Around the NVSL: Week 1

Each week of the NVSL season, we feature the best submissions sent to us from across Ninja Nation as well as our favorite posts from out on social media. This is a joint effort between Swim Ninja and the NVSL to promote our teams, athletes, and larger swim community to connect us all through our love of summer swimming!

What can I submit to help publicize my team?

Don’t just sit there…Be a Ninja! Show us race videos, your team cheering or showing off their pool spirit, or anything your athletes, coaches, and community might be doing around the pool this summer!

How do I submit

You can post on social media (facebook, twitter, instagram) and tag @swimninja and/or use #swimninja. If you have videos or a lot to show us, upload it to a google drive and share it with or post it to youtube and enable embedding–just drop us a note and we will be sure to include it in the weekly roundup!

Bonus: When you break a team/league record – make sure to take a picture with the timer board and send it in!

Double Bonus: Does your team have a mascot in costume at meets/practice? It is a worthwhile investment if you don’t!

We had a bunch of submissions and great social media posts this week so let’s get to it!

 caught this exciting team entrance from the Wakefield Chapel Wahoos at their home meet vs Tuckahoe. We are going to ride this energy for a thrilling first week of the regular season, but things got started way before Saturday


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Hayfield Farm partnered with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to host a Swimathon – the swimmers did an amazing job, and, as a team, they swam 3,805 laps = 190,250 meters (118 miles!). The dive team also had a component where they could earn money by completing dives. How did your team do at their swimathon?

HP Swim-a-thon IG

The Seahawks weren’t the only ones with a swimathon this week — Highland Park had this great group participate in their own!

While everyone was working hard to get ready for their first meet of the season, some teams found ways to keep things light with a little fun at practice including playing water polo and having donuts to refuel with!

Pep Rally

As the week went on, teams around the NVSL started turning their focus towards Saturday by going through their unique rituals to pump up their swimmers. Whether it was a decoration or team activity, they all have their place in motivating the squad.

VH Cup Art


You can’t just start a meet in the NVSL — here were a few good shots from before the races got started.

Race Videos

Once everyone was feeling fired up, the racing was on. We had a bunch of great videos sent in, including a number of record-breaking swims!

At Highlands, Paul Kinsella (Overlee) broke Olympic gold medalist and former world record holder, Ed Moses,’ 1998 15-18 50m Breaststroke NVSL record with a time of 28.75

Just down the road at Kent Gardens, Andy Li broke Marc Hagan’s 1976 9-10 50y Breaststroke NVSL record with a time of 34.69. Watch out Paul – Andy is coming for you!

Andy later teamed up with Alexander Cafer, Blake Nguyen, and James Davis (with Li swimming breast), to break the 9-10 100y Medley Relay record, going 1:04.33, which breaks the 1979 mark previously held by Overlee.

Just for good measure, here is Andy crushing his 25 fly with a time of 14.13, which was only .13 off the league yard record. Fellow Dolphins Blake Nguyen and Sammy Braccia were not far behind him.

At VAC, 8-Under First Team Preseason All Swim Ninja selection Corinne Bendza wasted no time making good on the new season, by breaking the oldest pool record left on the board from 1993. With her swim of 22.90 (fastest in the NVSL), Corinne bested the previous mark of 23.24.

10 events later, Bendza got back out there and posted the best 8-U girls 25m fly time of the weekend!

2nd Team Preseason All Swim Ninja selection Rian Graham had himself a day for the Herndon Hammerheads. In his first swim of the morning, Graham posted the league-best 36.47 in the 11-12 50m Breast.

Graham followed things up by breaking his own pool record and going a league-best in the 11-12 50m fly with a blazing fast 29.90!

Graham’s teammate and First Team All Preseason selection, William McClough also had a banner day. McClough started things off with a pool record in the 13-14 50m breast, going 32.18, which was the best time for the entire league by nearly 2 full seconds.

McClough came right back in the fly and set the pool record with a 30.08

At Fox Mill Woods, Virginia Hills 13-14 Boys 100m Medley Relay broke their team record from 1986, going a 1:01.31.

The very next race, the Virginia Hills 13-14 Girls 100m Medley Relay broke a team record from 1989, going 1:03.76.

Walden Glen had one of the closest meets of the weekend, coming out on top 215-205. Momentum is everything in NVSL meets and it is hard to not have that after two decisive 15-18 butterfly swims. In the first video, Peter Jones and AJ Muir get 1st and 3rd around Alex Aung of Ravensworth Farm. In the second video, First Team All Swim Ninja Jordan Buechler leads the way, as she and Emily Gooding take 6 critical points, with Cate Wardinski getting 2nd.

Warm Down

After an intense competition, it is important to find a way to accept the results and remember that it is more important to have fun as a team. Burke Station wasn’t able to top Rolling Forest in D14, but after the meet, the Destroyers invited the visiting victors to join them in their traditional post-meet dance party.

Young Ninja Nation contributor Andrew O’Kane (13) submitted a meet recap article for the Destroyer’s meet against Rolling Forest — Read it here

Of course, when you make history, whether locally or at the league level, it is deserving of a photo op, and you know we love to see those record-breaking timer board pics!

  • Top Left: Kenzie Miller (Fox Hunt): Team 8-Under Girls 25m Backstroke
  • Top Right: Corrine Bendza (VAC): Team 8-Under Girls 25m Breaststroke
  • Second Right: Two members of the same family on the Newington Forest Record Board
  • Left Under: Charis Roundtree (Virginia Run): Thumbs up for the camera after breaking the NVSL record in 9-10 Girls 50m Freestyle
  • Third Left: Sideburn Run 13-14 100m Medley Relay breaks pool record with all 13 y/os
  • Third Right: Woodley 13-14 Girls break pool 100m Medley Relay record
  • Bottom Left: Angela Witt-Leiva (Woodley): Team 11-12 Girls 50m Fly
  • Bottom Right: Alexander Cafer, Andy Li, Blake Nguyen, James Davis (Kent Gardens): NVSL 9-10 Boys 100y Medley Relay Record
  • Bottom: Adam Janicki (Lee Graham) and Andy Li (Kent Gardens): Janicki broke the NVSL 15-18 Boys 50y Back record with a 23.65 and Andy broke the NVSL 9-10 Boys 50y Breast record


What a great week of submissions — keep sending them in and tagging @swimninja in all of your posts to have your team featured right back here next week!


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