Early most July and August mornings at The Quechee Club pool, one might hear the words “unplug the lanes” or “IMs, now.” Those words are coming from Cole Reavill the coach of the Quechee Swim Team – who also works as a lifeguard at the pool and Lake Pinneo. After hearing Cole’s well-modulated commands, a few grumblings ensue and off the young swimmers go. Cole explains that IM stands for an Individual Medley, which includes four different strokes: butterfly stroke, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.
The Quechee Club hired Cole to coach the team, formerly led by Susan Carey, who is now managing the swim meets, the line-up, transportation, the statistics, and all the team’s administrative details. Carey’s two daughters, Alanna and Siobhan, were team swimmers from the age of six until they “aged out” at 18. Carey, who lives in Massachusetts, continues to volunteer her expertise for the swim team and says that her family spends “as much time as we can in Quechee.”
Cole’s connection with Quechee started before becoming the swim team’s coach. His grandmother, Brenda Reavill, has lived here part-time for many years. Cole and his mother, Sandy Reavill, and sister, Elanna, moved to Quechee in the summer of 2017 from Indiana, where they had lived for six years.
In Indiana, Sandy taught math at Culver Military Academy and Cole attended school there until he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin where he is pursuing a degree in media production.
Claire Mamlouk, Anaya Stratemeyer, Emmy Williams, Grace Staats, Benjamin Morse, Elizabeth Staats, and Charlotte Nadeau
His love for the water
Cole was on the Culver Military Academy swim team for all four years. When asked what his best swim stroke was, Cole says, “Freestyle, but I was often in events wherever the team needed me.” While there, the University of Wisconsin recruited him to row on the crew team. Rowing runs in the family, Cole's older twin brothers, Avery and Brooks, were also rowers while attending high school at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, and then at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Cole put his heart and soul into crew for the first two years, but then re-thought the amount of time practice took each week from his studies. “It was 20 hours a week – minimum,” he says, and decided to concentrate on his studies and to work as a production assistant in the athletic department. As a production assistant, he filmed baseball games for the university. Cole shares that he likes the production side of filmmaking and confesses to being an audiophile.
For the last few summers, he was a counselor at a camp in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine called Runoia. He helped with the swimming instruction on “The Great Pond,” and he also taught photography. In high school, Cole took a class in photography that he says "sparked a hobby." His background in photography prompted the camp to offer a course in black and white photography that he taught.
This year’s swim team
This summer the Quechee Swim Team has 55 swimmers ages 6 to 18. “That’s about normal,” Susan says. “A third of the Quechee team is local kids. Some are on swim teams at The Upper Valley Aquatic Center during the winter. And most join the team through word of mouth.” There are entire families who participate, such as the Morris brothers: Elliot, Theodor, and Sam from New Jersey; and other swimmers like Ben Johnston from Massachusetts, who join each year. They all contribute to the success of this team in meets with other Southern Vermont Swim League teams.
To be part of the team, swimmers under the age of ten must be able to swim 25 yards freestyle with rotary breathing, as well as being able to swim the backstroke for 25 yards. Those over ten years of age have the same requirements but double the distance. Membership is open to the public.
Team practice begins at 7:30am and ends at 9am Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Practice goals include improving stroke technique, increasing speed, decreasing times, and building team support. Meets rotate at the pools of the league members, which include teams from from Woodstock, Rutland, Bennington, and Manchester, Vermont; and a team from Glens Falls, New York.
Cole shared that on July 28th, at the Southern Vermont Swim League District Championships the swim team finished in second place as a team in total points for Division II.
“It’s a quiet sport,” Cole says. “I pipe up with input on a particular element a swimmer might do, one to one.” You won’t hear any yelling from the pool deck.