Dear Fellow Swim Coaches:
Your opinions, feedback and participation are welcomed, at your leisure, as you are able. Thanks for the consideration.
#1. You, your spouse, other helpers with you team, and even a few of your varsity swimmers are invited to join in at a seminar and demonstration as well as post-game social to be held in Pittsburgh’s South Side starting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at the historic, Citiparks’ Oliver Bath House. Out of town guest include aquatic experts with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA.org) and Kevin McCarthy of Washington state, inventor of the aquatic game, SKWIM. Bring your swim suit and towel as we will put our PA friends into SKWIM games with opponents from around the nation, learning about this terrific game that you might want to deploy in your facilities too. Then walk to post game social at 9 pm at our home / office at 108 S. 12th Street, South Side, Pgh 15203.
#2. This past season EVERY high school swim meet we hosted in the city had to begin at 2:30 pm, due to officials shortages. Ugh.
#3. Because we need more community engagement, and officials, I am most interested in starting a wide reaching ALUMNI SWIMMING effort. Sure, there is Masters swimming, Tri swimming, Masters Water Polo and Underwater Hockey. All happen in Pittsburgh. Plus, a few of the largest districts have annual alumni events too. Great. But, I think this is the right time to launch a PA and WPIAL SWIM ALUMNI organization. I will be happy to do the heavy lifting and get this started, but would you be willing to serve on a steering committee and participate in a few conference calls? If so, send an email to Mark@Rauterkus.com.
#4. Another way to expand and improve swimming in PA, that I think we should address, comes with the formation of another CLASS beyond the existing AAA and AA. Let’s ponder the possibilities and ramifications of making a legitimate JV Swim Classification. We have city schools, big and small, that do not have swim teams. Plus, we have teams that are fielding teams that are struggling to survive. A new, “JV designation,” within the rules, with a few JV focused meets, could be most welcomed addition for the sport in many settings. Ideas? Mark@Rauterkus.com.
Thanks again. Best wishes to you and your teams.
Thanks Quora for this discussion: Answers to where should a married couple in early 30s move to in Pittsburgh?
Consider the South Side
In our 30s, my wife and I moved to Pittsburgh from Chicago. I am a boomerang and we met while she was getting her Ph.D. at Northwestern.
Our choice of neighborhood, something we still don’t regret, was the historic South Side.
I’ve never owned a lawn mower.
We raised our kids here too. This year both are in college and doing well.
You might want to rent in the city for a year. Look and look some more. You can find wonderful, weird, urban spaces with great potential and tons of charm. We’ve re-made our house a number of times, changing rooms, expanding, improving value and staying put.
Bonus insights from the Facebook group, South Side Secrets
Funny, true, 2nd-hand story about South Side pride N’at, in the wake of the “discussion” on the other thread about 15203:
Our home’s former owner who we never met was a small business man, Mr. Gursky. He lived here and ran his shoe repair shop here for decades. He and his wife raised two children on this spot on 12th Street. One kid became a doctor. He fixed the shoes and boots of countless of people throughout his long life. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, nor any of the family.
After we moving in, for years, people would knock on our door and try to give us their shoes. Nope. This isn’t a shoe repair shop these days. Often, the stories would start to flow.
One guy recounted how he once brought a pair of shoes into the shop and to his former neighbor, Mr. Gursky. This customer had lived in the South Side for years. They chatted. The guy allowed how he moved to Brentwood, (perhaps Baldwin?) as Mr. Gursky, the shop owner, hadn’t seen him around the South Side in recent months.
As the conversation winds down, the tattered shoes come out of a bag and onto the counter / work bench for repair. Mr. Gursky picks them up, walks outside onto the sidewalk, tosses them down in disgust and says, “You move away. You’re too good for us now. You take your shoes to Brentwood! Let them fix em.”
Mr. Gursky, living what some have called ‘the immigrant’s dream’ with home / business under the same roof, was not having anything to do with those shoes from the ex-South Sider who moved to Brentwood. Hard. Crusty. Iron willed.
Sead Niksic, 11th grade, Obama Academy student, won the 100 backstroke in WPIAL Championships, class AA, today (3/3/17) at Pitt’s Trees Hall, in a record time of 51.29. He won the event by a four-second margin. This was his first WPIAL title in the backstroke.
Last year, Sead was the first student from any Pittsburgh Public Schools in any sport to get a gold-medal in an individual WPIAL event when he won the 100 yard fly as a sophomore. In the 2017 100 fly, Sead went faster then the WPIAL record, but finished in second place.
This year, Obama swimmers can boast to have the city’s first WPIAL record breaker in an individual event in any sport. The boys swim team at Obama claimed the first city WPIAL section title in any sport back in 2013, the first year some city teams were able to compete in the WPIAL, PIAA District 7, rather than District 8, often called “The City League.”
Sead will swim the 100 fly and the 100 back in the 2017 PIAA Class AA Championships in two weeks at Bucknell University. This year Sead will be joined at states by his sister, Amila Niksic, an Obama Academy freshman, as she finished second in the 100 backstroke, improving by more than four seconds and moving to the silver medal from the 10th-place seed. Her time was 1:00.81.
A third Obama swimmer, Noah Jamison, 10th grader, did not qualify with an automatic entry to the PIAA Meet, but his podium finishes in both the 200 IM and the 500 free (also a school record), might be fast enough to earn an at-large entry to the PIAA Championships.
Noah dropped from 5:09.42 seed time (11th) to 4:54.01, and to a possible PIAA invite. At-large invites to PIAA are a couple days away. In 2016, as a freshman, Noah’s time in the 500 free in 2016 was 5:12.92. In 2017, Noah’s time in the 500 free beat the school record that was established by Erik Rauterkus more than four years ago. Erik is the oldest son of Obama’s Coach, Mark Rauterkus. Erik competed at the PIAA meet four consecutive years and then went on to swim at Swarthmore College and is due to graduate college in May, 2017.
Niksic, Jamison, David Donehue, 11, Sci-Tech, and Krishnan Alagar, 11, home-schooled, made up the squad’s 200 medley relay and set a new school record. The four also got points in the 400 free and put Obama’s boys team into the top 10 among AA teams.
This year marks the the 9th consecutive year that at least one swimmer from Pittsburgh Public Schools qualified to compete in the PIAA Championships under the direction of Coach Mark Rauterkus — formerly Schenley and presently Obama. Rauterkus also leads the Swim & Water Polo activities with PPS Summer Dreamers and after-school water polo programs at Westinghouse, Arsenal, Allegheny and Obama.
View a collection of swim races from this year’s championships at Swim.CLOH.org.
The fine people at the Pittsburgh Association of School Retirees have a Scholarship for $1,000. Might as well apply.
- Be a student in good standing with a minimum GPA 3.0.
- Serve as an example to fellow students as a participant in community, charity and school activities.
- Complete the application form, and include in the packet all of the required information.
- Application Instructions
- Each applicant must include an official transcript,
- two letters of recommendation:
- one from a school staff professional (principal, counselor, teacher, etc.) and,
- one from a non-school/non-family member (religious leader, employer, youth group leader, etc.)
- a personal essay
- application and permission slip must be signed by the student
- submit the application to the Office of Student Services at the Pittsburgh Board of Education by Friday, May 5, 2017.
If additional information is needed, please contact Donna Vlassich, PghASR Scholarship Chairperson at dvlassich -at- gmail.PASR 2017 Scholarship Cover Letter
PASR 2017 Application
PASR Scholarship Permission Slip
See the online course, Hockey Goals – Future Scholar. Check it out.
This is the time to plan for spring swim lessons. In summer, it is sorta too late. Let’s get our kids strong, and strong in the water.
In Pittsburgh, we’re blessed as we have the pools. Next, we need to keep up demand and get time in our week to use them.
See you Saturday.
See all four pages by clicking button at the bottom of the window holding the PDF.middle-school-handout2