TCU - Cooper Robinson
His successes include one school record in the 200yd backstroke (1:43.41) and multiple NCAA “B” cuts
Bowling Green State University
U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” nationally recognized BGSU among the top national universities with a strong commitment to teaching undergrad
University of Richmond - Matt Barany
During his time with the program his swimmers have reached the NCAA Championships, earned All-American status and broken over 60 school marks
by Josh Huger (MrUtopia)
Created August 26th, 2010 07:04:26 AM
Modified August 26th, 2010 07:04:26 AM
Written by Josh Huger and Katelynn Levanduski
From World Championships to the Olympics and American Records to World Records, Club Wolverine International Elite Team has had swimmers achieve it all. This team has truly earned the ‘elite’ in their name.
Swimutopia recently spoke with Club Wolverine International Elite Team members Peter Vanderkaay and Bobby Savulich to find out more about the team and where it is headed.
Club Wolverine International Elite Team is a newly formed program that focuses on helping post graduate athletes reach their full potential.
Current Club Wolverine International Elite Team member Peter Vanderkaay described the team as, “A high performance team focused on international events, specifically the Olympic Games.”
“We welcome swimmers from all parts of the world in an effort to create a great training atmosphere for the benefit of the swimmers involved,” added Vanderkaay. “We believe that creating relationships and sharing knowledge on a world level will create faster swimming and more exposure for the sport we love.”
Currently there are 14 members on Club Wolverine’s Elite Team, each bringing something different and valuable to the program. Former Michigan All-American and current Club Wolverine International Elite Team member, Bobby Savulich, credited Club Wolverine’s Elite Team as having provided him with an environment to train with the best swimmers in the world.
“Our post graduate team is unique because we are open to international athletes. This means that we are able to welcome the best in the world, not just the country,” Savulich said.
While each and every swimmer is important to the team’s achievements, in a program that lives and breathes success, it is obvious that leadership is also key. The leadership from the coaches makes it possible for the athletes to succeed and sets them up for continued success in the future.
“In the pool they [the coaches] put a lot of effort to our training plan. They are very energetic and knowledgeable about the sport,” said Savulich.
“The coaching staff provides the workouts as well as constructive criticism,” added Vanderkaay. “We are fortunate to have a very knowledgeable, experienced staff who are extremely passionate about helping each athlete achieve their goals.”
Savulich also noted that the coaches encourage success beyond swimming.
“Outside of the pool, coaches encourage the professional swimmers to take up something outside of the pool,” he said. “They recognize that in swimming, it is very difficult to earn a living. They ask us to either go back to school or have a job that will help advance our careers once swimming is over.”
As with any team, goal setting is another part to Club Wolverine International Elite Team’s push for continued success and growth. In order to keep everything in perspective, the team discusses its long term goals frequently.
Regarding the team’s goals Vanderkaay stated that, “Our mission is to put as many athletes on their respective national teams as possible. Right now we are working hard to give our swimmers opportunities for funding to continue our passion. We also hope to provide a positive impact in our community.”
Savulich is also enthusiastic about the team’s goals and its future.
“I see this team growing into the one of the highest contributors of Olympic athletes in 2012,” he said. “We are already a swimming powerhouse; I want it to grow even more.”
Due to the persistent success and growth of the program, as well as the teams desire to use this success to promote the sport, the Club Wolverine International Elite Team has begun a very aggressive video and informational campaign.
Savulich, who has been a key player in this campaign, said that Facebook and YouTube have been beneficial outlets for the team’s outreach.
“We want to promote the sport to everyone including summer league, masters, and Olympic caliber swimmers,” he said. “The Facebook page and YouTube videos have provided us with a platform to do this.”
Vanderkaay too agrees that these sites are vital to the team’s outreach and attributes its success thus far to Savulich.
“So far our Facebook page has created a lot of great feedback,” Vanderkaay stated. “Bobby Savulich has been instrumental in making sure that we provide fun, interesting content for our fans. Facebook has been a great platform because it reaches so many people. We are excited about using it as a tool to interact with our fans and the swimming community.”
With the leadership and passion that the Club Wolverine International Elite Team’s swimmers and coaches share, the programs future is sure to be filled with many successes as they continue along their journey towards the 2012 London Olympic Games.