Have you ever wondered what the next step in your child’s progression is past the Development Training Program. The Competitive Junior 1 Group is designed for swimmers that have been recruited directly from our Development Training Program. This program enables them to receive the next level of coaching with a focus on core competitive stroke fundamentals. Athletes ages 8 to 14 years old can be eligible for this group. However, children of like ages will practice in separate groups. Athletes will swim 2x per week for 1.25 or 1.5 hours per practice (depending on age and ability).
We have the most qualified coach in the state to lead this group. Coach Melissa Ripley has been coaching age group swimmers for over 40 years. Melissa is a three time Olympic gold medalist in 1972 and has devoted her life to the sport. She is a perfectionist and loves to teach sound fundamentals to kids who want to the be the best they can be. Read Melissa’s full bio below.
Required Equipment (Items stocked at both EVO locations)
> Kick board
> Center-mount snorkel
> Duckie fins
> Pull buoy
> Water bottle
> Mesh equipment bag
> Team cap
> Team suit
BIO: MELISSA BELOTE RIPLEY – THREE TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST
Melissa Louise Belote was born on October 16, 1956 in Washington D.C. and grew up in Springfield, Virginia. She has been called one of America’s greatest swimmers. Melissa is the middle child of Florence and Buddy Belote. She has two sisters Barbara and Jenny.
Melissa first appeared on the national swimming scene at the age of 12 (1969) when she qualified for her first United States National Championship.
In 1972, Melissa won both the 100 and 200 meter Backstroke at the United States Olympic Trials and set a world record in the 200 meter Backstroke.
Later that year in Munich, Germany, Melissa led the women’s American Swim Team as she won three Gold Medals. She placed first in the 100 meter Backstroke, setting an Olympic and American record. She finished first in the 200 meter Backstroke setting a World, Olympic, and American record. She also swam the lead off leg on the World, Olympic, and American record setting 400 Medley Relay team.
In 1973, Melissa continued her dominance when she won the 200 meter Backstroke at the World Championships.
In 1976, Melissa made her second Olympic team, which competed in Montreal, Canada. Melissa finished fifth in the 200 meter Backstroke, setting a new American record.
From 1970 to 1979, Melissa won 8 AAU Individual National Championships and was a 16 time AAU All-American. She also won 6 individual National Collegiate Swimming Championships and led her college team, Arizona State University to two National Championships. Melissa was a four-year All-American at Arizona State University.
In 1972 and 1973, Melissa was the runner-up for the Sullivan Award, the highest amateur award recognized in the United States. In 1977, she won the Broderick Award as the Outstanding Women’s Collegiate Swimmer in America.
Melissa is in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the Washington Hall of Stars, the Arizona State University Athletic Hall of Fame, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. In 1999 Melissa was selected to the United States Swimming “Team of the Century,” as well as, Sports Illustrated Top 50 Athletes from the state of Virginia, and the Arizona Republic Newspapers Top 100 Athletes of Arizona.
Melissa has been involved with swimming, either as a swimmer or coach, since 1965 when she started competing as an 8 year old at her community swim club, Springfield Swim & Racquet Club. In addition to her coaching responsibilities as Head Age Group Coach at Rio Salado Swim Club, Melissa is the Head Swim Coach at McClintock High School.
Melissa is married to Richard A. Ripley and they have two children, Rachel Alexandra (28) and Erik Alexander (26). Rachel swam at the University of Missouri and graduated in 2013. Erik swam at Towson University and graduated in May 2015.
Melissa Belote Ripley
> 40 year’s coaching age group swimming, 14 years High School coaching
> Four time All-American for Arizona State University
> Six time National Collegiate Champion for Arizona State University
> Olympian (1972 & 1976)
> Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist (World, Olympic and American Record holder)
> World Champion 1973 – 200 m Backstroke
> Sullivan Award Runner-up (1972 & 1973) – Top Amateur Athlete in American
> Broderick Award (now called Honda Award) for Outstanding Women’s Collegiate Swimmer (1977)
> Fiesta Bowl All-American (1977)
> Arizona Republic Newspaper – Women Athlete of the Year (1977 & 1978)
> Inducted into the Arizona State University Athletic Hall of Fame (1981)
> Inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (1983)
> Inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (1989)
> Sports Illustrated Top 50 Virginia Athletes (1999)
> Arizona Republic 100 Greatest Arizona Athletes (1999)
> USA Swimming – Female 200 Backstroker of the Century
> Named to the PAC 12 All-Century Team – 100 Years of Champions, 1915 – 2015
> Inducted into the Arizona Swimming Hall of Fame (2016)