Alumni Updates

Through this page, we hope to attract the ex-Brock swimmer or coach, and persuade him or her to keep in touch with former teammates and coaches. Let’s hope it works!

Wondering if you are a BNA Alumnus?

If you swam, coached, or officiated for any St. Catharines swim clubs—SCSC, Saints, Brock University Varsity Badgers, Brock University Community Swim Team, Garden City Aquatic Club, Swim Brock Niagara, or Brock Niagara Aquatics — then you are among the many alumni who should be part of the Niagara Swimming Alumni Association.

If you want to be informed of what your old teammates are doing, what your old team is up to, or just be a part of NSAA, please use the information on this site to contact Peter. He and your fellow alumni will be glad to hear from you!

Alumni update

Congratulations to our 2019 Grads!

Isabella Bonaldo: Isabella will be welcomed into the Brock Badger fold in 2019-20 as the Niagara Falls resident is staying on her home turf to attend Brock University. Izzy will be collecting academic scholarship money to study Concurrent Education at Brock, meaning she will graduate with a teaching degree. She is a current Senior group swimmer with Brock Niagara Aquatics, as well as teaching swimming lessons at our home pool.

Mara Di Persio: Also reaping the benefits of academic scholarship money as an honours student, Mara will be joining Isabella as a varsity Badger in the fall of 2019. Mara will be majoring in Psychology at Brock University, while continuing her Butterfly prowess with the Badgers. She resides in Niagara Falls and is a long-time Senior swimmer with Brock Niagara Aquatics. Mara is also employed at our home pool as a lifeguard and instructor.

Aidan Iapicco: Aidan made major strides in both school and swimming in the 2019-20 season. His academic average improved considerably to honour roll level, while in the pool Aidan qualified for Canadian Trials for the first time. The Senior group swimmer will be studying through Niagara College in the next year before potentially moving on to post-secondary education, so will continue to train with the Badgers in 2019-20 and attend Olympic Trials in April 2020. Aidan, a St. Catharines resident, will also continue to work at our pool as a lifeguard and instructor.

Alex Jakovljevic: Niagara Falls resident Alex will be the third Senior group swimmer transitioning to the Badgers in the fall of 2019 as he embarks on a Physical Education degree at Brock University. His honours standing also puts him in line for academic scholarship money. Alex also works as an instructor and lifeguard when not training.

And on the Post-Secondary Side:

Simone Waller: Long-time Brock Niagara swimmer Simone graduates from Laurentian University this spring with a degree in Criminal Justice. A four-year member of the Laurentian swim team, Simone is from Niagara Falls. She is excited to start into Law School at the University of Ottawa in the fall of 2019.

Congratulations to our most recent high school graduates and best wishes as they all continue their progress with their new varsity teams this season.

Our Brock Niagara Aquatics swimmers continue their progress in their new post-secondary homes…

  • Francesca Zammit-Maempel is now in her first year as a Laurentian University Voyageur, joining fellow BNA swimmers Simone Waller (second year) and Andrew Hrycusko (third year) on the team.
  • Mony Tchervenelekov has become a McMaster Marauder in his first year at school there, joining his former BNA teammate and third-year swimmer Alex Tropynine on the varsity team there.
  • Gokhan Bozyigit takes on first year as a Brock Badger, where he joins other BNA alums Alex Martynek and Jess Lusthaus on the varsity team.
  • Mike Taylor is now a first-year Niagara College student, joining Vince Ferro there. Both continue to represent Brock Niagara Aquatics.
  • Meanwhile, south of the border, Megan Lloyd is in her graduating year at Colorado State University where she represents the varsity Rams.
  • Samantha Bazely was married in Niagara—across the street from Brock—in March of 2016.
  • Stephen Dibblee is in his second tour of duty with the UN mission in Haiti. He is currently Chief of the Electoral Cell, responsible for coordinating the national security around the Haitian national election. His first mission was in a training role with the Haitian police after the 2010 earthquake.
  • Herb deBray was inducted into the Swim Ontario Hall of Fame in September of 2015 as a Builder, with all his extended family there to watch. Many alumni were on hand also to watch David Shemilt, himself a Hall-of-Famer, introduce Herb. You can view the excellent Swim Ontario retrospective of Herb’s career here:
    And, as follow-up to that, on November 29, we were honoured to have Herb deBray back coaching! The practice was 50×50 @ 50″ … in honour of Herb’s 50th year. It was held to coincide with the first ever deBray Divisional Championships, fittingly hosted at Brock, for OUA teams. About 30-40 BNA and Badger alumni attended to honour Herb and to dive into some fond memories of swimming at Brock!
  • Wolf and Barb Guembel are expecting their second child in May of 2016.
  • Matt Johnston and wife Liz are now proud parents of their first, born in the fall of 2015.
  • Long-time Olympic Way coach (and Badger captain) Brittany Lewis has graduated from Brock University as of 2016, and has taken a position on the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton with Athletes in Action.
  • Travis Longland returned to swimming this year, competing as a Waterloo Warrior.
  • After finishing her swimming career as captain at Florida Gulf Coast University, Mandy Melymuka graduated in Business Marketing and is now an Event Manager in Florida. She is married to PGA Golf Pro Joe Fleming.
  • Christinia Phillips dropped by Brock to swim this spring. Christinia has graduated from the University of Guelph and completed her Respiratory Tech diploma.
  • Alyssa Schrapp is expecting her first baby; making Pilar (Gras) a grandma for the first time.
  • Carol-Ann Skulj-Thompson has taken on a side job coaching the Port Colborne Special Olympics swimmers.
  • Katie So is getting married in February 2017 in the first ever wedding ceremony to be held at Isaac’s on our Brock campus. She recently bought a house in Kitchener, and is employed working with special needs students with the Peel District School Board.

Congratulations to coach Herb deBray! Herb is to be inducted into the Swim Ontario Hall of Fame on September 26th, with some alumni along to watch. Herb joins three of his swimmers already in the Hall: Kathy Richardson, Elisabeth Walker, and David Shemilt.

Another accolade for Herb: the Ontario Divisional Championships for OUA varsity swimming, held annually in November, will bear his name for the next five years as the deBray Division.

Although Herb is now retired, to mark his 50th year of coaching he will be back on deck for a 50th Anniversary alumni practice on Sunday Nov 29th at 9:30 AM. All alumni are invited to attend, whether to swim or just to “help coach”. Details will be posted to the Brock Niagara Aquatics website

  • Brent Beaudoin has been a regular swimmer at Brock again, training for triathlons while his daughter with Lisa (Janzen) Beaudoin participates in Olympic Way.
  • Current Badger swimmer, triathlete, and BNA coach Steve Blankenship cannot get away from BNA alumni. He has recently trained in the pool with Melanie (Pearson) Rice and on the bike with Amy Jarvis.
  • Alicia Braun is back in the Niagara area teaching French. Sister Courtney Braun is finishing up at Queens, and has been acting as manager for the Queens swim team for the past two years.
  • Delia Caughlin is engaged. She is supply teaching with Halton District School Board.
  • Greg Chaban’s son is now a swimmer also, with the Owen Sound Aquatic Club. Greg has big plans to work on his sailboat all summer.
  • Kara Demers is teaching French in Niagara Falls, and recently shared her school with supply teacher Victoria Culp.
  • Kathy (Richardson) Dingley’s oldest son just finished his 1st year at Dalhousie; her second is due off somewhere next year.
  • Ex-coach Breanne Drouin, now living and training for triathlons in Victoria, dropped in for a practice while home on a visit.
  • Ex-coach Sarah (Smith) Fellner has moved to Winnipeg, where her husband Mark oversees coach education for the province of Manitoba.
  • Matt Johnston and his wife Liz are expecting their first baby in October 2015. Sister Jenn Johnston has already promised to spoil the child rotten!
  • Back in July 2014 three Swim Brock Niagara alumni (yes that was the precursor name to Brock Niagara Aquatics) participated in an epic adventure: paddling a Dragon Boat from Toronto to Port Dalhousie. Organized by Michael Kearns, a team of 25 paddlers from across Canada will spend 10-12 hours in a grueling paddle across the Lake.  Joining Michael from his Brock Niagara days are sister Lindsay Kearns and Andrew Dick.
  • The annual Welland Open Water 1K race has been renamed the Bridie McCann Memorial in Bridie’s honour. Sister Brianne McCann handed out the awards in 2014, while parents Pat and Hilda worked the barbecue.
  • Ex-coach Lisa McCann is currently working as coordinator of accreditation with the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am/Para Pan-Am Games. Lisa had the amazing experience of interning at Canada House in Sochi, Russia, during the 2014 Winter Olympics there.
  • Sue McKay is currently on a series of adventures working for the UN based out of Copenhagen. Sue is currently working in the Republic of the Congo for this summer’s adventure.
  • Ex-coach Jenn Muschik spent the summer of 2014 trekking across Canada, and has now settled into a teaching position in Grande Prairie.
  • After graduating from Teachers College this spring, Sarah Nickerson is already employed with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic School Board. She is still lifeguarding at the Gravenhurst YMCA to get her workouts in!
  • Jolie Pun and husband John McCutcheon of Woodstock welcomed their first child, Nicole, in March 2015.
  • Andrea (Boucher) and Dave Shemilt proudly watched daughter Jorga race her first 1500 this spring. BY all accounts she paced it exactly as her dad would have done.
  • Victoria Smith has hung up the goggles. Vikki has completed five years of racing with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, and will now be moving on to post-graduate work there.
  • After building a bike from scratch, Karl Trimble is now undertaking an adventurous ride from BC to South America.
  • Elisabeth Walker-Young has been bouncing around the country as she prepares for her role in August 2015 as Chef de Mission for the Canadian team at the Para Pan-Am Games.
  • Gillian Coles, who is nursing within the cardiology unit at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, recounts running into Dr. Jolie Pun there one day.
  • Ex-coach and Badger Jordan Crandall will be starting his Master’s degree in Forensic Science at King’s College in London, England in the fall of 2014.
  • Victoria Culp is now working as a supply teacher with Niagara District School Board. Victoria will continue coaching with our programme in 2014-15 as well as taking on the role of associate coach with the varsity Badgers.
  • Ex-coach and Badger Erica Dugas is also working as a supply teacher, with Niagara Catholic Board, while diving into her Master’s degree at Brock.
  • Wolf Guembel and wife Barb will welcome their first child in November of 2014.
  • Matthew Johnston’s wedding provided a forum for a great alumni reunion. Matt was married to Elizabeth in Niagara on June 27th, with brother Mark Johnston as Best Man and sister Jenn Johnston as one of the emcees. Peter Szaflarski and wife Tara showed off their new one-month-old baby Emma. Brother Adam Szaflarski was in the wedding party along with Vanessa Stewart’s brother Chris. Gregg Gleason and Victoria Culp rounded out the National level swimmers in attendance. The evening was a meet manager reunion also, with Karen Ling, Barbara and Stan Szaflarski, and of course Chris and Dave Johnston attending. There in spirit but not body were Anna Szaflarski, too busy curating an art exhibition in Berlin, and Vanessa who is enjoying living in Whitehorse.
  • Nick Majtenyi has accepted an offer to continue his education. After graduating from Columbia with his Masters, Nick will be commencing his PhD in Medical Physics at Carleton this fall.
  • Debbie McCracken, one of the original Brock coaches, has retired from her position as Aquatics Supervisor at Brock University after almost 35 years there. Herb and Mary deBray attended the retirement party. We are thrilled to announce that Debbie has not quite 100% retired however…..she will continue to coach in our programme.
  • Sarah Nickerson is currently living in Bracebridge, and is teaching at Progressive Training College there. Sarah is competing in her first triathlon this summer. She will be starting into her teaching degree this fall as well.
  • Lis Walker-Young was named Chef de Mission for the 2015 Para-Pan-Am Games, to be hosted in Toronto next July. Read the announcement here:
  • Ex-coach and Badger Jade Watts will be starting into the Occupational Therapy programme at Queens University in the fall of 2014
  • Sarah Whyte dropped by for a visit while taking part in the Congress Conference at Brock University. Sarah and her partner are the proud parents of twin girls, about to turn one! Sarah continues to chip away on her PhD thesis through the University of Waterloo, while working at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.
  • Alex Albert and Jamie Halucha dropped by for a visit back in the fall during the Joe Kerkhoven Memorial meet. Both are in the final year of their undergrad degrees, Alex at Laurentian and Jamie at Western.
  • As anticipated, Naomi Cermak’s Memorial in January was standing room only. Naomi, who coached with us in 2004-2005 while doing her Masters at Brock, had been selected to compete at the October 2013 Ironman Hawaii in the “Inspired” category, but her health had deteriorated too much at that point to allow her to compete. Naomi passed away a month later. Her memorial was packed with swimmers and alumni from across Ontario, including Brock’s Laura MacPherson (Laura was doing her Masters at the same time as Naomi) and Peter Bradstreet.
  • A few alumni who were unable to attend the Badger reunion at OUA Champs got together on February 22nd in Toronto (during CIS Champs); with Gillian Coles, Lynsey Rivest, and Dale Coleman (who is not officially a Brock alumni, but her partner Brad Gionet is!) getting together with Peter for lunch.
  • As a parent with children in the Milton Speed Skating Club, Paul Emblin has taken on the role as President this season. He is not enjoying the politics of age group sport!
  • Scott Ling and his wife Emily dropped by for brief a visit to Brock with their new child!
  • Mark Mitchell visited with wife Delicia at Christmas, while their daughter Neriah participated in a swim practice with our current AG2 swimmers.
  • Ex-Olympic Way coach and recent Brock grad Lisa McCann scored a big win, taking on a volunteer internship at Canada House during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Robyn (Alp) Pearson, also an ex OW coach, has moved to Chicago with husband Dan for his new job.
  • Alexis (Ramsay) Norris, another ex-coach with OW and Teen, is now teaching high school in Caledon. Sticking to her roots of keeping busy; Alexis also coaches the swim team, the cross-country team, the cross-country ski team, and with the track team. She was married in the summer of 2012.
  • Pilar Schrapp has been helping coach high school swimming in Niagara. She and husband Dennis stopped by for a visit during a high school competition at Brock, while her youngest daughter, Selena, competed.
  • Brock Badgers Swimming hosted an alumni event during the Ontario University Swimming Championships at Brock, most of the 30 or so alumni in attendance also had an affiliation with Brock Niagara. That includes of course Herb and Mary deBray; Olympian Dave Shemilt and his wife, long-time BNA swimmer Andrea (Boucher), along with their three daughters; Brent and Lisa (Janzen) Beaudoin with their pair (their oldest, Ella, is now in Olympic Way at Brock); and Craig and Amy (Sharpe) Ross with their two children. Lis Walker-Young and Ian Young came by from Vancouver to show off newborn Isla, who was the hit of the event. Nikki Huggins came by from Owen Sound, while Jason van der Sluis dropped in from New Brunswick. Some of the more recent alumni in attendance have coached with BNA in recent years, including Emily Allan, Delia Caughlin, Baylee Colquoun, Jordan Crandall, Victoria Culp, Breanne Drouin, Erica Dugas (who is about to graduate from Teachers College), Eliott Dumitru (now teaching in Hamilton), Gregg Gleason, Alex Ivancic, Cora Michener (now travelling in Australia for an extended time with the aforementioned Baylee), Jenn Muschik (also about to graduate from Teachers College), Phil Ratman, Katie So, Vanessa Wappell (who has returned to Canada to take a fulltime position at Muskoka Woods Camp), and Frank Woodley. Many of the alumni returned to the deck to join the team cheering, and many hit the pool for an alumni swim (note: Craig Ross soundly beat his brother Scott in a 100m Free….).
  • Thanks partly to a rallying call for support from swimmers past and present, ex-BNA coach Naomi Cermak has received her wish and will be racing at IronMan Hawaii this fall in the “Inspired” category. Whether you know Naomi or not, her story is well worth a minute of your time (and be sure to watch the great positive video)… Congratulations and good luck Naomi!
  • Beamsville High School held their 125th Celebration and reunion in May 2013; and our own Victoria Culp was inducted into their Hall of Fame for her (many) swimming accomplishments.
  • Michelle McNinch dropped by for a visit in July. Michelle lives in Calgary with her husband and three young children; but was fortunate to miss the flooding that hit Calgary earlier this summer.
  • Mark Mitchell was named Antigua Sports Coach of the Year… you can find the article here:
  • Melanie (Pearson) Rice is living in London, Ontario with her husband and three young children… possibly with some swimming aspirations. She works in Corporate Marketing for 3M.
  • Peter Szaflarski is now a partner in a financial firm in Toronto after finishing his MBA at Queens. He and partner Tara recently bought a house there. Meanwhile sister Anna Szaflarski has completed her Masters thesis in Berlin and has exhibited her diploma work there; with parents Barbara and Stan Szaflarski attending.
  • Although Gerry Thomas cannot officially claim “alumni” status with Brock Niagara Aquatics, he was a long-time supporter and had officiated at almost every meet ever held at Brock going back thirty years. Gerry sadly passed away in June 2013. His biography and obituary can be found here: We were well represented at the Memorial service with past Brock senior officials Chris Johnston, Joanne McKay, and Olga Piedrahita and Mitch Trimble in attendance along with both Herb and Peter.
  • Ian Young and Elisabeth Walker-Young stopped by Brock in July on a visit from Vancouver with exciting news: first baby due October 1st! No question this baby is blessed with great swimming genes. Ian continues as a firefighter in North Vancouver; while Lis is currently working for Curling BC, fresh off her stint as Assistant Chef-de-Mission for the London 2012 Paralympics.
  • Christine Arsenault has bought the West Park pool from the City of St. Catharines for two dollars; with a plan, and financing, to refurbish it and reopen to the public. We wish her all the best – St. Catharines is desperate for pools!
  • Nick Bake is using his Environmental Engineering degree working in Burlington; while enjoying living in downtown Toronto.
  • Ottawa’s Rob Behrend and his wife Kate (Whitfield – as in brother to Simon) – welcomed their second boy on Thursday, March 14, 2013. Wesley weighed in at 9 pounds, 2 ounces.
  • Ben deBray and Denise Power kickstarted their family at Christmas 2012 with twins Abigail and Aidan – born December 26th. Denise is currently taking maternity leave from her position as Director of Student Life at Branksome Hall girls school in Toronto. Grandparents Mary and Herb are thrilled!
  • Stephen Dibblee checked in with a quick call in April. Stephen now leads an RCMP Detachment in northern New Brunswick, on the border with Quebec. His three children are now eight, six, and two.
    Brad Digweed is back in the pool training with St. Catharines Masters. Brad’s son Liam was in our Olympic Way programme this past season.
  • Mark Johnston and wife Karen welcomed a sister for Megan in November 2012 with the birth of Kimberley. They continue in Vancouver.
  • Amber (Miners) Mossey has been a pediatrician – the only one – in Iqaluit since 2010. Her work also includes outreach clinics throughout the north, and regular emergency transfers of sick children to more southern Canadian locations. She is married to former Queens swimmer Mark Mossey, a lawyer who is writing policy for the still-new territory. Amber and Mark have two children – Stella and Gabriel – and a third on the way.
  • Amber’s sister Lila Miners (sorry Lila don’t know if you still go by Miners or not) has been married for seven years, and lives in Ottawa. Lila and her husband Mike have two daughters Charlotte and Vera. After a stint engineering in Canada and South America, Lila settled down to a teaching degree and some classroom teaching. She continues to run marathons for fun.
  • Karl Trimble dropped by to swim a practice while visiting his family in Niagara. Karl is living and working in the Okanagan valley.
  • McCANN, Bridie Kathleen – It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved daughter Bridie on December 23, 2012, after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. In her 36 years she achieved so much: BSc Niagara University; MScEd Canesius College; school records in long distance swimming for her duration at Niagara; qualification as a distance swimmer for Canadian Nationals and Commonwealth trials; Chemistry and Physics teacher at Kingsdown School in England; traveler to over 15 countries; science teacher in the Continuing Education Program with Niagara Catholic School Board. Bridie was always eager to try new adventures such as zip lining, kayaking the lower Niagara River and most recently kiteboarding. Her greatest characteristic was how she valued family. Whether immediate or extended members, she cherished time with them. Bridie leaves behind her parents Pat and Hilda, sister Brianne, brother-in-law Michael Pozzobon and nephew Kellen, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and her ‘special grandma’ Eva Andres. In accordance with Bridie’s wishes, cremation has taken place and friends and family are invited to join in a celebration of Bridie’s life on January 5, 2013 from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre, 14 Anderson Lane, NOTL. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated. A deep thank-you to the surgeons and nurses at Juravinski Cancer Hospital, Dr. David Reimer and staff, and her dear friends who spent hours and nights with her at the hospital and her home.
  • Baldev Ahluwalia was inducted into the Brock Badgers Hall of Fame in June 2012; in recognition of his outstanding career as a Badger swimmer: . Baldev’s varsity highlights included nine OUA medals, being named a CIS All-Star, and capping it off by representing Canada at the 1993 FISU Games. He received his award from Herb deBray. Other alumni in attendance at the event included Andrea (Boucher) and David Shemilt, Greg Stokes, Tyler Clair, and longtime Teen Skills coach Lisa (Janzen) Beaudoin; as well as Baldev’s parents and Gail Boucher.
  • Emily Allan and Dan Dakin were married July 7 outdoors at Decew House, a way station of many lake runs. Lynsey Rivest was the Master of Ceremonies; while Eliott Dumitru was the DJ.
    We welcomed Courtney Braun back to the pool this spring. Courtney has been working hard on recovering her fitness with the goal of swimming for Queens, where she is at school, starting in the fall of 2012.
  • Amanda Civak came by to visit in June. Amanda is in Waterloo working as an insurance fraud investigator for Manulife Financial.
  • Ex-Badger swimmer and Olympic Way coach Baylee Colquhoun is headed to Scotland for Teacher’s College.
  • Gillian Coles is nursing full time at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.
  • Victoria Culp has left Niagara, enticed by Mark Mitchell, to the sunny island of Antigua to teach Kindergarten as of March. Victoria is also coaching alongside Mark and swimming in her spare moments… and likely enjoying the 365 beaches that make Antigua famous!
  • Megan (deBray) Dawson and her husband welcomed their first baby, Arthur, on May 3. Megan and family live in Ancaster.
  • Ex-coach Eliott Dumitru is leaving in September for a six-month stint in the Caribbean as Entertainment Director on a Carnival Lines cruise ship. Eliott has now graduated from Brock with an Education degree in addition to his Phys-Ed degree.
  • Brad Gionet and Dale Coleman have bought a house together in the Beaches area of Toronto.
  • In another July 7 wedding, Jenn Johnston and William Sauve were married outdoors at Hernder Estates Winery. Brothers Mark and Matt Johnston both came by to join into a swim practice at Brock to celebrate the family get-together. Meanwhile, Mark’s wife Karen is expecting their second child in November.
  • Nick Majtenyi will be starting his Masters degree in Medical Physics at Columbia University in the fall of 2012.
  • Mark Mitchell became a first-time dad on June 25 with partner Deleicia giving birth to a baby girl in Antigua: Malani Marianna.
  • Clarington Swim Club in Durham will be gaining a new head age group coach in the fall of 2012: Lynsey Rivest.
  • Congratulations on Mike Smerek on being named 2011-12 Male Athlete of the Year at the University of Toronto. Mike represented Canada at the 2011 FISU Games, and was a double gold medalist at CIS Champs in 2012.
  • Sarah Whyte dropped by for a swim in preparation for the 2012 Lake Placid Ironman (her third). Sarah, now living in Markham, is currently completing her PhD through the University of Waterloo with a focus on communications within the health care field.
  • In the “full circle” category, Doug Yarnell has been back coaching Olympic Way with Brock Niagara as his son Jack has been in the program.
  • Baldev Ahluwalia is to be inducted into the Brock University’s Badger Athletics Hall of Fame this coming June. The Hall of Fame adds a few deserving athletes every second year, with Kirsty Salmon adding her name in 2010.
  • Christine Arsenault successfully conquered Lake Ontario in August 2011. Congratulations to Christine on an awesome feat!
  • Andre-Paul Baillargeon-Smith was married this fall in Jordan.
  • Alicia Braun is currently in Teacher’s College here at Brock University.
  • Brad Gionet successfully conquered the Kona Ironman Triathlon last October
  • Tom Hainey is developing his swim team, MANTA, in Winnipeg, into a force in Canada. Tom coached several swimmers to finalist placings at Olympic Trials, and had top performer Chantal Vanlandeghem miss the Olympic Team by the merest fraction: 1/100th of a second.
  • Mike Lavender and his wife Monika just had their second child. They live in Sasktoon where their oldest child is now swimming with the Saskatoon Lasers, while Mike continues with Masters Swimming.
  • Kathy Richardson was honoured at the 2012 Olympic Trials as part of the 1980 Olympic Team that never had the opportunity to attend. It was a nice reunion with almost the entire 1980 team in attendance. Also in the VIP Box that night was Dave Shemilt as a former Olympian, along with wife Andrea (Boucher) and their girls Sydney, Jorga, and Grace.
  • Kirsty Salmon received more accolades from Brock University this spring as an ‘Alumni of Distinction’.
  • Mike Smerek had a sensational Canadian University Swimming Championships for the University of Toronto, winning both the 50m and 100m Fly; and setting a new CIS record in the 50.
  • Colleen Smith welcomed her first child, Eric, last July. The family lives in Prince George.
  • Congratulations to Victoria Smith on posting the highest average of any University of Ottawa athlete in 2011.
  • Lisa Spiering dropped by to say hello in October. She is in her third year of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Waterloo.
  • Christine Arsenault is busy preparing to conquer Lake Ontario this summer! Read her story at
  • Albert Burgund, who coached with us while at Teacher’s College at Brock, is now coaching in Comox, BC.
  • Colleen (Dowe) Chiki was recently named Burlington’s Masters Athlete of the Year for her multiple Canadian Record swims in 2010.
  • Frank Coy is returning to coaching! Now retired from RBC, Frank has agreed to come back to coaching in the 2011-12 season. His duties will mostly be working with the varsity team, although he may also do some technique work with the youngest age groupers.
  • Herb de Bray was back coaching on the pool deck at Brock for a day in June with an athlete at WOSA Championships. Herb, who has been coaching in Ancaster, will be keeping busy coaching some little people in Burlington next season.
  • Ex-Teen coach Eliott Dumitru is starting into Teacher’s College this fall.
  • Brad Gionet dropped by to swim a few practices early in July as he prepares for the Louisville Ironman next month.
  • Erica Greene had her daughter Briar in Olympic Way at Brock in the spring of 2011.
  • Tom Hainey of the Manta Swim Club coached Chantal Vanlandegham onto Canada’s World Championships team for this summer with her double-medal performance at Trials.
  • Campbell Hastings dropped by this spring while his grade six class was visiting Brock. Meanwhile Todd Major has also recently been hired into the Niagara Catholic School Board, where he has been helping Micki (Dockman) Staples coach the Notre Dame school swim team over the past few seasons.
  • Brianne McCann Pozzobon had her first child in April 2011, a boy.
  • Anette (Partridge) Nossiter, who coached with us while swimming for the Badgers, is now coaching in West Vancouver. Her duties there include working with a potential future Paralympian. She was recently married on July 23.
  • Robert Pearson dropped by a practice while visiting in Niagara. Working as a technical writer in Montreal, he and wife Joyce celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary in June. They have three children.
    Gillian Richardson will be a first-time mom this fall!
  • Andrea (Boucher) Shemilt (swim) combined with brother Chris Boucher (bike) and husband Dave Shemilt (run) to win the relay event at the 2011 Welland Triathlon.
  • Mike Smerek, now at the University of Toronto, will represent Canada at the World Student Games this summer in China after winning the 50 Fly at the 2011 Canadian University Championships in Calgary. Mike took third in the same event at World Championship Trials/Spring Nationals, adding a fourth in the 100 Fly.
  • Colleen Smith had a boy, Eric, born June 29!
  • Maria Trimble has just graduated from New York University.
  • Badger swimmer and BNA Olympic Way coach Vanessa Wappel, armed with a Teaching degree from Brock, will begin plying her trade in England this fall.
    Ian Young is now a Vancouver firefighter.
  • Krystin Zafra has just bought a house in Etobicoke, where she is running the intro programme for Etobicoke Swim Club. She recently graduated from Teacher’s College at Charles Sturt University.
  • Rob Behrend and wife Kate welcomed their first child, Nicolas Geoffery Behrend, born on Sept. 17, 2010.
  • Lisa Bluteau (ex Teen coach) is doing post-graduate work in palaeontology at the University of Calgary, while also working in the oil sands at Fort McMurray when needed.
  • Alex Bogusat dropped by Brock in January for a quick visit. She has completed her undergrad at Queens and is currently doing a Masters in Architecture at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
  • Lindsay Eller currently works as a postdoctoral fellow in kinesiology at the University of Calgary. She successfully defended her PhD last year, and has no desire to move away from Calgary, the mountains, and the skiing—and so is still working there.
  • Brad Gionet placed sixth at the 2010 Niagara Marathon, running 2:40. Caitlin Allain and Gillian Coles ran the half-marathon.
  • Ex-coach Eric Herbst is starting his PhD at the University of Guelph in 2011.
  • Jennifer Johnston is now working for the Canadian government. She is engaged to be married.
  • Scott Ling was married to Emily Lin in September 2010. Peter Szaflarski and Dave Ling were both in the wedding party, while our ex-meet manager Karen Ling obviously had a major role. Ben Caplan and the rest of the Szaflarskis—Barbara, Stan, and Adam—were also in attendance.
  • Brianne McCann is excited to be having her first child later this spring. Bri and her husband live in St. Catharines.
  • Dr. Amber Miners just had her second child, Gabriel, a brother to Stella. Amber is practising in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
  • Amanda Schmitke is engaged and is currently enrolled at the University of Calgary.
  • Colleen Smith and her partner Cam are expecting their first child in June 2011—a boy. They have just purchased a house in Lake Cowichan, BC.
  • Vanessa Stewart dropped into practice over Christmas, bringing Matt Johnston and Peter Szaflarski in with her. Vanessa is back at school—doing Teacher’s College at the University of Toronto.
  • Anna Szaflarski commenced her Masters in Fine Art this past fall in Berlin.
  • Four-time Paralympian Elisabeth Walker-Young has been named Canada’s assistant chef de mission for the London 2012 Paralympic Summer Games. A 13-year member of the Canadian Paralympic Swim Team, Elisabeth competed at the 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, winning three gold, one silver and two bronze medals overall. She broke several Canadian and world records and served as team captain for more than half her career.
  • Bryan Caporicci was married on July 10 to Allison Pala. Also in the wedding party were Brad Childs and Stacy Galbraith.
  • Colleen (Dowe) Chiki won five Golds at Canadian Masters Nationals in Nanaimo for the Burlington Masters. Colleen won the 400-800-1500 Free as well as the 100-200 Fly in her age group, and added a pair of Silvers as well. She also helped set a World Record in the 400 Free Relay for the combined 120-160 age group:
  • Amanda Civak has been relocated to the Kitchener-Waterloo area where she continues her work with Manulife.
  • Frank Coy (Junior) joined his dad Frank Senior in a 10K swim at the St. Catharines YMCA in April. Together they raised over $9000 to help disadvantaged youth in Niagara. Story is here: px?e=2525986 Frank is also retiring from RBC gradually over the next year, and will be using his spare time to help ex-Brock Niagara Meet Manager Lisa Matheson run her business.
  • Brian Dean still lives in Korea, where he now teaches in Busan—South Korea’s second largest city. The University there is in the process of building a pool so Brian is planning on doing some volunteer varsity coaching once it is open.
  • Dena Durand is having fun coaching with the Kelowna AquaJets.
  • Brad Gionet and partner Dale Colman (ex-Mississauga AC and Uof T Blues) dropped in for some practices in April while house hunting in Toronto, and again in July. Brad has finished his stint in Ottawa and will be assigned to Toronto in September (and as Dale has been coaching Carleton University the past two years, they will be losing their coach). Brad is getting ready to race an Ironman in Kentucky at the end of the summer.
  • Kyle Guembel won his first major international title this spring by taking the All Japan Strongman Triathlon.
  • Rebecca Haight is expecting her first child soon!
  • Lindsay Kearns is still with the RCMP but is now part of the Musical Ride based out of Ottawa. She was part of the escort for the Queen on Canada Day. Her brother, Michael Kearns is engaged and is living in Canmore, AB.
  • Mike Kociolek is now working on his Engineering PhD at University of Toronto after completing a one-year Master’s degree in England and an undergrad at McMaster. On the side, he’s training for his first Ironman triathlon and is taking up skeleton racing too. Meanwhile, sister Paulina Kociolek has recently graduated from Brock and after spending a year at the University of Ottawa she is now enrolled in teacher’s college at Niagara University.
  • Maegen Kulchar has accepted a position with CKWS in Kingston to work in TV broadcasting, after graduating from Niagara College and completing a placement in Orlando, Florida. Watch some of her work here:
  • Scott Ling has graduated with a Masters in Architecture from the University of Toronto and is looking forward to not being a student for a while! Scott has also announced his wedding for September 19 in Scarborough, following on the heels of brother Dave Ling who celebrated his wedding with Nathalie LaCoste July 24. As Scott says, his fiancée, Emily Lin, already has ¾ of the Ling name!
  • Rick Morris is now married and is a dad. Rick continues as a doctor in Calgary.
  • Sarah Nickerson is back in Niagara after several years teaching overseas, most recently in Thailand, and is currently going through the application process to join the Niagara Regional Police.
  • Amy Sharp-Ross dropped by practice with her new baby in June. Husband Craig Ross, a Mississauga firefighter, is currently taking training to become a personal fitness consultant with that department.
  • Colleen Smith is engaged, with the wedding set for the summer of 2011 in BC. Sister Hilary Smith continues to live in Fredericton. Mom Sarah Smith, meanwhile, is currently completing her Masters at the University of Victoria but recently dropped by Toronto. Sarah will be taking over as Head Coach of the Grande Prairie Swim Club as of September.
  • Karl Trimble dropped by for a practice in April. He has since moved back to Calgary, where he is working as a bike mechanic for the summer before heading back to school this fall.

After 30 years or more as the Walker Invitational, our annual fall classic is undergoing a name change starting in 2010. The competition will now be known as the Joe Kerkhoven Memorial Walker Invitational, in honour of the man who started the whole thing off.

With the Brock Badgers hosting Ontario University Championships this winter, the Brock pool was hopping with alumni (and current BNA swimmers) for a weekend in February. Those racing in the pool included Delia Caughlin and Victoria Culp (Brock Badgers), Kara Demers (University of Ottawa), Christinia Phillips (University of Guelph), Sonya Romanowski (University of Waterloo), Mike Smerek (University of Toronto), and Naomi Cermak (McMaster) a former Olympic Way coach. Meanwhile, David Shemilt was coerced into presenting awards when he arrived for the Badger Alumni Event on the Saturday evening. Aside from he and wife Andrea (Boucher), other BNA alumni attending that event included Frank Coy from the original Badgers, Dave Ling, who acted as announcer for the weekend, Jason van der Sluis, and former intro coaches Colleen (Dowe) Chiki, Alexis Ramsay, and Devan McNeill. Mary and Herb deBray were honoured guests at the event.

  • Baldev Ahluwalia was hoping to attend the Badger Alumni reunion, but an invitation to the Super Bowl that weekend took precedence.
  • Colleen (Dowe) Chiki raced at the first annual Brock Badger Masters swim meet hosted in early March. Colleen was happy to get back to her favourite pool!
  • Sisters Holly (deBray) Bernard and Megan (deBray) Dawson launched into a new venture in March of 2010 by opening the first Running Room store in St. Catharines. Alumni are reminded to be sure to drop in on them when in Niagara!
  • Nick Lezetc and wife Julie just missed the “first baby of 2010” label when James, their first child, was born on December 31st.
  • Amy (Jarvis) Moore has resurfaced swimming Masters in Halton Hills. She is likewise a member of the “twin club”.
  • Amy Sharp-Ross and husband Craig Ross recently had their first child, a baby girl born in Guelph on January 29th.
  • Dawn (Staz) Hunchak was in touch via email recently. She has a family now, lives in Fonthill, and is a teacher and triathlete.
  • Anna Szaflarski and Matt Johnston have been dropping by on a regular basis lately for Tuesday morning practices at Brock.
  • Elisabeth Walker-Young hasn’t seen much of husband Ian Young over the past couple of months. Lis, who works in athlete services for VANOC, lived in the Athlete Village during both the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Badger alumnus Paul MacDonald was also working 23-hour days in Vancouver during the Olympic Games, as part of CTV’s computer crew.
  • Andre-Paul Baillargeon-Smith is engaged to be married. A-P lives and trains in Victoria with the National Triathlon team but dropped by when he was at home in September.
  • A newly-married Rob Behrend is coaching with GO in Ottawa, where he works for Finance Canada. Ex-Badger swimmers Sheena O’Raw and Roger Seguin, now married, have children in his group there.
  • Lindsay (Watson) Brennan lives in Niagara Falls with her husband and two girls. 7-year-old Paje has started competitive swimming with the summer team in Niagara Falls, 4-year-old Andrea is taking lessons at
  • Brock. Lindsay is teaching for the Niagara Board as well as teaching Continuing Ed courses for the Brock University Education Faculty.
  • Naomi Cermak is completing her PhD at McMaster by doing research in Maastricht, in the Netherlands, for the fall. Naomi coached Olympic Way a few years ago at Brock while doing her Masters degree here. She has moved on from tour cycle races to doing Ironman Triathlons for fun.
  • Megan (de Bray) Dawson, Herb’s youngest daughter, was married in October and is living in Stoney Creek.
  • After graduating from the University of Guelph, Andrew Dick has returned to St. Catharines to pursue a post-graduate medical degree through McMaster University’s Niagara campus at the General Hospital.
  • 2004 Paralympian Tyler Emmett married Badger swimming alumnus Jaime Gibson this past summer in St. Catharines. They are living in Ottawa.
  • Ex-coach Bruce Haslam dropped by the 2009 Walker Invitational to say hi. He is married with three children, living in St. Catharines, and managing PetSmart in Burlington.
  • Mark Johnston and Elisabeth Walker-Young are two of many Canadian Olympians and Paralympians chosen to carry the 2010 Olympic Torch. Mark will carry the torch in Grand Forks while Elisabeth has a section in Princeton (both places in British Columbia) where husband Ian Young will be there to cheer her on. Gregg Gleason, another swimming alumni and current coach with Brock, is also running the torch literally right in front of his house in St. Catharines. Current swimmer Alex Albert is also doing a leg in December as are Nick Majtenyi and Sonya Romanowski.
  • Cory Krist, ex-Badger swimmer and Brock Niagara coach, has taken an Aquatics Management position with the newly constructed H2O Aquatic Centre in Kelowna, BC.
  • Mark Mitchell, another ex-Teen coach, is now head of the Physical Education department at Island Academy in Antigua. He is open to visits!
  • Gillian Richardson has returned home to Ontario after spending a year coaching in Nova Scotia. She is now head coach of ATTAC swim team—based out of Stratford and St. Marys—and recently brought a group of her swimmers to the Walker Invitational.
  • Craig Ross is set to become a dad. Craig and his wife, Badger swimming alumnus Amy Sharp-Ross, are due to have their first child in January 2010. Craig, a fulltime firefighter in Mississauga, is coaching with the University of Guelph where Amy is working on her PhD.
  • Colleen Smith made a rare appearance in St. Catharines early in the fall. Colleen and her boyfriend/partner are part-owners of a tree-planting business in Prince George, BC, where they have a house.
  • Paula Stephanson, ex-Badger and marathon swimmer, recently completed her goal of crossing all five Great Lakes this past summer. Paula is only the second person after Vickie Keith to have made this accomplishment. Her latest crossing of Lake Michigan lasted just over 25 hours. She is engaged and living in Ottawa where she is also a coach and teacher.
  • Anna Szaflarski dropped in for a practice this fall. She is living between Toronto and St. Catharines, working at a gallery in Toronto as well as for her dad’s architecture firm locally. She continues her own artwork portfolio on the side which recently brought her to Berlin.
  • Long-time AG1 coach Krystin Zafra is doing her Teaching degree at Australia’s Charles Sturt University which has an Ontario campus in Burlington.
  • Ex-Teen coach Lars Bruschke participated in the Toronto-Niagara Ride to Conquer Cancer in June 2009. Lars teaches at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary in St. Catharines and coaches the swim team there.
  • Paul Cappa and wife Sheri are the proud parents of two boys, both of whom age group swimmers for the London Aquatic Club. Paul serves on the board of LAC and assists with officiating and meet management for age group meets. In his spare time he trains and competes with the London Silver Dolphins masters swim team.
  • Colleen (Dowe) Chiki took home a slew of Golds from the 2009 Masters National Swimming Championships hosted at Etobicoke in May.
  • Gillian Coles is returning to the University of Toronto in the fall of 2009 to study Nursing.
  • Dave Cosby is proud dad to Briar as of June 12th. Briar was a little early and had to spend some time in hospital before coming home. Dad is still very active swimming the 2009 Ontario Open Water Champs 5K and running some half-marathons. Dave, Taylor, and Briar have bought a house just down the hill from Brock.
  • Dena Durand met her goal of moving to Kelowna in the fall of 2008. She is the marketing and education coordinator for Canada and the western USA for a medical supplies firm. Dena is currently training for the Kelowna half-marathon upcoming this fall.
  • Ex-Teen coach Mark Mitchell is Athletics Director, Aquatics Director, and Swim Coach at a private school in Antigua—and loving it!
  • Ex-coach Robyn (Alp) Pearson was married in June, fooling all her guests into thinking they were only coming to the engagement party!
  • Breanne (MacLaurin) Wilson was married in 2006 and now lives in the Beaverdams area of Thorold with husband Jeff, 10-year-old step son, William, and a 4 month-old daughter named Danica. They spend much of their time outdoors and at the arena coaching hockey. Bree is currently on maternity leave from working at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority as an environmental restorationist.
  • Samantha Bazely will be attending Augustana College in Illinois as of this fall, and competing for the track team (and maybe the swim team also) there.
  • Rob Behrend is to be married in Ottawa on September 26th, 2009, to long-time girlfriend Kate Whitfield (yes, that is Simon’s sister). Rob and Kate have been busy renovating their period home in Ottawa where Rob works for StatsCan.
  • Colleen (Dowe) Chiki competed at the recent Ontario Masters Championships in Ottawa. She dropped in to swim with us for a Saturday practice in April.
  • Dave Cosby is to set to become a father in August 2009. He continues as a paramedic in Niagara, and, has been called to Brock several times, in fact. Dave completed his first marathon in 2008.
  • Dave Ling was the prelims announcer for the recent Spring Nationals hosted at the University of Toronto. Dave is getting married this fall to another University of Toronto swimming alumni, Natalie Lacoste.
  • Mark Mitchell, ex Teen Skills coach and Badgers swimmer, dropped by a practice in April on his way through to Antigua. Mark is taking over as Athletics Director and Swim Coach in a new facility at a private school there.
  • Jen Smith works as a Client Services Manager for Community Care Access in Niagara. Although her 10-year-old has not shown an interest in swimming, his cousins through Jen’s sister Leanne Smith have recently started up with the Hamilton Aquatic Club.
  • Sarah Smith is going back to school. She will be starting into the National Coaching Institute in Victoria this summer, in conjunction with a Masters degree in Education. Sarah received a Women in Coaching grant from Swim Canada to pursue her studies there, where she’ll be working with Ryan Cochrane and others as part of her coursework.
  • Beni (Gras) Thompson was in town for an athletics tribute at A. N. Myer at the end of April. She still holds many of the school’s running records from the 1980’s.
  • Krystin Zafra, who coached our younger swimmers for many years, dropped by to visit in April. Krystin, who currently oversees the novice programme for Etobicoke Swim Club, is looking to go back to Teacher’s College in the fall.
  • Robyn Alp completed her internship at IMG Sports Marketing in Toronto, where she ran into Sue McKay. She is currently working for Oakville Soccer Club, and is engaged to be married in 2010.
  • Brent Beaudoin and his wife Lisa Jansen added a second daughter to the family in December.
  • Bryan Caporicci is engaged to his long-time girlfriend. He is currently operating a very successful photography business here in Niagara.
  • Tyler Clair is working in the commercial building world, and is part of a Swim Canada committee on aquatics facilities upgrades. He is also coaching Masters in Aurora.
  • Lisa D’Ambrosio is coaching with the Boys & Girls Club of Niagara swim team and brings her swimmers to Brock every now and then to compete with Olympic Way, and is engaged to be married in June.
  • Herb deBray has taken over as camp director for Camp Ak-O-Mak in Muskoka.
  • Kyle Wolfgang Guembel is now the Canadian rep for the new Blue Seventy racing suit – but sorry no freebies.
  • Pieter Huyssen and wife Robin have moved to Collingwood, where Robin has her own business, Inner Strength. Pieter has transferred into the OPP there from his previous position with the Peel Regional Police. They have two children.
  • Scott Ling was on his way to Greece to study urban design in February, as he completes his architecture degree from the University of Toronto. His older brother Dave Ling continues work in Mississauga, as well as being announcer for the recent Ontario Cup at the U of T pool.
  • Laura MacPherson is still doing the rounds at Chatham Hospital, and swimming with the Masters group in Sarnia.
  • Kirsty Salmon is to be inducted into the Badger Athletics Hall of Fame in June and so will drop in for a visit. She currently operates a biology lab at Cal-Berkley, where she lives in Oceanside with her husband and family.
  • Vanessa Stewart and Peter Szaflarski dropped by for a visit at Christmas. Vanessa has now graduated from the University of Victoria and has been working in a youth adventure/survival camp in northern BC.
  • Peter is working for an IT firm in Toronto doing computer design.
  • Karl Trimble swam a few practices with us in January, fresh back from touring in North and South America. Karl has now returned to his cycle-courier job in Calgary and plans on getting back to school – and swimming – in the fall.


If you’re an alumni and don’t see your name in this list, WRITE TO US to share your news as to what’s been happening! And if your name is in this list, thank you for sharing with us, and write back often so that this news can be kept up to date.

If you are an Alumni looking to track down e-mail addresses for a former teammate or two, contact the club through this web page and we’ll see if we have it. If not, perhaps we can send out a “Help” notice through this site!