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50 Years, 50 Titans: Sam Wakefield

Posted by Heather Scibetta at May 8, 2021 4:42AM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Our next spotlight is a former Titan that not only enjoyed a long swimming career, but also met some of the most important people in her life because of swimming: Samantha Wakefield. Back in 1995, Samantha McCarthy, now Samantha Wakefield, joined the Titans. Her long swim career started at the young age of 7 and continued throughout her college years.

Sam could always be found in the pool, even though her high school didn’t have a swim team. She played high school soccer for Nichols but always kept up with her Titans practices. Her hard work paid off, she went on to attend Kenyon College where she was part of their elite swim team. She competed in the 100 and 200 back as well as the 200 IM.

Sam is currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and twin one year old boys. When she is not chasing her twins around, she teaches high school history at an all-girls school. Prior to having her boys, Sam and her husband coached for their local swim club, Club Wolverine. She hopes to return to return to the pool decks soon.

Fun Facts about Sam:
- She met her husband on the swim team in college.
- Her husband swam the 400 IM at NCAA’s their freshman year, right next to Titans’ alum, John Gellin.
- She met Kristin (Forgione) Pucser her first day as a Titan, and to this day she is one of her oldest and best friends and was even her maid of honor (check out the picture from her wedding!)

Quick Q & A with Sam:
Q: When did you become a member of the Titan family?
A: I started swimming when I was 7, and first joined the Titans when I was 13. I swam for Titans from 1995 – 2001, and then on summer breaks from college through 2004.

Q: What is your favorite memory about being a Titan?
A:At some point, Scott and Tim drove vans and took us to a long course meet in Cleveland. That was the first meet I had “traveled” to without my parents, and I had a great time! (Check out our social media page for some pictures of this meet)

Q: What is your least favorite stroke or event?
A: Anything freestyle!

We love hearing from our long distance Titan alum and how they continue to participate in swimming no matter where they may end up. If you swam with Sam let us know in the comments!

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Last Chance Swim Fast Results

Posted by Scott Vanderzell at May 5, 2021 6:53AM PDT ( 0 Comments )

The Last Chance Swim Fast Time Trial was only the last chance to get times into the Niagara LSC Virtual Championships. We are looking forward to a great deal more swimming fast on Fridays! The team played host to TWST swim team who brought some great competition to both sessions. We are very thankful for the opportunity to run these meets and want to thank all involved in making them happen! Titan Board Members truly go above and beyond, Coaches all put in tremendous efforts, AFC Staff did a fantastic job, and our swimmers were AMAZIMG! Thanksto all!

Level 1 sent 3 swimmers to the Last Chance Swim Fast Trial and swam great! We had Lanan and Lilah Pawelek and Harper Shovalin and all had awesome swims in a more distance heavy night of swimming. It is very encouraging to see Level 1 become more and more interested and competitive when it comes to these time trials and more comfortable with how swim meets are run. No one is timid around the blocks nor are afraid to go fast! Keep up the great work Level 1! 
Level 2 had 3 swimmers participate in the Last Chance Swim Fast Trial, with Xavier Cline, Kaia Heelan and Derek Hufnagel all swimming great! New events were swum and times were dropped, so an all around good and fun night of swims! In the upcoming trials, I can’t wait to see more of Level 2 not just participate but to also develop an enthusiasm for racing and being at the pool for these time trials! Awesome work Level 2!

In our Last Chance Swim Fast meet level 3 had 7 swimmers compete. There were a lot of great swims and new goals made for practice. Vivienne Cabin had a best time in her 100 free, dropping 2 seconds and Natalie Lever swam a best time in her 100 back, dropping 3 seconds! Bianca Alderson braved the 100 back and did a great job racing through the event, way to go Bianca! Level 3 will continue to work on talking to the coaches after their races to learn from their swims and set new goals for practice. Nice job level 3!  

Level 4 sent 4 swimmers to this one with Maximus Carter showing some flashes of speed and talent in his 100 breast and 100 fly. Ella Gray crushing all 3 swims in personal bests totaling nearly 24 seconds of time dropped! Ella Pawelczyk swimming fantastic showing off her hard work on improving her technique in the Freestyle and Backstroke. Finally, Mia Zablocki showed some true grit in her 100 fly! Wonderful work Level 4!
Level 5 had 13 swimmers compete in the Last Chance Fast swim meet and they did a fantastic job braving new events and racing for best times. Ester Baker dropped 22 seconds in her 200 breaststroke, Gavin Tranter dropped 10 seconds in his 200 free, and Jacob Walter dropped 12 seconds in his 200 IM. Addison Rott also swam 3 new events, the 200 free, 200 breast, and the 100 IM, and did a fantastic job putting her hard work to the test. There were also best times from Ryan Bronson, Julia Cabin, Megan Hufnagle, Isaac King, Gavin Miller, Brynn Muffoletto, and Lucy Nudell. Way to go level 5, keep up the hard work!

Level 6 sent 15 Titans to the meet. These swimmers put together some amazing racing against the fast swimmers from TWST, showing how well we respond to great competition. They piled up 24 personal bests, 11 NIGold times, 16 NICQ Silver times, 1 new event and zero DQ’s! Several swimmers swam best times every time they hit the pool, a truly amazing achievement atthis point! Congratulations to Roane George, Owen Gray, Josephine Russom, Nicholas Lesmeister, and Delilah Winker. Kerrington Clouser had 2 great 200 swims in the free and the backstroke, Carter Gavigan dropped over 8 seconds in his 200 free,Aiden Kloetzer showed some great effort in all of his races, Sean Labiak but another200 free best time together breaking that 2:10 barrier. Jayla Mercurio had 3strong swims with a best in the 200 free. Erin Morrissey continues to see her dedication and hard work pay off dropping over 10 seconds off her 200 Breaststroke time.  Maria Pawelczyk had 3 solid efforts and dropped nearly 5 seconds in her 100 IM. Rowan Riley destroyed his100 IM time as well as a great effort in his 50 free. Kimberly Schmitt swam with great effort ending the meet with a solid 500 free utterly destroying her previous time by over a minute! Arianna Sidor put together one of the most challenging doubles for any evening, the 4oo IM AND 500 Free! Super swimming Level 6, it’s wonderful to see us returning to such great racing!

Level 7-8 we have taken this week

The document last_chance_swim_fast_results.pdf was attached to this post.

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Spring Kick Off Results

Posted by Scott Vanderzell at May 1, 2021 1:52PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

With just two weeks back in the pool after break the Titans were back to racing on Friday night! The Spring Kick Off Meet was a great opportunity to see how we were able to refocus after a short recharge! We did great as a team, swimming some truly amazing races!

We had 3 swimmers representing level 1, and they also had a great first meet back! Everyone dropped time and had some great races! Shout out to Sadie Habib for dropping 18 seconds in her 50 free! Awesome job! Lannon and Lilah also had a great meet, dropping time in the 50 free and 50 back. Awesome job you guys let’s keep up the great work!

Level 2 had an awesome meet back from break! We had a total of 8 swimmers present, and saw huge drops in time from everyone. Great Job! Shout out to Kaia Heelan for dropping 32 seconds in her 100 IM! Charlotte Johnson had an awesome 50 freestyle, dropping 3 seconds! Congrats to Sophia Burns for dropping 3 seconds in her 50 breast and breaking a minute! Awesome job level 2 let’s keep up the great work!

Level 3 had 8 swimmers attend the first time trail following break. Adjusting to level 3 has been an exciting adventure for a lot of our meet swimmers and with just a couple weeks back in the water they came to race. Jacqueline Adams, Bianca Alderson, Bridgid Connors, Natalie Lever, and Anthony Lizauckas all swam best times, way to go swimmers! In level 3 we are going back to basics by breaking down each stroke to better our skills while also building in more yardage to increase endurance. Keep up the hard work level 3! 

Level 4 had 8 swimmers attend Fridays time trial. Gianna Ayres-Barnack, Maximus Carter, Lucas Castelo Barnum, James Lyons, Ella Pawelczyk, Lucia Santiago, Joseph Tacca, and Mia Zablocki piled up 10 new personal best times, 5 silver (NICQ) times, 2 new events, 1 Gold (NI) cut and only 1 DQ! These small time trials move fast and several swimmers had some quick turnarounds between their back to back events. The effort was amazing and we are starting off where we left…swimming fast and having fun!

16 Level 5 swimmers represented at our time trial last week. We are very excited to already see some fast swimming with just two weeks back in the pool. Collectively, we saw 16 best times with 17 CQ times, 5 NI times,and 0 DQS!! As we get back into regular practices, we are excited to continue to ramp up the intensity and focus more on racing strategies. Continue working hard and keep up the great work Level 5!

Level 6 had swimmers in both sessions of this one. They were able to pull together 19 personal best times, 2 new events, 16 silver (NICQ) times, 5 Gold (NI) cut and Zero DQs! Not too bad for only 11 swimmers!  Anne Boscarino, Kerrington Clouser, MaxLesmeister, Erin Morrissey, and Kimberly Schmitt could do no wrong in their return to racing, achieving personal best times every time they hit the water! Amazing return to racing all of Level 6!

Level 7-8 if happy to be back at it. Although we are still preparing to race we have gone back to the basic starting into this long course season. We have alot of girls getting a brief HS season and they are posting some great swims. We had a bunch of swimmers this meet have multiple best times including Will Boyle, Attucis Hlubin, Daenon Kopp, Brie Lorenz, Charles Lorenz, Lucy Lyons, Campbell Murphy, and Paul Wissel

The document spring_kick_off_meet_results.pdf was attached to this post.

50 Years, 50 Titans: Greg Staebell

Posted by Heather Scibetta at Apr 30, 2021 5:33AM PDT ( 0 Comments )

One of the greatest strengths that we have in our Titans organization is that several of our coaches are actual alumni themselves. We are proud to offer opportunities to our alum as we know how valuable it is when they can directly relate to our current swimmers while being able to continue in a sport that they love. Our next spotlight is another Titans alumni swimmer and current team coach: Greg Staebell

Greg began swimming at the early age of 9 and never stopped. He grew up in Williamsville and attended Williamsville South High School. He went on to attend Canisius College, where he specialized in backstroke. He was a part of the All-MAAC academic team and was named MVP for the 2016-2017 season. Greg finished his college career at Canisius earning his undergrad and MBA in Finance and Computer Forensics.

In addition to coaching levels 3 and 5 for Titans, he also just started a new job at New Era in the production development and merchandise department.

Fun Facts about Coach Greg:
- He swam backstroke for Coach Scott at Canisius and still works with him there today.
- He was the Team Captain at Canisius.
- He currently holds the 200 backstroke school record at Canisius. Our swimmers love seeing Coach Greg’s name on the board!

Quick Q&A with Greg:
Q: When did you become a member of the Titan family?
A: I swam for Titans during the summers and breaks of college (2014-2018) and started coaching Spring 2017.

Q: What is your favorite memory about being a Titan?
A: The friendships made through swimming and coaching.

Q: What is your least favorite stroke or event?
A: 400 IM

Coach Greg is a favorite coach on our Titan team as he has the patience to guide our youngest swimmers while at the same time is continuously sought after for swimming advise from some of our eldest. What is your favorite Coach Greg memory? Let us know in the comments.

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April Spring Break results

Posted by Scott Vanderzell at Apr 24, 2021 12:04PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

We have made it to Spring! Even though we saw a bit of winter weather around WNY April 1st, things were heating up in the pool at the Spring Break Time Trial. Levels 1 through 8 were all well represented and we continued to see tremendous progress in our racing.  
Level 1 sent 4 swimmers to Friday’s meet with representation from Sofia Burns, Anna Masse, Lannen and Liliah Pawelek. These swimmers had no DQ’s and even swam new events for them! To see how Level 1 has come along from being tired after swimming a 50 in September to tackling on 100 yard events now is quite the accomplishment. They have had quite a season of improvements and triumph that I don’t think will slow down any time soon. Excellent work Level 1 and can’t wait to see you guys soon! 

Level 2 sent 3 swimmers to the Time Trial with Kaia Heelan, Derek Hufnagel and Natalie Lever. Between the 3 of them, there exactly 0 DQ’s! This has been a season of great growth for everyone in Level 2, not just in terms of getting faster but being more race ready; asking how they can get faster, what they can do to improve and discovering their interest and passion for racing. It has been great to see that come about and can’t wait to see more of it in the future. Great job and keep up the work Level 2!

Level 3 saw 7 swimmers represent and do a fantastic job at the Spring Break Time Trial! We are so proud of their dedication and are excited their hard work is continuing to pay off. Max Carter, Lucas Castelo Barnum, Gretchen Cenczyk, Brigid Connors, Ameika Paris, Lucia Santiago, and Joan Yeskoot each had amazing races! Keep up the great work level 3!

Level 4 sent 7 Titans to the meet piing up 13 new best times, 2 new events, 4 NI Gold times, 5 NICQ “Silver” times, with only two DQ’s!Emma Gilbert, Megan Hufnagle, Gavin Tranter and Mia Zablocki all swam best times every time the hit the water! Mia Zablocki, even with the meet combined with the older levels, had her final 2 events about 4 minutes apart and she still crushed her 100 fly best time by over 6 seconds! Awesome swims level 4! Enjoy your break!
Level 5 sent 8 swimmers to the Spring Break Time Trial. All8 swimmers saw at least 1 best time! As a level we had 9 best times, 2 new events,7 CQ times, 3 NI times, and 0 DQs. We are so proud of everyone’s hard work and progress made throughout the past few months. Andre Charlier, Keira Curvin,Sean Curvin, Emmett King, Isaac King, Reese Marcyan, Marley Sinatra and Kylie Szaflarski all had fantastic races! Way to go level 5!

Level 6 showed some true toughness, with 15 Titans swimming strong in this one. We saw an amazing 23 new personal best times, 4 new events swum, 11 NI Gold times, 14 NICQ “Silver” times, with only 1 DQ! Several swimmerscould do no wrong swimming best times with every swim! Congratulations to Emma Cwiklinsk, Juliana Haacker, Max Lesmeister, Charles Lorenz, Heather Malkiewicz,Harrison Roberts, Meredith Roberts. All of the swimmers in attendance put in great efforts and should walk away from this one with something to learn from and to be proud of! Nice work Level 6!

The document april_spring_break_results.pdf was attached to this post.