In 1969, a small group of brave swimmers traveled with coach Bob Hartman from Windsor to Suffield Academy or the American School for the Deaf every evening in search of a pool in which they could practice. From these humble beginnings, the Loomis Chaffee aquatics program – now comprising men’s and women’s swimming, diving, and water polo – gradually assumed its present status as one of the strongest and most spirited in New England. With the opening of the Benjamin VanDoren Hedges Pool (short course meters) in 1974, coach Hartman’s dream of a permanently fixed program became reality. Since then, hundreds of Loomis Chaffee swimmers and divers have competed against their counterparts at Exeter, Andover, Choate, Hotchkiss, Deerfield, Fairfield Prep, and other New England Prep Schools in some of the most exciting dual and championship meets imaginable. Scores of Pelican swimmers and divers have established life-long friendships with their teammates; dozens have moved on to compete in colleges including Williams, Trinity, Hamilton, Wesleyan, Kenyon, James Madison, Duke, Richmond, Yale, Brown, Boston College, Pomona, Villanova and Harvard. Over the years, Loomis Chaffee has consistently competed within the top echelons of the New England Prep School Swimming Association, and since the inception of the Western New England Independent School Swimming Association in 1978, the Loomis boys have accumulated 17 championships. If you’re looking for a competitive program marked by camaraderie and individual growth, you’ve come to the right place!
We believe in developing the talents of our swimmers and divers into championship competitors through rigorous pool workouts, frequently focusing on stroke or dive-specific training. Our fundamental outlook on swimming technique is based on the principles of the “Total Immersion” program and coaches Seebeck and Pond’s 44 years’ experience. As the swimmers log in 5500 meters per day (on average) during their two hour sessions, the divers focus on hurdle technique and entry refinements, even as they learn new dives (or positions) as appropriate. All of our swimmers and divers work out in the weight room and/or with pleiometrics exercises twice a week, and the men practice with the women during at least two practice sessions weekly. Nearly all of our dual meets, too, assume “double dual” format, though the men and women focus on their own two championship meets, the “Northerns” and New England Championships. We aim to see both our novice and veteran competitive swimmers and divers evolve and improve as their Loomis Chaffee careers unfold, and most of our team members ultimately do contribute to our scoring effort at the two championships. The extended Loomis Chaffee swimming/diving family includes an ardent parental booster squad and, frequently, returning alumni who check in to see how their “descendents” have done. Several Loomis Chaffee graduates, as a matter of fact, have returned for assistant coaching stints. Because we believe in the notion of a whole that exceeds the sum of its parts, we have earned a reputation as one of the most enthusiastic, most supportive squads in the league. Check us out.
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