coach Mike's take on Lebron...

Okay, I know, I know... sports is sports. I do, however feel it necessary to chime in here and give my 2 cents on Jame's decision and the fall out... after all, this does have an effect on kids everywhere... he is a role model whether we like it or not and has a profound impact on athletes everywhere.

a.) COP OUT!!
Put it this way; Larry Bird wouldn't have wanted to leave Boston and go play with Magic Johnson, he would have wanted to crush him every year! In Fact, there was a recent documentary on HBO about that exact topic and how neither athlete could rest until the other was defeated. James wanted to go somewhere where he didn't have to play 82 outstanding games and allow others to pick up his slack. That is not what a champion would do. You never saw Jeff Rouse, Alexander Popov or Michael Phelps apply for Australian citizenship when Australian swimming was hot. Its just not what champions do.

b.) Sucker Punch!!
What kind of terrible person rents TV time to leave the town that supports him so much?? This is like surprising your wife with a divorce on the jumbo-tron at the ACC during a leafs game. I don't think that the 25 year old James understands what he has done... although he clearly understands his importance, as he referred to himself in the 3rd person 5 times on Thursday night.

c.) Cav's Owner isn't helping
Cleveland Cavalier's owner Dan Gilbert blasted James in an open letter on the internet and then further in an interview with ESPN. What does this help? Gilbert also guaranteed Cleveland a championship before Miami wins one with its 3 new free agents. Big words that will likely not come to fruition. A lesson I have learned this season that this man has yet to learn, SLEEP ON IT!

d.) Basketball fans will appreciate this one:

New name for the trio of free agents signed with Miami: Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James...

The Sisterhood of Traveling That Doesn't Get Called (courtesy of Bill Simmons Mailbag).

Kids, Don't be like Lebron!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Thursday, July 8, 2010

2010 Ontario Open Water Swimming Championships

Only 1 Blue Fin participating in this year's open water championships in Brampton; Kristen Gergely. Considering Kristen wasn't able to train much from the end of June until yesterday's race, I think that she did quite well. Kristen participated in the woman's 3KM race and placed 20th out of all woman that participated (10/23 in her age group). Please join me in congratulating her. She certainly did HHBF proud yesterday!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Monday, July 5, 2010

Updated National Rankings After Provincials...

Here is how HHBF ranks Nationally after Provincials...

Keri-Lyn Copeland, 12, 22nd 100FR, 36th in 800FR

Tessa Cieplucha, 11, 8th in 200IM, 13th in 400IM, 21st in 100BR

Emma Fender, 11, 28th in 100BR, 45th in 200BR

Matt Fox, 12, 7th in 100BK, 11th in 200BK, 15th in 200FR, 15th, 100FR

Bjoern-Ole Schrader, 12, 38th in 400IM, 36th in 200FLY, 28th in 100FLY

Kyle Haas, 15, 8th in 200BK, 10th in 100BK, 27th 100FR, 21st 50FR, 33rd, 200IM

Karl Massey, 16, 20th in 200BK, 29th in 100BK

Mitchell Krafczek, 14, 42nd in 200BK, tied for 48th in 100BK

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Provincials Day 4 - Matt Fox Silver and Kyle Haas Bronze

Record breaking day for HHBF. Today Matt and Kyle put us over the record mark of five. The new highest medal count for HHBF at provincials is 7. We also placed 26th overall which is our highest placing ever (beating Milton who finished 32nd overall. Ironically we have beaten Milton at every meet this season EXCEPT for Halton Cup).

Most athletes ever + most medals ever + highest placing ever = GREAT MEET FOR HHBF!!!

Day started with Karl and Kyle both posting best times in 200BK and making finals (Karl in 5th and Kyle in 2nd in different age categories). Mitchell Krafczek also had a best long course time and was first alternate for finals but did not get to swim.

Aaron Brautigam's 100BR was also a best LC time. He finished 19th overall.

The afternoon found Matt Fox obtaining the silver medal that controversially eluded him the other day in 200BK. He broke the club record in the process. Matt had an extremly tough race but showed some great heart! He is definitly a tough guy. He also placed 6th in 400FR.

Tessa broke 1:30 for the first time in 100BR breaking the club record and placing 7th as Emma Fender equaled her best time and placed 11th.

The girls 4x100FR relay was fantastic and was to place 9th but was sadly disqualified for an early takeover. I was still very impressed by what the girls had to give. Special thank you to Veronica Fong who came to help exclusivly on the relays and to Emma Fender who anchored today's relay and split over 4 seconds faster than her best time.

Kyle had an amazing 200Bk in finals and finished 3rd for a bronze medal. It was especially impressive because he was keeping up with Etobicoke's young phenom Zac Zandona who Kyle is often compared to. Kyle's time was 2:13.88. Fantastic swim!

Karl was only slightly slower but ended up in the very seldomly seen 3 way tie for 5th place. Still the second fastest that he had ever been. I am very proud of them both!

I am very pleased with our weekend in Ottawa. I just got home from a 20hour day (including a 5 hour drive home late at night) so I am going to keep this short: We should all be proud of our athletes achievements! They all did very well!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Provincials Day 3 - Tessa Cieplucha Silver, Matt Fox Bronze

Great day to be a Blue Fin again... but isn't every day?

Kyle Haas started the day by equaling his best time exactly in 100FR and made the final.

Karl Massey continued with a 2.5 second PB in 200IM. He finished 20th. Kyle followed with another PB equalization and the 4th place spot in finals. A great morning.

The afternoon began with a FANTASTIC 200FLY (4 second PB even after some MAJOR confusion behind the blocks which was eventually worked out). Bjoern-Ole's time was 2:47.42 and earned him 13th place.

Matt Fox followed with an equal 100FR time of 1:03.12 which was still good enough for a bronze medal. Matt had a very powerful finish to his race after being 6th at the 50 wall. It was really amazing to see the speed he was able to pick up at the end.

Emma Fender had a best time in 200IM last week in practice of 2:58.99 (unofficial and short course, of course). Today she went 2:57.81 and came 20th, just shy of the provincial standard. This was a bonus race and a great usage of the bonus race! Very impressive.

Tessa Cieplucha had an outstanding race in 200IM. Tess and I discussed the opportunity for the medal before the race and decided that regardless of the placing, we were going to judge the race by the usage of the opportunity. Tessa made GREAT use of her opportunity to grab her very first provincial medal. Tessa finished 2nd with a time of 2:44.74. A truly outstanding race. I am very proud of her and we all should be very proud of her. Congrats Tess!!

Girl's relay finished 18th and beat Newmarket, NYAC and Etobicoke. Pretty well done.

Kyle's 100FR tonight was a best time of 56.53 and placed him 6th. His 200IM followed about 9min later and he swam very tough, finishing 6th again in a time slightly slower than the morning. Due to his cold and the air quality in the pool (pool deck hit 103degrees today) he had a hard time breathing, but did an outstanding job, regardless!

I need verification of this, but I believe that we have officially equaled our highest medal total at a provincial meet (with one more day and a couple of more medal chances to go) and have definitely already equaled last summer's medal haul. I am super excited and proud of all of our athletes. Please stay tuned because e have 1 more day to go and its going to be GREAT!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Friday, July 2, 2010

Provincials Day 2 - Matt Fox and Kyle Haas Bronze

Today was significantly better than yesterday for a couple of reasons, the most important was that we were tougher.

100BK was a popular event this morning with 3/4 boys from our club swimming. Mitchell started the day a little off his best and finished 10th (second alternate for finals). Karl, too, was a little off his best, but his swim was good enough for 8th place and a finals swim. Kyle finished 3rd @ 1:02.87... a little off his best and feeling worse than yesterday. Aaron Brautigam was a little slower than his best 200BR and finished 22nd.

This afternoon was incredible. We started with Emma Fender's 50FR. She had never been below 33seconds before and finished 18th overall with a final time of 32.90. Matt Fox's 50FR was decent with an equal time of 29.71. He tied for 7th place.

Tessa Cieplucha was next with 400IM. Her best time going in was 5:57.81. Tessa was very tough and had a very gutsy race, taking off 4 seconds. She finished 6th with a PB of 5:53.39. Bjoern-Ole followed with a VERY tough race. Bjoern finished 11th with an 8 second best time of 5:48.76.

Matt Fox's Bronze medal in 200FR was a little bit controversial. Matt honestly should have finished second due to (what looked like) a blatant false start by the winner, but was ruled legal by the referee. Matt's time was 2:16.39 and had a very good attitude about his placing. "Oh well," he says, "I'm only 12, I have lots more races against him". I am VERY proud of Matt's sportsmanship and attitude about his placing. He is a great representative of HHBF! Bjoern-Ole finished 13th.

I had told Keri-Lyn Copeland to go out fast and win her heat since she was going in 31st. She won her heat, took off 6 seconds and finished 17th with a PB of 2:24.78. That was a brave swim!

Our girls 4x50FR relay finished 3 seconds faster than we expected and all girls had best times... Veronica Fong 32.79, Tessa Cieplucha 30.78, Emma Fender 32.40, Keri-Lyn Copeland 29.95. Great race!! Very proud of these girls.

Mitchell Krafczek showed up to finals as second alternate, ready to swim. Karl and Kyle were both in 100BK and both sick :(. Mitchell, despite being ready and looking better than this morning. Kyle was up first. He really wasn't feeling well, nor was he looking forward to the last 20meters of this race hurting so much. He was out in 2nd spot and held on for dear life. With 15m left in the race, Kyle held on and was able to maintain his stroke rate. He finished with a bronze medal in a time of 1:01.77. Not bad for only being in that age group for 6 days.

Karl was only .02seconds off of his LC PB time this morning of 1:04.82. Tonight he was better at 1:04.46 and finished in 8th place.

Karl and Kyle are both GREAT role models for all HHBF swimmers. Neither of them were feeling well at all, although both of them recognized the opportunity in front of them to swim fast and understood the need to perform despite what they would have preferred to do. It was a very gutsy evening of racing for HHBF and we should all be proud of Karl and Kyle. We can learn the lesson that performance isn't always pretty, but the opportunity for greatness is always there. Special thank you to Aaron and Mitchell for coming to support our athletes!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Provincials Day 1 - Matt Fox Bronze in 100BK

Not a bad day today, although a very slow swimming in general at the meet this morning. Many events were slower than anticipated which allowed for some very surprising finals tonight.

Karl and Aaron started out the day with solid 50FR. Both were bonus events so the final results were on the bottom half. Both had some issues with the depth of the shallow end on the dive but swim speed was great. Aaron was slightly faster than his best and Karl was basically even. Kyle had a decent morning swim and went into finals in second place.

200FR was one of the events that was significantly slower overall than anticipated. Mitchell Karfczek started out strong (another bonus event) but had a hard time finishing up and ended up slightly slower than his best. Mitchell ended up 22nd. Kyle who is suffering from a cold and some other ailments had trouble getting his speed up and also ended up slightly slower than his best and was 11th.

Matt Fox was our only medal today with a bronze medal in 100BK (only .01 seconds away from second place). Very big achievement for Matt! Congratulations!!

Other highlights from the afternoon included Bjoern-Ole Schrader's 13th place finish in 100FLY (1.02second PB), Tessa Cieplucha's 8th place finish in 800FR, Keri-Lyn Copeland's 18th place finish (and 6 second PB) in 800FR and our girls relay finishing 15th with a time 3 seconds faster than expected (Tessa splitting 33.90 for 50FLY). Emma Fender got her very first (nerve racking) provincial swim under her belt.

Kyle's illness got the better of him tonight, as he added a slight bit of time and finished 6th in 50FR.

I am pretty happy with how we are doing. Been a very exciting meet filled with nerves and triumph. We're only 1/4 of the way done. Stay tuned. Go Blue Fins!