Among the many unique Overlee aspects is a founded commitment on part of its older members to continually give back to the community, and stay engaged. Throughout the year, senior swimmers, alumni, and parents work to improve the experience everyone has, whether it be the team reps organizing the season, dedicated parents holding positions on the board to provide funding and establish logistics, alumni sharing stories for inspiration with younger swimmers at holiday gatherings, or Flying Fish, past and present, coaching the next generation (to name only a few). Through Overlee Sunday Night Swim, Group Lessons, School of Fish, and, ultimately, the Overlee Swim Team, there are numerous avenues for our swimmers to continue to teach kids a love for the sport, and find and extended family and support system. Each year, the summer competition team features a few exceptional alums on the coaching staff, who have remained dedicated to our mission of building respectable athletes, in and out of the pool, through a team environment. While the faces change from year to year, these leaders remain the standard bearers for reinforcing our communal values, continuing our rich tradition, and making Overlee swimming one of the most enjoyable summer experiences a family can be a part of. This year, our homegrown staff, include Ellie Ellison, Megan Day, Andrew Loranger, and Suzanne Dolan.
Ellie began swimming for Overlee in 1999 and graduated in 2011–she coached Sunday Night Swim for four years through high school, and has helped run the program as the Head Coach for one year since graduating from JMU. This is Ellie’s fifth year serving as a swim coach for the Flying Fish, which includes efforts with both the competition team, as well as running the School of Fish.
Megan swam for Overlee from 2002-2015, before graduating to attend Virginia Tech. She coached Sunday Night Swim in the winter for five years, then spent two years working with the School of Fish in the summer. Additionally, she is in her second year serving as an Assistant Coach to the summer team.
Andrew Loranger swam for Overlee from 2003-2015, before also graduating to attend Virginia Tech. He coached Sunday Night Swim from 2012-2015, while also coaching School of Fish in the summer from 2013-2015. This is Andrew’s second year serving as an Assistant Coach for the Overlee Swim Team.
Suzanne Dolan joined the Overlee Swim Team in 2003 and graduated in 2016. After graduating, she went on to swim for Duke University at the NCAA D1 level. This is her first year coaching the Flying Fish.
Given this group’s experience not only swimming, but leading as seniors and coaches, we thought it was essential to hear from them about what the week leading up to Chesterbrook meet is like. They breakdown the differences between being a swimmer and coaching, the preparations and emotions involved, and how to win. Furthermore, they help us better understand the rivalry between our pool and Chesterbrook, and in doing so, they illuminate what is special about our team’s culture. Over the years, countless Overlee swimmers and alumni have engaged in similar conversations, touching on these very topics–by opening it up to our homegrown coaches to contextualize this years team within our history, we hope to offer the privilege to our booster community of being a fly on the wall for a special discussion!