For Cherokee Families, Swim League Means Fun, Friendly Competition
In neighborhoods across Cherokee County, summer just wouldn’t be the same without Thursday night swim meets! In all, young swimmers from 13 subdivisions in the county compete throughout the month of June. And this summer, with the merger of Cherokee Summer Swim Association and Atlanta Swim Association, Cherokee teams were among 130 teams across the metro area that had the opportunity to face off at season’s end in the Olympic Pool at Georgia Tech.
Fourteen-year-old Eva Hunnius swims for the Rivergreen Rays. “My favorite part of summer swim is being able to meet and interact with kids I didn’t really know, and by the end of the season becoming their friend,” she said. “It brought a smile to my face when I would walk into a meet and get flooded with hugs from the little ones, support from my coaches and teammates, and knowing that, even if we didn’t win, that every swimmer has happy and excited to be there doing what they love.”
Natasha Cato’s kids swim for the Bradshaw Farm Barracudas. “This was my kids’ first year joining swim team. Swim really motivated them to dig deep within themselves physically and mentally, which I feel will make them better athletes overall. In addition, we met some extraordinary families and made lifelong friends.”
Ansley Davis, who swam for the Barracudas for years before becoming the team’s head coach, said, “Summer swim is all about having fun and making memories that will last a lifetime, while learning a sport that kids can do forever. My goal as a coach is to see smiles on the faces of all my swimmers, watch them show off their best dance moves, as well as their fast swimming, and have swim team be something they can look forward to summer after summer.”
Eleven-year-old Barracuda Maris Kate Williams put it simply: “I like cheering on my friends and teammates during their races.”
This season was Luke Osgood’s first as head coach of the Towne Lake Hills Tidal Waves. He said, “It could not have been a more rewarding experience. It is always a special moment when you get a child involved in the sport of swimming for the first time. I was able to meet great people, and was also able to get kids interested in swimming year-round.” One of Osgood’s swimmers, Bella Postel, age 13, said, “The bond that the coaches have with us kids is just incredible.”
Franke Marsden is the Atlanta Swim Association’s league coordinator. “Our favorite part of each season (is) the weekly meets. No matter how big or small the teams are, the meets are the weekly payoff for kids, as their performances reflect the hard work they have put in during the week,” he said. “Additionally, meets are usually a very social event, where kids and their parents catch up with their friends and neighbors from their own team and their opponents from other nearby neighborhoods, in the spirit of friendly competition.”
In this summer’s regular season competition, Bradshaw Farm went undefeated at 4-0, and Eagle Watch was second with a 4-1 record. Rivergreen was the highest-scoring Cherokee team at the ASA Championships. www.atlantaswimming.com.
– Larry Blase