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Former Carmel High School swim coach Tom Burchill dives in as the swim coach at Lawrence North.

Lawrence North’s new swim coach, Tom Burchill, is ready to lead the Wildcats. Burchill is replacing beloved swim coach Mike Parratto. Parratto’s legacy is substantial nationally and internationally. “I have known Coach Parratto for many years, and he significantly placed his stamp of excellence upon this program. I plan to extend his vision for Lawrence North,” Tom Burchill said of his predecessor. Burchill is up to the challenge to continue Parratto’s reputation of excellence. Burchill, originally from Pittsburgh, swam competitively at the University of Maryland where he was captain. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Burchill’s coaching resume is equally impressive: he led the Carmel Greyhounds to 4 state titles and 1 national title (Girls: 2004, 2005, 2006, Boys: 2004, 2004 national title) before taking a position in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and subsequently Pittsburgh, where he had similar success (1 Pennsylvania State title and 3 state runners-up – all girls). Now back in Indiana, he is ready for this next task.

“I am always training them (the swimmers) for the championship season and for the future,” remarked Coach Burchill of his Wildcats. Practices began at the end of October with the girls swimming a couple weeks prior to the boys beginning due to the swim club schedule. The high school season opener meet is in mid November, and the season climaxes with the state meet in March.

Burchill runs the Lawrence Swim Club in addition to the LNHS swim team. Swimming is more or less year round. Swim clubs provide an important developmental element for the serious swimmer. According to Burchill, “Almost exclusively, swimmers who excel in high school swimming swim year round. It provides the basis for the sport in technical and training purposes, as well as providing the neurological pathways of development that allow athletes to develop long-term success, nutritional development for superb athletic lifestyles, and the cognitive development to desire an ever-growing and changing environment.”

Swim club is a phenomenal developmental experience. Swimming is a fantastic sport for all ages, and to start at a young age and have competitive experience prior to high school is a wonderful foundation. “Club swimming is good at any age, but is significantly beneficial beginning from the Learn-to-Swim (Swim America) programs at the earlier ages to quickly remove fear and inject love of moving through the water.” Burchill is a father of three children: Veronica, 9th grade, Sammie, 8th grade, and Tanner, 4th grade. All are in swim club, and Veronica is swimming on her high school team.

Burchill is optimistic going into this year’s season. He inherits the following state qualifiers: Adam Noens, John Christie, Morgan Meixner (4th place, diving), Morgan Matsuoka, Laura Weiss, Laura Apple, Maya Lee, and Rachel Kindler. There are many more swimmers at LN ready for their chance to excel. “We have a strong core group of swimmers, and time will tell how well we perform. The potential is there for an excellent season.”

For more on the Lawrence swim team, visit www.lawrenceswimteam.com.

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