Last Day, …. not so much. We’ve got more summer to go.

Consider these new recreational activities for area kids, for grades 4 and older.

We hope the Water Polo players at Langley, Faison and South Hills can join with other area youngsters to sustain and grow the Swim & Water Polo experiences in the days to come.

Let’s wrap-up the Digital Badges, make new friends, compete, and play well with others beyond school days. Older swimmers and athletes are invited to water polo practices every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 am to noon at Citiparks’ Sheraden outdoor pool, weather permitting. We play tomorrow, Aug 6, 2015.

For more info, contact Coach, Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432.
Just show up.

Next week, we practice M, T, W, Th. at either West Penn (M&W) or Sheridan (T&Th). Practices organized with the help of Mark Rauterkus, head swim & water polo coach with Pgh Obama Academy and recent water polo coach with CMU women’s team.\

Adults get to play water polo every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 7:30 pm at Citiparks’ Ream pool in Mt. Washington. or
call coach’s cell: 412-298-3432.

Summer Dreamers invite for students and families of Camp South Hills’ Mindful Eating, Yoga, Multimedia

The fun learning of mindfulness skills at Summer Dreamers should continue. All are invited to a follow-up picnic at the end of the summer.

Plan to attend a picnic for Mindful Eating, Yoga and Media students and families on Wednesday, August 26, from 6:30-8:30 pm at South Hills Middle School. Bring your family and friends to visit our garden, share a picnic pot luck dinner, practice some mindful eating, and share your mindfulness goals for the coming school year.

We’ll invite the sound of the bowl to practice mindful listening.  We’ll teach parents and guardians how to increase awareness of our our breathing with the breathing ball. Plus, let’s show off our computer programs to show parents and guardians how breathing mindfully changes our heart’s rhythms. Finally, we’ll also have some herbs to take home.

Please RSVP to Richard King at

Also, a new Facebook Group  is open for you to “Like” and “Follow” for ongoing mindful updates, videos and exercises.
Mindful Eating, Yoga, and Media on Facebook =
Richard King, PhD

GNC Liberty Mile recap


Watch more videos on Flotrack


Watch more videos on Flotrack His interview gets cut a bit at the end.

Pre-Race excitement:

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Post race with Coach Mark and Goda, volunteer and ex-staffer:

If you have photos to share, please send them to me, I know we’ve got some additional images from other sources.

Finally, one Hello Kitty backpack was left in my car. It will be taken to camp on Monday. But I’m not so certain if it should go to Langley or South Hills.

Trip home after GNC Liberty Mile

Thanks for all the parents and guardians who are going to go to the GNC Liberty Mile and cheer for and support your kids in the race on their big day.  Also, thanks for giving them a ride home when we’re all done.

Do stick around and watch the professional runners. That is fun.

Meet us in the Triangle Park at the corner of Liberty and Market. You won’t be able to drive there as the streets are closed for the race, of course. You might want to park by Market Square.

For the others who are going to pick up their athletes at the Summer Dreamers camp sites, (Faison, Brashear / South Hills, and Langley), please be present about 9 pm, or a tad sooner.  We expect to depart Downtown at 8:30 pm in buses.

The bus departure map is below. Screenshot (18)See the big circle? It is on Stanwix between Liberty and Penn Ave.

The race ends on Liberty Ave, about 2 blocks away. We, Swim & Water Polo athletes and staff meet in that green triangle in the middle of the map, corner of Market and Liberty. That’s where the parents pick-up their kids.

Look for me! Last year we were giving high fives to race victor, Jordan!

Jordan wins Liberty Mile and gives high five to Coach Mark

Jordan wins and gives high five to Coach Mark

Aquatic Test

This on-line test is used for certification levels for SKWIM and Digital Badges that begin at Digital Badges/SKWIM/Level 1.

The access code is, SKWIM (in all CAPS).

Tips for the test

  • Test URL:
  • Access code: SKWIM
  • Questions #1 to #25 are for Level 1.
  • Questions #26 to #50 are for Level 2.
  • This is an open book test. You may do research with any of the questions throughout.
  • When FINISHED, there are some bonus questions.
  • The green button that says Finish is on the review page and when using a 7-inch Android tablet, you need to scroll the page to the far right side to locate the button as it resides off the side of the screen. Drag to the corner of the page and locate it.
  • Take a screen capture of the final results for your records as that will be proof for the test’s completion and allow for the coaches to award you the digital badge.
  • Coach Ivy and students

    Coach Ivy and Summer Dreamers in Swim & Water Polo working on the tablets to take the SKWIM aquatic knowledge test.

Some swimming and exercises at Camp Langley and Sheraden pool

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Images from Summer Dreamers at South Hills with Swim & Water Polo Camp

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GNC Liberty Mile, here we come!

This is the entry for the GNC Liberty Mile in 2015 from our Swim & Water Polo Camp, showing kids and staff, organized by first name. We’ve done a lot of running this year, especially at Camp South Hills and with the King’s Canyon at Camp Langley and even at Camp Faison after the bus ride or on days when there wasn’t a bus. With the 90-degree heat expected in the next two days, the running is put on the back burner. We have an advantage however, as we can run in the swim pool!


Aayron Issaiah Law
Achante Myles
Aeva Miglioretti
Alexis Deacon
Amire Freeman
Andre Jefferson
Andrea Palmer
Arnav Kumar
Aryelle Myles


Brae Lynn Branch
Breonna Maddox


Camron Siler McCallister
Celine Lakandula
Chantal Brown
Charlotte Hensel
Cloe Joos
Conor Coleman
Courtney Kelley
Courtney Patton


Da Jion Devers
Da Quan Devers
Daiquon Boleky
Dalasia Weaver
Deraile Barron
Destiny King
Devan Fedorowich
Diyora Ahmedova
Dondre Watson Ellis
Donovan Hayden
Dylan Dowdy


Ed Cygnarwicz
Edith Perry
Edward Cygnarowicz
Erin Benjamin
Eugene Hall Jr


Frayne Poeting


Gerson David Calderon
Goda Tarcijonas
Grant Rauterkus


Hannah Castro
Hayley Shelton
Huynh Nguyen


Ivy Ryan
Iyonae Moore


Jaquan Prysock
Jasmine Murrell
Jesse Baker
Jordan Kyles
JT Nelson


Kamren Mitchell
Kamya Kelly
Keheng Zhang
Keliyah Washington
Kiarah Green


Laurel McMahon
Lawrence Thompson
Lerrick Williams
Lex Glickman
Lydia Harper


Madison Boehm
Malayjia Chestnut
Mark Rauterkus
Maurice McClain Jr
Maurizio Longo
Milcahzayn Bozeman Wallace
Mohamed Adballa


Nadia Johnson
Nevaughn Page


Owen Baillie
Owen Mediate


Raoul Legrande
Reona Grant
Rimon Toto


Sam Murrell
Samson Olabode
Sanketh Kolli
Sonnie Watts


Tanyla Green
Tara Pennix
Tehilah Spencer
Tiara Roberson
Tim Krupar
Timiya Eggleton
Toby Junker
Trajon Jeter


Wayne Lee


Zack Oplako
Zuriel Bozeman Wallace

Heather, Jordan and a few of the professional runners are on our team too. This year, our friends with Kids of STEEL also join in the fun with the race.

Heather and Coach Mark

Heather K, Liberty Mile Champion, and Coach Mark

Race Day Start Times for 2015

  1. 7:00 pm – One for Fun, Pup Trot, Team Challenge
  2. 7:25 – Kids of Steel, Run 1 for Lucas — This is where Summer Dreamers compete.
  3. 7:50 – Masters
  4. 8:00 – Unstoppable
  5. 8:10 – Women’s Pro
  6. 8:20 – Men’s Pro
Summer Dreamers at Liberty Mile

Summer Dreamers at Liberty Mile

Liberty Mile Course Records by Ages

Age Name m/f time year
3 Asher Eckel m 10:23.9 2014
4 Luke Pena m 9:21.0 2013
Lydia Stuart f 10:53.9 2014
5 Erik Medmis m 9:24.8 2014
Gemma Prion f 9:16.4 2014
6 Joseph Gacesa m 8:08.8 2014
Alexa Stewart f 10:09.08 2014
7 Joseph Waskiewicz m 8:30.7 2014
Josie Richardson f 7:23.0 2013
8 Sean Aiken, Jr. m 7:21.0 2013
Gabrielle Williams f 6:44.92 2014
9 Barron Loeffler m 6:55.21 2014
Anna Waswkiewicz f 7:07.52 2014
10 Max Rottmann m 6:58.79 2014
Kristen Axtman f 7:22.0 2013
11 Jacques Moye m 5:59.89 2014
Lucy Waskiewicz f 6:56.89 2013
12 Christian Fitch m 5:45.82 2014
Lucy Waskiewicz f 6:28.9 2014
13 Robert Shymansky m 5:19.3 2014
Ziya Xu f 6:48.19 2014
14 Jonah Wyzomirski m 5:04.31 2014
Paige Grogan f 9:54.5 2014
15 Griffin Mackey m 5:07.0 2013
Maria Josselyn f 6:39.25 2014
16 Dom Perretta m 4:36.95 2014
Katie Lutz f 5:29.0 2013
17 Ryder Ballou m 4:49.16 2014
Beth Shenck f 5:22.0 2013
18 Michael Becich m 4:33.0 2013
Chelsea Henry f 8:29.97 2014
19 Michael Becich m 4:46.31 2014
Goda Tarcijonas f 7:24.53 2014
20 Andy Mysliwiec m 4:50.0 2013
Emily Lamm f 5:23.21 2014
21 John Yankello m 4:31.0 2013
Jennifer Haffner f 5:18.0 2013
22 Caleb Muller m 4:25.0 2013
Stephanie Bonk f 5:04.0 2013
23 Jimmie Spisak m 4:05.30 2014
Sarah Martinelli f 4:52.38 2014
24 Stewart Jone s m 4:22.25 2014
Lindsay Bingaman f 5:31.46 2014
25 Joshua Wilks m 4:19.45 2014
Kaylyn Christopher f 5:10.66 2014
26 Steve Kirkland m 4:29.24 2014
Jamie Morganstern f 5:06.96 2014
27 Jed Christiansen m 4:14.04 2014
Allison Magan f 6:25.07 2014
28 Steve Spang m 4:41.68 2014
Kim Markel f 6:04.0 2013
29 Ben English m 4:47.17 2014
Anna Shekinah f 5:18.83 2014
30 Nicholas End m 4:30.43 2014
Jennie Kormanik f 4:54.24 2014
31 Nate Brannen m 4:02.87 2014
Caryn Gehrke f 5:26.27 2014
32 Clay Burnett m 4:21.92 2014
Linsey Westerman f 5:49.94 2014
33 Russ Giancola m 4:50.0 2013
Erica Maloney f 5:30.11 2014
34 Matthew Sudak m 5:21.0 2013
Emily Smoller f 6:12.0 2013
35 Jeremy Cornman m 4:33.30 2014
Roberta Groner f 5:07.0 2013
36 Elijah Shekinah m 4:39.56 2014
Carrie Chisholm f 6:17.46 2014
37 John Neff m 5:00.0 2013
Sabrina Shaner f 6:42.08 2014
38 Cory Resler m 5:01.48 2014
Lynn Brehm f 6:29.0 2013
39 Jason Brehm m 5:08.0 2013
Joanne White f 7:27.54 2014
40 Philippe Rolly m 4:21.0 2013
Magdalena Boulet f 4:50.0 2013
41 Justin Bertram m 5:06.96 2014
Melissa Senall f 5:41.0 2013
42 James Hommes m 4:48.0 2013
Sonja Friend-Uhl f 4:53.0 2013
43 Eric Laughlin m 4:51.0 2013
Sonja Friend-Uhl f 4:57.26 2014
44 Nicholas Berra m 4:28.0 2013
Catherine Hrach f 6:24.01 2014
45 Birger Ohlsson m 4:34.0 2013
Terry Ballou f 5:22.0 2013
46 Daniel Pszeniczny m 4:35.45 2014
Adrienne Cook f 6:41.65 2014
47 Scott Bickham m 5:01.0 2013
Alisa Harvey f 5:17.0 2013
48 Mike Nier m 4:44.0 2013
Gail Planz-Wachter f 7:32.79 2014
49 Duane Williamson m 5:15.0 2013
Carol Bischoff f 5:58.0 2013
50 Allan Wells m 4:40.0 2013
Elizabeth Stewart f 6:04.0 2013
51 Larry Vandyke m 5:07.0 2013
Doreen McCoubrie f 5:18.0 2013
52 Steve Garand m 4:52.0 2013
Tina Seech f 6:03.0 2013
53 David Noyes m 4:46.0 2013
Tina Seech f 6:04.35 2014
54 Dominic Wyzomirski m 5:07.93 2014
Ena Weinstein f 5:57.0 2013
55 Robert Liebers m 5:14.0 2013
Leslie Chaplin f 5:45.0 2013
56 Thomas Dever m 4:50.0 2013
Suzanne Mittermeier f 6:04.0 2013
57 Carl Hubel m 5:30.25 2014
Julie Boyette f 7:26.0 2013
58 Mark Rybinski m 5:24.0 2013
Elizabeth Griffin f 13:21.96 2014
59 Gary Machiko m 7:13.0 2013
Carol Levack f 7:22.0 2013
60 Michael Kearns m 5:14.19 2014
61 Wally Hayes m 5:46.0 2013
Kathryn Martin f 5:44.0 2013
62 Peter Mullin m 5:20.0 2013
Barbara Broad f 6:05.0 2013
63 Mitchell Garner m 6:40.0 2013
64 Roger Price m 5:52.0 2013
Sabra Harvey f 5:48.0 2013
65 Terry McCluskey m 5:26.0 2013
66 Thomas Lamme m 6:28.0 2013
Charlotte Bogner f 9:28.04 2014
67 Gary Patton m 5:22.0 2013
68 Ruth Thelen f 7:10.0 2013
69 Warren Coax m 7:20.0 2013
Patricia Pacey f 12:38.0 2013
70 Warren Coax m 7:06.09 2014
Patricia Pacey f 11:07.57 2014
71 Doug Goodhue m 5:43.0 2013
72 Phillip Kroll m 7:29.0 2013
73 Al Swan m 9:46.0 2013
74 Thom Weddle m 6:38.0 2013
75 Stan Hunter m 11:58.48 2014
80 Gehrett Smith m 8:03.0 2013
81 Gehrett Smith m 8:55.82 2014
89 Lou Lodovico m 10:11.0 2013

Call to Summer Dreamers from Coach Mark

Tomorrow night, Friday evening, July 24, all the Summer Dreamers in Swim & Water Polo are invited to a special swim session at the Hill District’s, indoor, Thelma Lovette YMCA. The new YMCA is on Centre Avenue, just up the hill five or six blocks from the Consol Energy Center – home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Adults are encouraged to accompany their youngsters. Everyone is going to need to find their own transportation to and from the Y – as this is an extra, optional show off session. But adults are encouraged to join us in the swim pool too. Bring your suits. Join in on the fun and fitness.

You can come any time after 5 pm. The building closes at 8 pm so we need to exit the pool before 7:40.

There is free parking on the streets around the Y and in a lot behind the building too. Plus, there is no charge for admission to the Y swim pool. The Y has been generous with pool time for the Friday night practices for our program on a year-round basis.

Next Friday is the Liberty Mile and getting together in town no a Friday night is good practice for the Liberty Mile too. Press #2 on your phone now for more on the Liberty Mile. Friday night will be our deadline for entering the Liberty Mile. So, come to the YMCA and bring your forms or fill them out while you are there.

The Thelma Lovette YMCA is at 2114 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. The Y’s phone # is (412) 315-0990.

The YMCA has a full fitness center, gym and 5-lane swim pool with a year-round age-group swim team that competes in the YMCA league. Getting your kids onto the Y’s swim team is something to explore.

If we get a good turnout to the YMCA, I could continue to host some monthly gatherings and swim practices at the YMCA a regular basis throughout the year. We’ll go to the YMCA this Friday, and again in two weeks, after Summer Dreamers ends – again on Fridays for the rest of the summer. Of course, on Friday, July 31, when we are doing the Liberty Mile, there will not be any swimming at the YMCA that week.

The YMCA has free wifi and we generally take some time on Fridays to use the tablets, take some photos, share our web sites info and digital badge efforts there too.

The GNC Liberty Mile is a one-mile running race that happens on the streets of Downtown on Friday night, July 31. We have about 100 of our Summer Dreamers and staff compete in the race and we’ve been doing this for the past four years. The Liberty Mile is an OPTIONAL event and everyone isn’t able to do the race. You have to sign up, have good behavior, of course, and have transportation HOME after the event. The kids that go to the event depart from school after lunch on a school bus.

Staff and athletes go to the Citiparks swim pool on the Northside, the Sue Murray Pool. We play aquatic games, get a pizza party at the pool, get our race numbers and gear up for the race.

If any guardians want to join us on the bus and throughout the day, talk to me, Coach Mark. We can reserve a space for you on the bus and you can accompany us to the events. Perhaps we can talk at the YMCA on Friday night.

We have a big team meeting and then hike in groups from the pool on the Northside to the starting line of the race around 6 pm. We run as fast as we can and after our race, we gather again to share our experiences and then turn to watch the professional runners. The women and men professional runners are lightening fast and it is a treat to cheer for them – and a couple of those professional runners generally come by our Summer Dreamers camp a day or two before the race to visit with our kids too.

After the professional race, we depart downtown in 2 ways. It is best to have our adults from home meet us at the swim pool in the afternoon or else meet us DOWNTOWN at the race, cheer us on, and then go home with your guardians. Traffic is always bad as the streets are closed for the race.

Summer Dreamers at Liberty Mile

Summer Dreamers at Liberty Mile

Our meeting place is at “TRIANGLE PARK” a tiny park that is just past the finish line of the race on the left side. It is on Liberty Ave and it is about a block away from Market Square. So, find us on the Liberty Avenue, closer to the end of town by the Point.

The Race Entry and the Homecoming Contract is has to be documented and with us before we can the student out of school on an early dismissal for the activities. We need to know who is going to pick-up the kids and how they’ll get home – otherwise, it is better to have them finish the school day like regular and take the normal school bus home at 4 pm. We do NOT want anyone stuck downtown without a ride. This has never happened. Thank you for planning ahead and communicating those plans with us.

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