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Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins at Jan 13, 2022 10:57AM PST

Dear Parents and Swimmers,

​The coaches are so proud of our swimmers this past weekend!

We had many first places: Mairin Dalziel (400 IM,) Drew Collins (400 IM and 50 free,) Blake Schwab (400 IM,) Madison Helmick (1,000 free,) Scott Hassett (1,000 free,) Sully Jackson (1,000 free,) Mariana Becharas (200 fly,) Sean and Brendan Kanary (200 fly,) Charlie McCuiston (100 and 200 free,) Jack McCuiston,) Malin Murphey (200 IM,) Ellie Ker (100 IM, 50 free amd 100 free,) Lyla Collins (100 and 200 IM,) Jack Ruud (100 and 200 IM, 50 and 100 free, 100 breast, 200 free,) Reid McCuiston (25 back and fly,) Grafton Anderson (50 and 100 back,) Brooklyn Ruks (50 back,) Tommy Higdon (50 fly,) Lila Solomon (50 fly,) Mary Bailey (25 free and breast,) Brady Handzell (50 free,) Katie Stempien (50 breast,) Will Michael (50 breast,) AJ Farner (200 back,) and Sam Clifford (500 free,) and of course MOST of the relays!

Swimmers were achieving all sorts of cuts for championship meets. Congratulations to all of the swimmers!!

As exciting as this all is it can come to a crumbling halt if COVID gets in our way. So we will continue to follow all safety protocols.


​We will be hosting a meet soon, At our meet , NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED, SWIMMER OR SPECTATOR, WHO IS NOT MASKED. I know how tired we are of all of this but that doesn’t alter our responsibility to ourselves and one another. I know, personally, that all of our precautions do not guarantee that we won’t be infected, but we have to do our absolute best. We are also required to follow protocols set forth by the Metropolitan Detroit YMCAs. This past weekend’s meet was sponsored by Flint, which is an independent YMCA and clearly are not subject to the same scrutiny as we are. With this meet being at Seaholm, we are also required to follow BPS’ masking rule, and failure to do so puts our relationship with BPS and access to practice pools in jeopardy.

​We are now preparing for our championship season and we have had questions from parents about swimmers’ eligibility re: the three-meet requirement. The YMCA coaches in Michigan are in discussion to suspend the requirement for those swimmers who, through no fault of their own (a meet cancellation, a quarantine, legitimate fear about attending a meet with rising infection rates,) did not fulfill the requirement. This would have an impact on YMCA Clusters, the Eight and Under State Meet and the YMCA State Meet. It does not extend to YMCA Zones or Y Nats. I am pretty confident there will be some leeway extended as long as the intention was there to fulfill the obligation. We will know more when those dates get closer.

Be well, everyone.


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Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins at Jan 3, 2022 1:42PM PST


I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season. We got a lot done in the pool. It was good to have some of our college swimmers return.

​I was going to write some new year’s resolutions for you….but I know you know what I would say! One resolution we must make and keep is that all swimmers and parents MUST wear masks at all times (except while in the water) at our practice facilities. We are at serious risk of losing access to our rented practice pools if we do not have 100% compliance with the masking rules.

​We had a great round of time trials on the 27th. Coach Greg compiled the results and they were emailed and posted on Meet Mobile. Swimmers, please record them on your goal sheets and bring them to practice and review your progress with the coaches. The season is about to kick in this month and we want you to be prepared to reach your goals.

​I have some great news to share. One of our 13-14 swimmers, Jack Higgins, was invited to represent the state of Michigan at the Midwest All-Star meet in Indianapolis this weekend. He will be swimming freestyle and backstroke events. Good luck, Jack. If anyone else was invited, please don’t keep it a secret!

Work hard, swim fast!!


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Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins at Dec 18, 2021 12:05PM PST

Dear Parents and Swimmers,

2021 is not a year we will easily forget. At BBD, all of us, —the board, Y personnel, and the coaches did our level best to maintain a sense of normalcy during the pandemic. As a team we have always been good at adapting to changing circumstances. When I began, we only used the Y pool for practice and our treasury was kept in a cigar box. We had three coaches and we ran all our meets (dual meets) in the Y pool. We’ve come a long way and we have many reasons to be grateful. The latest good news came from our four swimmers: Charlie Bruce, Drew Collins, Angus MacDonald and Ethan Schwab, who just returned from the Speedo Winter Junior Championships East Meet in Greensboro, NC where they represented us well. Ethan broke the US Michigan 15-16 age group records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. COVID didn’t get in their way!

​Here is our Christmas break schedule. Please take advantage of it!! If you are in town, you can come every day we have practice. If you are traveling, please get workouts from the lead age-group coaches or make arrangements to train with another team.

​December 20, 21, 22, 23,26, 27 and January 2 at Cranbrook:

13/14 and 15/17 – 11:30 – 1:30

9/10 and 11/12 – 1:30 – 3:15

8 and under – 3:15 – 4:30

For those young swimmers who are still in school on the 20 and 21:

December 20

8 and unders- 4:30 – 5:30 @ YMCA (one practice only)

9/10s – 6:00 – 7:15 @ Derby (one practice only)

11/12s – 6:00 – 7:15 @ Covington (one practice only)

13/14s – 7:00 – 8:30 @ Derby

15/17s – 7:00 – 8:30 @ Covington

December 21

8 and unders- 4:30 – 5:30 @ YMCA (one practice only)

9/10s – 6:00 – 7:15 @ Derby (one practice only)

13 & Up – 7:00 – 8:30 @ Derby

December 28 and 29 at Cranbrook

13/14 and 15/17 – 12:00 – 2:00

9/10 and 11/12 – 2:00 – 3:30

8 and under – 3:30 – 4:30

At this time we are still working on the schedule for December 30th. There is a meet at Cranbrook that day so we cannot practice there. Stay tuned!

Enjoy the holidays!!!


Dear Parents and Swimmers,

​We are heading into a very exciting portion of our season!

​We have the Farmington Meet this weekend and I am looking forward to seeing a lot of improvement in our swimmers. Please remember to be punctual and to have the event numbers on young swimmers’ hands. After the meet, the swimmers should record all of their times on their goal sheet and bring them to their coaches for a review and goal-setting session.

​Coach Peter Leonhardt will be escorting a group of older boys (Charlie Bruce, Drew Collins, Angus MacDonald and Ethan Schwab) to the Speedo Winter Junior Championships Meet in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is a national meet in a premier facility (Y Nats will be there in the spring). Good luck, gentlemen! I know you will make us proud!

​Welcome back to our high school girls and good luck to our high school boys who will be leaving to train and represent their high schools. Remember boys, you are always welcome to come to our practices if your high school practice is canceled. We are here for you!

​Our new record board has been installed in the lobby of the YMCA. It is spectacular! I wanted to do a ribbon cutting, but we are far too busy for a ceremony, but stop by and check it out. It is truly inspiring. Thanks to the board for providing this and the Y for getting it out of the lower level. It chronicles more than fifty years of competitive swimming at the Y and is a great advertisement for our program.

​The coaches have been talking to the kids about staying focused during the holiday season. It is a great opportunity to pick up some extra practices. If you are traveling, please try to make arrangements to train. Other teams are usually happy to welcome our swimmers. We expect to have some guests in addition to our returning college swimmers. Over the Thanksgiving weekend we saw several of our alums—-Megan Clifford and Emma Dickhudt (Hillsdale,) Hannah Deighan (the University of Maine,) Kaden Schwaiger (George Washington,) and Sam Violassi (the Naval Academy).

​Please remember to stay safe by following the protocols at the various venues. Unfortunately, we have had swimmers diagnosed with COVID and others have had to be quarantined. As a Y program, we must follow their procedures. If you have any questions, please address them to Dan Marsh, our Y exec.


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Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins at Nov 16, 2021 3:54PM PST

Dear Parents and Swimmers,

We had a GREAT weekend at the Zeeland Pool!!!!

Our swimmers won the meet and two of our swimmers, Eliana Ker (8 and under) and Jack Ruud (9-10) were the overall age-group champions. We picked up a raft of state and zone qualifiers. Those of us who stayed in Holland had a wonderful time downtown. AND best of all, the hotel personnel complimented me on the behavior of our swimmers!!

Goal sheets will be distributed at practice this week. Please make sure you get one and fill it out with your current times and bring them to a practice (in a zip-lock bag with a pen) and the coaches will review them and help set intermediate and long-term goals.

The Indy meet has just been posted and this entry is a bit tricky. We have to enter now, but the meet is not until the end of January. There are qualifying times for this meet that many of our swimmers who are new to the team haven’t had a chance to meet. They probably will by the time we actually swim the meet. If your child is in that situation and you would like to attend the meet in this premiere facility it is okay with me if you enter them if you are willing to pay the fine if they don’t achieve the qualifying time at the meet (and have not achieved it at meets between then and now.) Please ask a coach for guidance.

​We are waiting to get practice time the Friday after Thanksgiving….We will let you know as soon as we do.

Good luck to our high school girls who will be competing in the Division 1, 2 and 3 High School State Meets this weekend!!! We know you will do us proud!!