November 23, 2019 - New York, NY
Trident Swim Foundation’s Great Relay returned to Columbia University’s Percy Uris Natatorium on Saturday, November 23rd, with teams full of past and present national team members and Olympians. Ten teams with over 100 total swimmers will take part once again in the country’s longest, fastest relay - 5000 yards, made up of 100 50s.
The event has grown steadily over the years and featured some of the fastest swimmers in the world. Previous participants include Olympians Haley Anderson, Kristy Kowal, Adam Mania, Katie Meili, John Moffet, Rada Owen, Kim Vandenberg, and National team members Gabby Deloof, Eugene Godsoe, David Heron, Tom Luchsinger, and Laura Sogar.
This year, Olympian Kim Vandenberg returned and we saw Great Relay debuts from National Swimmers Emily Escobedo and Kaersten Meitz.
USA National Team member Emily Escobedo said, “I am very eager to swim in the Great Relay this year! I chose to support Trident Swim Foundation because the program aims not only to teach kids how to swim but also helps mold them into strong, capable, caring, supportive adults and helps promote the importance of a college education.”
USA National Team member Kaersten Meitz was “excited to be a part of the Great Relay this year [and] proud to support an organization that is determined to help shape people into team-oriented, confident and disciplined individuals in the community.”
The Great Relay is one of the few not-for-profit swimming events in New York. The goal is for each relay member to swim 50 yards until the whole team has swum 5,000 yards. The Great Relay has become the vital fundraiser for the Foundation’s Swimmer Scholar Program. Donations help cover the program’s operation costs, which include providing support to swimmer scholars throughout the college application process, top-quality SAT tutoring and prep, and free swimsuits and equipment, as well as snacks, during racing and practices.
The Trident Swim Foundation is a not-for-profit youth development organization with a mission to promote individual growth through a curriculum that emphasizes healthy living and academic excellence. The foundation is the only charity to combine swimming and academics and graduates of the Swimmer Scholar program have been accepted and attended elite-level colleges. The list of colleges attended by Swimmer Scholars, available here, continues to expand.
Current Swimmer Scholars were timing the event and helping with the check-in. They were very excited to meet and chat with their swimming heroes.
Teams that are interested in hosting a Great Relay event in the future are encouraged to reach out to Trident’s Executive Director in New York, Ledimir Nuñez, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trident Swim Foundation would like to thank our incredible family of benefactors as well as TYR, Daily Harvest, Roka and HardcoreSport for their support.
We are very excited to announce that we are several weeks into our new partnership with the Elijah Stroud Middle School in Prospect Heights Brooklyn. Our new Middle School Swimmer Scholars have taken to the water with so much excitement to learn new swimming skills. Many students came into their first lesson with anxiety about being in the water at all, much less swimming. We've already progressed to getting the students comfortable underwater and building strokes for the more advanced students. We are very excited to start this new partnership and looking to expand in the next school year!
We were able to get all of the New York City Trident schools together for a fun intrasquad meet before Spring Break. All of our Swimmer Scholars got to practice their racing skills including our swimmers that were not able to compete in the regular PSAL (public school athletic league) season. We even had a small demonstration of some synchronized swimming skills during a break from one of our George Washington swimmers. Of course we capped it all off with a nice little pizza party on deck too!
We had an amazing tour of the Morgan Library and Museum on Saturday. The Swimmer Scholars got an amazing VIP experience while looking at the amazing exhibitions available to view including some of Alexander Hamilton's handwritten love letters, Morgan's personal office space that is exactly how it was at the time of his passing and the Peter Hujar photo exhibit. Huge thank you to Trident founder, Kristin Gary, for her incredible insight in to so many of the pieces we got to see.
Our first middle school program at Columbia Secondary School in Harlem has had their first USA Swimming competition. We had several very anxious swimmers who performed so well at their first ever swim meet and gained so much experience. Lots of smiles, high fives and excitement for the next meet!
Our Swimmer Scholars had the chance to get some hands on experience in the BioBase Laboratory at Columbia University's Zuckerman Institute. A great day of working with research grade microscopes and conducting experiments on microorganisms. Thank you to Rob Frawley and the team at BioBus!
Trident Swimmer Scholars compete in the Public School Athletic League through out the school year. The Prospect Heights team is celebrating some great swims after one of our last meets of the season. All the hard work is paying off with swimmers that started the program unable to swim that are now competing in competitions. Keep it up!