Natchez Swim Team preps for state meet this weekend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2001

The Natchez Swim Team hasn’t exactly been on the same swimming level as other youth swim clubs throughout the state. The closing of Duncan Park’s pool this year has forced the team to practice at the House on Ellicott Hill pool. The pool is only 20 yards, but the team’s swimmers compete in 25-yard pools.

&uot;You don’t think five yards is a big difference, but it is to someone who’s six,&uot; said coach Tammy Whittington.

But that hasn’t stopped the swimmers from winning week in and week out. Sixteen swimmers will compete in the state meet in Cleveland next weekend. Two members are swimming this weekend to try to qualify for state.

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The state meet ends the summer swimming season for the team. The 8-year-olds will swim on July 26. The older children will compete throughout the weekend.

&uot;I think we’re ready,&uot; Whittington said. &uot;We’re ready to have a great time.&uot;

Last weekend, the team competed at a meet in Meridian, taking third place overall. Daniel Hazlip, 8, led the squad with five first place finishes. The 8-year-old girls 100M freestyle relay team of Sarah Bryan, Katie Steele, Marty Ellard and Taylor White also grabbed first place in their event. Rudy Timm also fared well, collecting four second place finishes.

The Natchez Swim Team is open to anyone. And it just isn’t geared toward competition. Many swimmers come just for recreational purposes, to meet new friends, to learn how to swim or pass the summertime away.

&uot;We want children to learn how to swim and have some exercise,&uot; Whittington said. &uot;You don’t have to be competitive swimmers to be on the Natchez Swim Team.&uot;

For the summer months, Whittington said more than 50 youngsters swim on the team. In the winter months – when the team practices at the Senior Center – participation tampers off, as children compete in other sports.

‘We have a great group of kids who have a wonderful time,&uot; Whittington said. &uot;They may not be Mr. or Mrs. Olympics, but they’re having a good time.&uot;

Anyone interested in joining the team can contact Whittington at 445-4169.