Fast start at aquatics center

Olympian, UA standout to offer Fitter and Faster clinic at Oro Valley's expanded, renovated swim facility
2013-05-16T00:00:00Z 2014-10-10T13:24:18Z Fast start at aquatics centerPhil Villarreal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Matt Grevers and Annie Chandler - the newlywed "it" couple of Tucson swimming, if not the entire nation - are headlining a clinic at the new Oro Valley Aquatic Center.

Between them, the duo have four gold medals and a college national championship. In their clinic, part of the touring Fitter and Faster program, they share tips and techniques with young swimmers who aspire to their success.

Grevers, 28, swam for Northwestern University and Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics. He won gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics in the 100 backstroke and 400 medley, as well as a silver in the 400 free relay.

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he also won two golds and a silver.

Chandler, 25, was an 18-time All-American for the University of Arizona and a nine-time NCAA medalist who helped the team to the 2008 national championship.

Chandler and Grevers married in Tucson on April 6.

Sign-up for the clinic starts at 11 a.m. Sunday at the aquatic center, 680 W. Calle Concordia. The clinic goes from noon to 3 p.m. Admission is $105 - $79 for those who register online (see "If You Go" box).

Fitter and Faster representative Heather McCue said the hands-on nature of the event justifies the cost.

"Not only are you learning from an Olympian and a world-class athlete, they actually get in water and instruct, teach and provide feedback to the children," she said. "It's a very interactive session that we provide for the swimmer."

High prices don't seem to be stifling sign-ups. Catherine Vorrasi, aquatics manager for the center, said on May 7 that about 100 swimmers had signed up for the event. Registration will be capped at 120.

"Matt Grevers is very well-known, and so is Annie," she said. "They are unbelievable in the water. Anyone in the swimming world goes 'Oh my gosh' when they see those names."

The clinic will include instruction in and out of the pool, swimming demonstrations on a 100-inch screen, Q&A, and photo and autograph sessions with Grevers and Chandler.

fast times at aquatic center

Oro Valley did not pay Fitter and Faster to hold the clinic at the center, which underwent a $5 million expansion and renovation and is focused on lining up big events, Vorrasi said.

"There's definitely no risk" for the town, she said, adding that she hopes the event succeeds so there will be more like it.

Vorrasi said word is spreading about the center, which opened in March, throughout the national swimming community. There is an event lined up every month for about the next year, and Ohio State University's swimming and diving team has spoken to her about training there in March before a national meet.

"We are the fastest body of water in the area," she said. "Because of our depth, we're an extremely fast pool. We're working on getting record boards up as soon as possible because we want people to start breaking records here, and we want our names up on the walls of our facility."

If you go

• What: Fitter and Faster swim clinic.

• When: 11 a.m. Sunday.

• Where: Oro Valley Aquatic Center, 680 W. Calle Concordia.

• Admission: $105 general admission; $79 for those who register online.

• Online: fitterandfaster.com/swim-clinics/oro-valley-az/r

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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