EVO/RIO Update for Week of 3/22

As you might expect, we will remain closed for another week amid the Covid-19 crisis. There will be NO CHARGES to anyone for April tuition at this time. After we know when and how we will re-open, we will be communicating when the next payment will be due. At a minimum we will be open for at least two weeks before payments will be taken as everyone currently has two weeks of credit on file due to our closure the 2nd half of March.

We look forward to seeing the bright and happy face of children swimming in our pools as parents watch their successes. We look forward to our staff returning to work and providing you with the quality swim lessons our facility is known for.

I will continue to update you as we move forward. Thank you, be safe and stay vigilant.

David Tait
EVO Swim School
RIO Swim Club

Competitive Junior Group & Coach Melissa Ripley

We are pleased to announce the arrival of a specialized Development Team group called “Competitive Juniors”. This group is designed to help developmental level swimmers obtain higher level skills and prepare for our Competitive Squad to be a college bound athlete.

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.

> Practices start August 12th
> Swim M/W or T/Fri at the EVO Mesa/Gilbert location
> 5:30pm start time
> 6-9 yrs old swim for 1 hour per practice (may vary based on ability)
> 9-12 yrs old swim for 1.5 hours per practice (may vary based on ability)
> $150 per month for 1 hour practice schedule
> $185 per month for 1.5 hour practice schedule
> Required equipment can be purchased at any EVO location: kick board, snorkel, long fins, duckies, bouy (older), water bottle, equipment bag


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)



Our Masters Adult Swim Program is for everyone. Beginners, fitness swimmers, and triathletes are all encouraged to join. Start your day off right with a morning workout or blow off some steam with a workout at the end of the day. So let’s get fit, reduce stress, and make new friends with other adults just like you!

> Swimmers must be able to swim 200 yards without stopping
> All evening workout times are un-coached
> Workouts can be provided upon request to [email protected]
> Must be able to swim at least 750 yards to swim with the SanTan Gilbert morning group

> Monday through Thursday 5:30 – 6:30 AM (coach on deck at least 2 days per week)
> Friday and Saturday practices will be coordinated on a week by week basis
> Morning tuition: $50 per month to swim as much as you like.
> Morning pay as you go option, $50 up front with $5 deducted with each visit
> $25 once annual insurance fee upon enrollment ($35 for a family)

EVENING LAP SWIM (EVO SanTan Gilbert Location)
> Monday through Thursday 7:15 – 8:15 PM

EVENING LAP SWIM (EVO Mesa/Gilbert Location)
> Monday & Wednesday 6:00 – 7:00 PM
> Saturday 8:00 – 11:00 AM

> Evening tuition: $26.25 per month to swim as much as you like.
> $25 once annual insurance fee upon enrollment ($35 for a family)



Summer Swim League is an extension of the RIO Swim Club (EVO’s competitive swim club) and is designed for children of all ages and abilities.

PRIOR EXPERIENCE IS NOT REQUIRED, however, we do require a quick evaluation of skills for group placement (see group descriptions below).

Practices will begin Tuesday, May 28th and continue for eight weeks. Our season will end with our season finale meet on Saturday, July 20th.

– must be able to swim across a 25 yard pool without stopping
– all ages welcome 7 years and older

– must be able to swim the basics of three of the four competitive strokes
– all ages welcome

– must be able to swim the basics of all four competitive strokes
– all ages welcome

– must be legal in all four competitive strokes by USA Swimming Standards
– all ages welcome

LOCATIONS & PRACTICE TIMES: (can swim 1x, 2x, or 3x per week)
EVO SanTan Gilbert Location:
* M-Th 8:00-9:00 a.m.
* M-Th 3:00-4:00 p.m.
EVO Mesa/Gilbert Location:
* M-Th 4:00-5:00 p.m.
EVO Queen Creek Location: (intro level not offered at this location)
* Tu-TH 6:00-7:00 p.m.
* Sat 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Chandler High Pool: (intro level not offered at this location)
* M-Th 5:00-6:00 p.m.

– $83 per month for 1x per week
– $109.25 per month for 2x per week
– $131.25 per month for 3x per week
– $16 for each swim meet you chose to attend (meets are optional)
– $25 once annual insurance fee per child ($35 for a whole family)

– rubber fins at every practice
– team suit and/or team cap (if you attend any swim meets)
– goggles
– all items available for purchase at all locations

SWIM MEET SCHEDULE (evenings meets):
– June 1st @ Chandler High
– June 14th @ McClintock High
– June 29th @ Chandler High
– July 19th / July 20th @ Chandler High

High School Swimmers Can Balance Swimming and Life with the Power Hour!


The POWER HOUR is designed for the high school swimmer who is balancing swimming with acedemics or other activities. Each practice is healthy mix of TECHNIQUE & INTENSE TRAINING. Offered at three east valley locations.

EVO SanTan Gilbert (Pecos & Greenfield)

7pm to 8pm M-Th
Swim 1, 2, or 3x’s per week
$83, $109.25, or $131.25 per month

EVO Mesa/Gilbert (Power & Elliot)

4pm to 5pm M-Th
Swim 1, 2, or 3x’s per week
$83, $109.25, or $131.25 per month

Hamilton High Pool (AZ Ave & Ocotillo)

6:15pm to 7:45pm M-Th
Swim 1, 2, or 3x’s per week
$83, $109.25, or $131.25 per month

Call 480-404-6191 for details or pre-register HERE.

EVO Mesa/Gilbert Location NOW OPEN!

This state of the art facility includes an indoor teaching pool for swimming lessons and an outdoor, 8 lane, 25 yard pool for competitive swimming. Siblings can participate in lessons and swim team at the same time! 90% of the outdoor pool is covered with shade sails and our indoor viewing room provides an air conditioned space that enables you to see both the indoor and outdoor pools at the same time.

– Mon – Thu 3:30pm-7:15pm
– Wed 9:00am-12:00pm
– Fri 3:30pm-6:15pm
– Sat 8:00am-12:15pm

– $155 (two lessons per week)
– $135 (two lessons per week with four month commitment)
– $86 (one lesson per week)
– $25 insurance fee, once per calendar year ($35 for a whole family)

– $135 (three practices per week)
– $113 (two practices per week)
– $86 (one practice per week)
– $25 insurance fee, once per calendar year ($35 for a whole family)

Advanced Stroke Group:
– M-Th evenings and Saturday morning practices offered
– 60 minute practices
– Swim one or two days per week
Development 1 Group:
– M-Th evenings and Saturday morning practices offered
– 60 minute practices
– Swim one or two days per week
Development 2 Group:
– M-Th evenings and Saturday morning practices offered
– 90 minute practices
– Swim one, two, or three days per week
High School Development Group:
– M-Th afternoon practices offered
– 60 minute “Power Hour” practices
– Swim one, two, or three days per week



EVO Swim School is an evolutionary learn-to-swim facility with complete resources to offer the very best in aquatic instruction for infants, children, pre-competitive swimmers, highly competitive swimmers, and adults.

Learning to swim has evolved in two ways. First, our progressive approach to instruction is more than just bubbles and back floats. Our students actually learn to swim, are confident in the water, and emerge as happy and safe swimmers.

Secondly, from babies all the way to college-bound student athletes, we have the ability to offer the very best in aquatic instruction for every age and at every level.

EVO is the first step in our evolutionary approach to swimming. EVO Swim School will teach your child to swim and introduce them to the competitive strokes. Beyond that, our club swim component, know as the RIO Salado Swim Club, manages the competitive side of swimming. Our Pre- Competitive Swim Team is a great way to introduce your child to the world of competitive swimming. As our athletes develop their skills, they have the opportunity to train and compete with our Competitive Squad where are goal is to help athletes prepare to swim in college.

Wherever your child fits into our program, our ultimate goal is to teach them how to swim for safety first, then for backyard fun, then for fitness…and finally for competition.

We are so confident in our highly trained staff that we offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not fully satisfied after your first four lessons.

With several locations in the east valley including Chandler, Gilbert, and Queen Creek, there is a convenient place for your child to participate.

This is why EVO Swim School is the place “Where Learning to Swim Has Evolved”!

EVO Staff Spotlight: Head Site Coach Andrea Courtney

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Meet Andrea Courtney, the Head Site Coach at EVO’s competitive Gilbert swim school, RIO Swim Club. We recently sat down with Andrea to learn more about her and help our students get to know her better, too.

David Tait, owner of EVO and RIO: Hi, Andrea. Thanks for chatting with us! For those who don’t know you, tell us about your role at RIO Swim Club.

Andrea: As the Head Site Coach at the Hamilton pool, my primary role is running practices every night for four different groups, helping our competitive swimmers with their technique on all of their strokes, and working with them on their turns and dives. I also run monthly evaluations to see what they could improve and determine if they are ready to move to the next group.

David: You’ve coached some of our best students, and I know you were a competitive swimmer, too. How long have you been swimming and coaching?

Andrea: I started swimming competitively when I was 6 years old and continued swimming through high school. I hurt my knee and wasn’t able to continue swimming, so coaching allowed me to stay with the sport. Once I got involved with coaching, I fell in love with being able to help others improve in a sport that I enjoy so much.

Now, I have been coaching for almost 13 years! I have coached high school swimmers since I graduated, led a swim team at a local gym, and I have been coaching at RIO for three years.

David: We’ve loved having you as part of our team. Out of all of your time in swimming, what has been your fondest memory?

Andrea: I started swimming in Colorado during the summer while I was visiting my grandparents. I remember the first time I won the 100 backstroke at a championship meet. It was the same meet where our co-ed relay took first! It was a huge accomplishment for me and pushed me to continue. It also was awesome to do it with my friends that I had been swimming with for so long.

David: Wow, I bet that was an amazing moment! Outside of swimming, do you have any special talents or fun facts that most people don’t know about you?

Andrea: I don’t really have any special talents, but one thing that a lot of people don’t know is that I am a survivor of cancer. It has helped me be who I am today and given me a huge appreciation for my family and friends. We spend a lot of time together going to sporting events, concerts, and camping whenever we can.

David: We’re so glad you’re healthy now and thankful to have you as part of our Gilbert swim school.

Andrea: Thanks, Dave. It’s been so much fun helping kids reach their goals, and I love working with the EVO/RIO team. They feel like part of my family!

EVO Endorsements: Our Favorite Goggles for Kids


Over the years, our instructors have taught thousands of kids and adults how to swim with our Gilbert swimming lessons. During those lessons, we’ve tried tons of different equipment and experienced what works best firsthand. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing our top picks for training equipment, learn-to-swim tools, and accessories to help you or your child learn the right technique and have fun!

This month, we’re gabbing about goggles for kids. Here are some of our favorite brands.

**Finis H2 Jr.

Who these goggles are good for:

Ages 5-8

Why we recommend them:

We like that these goggles are comfortable and come in cool colors that kids love. Their soft frame and silicone eye gasket create a watertight fit without hurting their sensitive faces, and the silicone strap and back clip allow easy adjustment.

**Finis Fruit Basket

Who these goggles are good for:

Ages 3-8

Why we recommend them:

The Fruit Basket goggles have the same benefits as the H2, and they smell good. Children can pick their favorite out of four scents, so don’t be surprised if they start begging to go swimming once they have these goggles!

**TYR Kids’ Swimple Goggles

Who these goggles are good for:

Ages 2-6

Why we recommend them:

These goggles are so simple that even young kids can put them on without help. They come in multiple colors, and the single strap splits into two straps behind the head for a secure fit.

**TYR Qualifier Goggles

Who these goggles are good for:

Kids moving from swimming lessons into development swim team

Why we recommend them:

Qualifier Goggles are racing goggles that are a bit bigger to help swimmers see better in the water. They also have the same strap as the Swimple Goggles, which keeps them tight yet comfortable.

All of these goggles, plus our other favorite swimming equipment, can be purchased at EVO’s pro shop. For more goggle recommendations or details about our Gilbert swimming lessons, contact EVO Swim School at 480-404-6191.

“Just Keep Swimming:” 3 Tips to Help Adults Build Endurance Without Getting Overwhelmed

adult swim blog

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for adults. Whether you’re taking Arizona swim lessons or swimming on your own, it’s a total body workout that activates every area. However, many adults begin swimming without any technical instruction and find it difficult to make it even a few lengths across the pool. Having good technique can help develop your endurance faster and create a more enjoyable swimming workout.

Here are 3 tips to try to build your technique and endurance:

1. Swim with a friend or in a group.

Swimming in a group is often more fun and effective because it allows you to see what others are doing. When you’re around someone who’s a stronger swimmer than you are, take a moment to stop and watch what they do. Pay close attention to their body position, hip and shoulder rotation, and hand placements in the water. Then, follow their example to improve your own technique.

2. Practice good breathing in the horizontal plane.

Breathing is the key to keeping your heart rate at a steady pace and preventing you from feeling like you’re drowning. The most common mistake many adults make is lifting their head up and out of the horizontal body plane to take a breath, which causes your body to be like a snow plow in the water instead of a torpedo.

To practice good breathing, try rolling to your back instead of lifting your head when you breathe. You won’t have to rush, and you can take multiple breaths on your back without compromising the horizontal position.

If you still feel like you’re struggling to get enough air when you turn your head, try strongly exhaling when your face is in the water so all you have to do is inhale when you turn your head to breathe.

Another trick to even out your breathing is to breathe every three strokes instead of every two. A two-stroke pace tends to create a lopsided stroke and rushes your breathing, whereas a three-stroke pace creates a more balanced stroke and breathing pattern.

3. Join a team.

Joining an adult swim team at a school like EVO can provide the accountability, coaching, and camaraderie you need to take your endurance to the next level. Having instructors and other swimmers around will push you and help keep you on the right track.

Building endurance takes time and dedication, but with a consistent training plan and a support team by your side, you’ll have no problem going the distance. For more swimming tips or information on Arizona swimming lessons, contact EVO Swim School at 480-539-2660.