|Swim Club to open|
A new USA Swimming Club, under the direction of University of Idaho coach Mark Sowa, will make its Moscow debut this fall. The Vandal Aquatic Club becomes official on Sept. 1.
“Our desire always has been to foster a healthy environment where athletes of all levels can discover how great and enriching the sport of swimming can be,” said Sowa, who has been Idaho’s head coach for the past three seasons. “With the creation of Vandal Aquatic Club, we have the opportunity to have continuity of message from our swimmers – to those just starting in the sport to post-graduates who are training for Olympic trials.”
Sowa has scheduled a town hall type meeting on May 27 at 7 p.m. in Team Room C of the Kibbie Dome. Anyone interested in Vandal Aquatic Club, which will offer year-round training, is encouraged to attend.
“Vandal Aquatic Club will welcome everyone who is interested – no matter their experience level,” Sowa said. “I believe we are offering a great chance for Moscow and the surrounding community to have a growing and thriving swim club that is linked to the success of the University of Idaho team.”
In his tenure at Idaho, Sowa’s swimmers have won 12 individual conference titles and broken 37 Vandal records. In 2014, the Vandals had the lone NCAA qualifier from the WAC and the top conference finish by an Idaho team since the program was renewed in 2004. His collegiate experience includes stops at Harvard, Brown and Maryland. But, he has extensive involvement with club teams and their development of swimmers.
“I began my coaching career working with one of the best club teams in New England,” Sowa said of his time with Ocean State Squid. “Their focus on stroke technique and aerobic development was something that transcended all age groups. We always approached the young athletes with a picture in our head of what would best serve them in the long term – not short-sighted goals.”
Sowa’s mantra: “Until you stop swimming, there is a way to get faster,” has led to success everywhere he has coached. His Barracuda Swim Club is a two-time Bahamian National Championship Team, and his work with NOVA Aquatics in Virginia led to the development of one of the most successful as well as largest clubs in the state.
“I still very much consider myself a developmental coach, which is why all of our seniors this year achieved at least one lifetime-best performance,” Sowa said.