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Fall 2020 Registration - UPDATE

Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins at Oct 13, 2020 6:06AM PDT

Registration for the 2020/21 Season will be coming next week! The season starts on November 9th and will be for 9 & up ONLY. The 8 & under group will be shifted to start (and end) their season later. We are also working on some options to accomodate this age group, on a limited basis, over the next couple of months. You will see more information regarding our 8 & unders soon. Please keep an eye on your e-mail and this website for more details.

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Note from Coach Kevin - 10/2/2020

Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins at Oct 2, 2020 8:09AM PDT

The BIRMINGHAM BLUE DOLPHINS are thrilled to begin their 2020-21 season indoors beginning October 5th at the Birmingham and South Oakland branches of the YMCA.

This will allow us to accommodate 180 of our returning swimmers nine years old and up.

When public school pools begin to rent to age-group swimming teams (which we anticipate in November if all goes well,) we will be able to offer more opportunities and we may be able to accept new swimmers.

When the Cranbrook Natatorium becomes available (we hope sometime in December,) we again will be able to expand more and welcome new athletes..

We plan to offer eight and unders a full season starting when we have the space and we will extend their season into the spring (instead of in February as we have in the past,) and we will be able to offer spots to new swimmers.

It is our goal at BBD to offer the best age-group programs possible to as many athletes as we can. Help us to reach that goal by staying healthy and observing all safety protocols. We think there is no place safer than being in the chlorine bath in a pool and we want to offer opportunities to all who are interested.


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BBD Banquet Talk from Coach Kevin

Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins at May 9, 2020 12:12PM PDT

Dear Swimmers and Parents,

While the season did not end the way any of us would have liked, it was a very special year until it ended so abruptly. The board and I still discuss plans for some sort of banquet, but we all know that is not in our hands. I did want to send you the outline of my end-of-the-season comments to recognize some of our team’s achievements and some plans for the future.

First of all, a huge thank you to our board who have been challenged in so many different ways this season and have risen to meet each one. A team like ours cannot exist without the support of our parent board and they have provided (and continue to provide) exemplary service to all of us.

This season we graduate a handful of seniors, some of whom have been with us for their entire careers. (And in the light of recent events, if college is postponed we will be thrilled to welcome them back!)

Nicholas Ludwig – Nick was looking forward to his first trip to the National Meet. Nick was the captain of the Cranbrook- Kingswood swimming team and an All-State swimmer as well as a lifer on the Detroit Golf Club team. He will begin coaching this summer at Orchard Lake Country Club. He is undecided about his college choice.

Aidan Nelson – Aidan will graduate from Brother Rice where he swam for four years before he heads off to college.. He has been a lifer at Woodside.

Tyler Pietsch – Tyler is a lifer at BBD and Beach-Wood. I think his family may have the distinction of having the longest tenure at BBD as he followed his older brother, Matt, onto the team and leaves his younger brother, Conor, with us! Tyler had qualified for the Division 1 State Meet this past season

Jerome Wiater- Jerome was set to return to the National Meet. He has been a captain and and All-State swimmer at Cranbrook and a lifer at Forest Lake. He plans to swim in college.

Marissa Thome- Marissa is this year’s winner of the scholarship given annually to the senior who, by their dedication to the team set a standard for all of their teammates. The criteria for the award is that a swimmer must be with the team for at least five seasons,must have excellent attendance at practice and meets, must care about the team and support their teammates,be willing to lend a hand and model a winning attitude in all they do.

Marissa has been on the team for her entire career and she has been an essential teammate. When she was ten she was a member of the 9-10 medley relay that set the BBD record. The former record had also been the YMCA National record. She went on to qualify for the YMCA National Meet as a freshman. She struggled to re-qualify for the meet in her sophomore and junior year, but she never gave up and was poised to return as a senior. Coach Mike said of Marissa “The lasting lesson she has given us is a very simple one that my wife and I try to instill in our three-year-old son every day. Don’t give up, don’t look for the simple route, and work until you figure out a solution. The easy solution is to place blame, switch teams, and feel sorry for yourself. Marissa never took that path and for that we are pleased to honor her with this award.”
Marissa was the captain of the Seaholm team and a lifer at Beverly Hills Athletic Club. She will be a freshman at Michigan State come fall.

Blue Dolphin Award
Several seasons ago we began giving an award to a deserving twelve year old swimmer. The purpose of the award was to give encouragement to a rising swimmer who was ready to take the next big step in their training with a commitment to spring/summer long-course training. The award is given to a diligent swimmer who leads by example, and who is an exemplary teammate. It isn’t intended for the most successful swimmer, although that doesn’t disqualify an athlete. The selection is made by the coaches who work with the 11-12 age group and affirmed by the head coach.

This year the award is being given to a swimmer who engaged the coaches in the goal-setting process throughout the season. They sought the coaches’ advice when it came to event selection and kept a broad menu of events. They maintained a rigorous practice schedule, beyond the program’s expectations and kept the commitment while managing all others. There were more swimmers considered than ever before, and the decision was an extremely difficult one to make. Congratulations, Savannah Sneyd, on receiving this year’s Blue Dolphin award.

New BBD Records
Congratulations to our new team record holders!

  • 8 and under girls’ 25 free Sophia Kommer 14.47
  • 11-12 boys’ 200 breast Evan Tack 2:23.32
  • 11-12 boys’ 50 back Emmett Knudsen 26.95
  • 11-12 boys’ 100 back Emmett Knudsen 58.96
  • 11-12 boys’ medley relay Emmett Knudsen, Evan Tack, Sean Lu, Jack Higgins 1:49.21 NATIONAL RECORD!!!
  • 11-12 boys’ freestyle relay Ian Whan, Evan Tack, Emmett Knudsen Jack Higgins 1:36.67 NATIONAL RECORD
  • 13-14 1650 freestyle Ethan Schwab16:22.03
  • 13-14 100 breast Ethan Schwab 58.55
  • 13-14 200 breast Ethan Schwab 2:08.30
  • 13-14 200 IM Angus MacDonald 1:56.51
  • 13-14 400 IM Angus MacDonald 4:12.11

That’ s pretty impressive list for an abbreviated season!

I couldn’t be more proud of our entire organization. We continue to plan for a very bright future for all of you. We will try to keep you informed of any developments as they unfold. We know that this too will pass and imagine the stories our
swimmers will be able to tell their kids!

Speaking of that future….it starts now….if you are interested in some dry-land fun and socializing with the coaches continue reading.

  • 8 & Unders – if you completed the season by participating in all of the required meets, we have a paper plate award and a gift for you that the coaches will deliver. Please send Coach Jeannie your address. If you would like to participate in a Zoom gathering with Coach Jeannie and your teammates, e-mail Coach Jeannie! Her e-mail is
  • 9-10s – If you would like to participate in some dry-land training with Coach Mike, let him know at
  • 11-12s – If you would like to do some dry-land training with Coach Greg, let him know at
  • Seniors – Our seniors are already doing dry-lands regularly. If you’d like to join the group, let me know at

Thanks to all of you for making BBD the amazing team it is!! I am grateful for the YMCA and its philosophy, my assistant coaches, my board and all of our parents and supporters, but most of all to our swimmers who always make it look like we know what we are doing!


Dear Parents and Swimmers,

To steal a line from Charles Dickens “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Coming off the swimmers’ amazing performances at EMU last weekend at the US 12 and Under State Meet, we received the news that the YMCA National Meet has been canceled due to the Coronavirus. It is heartbreaking news for our swimmers and staff.

As of this moment the Great Lakes Zone Meet is still on but the sand is shifting beneath our feet. In case it is canceled, eligible swimmers will be entered into the US 13 and Up State Meet scheduled for the same weekend as a back-up.

Also, we are hosting the “Day After” Meet this Sunday at Seaholm. Warm-up is at 8:00, the meet starts at 9:00. Our swimmers, eleven and up, particularly those who “aged up” and were too old for the 12 and Up meet, are invited to attend. More information about the meet is on the website.

We are also exploring other contingencies if other events are canceled. This isn’t the way we’d like to end our season, but we are trying to make the best of a bad situation.


Letter from Coach Kevin

Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins at Mar 10, 2020 4:08PM PDT

Dear Parents and Swimmers,

We have just completed two sensational weekends with our state meet swimmers. I couldn’t be more proud of their spirit, sportsmanship and accomplishments.

At the Y State Meet we routed the competition. Our state champions included….

  • 9-10 Girls Avery Tack (50 fly and 50 breast,) Leah Bongiovanni (50 back and 100 free,) and both relays, the 200 Free Relay (Stella Glorio, Malin Murphy, Leah Bongiovanni, and Avery Tack,) and the 200 Medley Relay (Malin Murphy, Avery Tack, Allie Page and Leah Bongiovanni.)
  • 9-10 Boys Oliver Grake (50 fly, 100 IM, 50 free,100 back, 50 and 100 breast,) Will Schwab (100 fly,) Jack McCuiston (200 IM,) and both relays, the 200 Free Relay (Will Schwab, Sully Jackson, Jack McCuiston and Oliver Grake,) and the 200 Medley Relay (Sully Jackson, Bodhi Chinnaiyan, Oliver Grake and Jack McCuiston.)
  • 11-12 Girls Avery Anderson (200 back,) Sarah Michael (200 breast,) Gillian McKinley (500 free,) Mariana Becharas (50 breast,) and Tori Devine (50 free.)
  • 11-12 boys Evan Tack (100 free, 100 IM, 200 IM,) Patrick McKillop (50 breast, 100 breast, 200 breast,) Jack Higgins (50 and 200 free,) Emmett Knudsen (50 back and 100 back, 100 fly,) and both relays, the 200 Freestyle Relay (Jack Higgins, Emmett Knudsen, Ian Whan and Evan Tack) and the 200 Medley Relay (Emmett Knudsen, Patrick MacKillop, Evan Tack, Jack Higgins.)
  • 13-14 girls Sam Clifford (200 fly.)
  • 13-14 boys Angus MacDonald (100 and 200 fly, 100 breast, 100 free and 100 back.) David-Mark Beatty (200 free,) and the Freestyle Relay (David-Mark Beatty, Luke Deighan, Mayer Krieger and Angus MacDonald.)
  • 15-17 girls Megan Clifford (200 fly,) Madison Helmick (500 free.)

New Y State Meet Records were established by Emmett Knudsen (11-12 50 and 100 back,) Patrick MacKIllop (200 breast,) Evan Tack (100 IM,) and the 11-12 Boys 200 freestyle relay (Jack Higgins, Emmett Knudsen, Ian Whan and Evan Tack.).

At the US 12 and Under State Meet we finished second to Club Wolverine and the 11-12 boys broke the team’s, the Michigan US and the YMCA National Records’ in their relay events!! In the freestyle relay the team of Ian Whan, Evan Tack, Emmett Knudsen and Jack Higgins went 1:36.67, and in the medley Emmett Knudsen, Evan Tack, Sean Lu, and Jack Higgins went a blistering 1:49.21. The records they broke had been set in 2002, also by BBD swimmers. Those young men went on to very successful swimming careers with stops at the Y National Meet and at Stanford and Dartmouth, so the future is very bright for this group.

Evan Tack was the individual high point winner for 11-12 boys and he set a new team record in the 200 breaststroke. Emmett Knudsen set a new team record in the 50 back.

Our individual state champions included Jack Higgins (11-12 50, 100 and 200 free,) Evan Tack (11-12 100 IM, the 50, 100 and 200 breast) and Sean Lu (200 IM.)

As I said earlier in my letter, I couldn’t be prouder of these swimmers because they have created a culture where they support one another unconditionally. They have learned that everyone in swimming can be successful and that was evident in the spirit on deck this season.