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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  •  Nitros swim club finding success

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  • It’s a typical day for swim coach Clint Bailey and his swimmers with the Newton Nitros Swim Program. Bailey commutes daily from Valley Center for practices he offers Monday through Friday at the Newton High School pool. Bailey’s typical day might start with a two-hour early morning swim practice. By 4 p.m., Bailey is back for another two rounds of practice. His upper swimmers have a two hour practice from 4 to 6 p.m. and then another practice from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for those serious swimmers getting started and working on their technique and endurance. Students are able to set a schedule that works for their availability as well. Bailey is quick to focus on the swimmer. “The swim practices are not at all about the coach, they are about the students and their learning,” he said. “A successful program must include understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers, and coaches. The progress a youngster makes depends to a great extent on this triangular relationship. It takes time, sometimes years, to build up the program.” Many swimmers experienced success for the first time at local swim meets during the winter season. This past October, Newton hosted a local swim competition held at NHS. Participating clubs included Wichita Swim Club, Wichita Aquashocks, Wichita Northwest YMCA, Andover YMCA , Hutchinson YMCA and the Newton Nitros. “This was a big event because it brought exposure to the sport in the Harvey County area as we hosted more than 167 swimmers,” Bailey said. “Swimming in Kansas is not as popular as it could be. By expanding accessibility in this area we are beginning to experience success both in the swim club and at the high school level. “I am really proud of how well some of our first time swimmers are competing. Chandler Herbel has had some amazing time drops that should get him along nicely in his second year of swimming. Nadia Montelongo, although she has only been swimming for a few months, she shows promise as a talented swimmer.” Other first time competitors include Lauren Crawford, Addisyn Copeland, Libby Crawford, Ashley Salgado, Callie Knopp, Samantha Mueller and Jonah Hodge. Most recently the Nitros have competed in Wichita and Hutchinson. During the weekend of Nov. 16 and 17, the swimmers had a chance at rankings for championships. The swim season will close with a return to Oklahoma City for a Pro-Am, where ranked swimmers compete at a national level and will see exposure to past and future Olympic athletes in swimming. “Nitros are excited about their progress,” Bailey said. “The students are working hard and we are beginning see success in this program.” For further information about Newton Nitros Swim Program, call Bailey at (316) 214-9398 or check out their website at www.newtonnitroswimclub.org.  

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