Archive for the ‘Weekly Updates’ Category

Wittenberg Swimmers Earn SAAC Awards

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) announced its annual award recipients!

Our team’s nominees included AJ Burt, the All-American Honorable Mention Women’s 200 Medley Relay, Jenna Montali, Jane Tsivitse, Keaton Hannon, and Rachel Lee.

Overall we had nominees in eight of the ten categories and came home with awards in the following:

Extra Curricular Award –Jenna Montali, ‘12

Record Breaking Award – Sarah Wilson ‘14, Molly Gustafson ‘14, Keaton Hannon ‘12, Ward McNulty ‘13

Academic-Athlete Award – Rachel Lee, ‘12

To read the full article you can go to

Way to go TIGERS!!!

2011-2012 Swimming & Diving Season Video

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The team just wrapped up with their team banquet this past Sunday. It was sad to say goodbye to 14 graduating seniors. They are already accepting summer internships, jobs, and applying to graduate schools. They all have very bright futures ahead of them and they will be greatly missed.

Overall, the team could not have asked for a better season. There were 14 school records broken (5 were broken more than once), 5 individuals and 2 relays achieved NCAA B Qualifying Time Standards. The Women’s 200 Medley Relay scored in the Top 16 at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship earning them the honor of being All-American Honorable Mention.

Definitely check out the team to see a glimpse of how great this season truly was. Cut and paste the following link into your web browser:

Another Beautiful Day in Deerfield Beach!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

What another beautiful day in Deerfield Beach!
Where Coach Koukis had quite a bit to teach
In the morning the distance swimmers did
their traditional set of 3 miles
After the completion of which all of
the seniors could offer nothing but smiles
In the meantime, the other lanes were
focusing on swimming without air
So that at the end of a race their
opponents will not have a prayer
After practice there was plenty of
time to be spent in the sun
Some chose to lay out by the pool while
others went to the beach for some fun
After a morning in the hot pool, the
cool ocean water felt ever-so-grand
As did getting some laughs out
of playing volleyball in the sand
But before we knew it it was
time to get back on the bus
With the knowledge of the set at hand,
I guess that was a plus
As promised, we did twenty 50’s
all-out from the blocks
While Coach and Joni kept track of
our times with their many clocks
Though the practice was difficult we gave our all
Staying positive and cheering for each
other so that morale wouldn’t fall
When everything was finished,
we were in for a great surprise!
The coaches gave us ALL of the next day off,
holey moley we couldn’t believe our eyes!
We could sleep in tomorrow, not needing to
arrive at the beach until half past nine
Where we had team building and pictures,
a whole day away from that never-ending black line!

Nicole E. George ’12

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Katherine Ritzi!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

It was a beautiful day here at Deerfield Beach! After a tough morning practice we had the afternoon to soak up the sun and play by the beach or pool. There was not a cloud in the sky all day. We loaded the buses for our evening practice knowing we had our dress up team dinner in Fort Lauderdale after. During warm up much to our surprise we find Coach Koukis and Coach Joni swimming with us. Being able to see fireworks going off in the distance during practice, the spirit of New Years Eve was in the air. With everyone dressed in their formal wear we headed to Big Louie’s for some Italian Cuisine. People were taking pictures, laughing, and eating it was a great way to end the year!

After arriving back to the Buccaneer right before midnight some of the team went to the beach to watch fireworks, while others watched Lady Gaga drop the ball on tv. It was a one of a kind New Years Eve and after four years I am happy to say I’m sorry I will not be joining WSD to ring in 2013.

Rachel Leeds ’12

Wittenberg Tiger Swimming in Japan!

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Mr. Nagai, Neil and Mrs. Tamura

Swimming in Japan

Below is an email from a former Tiger Swimmer, Neil Anderson.

Thanks Neil!

Keep swimming!


Hey Coach,

Looks like you had an exciting weekend! I am so happy to see the team doing so well. I really do miss it. So much that I am getting back to it over here!

I was actually swimming quite a bit at the beginning of the year preparing for a meet in March that had swimmers coming from the entire Tohoku (eastern Japan) area, but with the March 11 earthquake/tsunami occurring, the competition site was heavily damaged among many other terrible things. The pool I normally train at was also undergoing repairs until just recently in September they reopened. Needless to say, I haven’t been in the water much since March. It has been a difficult time for all swimmers here in eastern Japan, especially since the sport brings so much joy in so many ways. Thankfully though, pools are reopening and competitions are starting up again!

This past weekend, I went to the Tohoku Masters Swimming competition in Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture. The trip is about an hour from my home in western Miyagi. Around 300 athletes with ages ranging from 18-80(older?) came to compete from all over Eastern Japan. I was entered in the 100 fly and 50 free in the 20-24 age group. I was really counting on natural talent at this point since I had only had the chance to get in the water a total of 2 times the week prior. Halloween is a busy busy time for English teachers here OK? Somehow, things turned out ok. Taking first in the 100 fly and (laughably) the 50 free felt good. It’s a feeling I have really missed, and it wasn’t just from winning either. It was the whole package. The smell, the smiles, the echoes, the laughs, and the constant stares at the (only) foreigner brought it all back. Maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. It’s the same no matter what country you’re in. I’m not hoping for “retired” swimmers to read this, go to the pool and swim 10,000 meters. That message is in no way conveyed from my previous “practice” endeavors. I do hope that if need arises for a smile, or a feel good moment that you can share with hundreds of people, find a masters meet.

Best of luck the rest of this season Coach!

Neil Anderson

Result Sheet

Claire Shannon NCAC Athlete of the Week!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Athlete of the Week

The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) has named Claire Shannon as the Women’s Athlete of the Week. Wittenberg junior Claire Shannon (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) won four events in two Tiger victories. She won the 200 (2:02.62) and 500 (5:34.63) freestyles in a 177-57 decision over Ohio Wesleyan, then took the 1000 (11:00.65) and 500 (5:24.28) freestyles in a 139-93 win over Wooster.

Happy Halloween: Weekly Wrap-Up

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Hello fans of Wittenberg Swimming and Diving!

After a long weekend we are thrilled to report the men and women have both started the season 2-0, with big wins against NCAC competition!  For complete results you can visit our webpage at

We are thrilled that our efforts and focus in practice were easily identifiable in competition, and now we are ready to move on to even more challenging and detailed workouts in order to better prepare for the end results in February and March.

In other exciting news, you will see a new face on the pool deck.  Joni Williamson has joined our staff as a full-time assistant.  Joni comes to us from Dayton, where she most recently worked with the Dayton Dolphins club team.  Joni’s resume is quite impressive, working with club, college, and masters level swim teams, and as an intern with the NCAA among other things.  Joni has jumped in head first (she started less than two weeks ago) and we are all impressed with her!  She has a contagious positive energy and we are already benefiting from her expertise!

We will be updating the blog often during the season, so please check back soon for more Tiger Updates.

Happy Halloween,
Coach Koukis

Summer Recap

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Greetings Tiger Fans!

Below are some of the e-mail updates I received from swimmers who travelled to Lesotho Africa this past June and July.  As we begin the 2011-2012 season, I feel it is important to remember how much we do outside the pool, the good we can bring to the world around us, and the importance of giving back.

As you read you will see that the students who e-mailed did so in pairs, due to limited Internet access.  I have identified the swimmers at the end of each e-mail.

Please check back frequently for updates about our season and more!

Coach Koukis

Hello friends and family,

Today was a beautiful day in Lesotho.  The weather was perfect for working, and we made progress on all three of our current projects.

This week, we’re working at an orphanage near Morija.  We planted several fruit trees, laid the foundation for the piggery, began work on the rabbit hutch, and began the framework for the greenhouse.  It is really exciting to walk around and see the progress we make each day and the camaraderie among the members of our group.

We didn’t have a meeting tonight, so we had an hour to relax after we returned from the orphanage.  Some of us read or wrote in our journals, while others took a walk to watch the sunset with the children of the village.  At dinner tonight, we celebrated Dr. Rosenberg’s birthday with cake and ice cream, and Josh got his chance to prank Zach with a whoopee cushion.  Zach is busy planning his revenge.

Tomorrow, we are taking a break from work to visit Baylor Clinic and put on a carnival for the HIV positive children there.

This concludes your nightly update from Lesotho,
We love you all

Devoni Murphy and Zachary Stewart (Wittenberg Swimmer, 2011)

Hey everyone!

Today was our last day working at Motsekua worksite, and boy was it nicer than yesterday!  There was no snow and the sun was shining and you woulda thought we switched seasons overnight.  We officially finished the rabbit hutch and the pigery, playground, and greenhouse, as well as the classrooms are all finished being decorated and painted as well.  The only thing we did not quite finish was the chicken coop, but there is only a little work left on that- probably just a roof.

We had quite an adventure, however, on the way to Motsekua.  Donnie’s bus, first of all, sprung a leak in the overhead air conditioners and lights and the first row was on “splash mountain” with ponchos over them for protection.  THEN, the bus broke down, and we were all just chillin on the side of the road for a little while, about an hour give or take.  We waited for David’s bus to drop everyone off and come get us.  There was really nothing in site, except a few mountains and sheep, but almost everyone that passed us honked (rather obnoxiously) because there were a bunch of Americans stranded on the side of the road- how funny for the Basotho!

Everything is winding down now, since we are leaving and we officially finished moving cinder blocks and making heavy cement!  Our next project is at Leratong, where we will be making cabinets- it’s our last project and then we are headed for Kruger on Friday the 5th.

Tomorrow we get to go hiking up Thaba Bosiu, the most sacred piece of land to the Basotho.  It’s very steep but we have a had a lot of practice hiking and we’re ready.

Dinner was very good tonight, we had some chicken, veggies and potatoes and rice, and some ginger peach dessert with custard- custard is a favorite here.

Anne Beauch and Megan Tassone (Wittenberg Swimmer, 2012)

Lumela All!

Today was quite the day. It started off as a brisk winter’s day. We were up for breakfast at 7:30 sharp with a quick 8:30 departure. As the bus traveled over the mountains and through the woods, to Morija we were going. A little different than to grandma’s, aye?

As we got there the busses ran into a bit of a jam. We soon found out, after hitting the bottom of the mountain, that the three vans, packed with eager kids with work tools at the ready, were not going to make it to the top. For a time check, it was about 9:30.

The bus drivers were feeling risky though, and decided to unload all the passengers and tools, and try to get the bus over the ditch. Success, one of the busses made it over without destroying the fuel tank.

Thinking the rest of the vans would carry up the tools for the work site, we headed up the mountain on foot. Nothing like a 20 minute hike to start the day right? Wrong. About three quarters up mountain we were called to from below to come back and grab the tools from the vans.

After the trek back down, a bunch of us were inspired by the women of Lesotho, and started carrying the heavy objects, such as water bottle cases and bags of sand, ON OUR HEAD. Don’t give us too much credit because we were using our hands as support.

Well, parents, friends, relatives, if you had any concern at all about your loved one on this trip not getting any exercise, trust us, don’t you worry every day feels like a gym class. Good morning pick axing enthusiasts.

Anyway, back to the working part of the day. We went to a primary and secondary (high school) school. Projects included: painting the new classrooms, planting 20 fruit trees, and building the oh so fabulous playground.

The playground started off to a rough start with the original digging spot being swarmed with a plethora of stone and rock. That was quickly fixed causing the playground to be almost three quarters finished by the end of the day. Please give them all a big pat on the back.

The painting in the classrooms consisted of many alphabets, shapes, and numbers for the younger age groups. Those will be some mighty fine sharp kids.

The green thumb tree planters started digging at the top and bottom of the school. We planted all twenty trees before lunch time. And holy moly those trees will have the type of view that people pay thousands of dollars for. Just imagine pure open fields and mountains into the sunlight.

After cleaning up, the work day ended with a nice big game of Ninja. (Ask your child how to play on family game night)

To finish off the day the Thorn’s (owners of the Trading Post) are taking us out for a lovely meal, BUFFET. Now we won’ have to argue which table gets food first. Nothing ever changes right, always arguing for food?

Well, one more working day for Lesotho Trip 1. We can hardly believe the trip in Lesotho is coming to an end. BUT those lions and hippos better watch out because the Witt students are coming at them soon with the cameras ready!

Peace, Rain, Prosperity
Quinn and Katharine (Ritzi, Wittenberg Swimmer, 2013)

Lumela friends!

We’re sure you have been receiving a whole bunch of elaborate emails about our already amazing experiences here in Lesotho, so we are going to add a little more onto that!

Today we went back to the Kick 4 Life site where we worked our tails off from 10 to 4. As you probably know already we have been working on several areas around the building and field. The trench that we have been digging out has finally been completed! It is going to be filled by a water pipe for the sprinkler system on the soccer field. The other projects are looking promising and should be finished by tomorrow.

After lunch many of us decided to part take in what some might consider as a “Royal Butt Whipping”, A.K.A. a soccer game between Wittenbergers and the Basotho Kick 4 Life coaches. Needless to say they owned us on the field, but when it came to scoring the goals they went easy on us.

While working, we noticed that many of the children that were hanging around the construction site were under the age of 6 and there were no parents in sight. This really made us realize how fortunate we have all been to have grown up in such a protected and cared for environment. We are so glad to be able to help out Kick 4 Life in anyway possible. It is such a great way to keep these young and vulnerable children off of the streets and help to broaden their horizons through the education of HIV/AIDS, giving job placement opportunities and in general life coaching and counseling.

Kick 4 Life has been such a great and fulfilling experience and we are sad that tomorrow will be our last day there…. But at least we can have another shot at a round of soccer against the Basotho!

Have a great rest of your day! We all miss you so much!


Molly (Gustafson, Wittenberg Swimmer, 2014) and Michael

The latest from Lesotho…

Greetings from the Trading Post, (Thorns)

Today was our third day in Lesotho, and we are finally starting to feel in-sync with the time and routine. After a hearty breakfast of fruit, eggs, cereal, hard- boiled eggs=), and ham we venture off to the capital city of Masero where we joined forces with the up-and-coming kick 4 life program. This program is centered around soccer and the awareness/prevention of HIV/AIDS  for young Basotho children. Kick 4 life gets the attention of young kids by allowing them to play soccer at their facility, however before they are allowed to play they are required to get tested and take classes regarding awareness/prevention of the disease. Soccer (aka futbol) is a very popular sport in Africa that makes them very happy and occupied. Prince Harry and David Beckham are strong supporters of this program in fact they had two large sized pictures of them interaction with children. (wasn’t too hard on the eyes!) Kick 4 life is still very new and there is much work to be done on the facility. The staff there was very excited to have us come and help out with various tasks. Some of these tasks include painting, building cabinets and lockers, digging a trench, and leveling land. We will be at kick 4 life site the rest of this week excluding Wednesday. Overall this program is very exciting and promising for the youth of Lesotho.

One issue that was brought to our attention today was the common challenge of facing hungry children. It is common to have a child come up to you and ask/beg for food or water. Although it is very heart-breaking to say no, this becomes a very hard situation because you naturally want to feed the child, but doing that would only cause more issues. One problem being that 15 other children would come begging to you and a second one being it would only give them instant gratification and not a permanent solution. We realized that in most cases the best way to help these children is through long term projects and organizations such as kick 4 life!

On a lighter note the group dynamic is wonderful. We have really gone outside our comfort zone and have gotten to really know one another. We are forming bonds with those who we were only previously acquaintances with at school. The exciting thing is that we are only on day 6, and we have 24 more days to strengthen our bonds and our Wittenberg (Lesotho) family.

Catherine (Farnsworth) and Jane (Tsivitse, Wittenberg Swimmer, 2013)
Ps- We saw the Milkyway last night….It was AWESOME!

Snow Day and Weekly Update

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Tiger Up!

It’s been a great week and there is a lot to report. I’m going to guess that some of you might be reading this today while enjoying a day off of school because of the snow and ice storm hitting the midwest. If you’re an Easterner, let me warn you – it’s coming your way too! We received about a half inch of ice last night and woke up to the news that the university was closed today.

A University closing happens about once every three years for us, so the team is pretty excited. A surprise Tuesday with no class, what could better?

I know what could be better! How about a national cut and a school record? Yes, that is certainty better than a snow day and that’s what happened this past weekend!

Remember that breaking news I sent out a couple of weeks ago? The news that Molly Gustafson (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) had been named NCAC Athlete of the week? Well, apparently Molly wasn’t happy with just breaking news – this week she needed to break a record and break into national as well. She turned in the 9th fastest time the country in the 100 breast and set a school record with a time of 1:05.30.

Completely unrelated, but also more exciting that a snow day, Coach Koukis achieved her 100th career win at Wittenberg! That makes her the second most-winning coach in the history of our program. If you haven’t had a chance to read the new release, please follow this link.

On Saturday we swam our last dual meet at Kenyon College. Aside from Molly’s performance, junior Keaton Hannon (Peachtree City, Ga./McIntosh) claimed the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.94, and senior Megan Shubitowski (Columbus, Ohio/Watterson) added a win in the 3-meter diving to go along with a second-place finish in the 1-meter event. In addition, the Tigers’ 200-yard freestyle relay quartet of junior Sinjin McNicholl (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis), senior Rachel Lee (Hickory, N.C./Hickory), junior Jane Tsivitse (Wyoming, Ohio/Wyoming) and sophomore Ward McNulty (Glencoe, Ill./New Trier) took the top spot.

On the men’s side, senior Chris Culkin (Novi, Mich./Northville) led the way with a strong performances and first-place finishes in both the 500-yard and 1000-yard freestyle competitions. In addition, junior Gus Appenrbrink (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) was victorious in both diving events.

With our dual meet season wrapped up, we will be heading to Conference Championships next week. The NCAC hosts the meet in Canton, Ohio. We’ll be traveling on Wednesday and competing Thursday – Saturday. Check in on our website during the week to see how we are doing.

Weekly Update, Jan. 20

Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Chis Culkin

Chris Culkin '11

We’re quickly approaching the end of our regular season. Having swam a pair of duel meets last weekend with Denison and Hiram, followed by an upcoming day of competition at home with Centre, we’re in the home stretch. Before we know it I’ll be talking about “taper” and all the rest we’re getting and how great everyone is going to swim at Conference Championships!

But, don’t let me get ahead of myself.

This weekend is a big weekend for us. It’s not only our last home meet, but it’s also a special day that we call – Senior Meet. It’s hard to imagine when you are a freshman that 4 years could pass so quickly. Four years of swimming, four years of studying, four years of friendships…

This year we graduate 8 seniors. I’ll introduce them all to you in a separate post, but today I simply wanted to encourage everyone to come out on Saturday and celebrate with us. We’re expecting a packed house, as we always do for this meet – it’s one of the things that makes it special.

If you’re unable to attend, the Tigers Sports Network is going to be providing a live video feed for the entire meet. Be sure to tune in.