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Coaches & Directors

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.

Coaching Staff

Chuck Clark

Head Coach

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Coach Chuck is the 2nd Head Coach in the history of the Rapids, taking over the position in 2009.  Coach Chuck has been with the Rapids since 2000 when he joined as an Assistant Coach.  Chuck has also been the Head Coach for both the boys and girls at Bunnell High School and the Head Coach for the Stratford YMCA where he was privileged to coach many Y National Swimmers.  The Rapids have become more than a team to Chuck, they have become an extended familiy.  Coach Chuck lives in Trumbull, teaches in Milford and is married to Sharyn and has three wonderful children Lauren, Connor and Alyssa.  Coach Chuck is a level 3 ASCA certified coach.

Allison Wells

Head Age Group Coach

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 Coach Ally started swimming competitively when she was seven years old with the Rapids (at the time the team was the Shelton Seals). She was on the team through high school and went on to swim all four years of college at the State University of New York at New Paltz. During her time there, she specialized in sprint freestyle.  She graduated in 2011 with a degree in sociology and psychology and began working for the Rapids as an assistant coach in September of that year. In January of 2016, Ally was promoted to Head Age Group coach and now primarily works with our Junior and Sophomore groups.  In addition to coaching, she is also a private swim lesson instructor at the Shelton Community Center.  She is ASCA Level 1 certified.

Lisa Samelwich

Head Novice Coach

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 I started competitively swimming when I was 10 years old. I swam for my YMCA team and competed for Foran High School all four years. I was a two-time MVP Award winner and four year state qualifier. I swam for the Aqua Jets throughout high school as well. In college I swam on Southern Connecticut State University’s varsity team for four years. I swam distance freestyle 200, 500, 1000 and 1650. I was on the NE-10 Academic Honor Roll for two years and received the Coach’s Award my senior year. I graduated from Southern in 2009 with two Bachelor’s degrees in History and Early Childhood Education for which I hold my teaching certification. Prior to coaching for the Rapids, I was the Head Coach for the Bridgeport-Stratford YMCA (BSY) Swim Team from 2008-2011. I coached many swimmers to qualify for the age group and senior level championships as well as YMCA New England qualifiers and even a champion. I currently love to train and compete in local races including 5ks and muddy obstacle courses as well as events to raise money for cancer including Swim Across America.

Joe Benz

Assistant Coach

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I started swimming when I was 7 years old with the Trumbull Pisces.  I swam with them at the Age Group level until I was 15, when I switched to the Rapids.  During my high school years, I swam at Fairfield Prep and with the Rapids during the Fall and Summer focusing mostly on backstroke and middle distance freestyle events.  While at Prep, our team went 60-2 and won a state championship along with multiple runner-up awards.  After high school, I continued swimming at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA where I swam backstroke and long distance freestyle events.  During my four years in college, I made the conference academic honor roll multiple times and had a few top ten finishes.

In addition to swimming competitively, I have been heavily involved with St. Vincent’s Swim Across the Sound marathon swim event for the last 10 years.  The foundation supports cancer patients in the area who cannot afford their treatment and other expenses during their battles with cancer.  In addition, they run multiple prevention programs including a mobile mammography unit and a children’s anti-smoking campaign.  During my last 5 years, I have organized and swam with teams from Fairfield Prep in the event.  In that time, we have had multiple top 3 finishes and successfully raised close to $200,000.

Board of Directors

Kevin Chavez

Director

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Nancy Chavez

Vice President

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Kathleen Didio

President

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Robert Cristiano

Treasurer

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Cara Noccioli

Secretary

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Michael Suba

Director

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Domenic Lemma

Director

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