Coaches Corner 2019


Dan Levy, Head Coach


Dan Levy is in his 21st year as head coach of the Chappaqua Swimming & Diving Team. He has built the team up from a 45-member group in Division 4 to a 110-member Division 1 squad. The team’s 2nd place finish (out of 54 teams) at the 2011 Westchester County Swimming & Diving Championships was the best in history for any team currently in the Northern Westchester Swim Conference. In 2015, CST finished the County Championships in 3rd place overall. The team also finished with a winning record (4-1) for at least the 18th consecutive year, including the last twelve in Division 1.

Prior to his coaching stint at CST, Dan coached the team at Tarrycrest Swim & Tennis during their first venture into Division 1 in 1997 and 1998. He also coached Tarrycrest from 1985-1987, when he led them from Division 5 to Division 3. In addition to summer coaching, Dan spent six years coaching both the novice and junior groups on the Marlins Swim Team at the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester. Dan was also the assistant swim coach for both the varsity girls and boys swim teams at Keio Academy in Purchase.


During the school year, Dan is a teacher at Bedford Village Elementary School. He has taught both 2nd and 3rd grade classes since arriving at BVES in 1995. Dan also is a competitive swimmer and trains and competes with the Westchester Masters Swim Team at Pace University in Pleasantville.


Coach Dan believes much of the team’s success has come from a combination of commitment, consistency, and communication. He enjoys helping all swimmers reach their maximum potential while having fun at the same time. He also likes to show swimmers how their love for the sport can make a difference in their community. The team has organized, participated in, or hosted: food drives for the Westchester Food Bank, swims for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (both in our pool and in the Hudson River), a Christmas in July party for Cerebral Palsy, and many Swim Across America events (for cancer research, prevention, and treatment) in and away from our home pool.

Welcome new and returning members to the summer 2019 season for the Chappaqua Swim & Dive Team!

Dear CST Members,


Hello to both new and returning members of the Chappaqua Swim & Tennis Club. Last summer, the club’s swim and dive team maintained its long tradition of success. Our 90-member team finished with a winning dual meet record (3-2) in the Northern Westchester Swimming Conference for the 21st consecutive year. Our divers won the Division 1 Diving Championships outright for the first time since 2012. The team also placed 5th at the Westchester County Swim & Dive Championships--our third top 5 finish in the last 4 years. CST’s swimmers and divers broke seven team records and two pool records in addition to establishing five team records and four pool records in new events. CST also had 11 first place finishes in the conference All-Star Meets.  Additionally, team members, club members, and visiting friends and family helped raise approximately $65,000.00 for cancer research, prevention, and treatment in our seventh year as a host club for Swim Across America. Since 2012, CST has raised more than $400,000.00!


As you think about your summer plans, know that the coaches want to make the CST experience as fun and rewarding as possible for everyone from our first-time swimmers who are learning all the strokes to our veterans, many of whom compete year-round. We want to ensure a lifetime comfort level with water, a love for swimming and diving, and the building of lasting friendships. A variety of events during the season enable ALL swimmers and divers to hang out together and have a good time both in and out of the pool!


Who are the coaches and instructors?


I am very happy to let everyone know that Sophie Raath and Kate Posner will be returning for their second years as captains and instructional staff members. I’m also excited to announce that Stephen Pearce and Joe Weiner have been named first year captains and instructors. I’d like to also welcome our new head diving coach--James Ragusa. A big thank you to John Koster, Margaux Weiner, and Alec DeCaprio who are moving on to other pursuits after many years of using their excellent skills to help CST swimmers and divers reach new heights.


When does the team train?


Afternoon practices will begin this Monday, June 5th, and run as follows on weekdays from 6/5-6/23:


10 & under: swimming--4:30-5:15 p.m.
diving—5:15-5:45 p.m.


11 & over: swimming—5:15-6:15 p.m.
diving—4:45-5:15 p.m.


*Note: There is no practice on Wednesday, June 7th (team suit fitting).


Morning practices will begin on Monday, June 26th and run as follows:


Swim Team


11 & over: 8:45-10:15 a.m.
10 & under: 10:30-11:30 a.m.


Dive Team


Learn to Dive: 9:00-10:00 a.m.
11 & over: 10:15-11:15 a.m.
10 & under: 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.


Beginning on June 26th, afternoon practices will be available for swimmers unable to attend the morning session. Swimmers are strongly encouraged to attend morning practices. Due to the number of meets and other events in July, afternoon practices are limited in number. Afternoon practices will run from 4:45-5:45 p.m. and are tentatively scheduled for the following days: 6/26 (time trials), 6/27, 6/29, 7/3, 7/6, 7/11, 7/17, and 7/18. Please check the bulletin board for updates/changes to this schedule.


Monday and Friday morning clinics for our 8 and unders and 10 and unders will continue this year during regular practice time. On these days, our 18 & under (and sometimes 14 and under) swimmers assist the coaches and instructors by helping our younger swimmers improve their strokes (in very small groups that offer lots of attention). The clinic schedule is as follows: June 30th: freestyle, July 3rd: backstroke, July 7th: breaststroke, July 10th: butterfly, July 14th: starts, July 17th: turns, July 21st: free/back, July 24th: breast/fly, July 28th: starts/turns.


Which practice(s) should swimmers attend and what should they bring besides a practice suit?


To help the coaches improve each swimmer’s stroke technique and development, it is important to eliminate unnecessary distractions. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that swimmers wear goggles at practice, and that anyone with long hair wear a bathing cap. It is helpful to the coaches and instructors if goggles are adjusted before practice. Team members should also try to have a backup pair in case one breaks. It is also recommended that swimmers aged 9 and over bring a labeled water bottle to practice every day for regular hydration.


Swimmers must attend the practice for the age group in which they are competing during the summer. All those competing as 6 & unders, 8 & unders, or 10 & unders this summer should attend the 10:30 morning practice. All those competing as 12 & unders, 14 & unders, or 18 & unders should attend the 8:45 morning practice. The summer cut-off date is July 1st for new swimmers and swimmers who have registered in the last 11 years. Swimmers registered prior to that have a June 1st cutoff date.


How do we go about ordering the team suit?


Our team suit is the Speedo Revolve Splice in Sapphire/Gold. The girls suit has an “energy back”. The boys have a choice of either a jammer or brief style suit. All suits come with “CST” lettering on them. Pictures of what they look like without the CST lettering will be posted on the team bulletin board. Metro Swim Shop will be at the club on Wed., June 7th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. (There is no practice on this date.) Suits will be available to try on. Orders will be taken. Suits will arrive prior to our first meet. Payment for the suit (and anything else purchased that day) may be made by credit card or by check payable to Metro Swim Shop. One free latex CST swim cap will be given to each team member. If you are interested in ordering personalized latex caps ($3.45 each) or personalized ($10.50 (or non-personalized ($10.50 each) silicone caps, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the fitting. Metro will also bring a supply of goggles and practice suits for purchase. If you can’t make the fitting date, you may still order our team suit through Metro Swim Shop. There is a closing date of June 11th. Other CST spirit items such as blankets, water bottles, magnets, hats, sunglasses, mesh tanks, and tie-dyed t-shirts will also be available on the 7th. (Please note that there is a limited supply of these items.)




The team fee for the swimming and/or diving team is $125.00 per swimmer or diver. Payment is accepted in cash or by check payable to Chappaqua Swim & Tennis Association. Fees are due by the team fitting date, Wed., June 7th. After that date, swimmers may not attend practices until payment is made. Those who join after that date will need to make the payment before they will be allowed to attend practice. Please note that for graduating seniors or those in their final year of eligibility, the team fee is waived.





Some team information is located at the club’s website, which is League information (conference records, meet results, rules, etc.) can be found at the Northern Westchester Swim Conference website, whose web address is: Information about the county swim and dive championships may be found at their address:




Time trials for the entire team will be held on the first day of morning practice, which is Monday, June 26th. (We will also hold time trials for afternoon practice swimmers on that same date.) If you cannot make practice on this date, it is imperative that you speak with the coaches to set up an alternate time, preferably prior to this date. Our roster for the first meet or two is based almost entirely on time trial performances. Times are updated at every meet, and additional time trials are held when needed. If there are any parents who would like to help out at time trials, please see the coaches. All help is appreciated!




Any swimmer who will be missing practices and/or meets must give a note to one of the coaches with the dates he/she will be leaving and returning. If you already know of dates in which you won’t be here, let us know now! The meet attendance form is attached to the team registration form and both should be turned in together. This is an immense help to the coaches when making up the meet rosters. If something comes up and you can’t make a meet that you had planned to attend, please call us at the pool and/or send an email to us at Do NOT relay a message through another team member. The earlier we get this information, the better.


Another important reminder: please arrive prior to the warm-up time for swim meets so that we have the time to make any needed changes to the roster and so that YOU have enough time to warm up for the meet. If you think you will be late, let the coaches know!
When you arrive at the meet, check in with the coaches first, and then store your belongings near our team banner/roster. All swimmers should be ready to hear instructions regarding warm-up prior to the official meet warm-up time. It is equally if not more important for all swimmers to be at or near the banner/roster long before each of your events.


Please do not fill up on soda, sweets, and fried foods before and/or during the meet. Better choices for swimmers include fruits, bagels, yogurt, power bars, water, and Gatorade.




Below is a tentative schedule of meets and events. It has been updated since the original schedule was sent to all members in April. A third and more detailed schedule with B meet locations, additional invitationals, and other team events will be finalized and available at the end of June. At that time, a team roster will also be available. Directions to meets can be found on both our website and the conference website. Please check the bulletin board frequently for important information regarding the team. Meets, results, notices, and events are added regularly.




2016 was our thirteenth consecutive year in Division 1 of the Northern Westchester Swim Conference. The team finished in a tie for first place, with a dual meet record of 4-0-1. We tied for first in the divisional diving championships and finished as the runner-up team in the divisional swim championships. In 2017, we will be competing against four teams returning to Division 1: Yorktown, Willowbrook, Lewisboro, and Briarcliff, and one team moving up from Division 2: Katonah. (Cortlandt has dropped down.)


CST does not have an “A” team and a “B” team. We will always do our best to place swimmers in as many “A” meets as possible, but the “B” meets are there to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to compete, improve stroke technique, and receive ribbons. When possible, we will try to post each meet roster on the team bulletin board at least a day or two in advance. Meet rosters are NOT posted online. Even when not scheduled to compete, we still would like everyone’s presence (whenever possible) at the “A” meets for several reasons. The first is that every swimmer is a member of our team and should be there to support his/her teammates. Secondly, there are often last minute replacements due to the fact that some swimmers on the roster do not show up for the meet. As mentioned before, please let us know well in advance if and when you won’t be able to attend meets.


An “A” meet usually begins with diving. Divers compete in either 13 and under or 18 and under categories. Swimming then starts with 8 and under girls backstroke, followed by 8 and under boys, 10 and under girls, 10 boys, 12 girls, 12 boys, 14 girls, 14 boys, 18 girls, and 18 boys. The cycle is then repeated for breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. For freestyle, there are also 6 and under races as well as multiple non-scored exhibition heats for 6, 8, 10, and 12 and unders. The meet concludes with four relays: 11 and under girls freestyle, 11 boys, 15 girls, and 15 boys. “A” meets have officials to start the races, call the finishes, and disqualify any swimmers they see with illegal strokes or who commit other swimming infractions. 6 and 8 and unders swim 25 yards/meters. 10 and unders swim 50 yards/meters (except butterfly which is 25). 12 and unders swim 50 yards/meters. 14 and unders swim 50 yards/meters (except freestyle which is 100). 18 and unders swim 100 yards/meters (except butterfly which is 50). All relay swimmers swim a 50 for their leg.


“B” meets are run separately for both swimming and diving. B divers may compete if they are able to complete two different dives. (At “A” meets, they must complete 4.) There are no officials at B meets so swimmers can compete in a stroke even if their stroke technique is not legal yet. There is no scoring. They run as many heats as they need to for all the swimmers in attendance. There are no relays. Swimmers may also compete in all four strokes if the coaches want them to, as there is no event limit. (3 individual events including diving as well as 1 relay is the limit in “A” dual meets.) There are no 18 and under races.





At the divisional swim and dive championship meets, each team may only have one entry per event. For these meets, we will post our strongest possible line-up, based on summer times in CST meets and CST time trials. If a swimmer comes in first place in the championship meet, he/she goes on to compete in the All-Star Meet (all five NWSC divisions) the following day. First place relays also go on to compete in the All-Star Meet.


Every year, we also compete at the Westchester County Swim & Dive Championships. In order to compete, swimmers and divers must be Westchester residents. The diving portion of the meet is held at Lake Isle Country Club. The swimming portion is held at the Playland Pool, next to the amusement park in Rye. Each team is limited to four entries per event. Diving is divided into 10-13-year-old and 14-17-year-old categories. For swimming, there are no 8 & under events, the age limit is 17, and the relays, events, and distances are somewhat different from those we have during our dual meet season. The swimmers with the four fastest times in each event at the time that entries are due (usually mid-July) are asked to compete. If any of these swimmers are unable to attend, we continue down the list with the next fastest swimmer and so on. Even if a swimmer is not asked to compete, all team members are welcome to come and support their teammates. In 2016, CST finished in 3rd place out of 52 teams.




Last year, approximately 50 team members and 90 athletes in total participated in Swim Across America’s 5th annual event here at CST. The 2016 event at CST raised approximately $86,000.00 which is the second largest amount collected by any pool event in the country. Swim Across America, Inc., [SAA] is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming related events. CST will again be hosting one of the area pool swims on Sunday, July 23rd from 6:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Free caps, towels, and medals are given to all participants. If interested in joining CST’s team, which is known as Team Karen and David, please speak with Dan or check the bulletin board for more information. Information will also be sent to CST families and posted on the club’s website. If a swimmer is in 12th grade or lower, they must raise $250. Adult swimmers must raise $500. CST team members as well as friends and family members are all welcome to join Team Karen and David, but swimmers may form or join any team that they’d like to for this event. This is also not a members only event so feel free to invite anyone who might be interested. More information about the swim itself and events related to the swim will be posted in the coming weeks.




At the end of each season, the team holds an awards dinner for all swim, dive, and tennis team members and their immediate families. Information about the dinner and signing up to help with the planning and/or with bringing in food will be posted on the bulletin board in July. The first hour involves fun activities for team members. These activities may take place both in and out of the water. The second hour is the dinner. Dinner is then followed by the awards and dessert. The names of all swim and dive team members are announced and each one receives: medals and ribbons from the meets during the season, a sheet of paper with best times from the summer, the team picture if ordered, the team gift, a paper plate award, and a participation trophy. Additionally, special trophies include: most valuable, most improved, coaches awards, and commitment awards (given to swimmers and divers who have completed their final season of eligibility with the team).





Much of our success can be attributed to a very supportive and active group of parents. If new to the team, please consider helping out as a scorer, timer, ribbon writer, runner, or even swimmer on a parent relay! We need help at nearly every meet. Anyone interested in helping out should see one of the coaches or speak with Bill Koster, the swim team liaison on the board. Volunteering is a great way to get involved, plus you get the best seats!


We’re looking forward to another FUN season! If anyone ever has any questions, please don’t hesitate to speak with any of us. LET’S GO CST!


All best,
Dan Levy
Alec DeCaprio
John Koster



Thursday, May 30thMeet & Greet/Informational Meeting5:00 p.m.
Monday, June 3rd Afternoon Practices BeginTBA
Wednesday, June 5th Team Suit Fitting (No Practice)4:30-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 27thMorning Practices BeginTBA
Saturday, June 29thAt Katonah8:30 a.m. swim warm-up; 9:00 a.m. start
Monday., July 8thB Dive Meet4:30 p.m. warm-up; 5:00 p.m. start
Tuesday, July 9thHome vs. Yorktown5:00 p.m. swim warm-up; 5:30 p.m. start
Wednesday, July 10th B Swim Meet4:30 p.m. warm-up; 5:00 p.m. start
Friday, July 12th Team Picture/Ice Cream PartyTBA
Saturday, July 13thAt Pound Ridge8:30 a.m. warm-up; 9 a.m. start
Monday, July 15thB Dive Meet4:30 p.m. warm-up; 5:00 p.m. start
Wednesday, July 17thB Swim Meet4:30 p.m. warm-up; 5:00 p.m. start
Thursday, July 18thHome vs. Briarcliff5:00 p.m. warm-up; 5:30 p.m. start
Monday, July 22ndCounty Dive (10-13) at Lake Isle & B Dive MeetTBA
Tuesday, July 23rd County Diving Champ. (14-17) at Lake IsleTBA
Wednesday, July 24th B Swim Meet4:30 p.m. warm-up; 5:00 p.m. start
Thursday, July 25th Home vs. Willowbrook5 p.m. swim warm-up; 5:30 p.m. start
Sunday, July 28thSwim Across America at CST4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Monday, July 29th -
Thursday, August 1st
Westchester County Swim Camp. at Playland Pool, RyeTBA
Wednesday, July 31stDiv. 1 Diving Championship at Yorktown5:00 p.m. warm-up; 5:45 p.m. start
Thursday, Aug. 1stAll-Star Diving at Pocantico Hills5:00 p.m. warm-up; 5:45 p.m. start
Saturday, Aug. 3rdDiv. 1 Swim Camp. at Katonah (tentative)8:30 a.m. warm-up; 9;00 a.m. start
Saturady, Aug. 3rdSwim, Dive & Tennis Team DinnerTBA
Sunday, Aug. 4thAll-Star Swim at Briarcliff8:30 a.m. warm-up; 9:00 a.m. start