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"Developing Success Both In and Out of the Pool"

Happy New Year!  2017 is treating us to a beautiful winter wonderland prolonging the holiday joy!  Speaking of holidays, I hope your family had a wonderful time making new memories's something to treasure

A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in PROJECT SECRET SANTA!  The coaches wanted me to pass on their heart-felt appreciation to you all!  Our team is full of thoughtful & generous families...THANK YOU!

As we enter into a busy season of meets, including our own team-hosted meet at the end of this month, be looking for emails chalked full of important details.  One fun thing about meets is that it brings us all to one common place at the same time.  I look forward to seeing you!  Please don't hesitate to stop me to say hi.

Tia Pollick, TCCC BOD President


Help Cheer on Channel Cats through the year and share why you love the sport and your team. Lets try using #tricitychannelcats when you share your team pictures!

Upcoming Events
Winter Open(Moses Lake)
Jan 28, 2017 - Jan 29, 2017
IES Jr Champs(Coeur d' Alene, ID)
Feb 10, 2017 - Feb 12, 2017
IES SC Champs(Moscow, ID)
Mar 3, 2017 - Mar 5, 2017
Sr Sectionals(Dallas, TX)
Mar 16, 2017 - Mar 19, 2017
Age Group Regionals(Federal Way)
Mar 23, 2017 - Mar 26, 2017
Tri City Open(Pasco)
Jun 2, 2017 - Jun 4, 2017
Wine Country(Toppenish)
Jun 16, 2017 - Jun 18, 2017
Sun Country Open(Bend, OR)
Jun 23, 2017 - Jun 25, 2017
Pendleton Open(Pendleton, OR)
Jul 7, 2017 - Jul 9, 2017
Inland Empire LC Champs(Pendleton, OR)
Jul 28, 2017 - Jul 30, 2017
Senior Zones(Clovis, CA)
Aug 1, 2017 - Aug 5, 2017
Futures Championships(Santa Clara, CA)
Aug 3, 2017 - Aug 6, 2017
Age Group Zones(Roseville, CA)
Aug 9, 2017 - Aug 12, 2017

Meet Recap by Coach Jen


Heading out of the ice and frigid cold engulfing the Tri-Cities area, 13 Channel Cats headed over to the Washington State Senior Championships Dec 15-18. It may have been cold outside but the pool was smoking hot as Channel Cats had nearly 100% best times day one! And the few times that were not best were still VERY good swims! Standouts for day one were Jeff who broke 1:50 in the 200free finally. Best walls we’ve seen from him in a long time! Plus, the notable Jeff K“finish” was back as he powered a gut wrenching last 25 trying to hang on. Cole had a good 200free as well making it back to finals and dropping MORE time again.

Megan had a solid 200 back dropping 2 seconds but working strong turns and a good tempo her last 25. It takes mental toughness to do that in backstroke folks. Legs are usually done for by then. Hilary dropped 5 seconds in her 200 back holding a great tempo through the whole race and came away saying that it was her new favorite race.

Next up was the 100 fly. Claire was on fire breaking a minute! She went for it in the first 50 setting herself up to break that barrier. If you want to go fast you have to go out fast. Something Coach Todd was uttering all weekend…go out and race from the start!

(Speaking of racing… on a side note, I watched the 50 free men’s race and saw the top seeded man dive in, come up and start wailing away at a crazy fast arm tempo. Wow!! His abs must be something else to hold a pace like that. It takes core strength to rotate and hold such power. He went 19.1! It was so fun to watch…but as I was saying, you have to go out strong and hold it!)

Skyler swam a strong 100 fly nabbing a best time and making it back to finals. Coming in behind his friendly rival by .01 in prelims, Skyler came off the blocks strong going for it and took “the rival swimmer” down by .6 seconds in finals!! Woo hoo Skyler!

400IM was next and all 4 Channel Cats killed it! Claire dropped 4 seconds and made it back to finals, John dropped 5, and Mackenzie dropped 7 seconds (also making finals) and whipped out a solid breaststroke to boot!! And Jeff… well, do you remember what I said was Todd’s creed all weekend about going out strong? Jeff crushed his 100fly best time by 3 seconds and still had 3 more legs of the race to swim!! We do not recommend quite that kind of going out strong but in this case it worked. He was ready for the race and dropped 13 seconds! And there we have yet another finalist.


The next day started out with the 200yd butterfly. Megan had a strong race, looking good with some changes she had been making in practice but most incredible was her typical Megan G finish! In any fly race Megan has the guts to push hard the last 25 or 50 and race to the finish…her last 50 here was her 2nd fastest split! Wow girl that’s tough. Impressive determination. Mackenzie H was raring to go as well breaking out her 200 fly in a quick first 50. But she held the tempo and also brought her last 50 home in a split that was her 2nd fastest too! Girls rule? That was a 4second time drop for Kenz! Claire busted out a best time and came back to swim in finals as well.  Way to go girls!

The boys fought a very fast field of 200yd butterfliers but Skyler and Jeff were ready. Both made it back to finals with an incredible prelims race. Jeff broke the 2:00 mark dropping 4 seconds and again displayed his gutsiness on the last 50 to push to the finish. Skyler went out strong and held onto it dropping over 4 seconds as well. Jeff came back in finals with another incredible race winning his heat and dropping over 3 more seconds! That best 100 fly time out of the 400 IM just got faster still. OMG Jeff, lol.  Seriously a great race for him and so fun for the coaches to watch. I have to say I enjoyed watching Todd get excited over this race as well.

Our sprinter girls had the 50 free next and they came out fighting. Near best times, which coming back from a high school season less than a month ago is pretty good. Coaches were pleased with Madison, Neomi and Hilary.

500 free was the next race and Mackenzie had a fine swim getting closest to her best time in a long while. Skyler was the best in show dropping 7 seconds off his top time. Both he and Cole made it back to finals where Cole decided it was time to make a statement I think. Swimming as tight a race as I’ve seen for a 500free, he dropped 5 seconds off his best time. He was 8th in the outside lane going into the final, but took second place overall beating the 3rd place by a full second!  Congrats Cole! Podium!!

Our sprinter backstrokers all came away with best times or right on best times finishing up Day 3 events. Bryn was our first up and won her heat going 30.00. How crazy a time is that?! SO close to breaking the barrier. Emma, Neomi, Madison, Megan and Ryan all had great swims and gave us a strong Channel Cat finish to prelims day 3.

Last day of the meet started out with the 50yd butterfly. Bryn, Neomi, Skyler and Ryan all came away with best times.  Next was the 100 free and a milestone swim from Megan solidifies a big candy bar at our spring banquet. (yes I know she has already done it in high school…but it is now a legal USA swimming time :D ) Neomi and Madison we right on or close to their best time as was Hilary. For the boys, John finally broke 50 with a new best time of 49.3 and Cole dropped a second as well making it back to finals with a 47.99 then having a close finals race dropping another .2. Congrats Boys…some great swimming there.

Day 4 and our Cats are all feeling a little tired. Most prelims swims started out looking that way (not bad, just tired) except Skyler and Jeff. Skyler dropped 7 seconds just missing going under 2:00 and Jeff dropped 2 seconds going his best time since spring 2015! I have to point out both Jeff and Skyler had awesome underwaters out of their turns. Your hard work paid off boys!

100 yd back was next and our girls woke up. Neomi, Mackenzie, Hilary and Bryn all had best times while Emma, Megan and Madison all had solid swims finishing strong with times close to their best.  Ryan blasted another best time (he had a great meet! Swam very aggressively) by 1 second and Cole was just off his entered time as well.


Winding up the meet were our milers. Wowzers just won’t cut it to express how well Claire, Cole and John swam. I already mentioned the kids were tired and what a race to swim under those conditions. Claire had a great race. She went out strong and held a solid pace going 21 seconds better than her entered time. Well done Claire…you rocked your mile! Cole, exploring the mile swimming it for the second time, dropped 1:34! That’s one MINUTE, 34 seconds folks. I think he found a new race to swim. Yowzers Cole!  Awesome job. And finally John, after a great 100yd free and a chat about how he always gets faster the longer he swims, took on the mile in a new way. He went out strong and pushed to keep his pace strong.  Dropping 26.5 seconds he is now 2.4 seconds away from a Futures cut!!


Overall the kids swam fantastically! After firing up the pool in Federal Way, we brought the heat home to melt our frozen world away. What a great showing from both meets (Reindeer Splash in Clarkston and Sr. Champs in Federal Way) going into Holiday training. The coaches are very excited to see what the future holds this season. Happy Holidays to all. See you at the pool!!


Power Your Willpower

Parents and Athletes, this is a great article with Christmas break training approaching.

By Jim Bauman, PhD.
Athletes in every sport have been introduced to the idea of willpower and how necessary that characteristic is to success at elite levels of sport.  

Willpower is one of those vaguely explained and often misunderstood concepts in the language of sport.  One of the more popular descriptions of how you demonstrate willpower is having “unshakable perseverance and self-control that is directed toward a goal or objective in spite of adversity, physical demand, physical pain, or how much time it takes to succeed.” 
Willpower is difficult to measure, but it is necessary for success in sports.   Willpower is often more associated with and is more observable in the endurance sports that require high levels of both physical and mental demand.  Some examples would include swimming, distance running, rowing, wrestling and Tour de France. Willpower can also be associated with sports that require less physical demand, but are more heavily weighted toward a resilient mental focus, such as golf, archery, and short distant or explosive sports.

People debate the levels of physicality in various sports, but there is a consensus that willpower is a necessary part of brain functioning that is interwoven with and drives the body toward its evolving limits.  The extent to which an athlete exercises willpower can determine whether or not their body will be driven to its maximum developmental potential.  

In most cases, it is willpower that will “switch off” before the body has actually reached its maximum potential.  A periodic burst in performance or a new personal best are clear indicators that our talent potential is a lifelong pursuit that is only limited by our health, opportunity, and willpower.

It is important that we learn how to efficiently utilize our physical and willpower potentials, know how they are fueled, and how best to utilize those limited fuel supplies that fire those potentials.  One field of research compares willpower to a muscle.  The more we exercise it the stronger it gets.  Similarly, the more we use it in one sitting and over an extended period of time, the more its energy stores become depleted and its strength and efficiency is reduced.  

That research supports the idea that willpower will burn up its energy stores and, like a muscle, needs to be rested and refueled. Our brain is about 2% of our body weight, but it consumes about 20% of our calories each day. The brain is an energy burner.  Glucose and the metabolism of glucose is the main source of energy for brain physiological functioning.  
Therefore, it is important that our brain receives a steady flow of glucose from our circulatory system and that we use that limited energy wisely. Great fuels for the brain includes avocados, whole grains, salmon, beets, blueberries, chocolate, and nuts.  Blue Diamond Almonds have proven to be a powerful nutritional snacks for our athletes during international competitions.  

And finally, the lack of sleep, rest, recovery, right kinds fuel, as well as stress overload and extreme multi-tasking can directly affect our ability to maintain our willpower and consistently move toward a goal.  So, pace yourself, stay goal oriented, and have a plan to get there.  Utilize the energy that fuels your willpower on those things that are relevant to you achieving your goals, rather than wasting that energy on irrelevant distractions. Keep it simple!
Meet Recap by Coach Ashley

The Channel Cats boiled up the water while at the 2016 Reindeer Splash in Clarkston.  There were so many amazing breakout swims from our older and younger swimmers. 
All the coaches were excited to see so many swimmers attend the meet even with the inclement weather.  Congrats to our swimmers who were able to make their cut for the Washington State Open meet and congrats to all of our new swimmers attending as their first meet.  Channel Cats also took home 6/10 high point winners!  A big shout out to our swimmers that took home the high point snow globe award for the meet.  GREAT JOB Erwin A, Linnea H, Cameron R, Andy G and Carrie M!  
Many came so close to winning that high point award, many even came in second by one point.  Those that took second overall in their age category at the meet include: Benjamin C, Paisley W, George H, Chamelle A, Andrew J, Madison V and Nick W.  
Those that got third overall in their age group include: Nikko E, Cody C Elizabeth M, Riley P, Cathy H and Sydnee H & Grace C who tied!
Great Job Channel Cats!
Team Results click here
High point results here


Are you looking for a way to get
more involved with the team?


Wanting to learn more about the sport of swimming?  Want a way to earn volunteer hours?  Becoming an Official might be JUST the opportunity for you!  

If you're interested, please take a look at a training video on the USA Swimming website (click here) and then come to the Officials Clinic.

WHEN:  Saturday, Jan 28th

TIME: half hour following last event Saturday

WHERE: Moses Lake High School, 803 Sharon Avenue, Moses Lake, WA 98837

Nutritional Tidbits

My Favorite Food Finds for Young Swimmers

Chocolate Milk Illustration. (Large)By Jill Castle, MS, RDN

I like real food. I like my young athletes to eat real food. So, when it comes to youth sports nutrition, I am always looking for innovative food products that can do the job of nourishing and fueling the growing athlete.

Here are some of my favorite food products of 2016 for young swimmers:

Fair Life Chocolate Milk

Want milk with more calcium, more protein, and not too much sugar? Fair Life Chocolate Milk may be your answer. Ultra-filtration is the process used to concentrate calcium and protein, and reduce sugar and lactose, the natural milk sugar that many Americans have difficulty digesting. 

Of course, the chocolate milk has sugar added back in, but the overall sugar content is still less than other chocolate milk competitors (12 grams of sugar per 8 ounces versus 24 grams of sugar in organic chocolate milk). 

Fair Life Chocolate Milk is a delicious option for athletes who are looking for a tasty recovery beverage.

*Available in 11-ounce single serving containers

Nutty Goodness Fruit and Nut Snacks

Nutty Goodness is a snack made with nuts, seeds, fruit, herbs and spices…and nothing else. Nutty Goodness also happens to be organic, gluten-free, vegan, wheat-and dairy-free. Packaged in a re-sealable bag for easy portability, these flavorful snacks are perfect for a quick light bite prior to, or after, an event.

88 Acres Seed Bars
A granola bar without the granola? Is that possible? It is with 88 Acres, the Boston-based company making seed bars. Those with tree nut and peanut allergy, rejoice. Your tasty alternative is here. 

Inspired by the lack of bar options for individuals with food allergies, the creators made their bars free from all major food allergens (milk, egg, wheat, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish and soy). And best of all, they didn’t sacrifice flavor in the process.

Kelly’s Four Plus Granola
Sometimes it takes an athlete’s mom to make a great fuel source for other athletes. Hence, this small batch, hand baked granola was born out of a mom’s need to feed her hungry, growing rowers. Every flavor starts out with four main ingredients (100% whole grain rolled oats, canola oil, honey, and pure maple syrup) and other ingredients are added to make up the six different available flavors. Four of the flavors are nut-free. This granola is great straight out of the bag, on top of yogurt, oatmeal or cold cereal. 

Athletic Foodie Snacks
Athletic Foodie was founded by Garrett Weber-Gale, an Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming, after a bout with high blood pressure and a need to revamp his diet. He quickly became aware of the impact of nutrition on his sports performance. Since then, he’s been making a difference in young athletes’ lives with his Athletic Foodie products. 

Athletic Foodie snacks are individually portioned. Each package tells the swimmer when to eat it: pre-workout, during workout or post-workout, leaving the guessing game behind. 

Pureed Fruits and Veggie Energy Packs
Clif Athlete Series showcases a variety of pouched fruit, grain and veggie combinations. Modeled after baby food pouches, these energy packs are easy to throw in a duffle and consume between events. With flavors such as banana maple oatmeal, banana beet with ginger, and sweet potato and sea salt, the combos pack in the complex carbs that are required and beneficial for endurance activities. 

Trader Joe’s Fruit and Nut Mixes
Trader Joe’s has the market on individually packaged trail mixes, a line of products they call “handfuls.” From their Omega Trek Mix (almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) to their Go Raw Trek Mix (raisins, cashews, walnuts, almonds and filberts (hazelnuts)) and everything in between (my favorite: Simply Almonds, Cashews and Chocolate Mix), Trader Joe’s does the swimmer a big favor: keeps the portion size to a “handful.”

Granola Bars
In the grocery store, the category of granola bars is overwhelming. It’s easy to just grab the first bar that looks as if it will taste good. But, finding one that tastes good and is nutritious can be a costly experiment. 

Of course, everyone’s taste buds are different and granola bars vary greatly, even within brand names, but the brands Kashi, Kind, and Cascadian Farms have nutrition labels that generally meet the criteria of “not too sugary, not too fatty, and a good source of protein and fiber.”

If you are curious about finding a healthy granola bar, but aren’t sure which parameters to look for, check out my granola bar purchasing guide.

Bonk Breaker
If you’re looking for a bar that packs more punch (translated: a bit higher in calories and protein), try a Bonk Breaker energy and protein bar. It may be just the hefty snack you need for your next grueling workout.  Not only are there several unique flavor options, these energy bars are gluten-free and made with real ingredients—the kind you recognize and can pronounce. 

*Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I have no affiliations with any of the companies mentioned in this article. All opinions are my own.

Jill Castle, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian, childhood nutritionist, and youth sports nutrition expert. She is the author of Eat Like a Champion: Performance Nutrition for Your Young Athlete. Learn more about Jill at and check out her free list of 70 Awesome Pre-Workout Snacks for Kids.

Attention All Swimmers..
SUPER TRACKER, Do you use it?

SuperTracker (medium)The United States Department of Agriculture has created an interactive tool that allows you to plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity.  Like Nutrition Tracker you can analyze food items, track your intake and create individualized reports. In addition to the tools you are used to having, you will also be able to set goals, track your physical activity and create a personal journal with all of your information and goals conveniently located on one page.
Click here to get started.

December/January Swimmer
Read all about them!

Levi Chrisman
Luc Johnson
Adilyn Williams
Teagan Fletcher


Swimmers....Please Tell Us About Yourself

Would you like to be in the spotlight? Click here and complete the short survey.

Would you like to share a project related to swimming or Channel cats?
Please Submit School Art or Assignments to

  2017.....Mark your calendars!
Please contact Elise U if interested in helping with this fun event!

Tell your friends and family how

easy it is to support TCCC

everyday they shop!

Channel Cat Families and Friends,
Make your daily purchases go farther by registering with retailers Fred Meyer and AmazonSmile. TCCC is a registered non-profit recipient with these great stores. Simply link your member cards/accounts with these businesses by enrolling TCCC as one of your community beneficiaries. These funds raised help keep our dues from increasing!
Fred Meyer Rewards is something that is not new to our team.  Sign up for a Fred Meyer Rewards Card (found at any Fred Meyer store) then go online to and sign up for their Community Rewards program by linking the “Tri City Channel Cats” to your card (a flyer with more detailed information is attached).  You will still receive all the reward points and benefits as you normally would.
The other opportunity available to us is through Amazon.  They have created a program called Amazon Smile in which they donate 0.5% of qualified purchases (items marked with “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages) to go towards the charitable/non-profit organization of your choice.  All you have to do is go to and choose "Tri City Channel Cats Parents Association" as the charitable organization and then start shopping.  It’s as easy as that!  Remember to bookmark this page for future “shopping trips.”
You can mail your check to the address below or I can collect from you at practice. If you have money for me or questions, you may text or call 509 840 2475.
Faith Smeenk

We really appreciate you taking the time to help us as a team, we thank you!
Tri-City Channel Cats
Business Directory
We’d like to make you aware of businesses that are owned and operated by
fellow Channel Cat families.  If you’re in the need for any of their services,
I hope you will take the opportunity to support them!
If you would like to have your business included in our directory,
please contact Tia Pollick


Congratulations to our IE Swimmers who are on the USA Swimming Scholastic All-American Team! There were 1,172 successful applicants!

Nicole Rozier -CAST 3rd year                      Taylor McCoy-GMSC 2nd year
Jessica Wierzbicki -VS 2nd year                  Sarah Nicholls -CAST 1st year
Daniel Roy -SAS 1st year                           Claire Schaef - TCCC 1st year

Here is the link to the USA Swimming Information on the Scholastic All-American Team. Maybe you could be one, too!

Have you taken advantage of these offers?

Check out these great apps and welcome kit!

USA Swimming offers a variety of programs and services for all of our members. Learn more about key benefits including tracking swimmer times, camps for swimmers, ways to stay connected to USA Swimming, and performance recognition programs.
Meet Mobile

Deck Pass click for your USA swimming welcome kit!

On Deck

Contact Us
Coach Todd Stafek
Coach Jen Tonkyn

Tia Pollick (President)

Russ Chrisman (Treasurer)

2016-2017 Board of Directors
Tia Pollick, President
Brooke Pool, Vice-President
Ruby Chrisman, Secretary
Russ Chrisman, Treasurer
Faith Smeenk, Co-Treasurer
April Walkley, Inland Empire Swimming Representative
Melissa Moore, Hospitality Lead, Member at Large
Anne Pasicaran, Member at Large
Ashley Oberg, Member at Large
Elise Uytioco, Welcome Committee and Swim a Lead

*|Tri city Channel cats|* Copyright © *|2016|* *|TCCC|*, All rights reserved.