The Griffin Gators swim team has been on a roll these last few weeks.
The local swim team competed in the Lithia Springs meet in mid-June and finished in the top 10 and then on Saturday, June 26, the Gators won the Macon Heritage Meet, capping off a pretty strong month as they head into the GRPA District 4 swim meet Saturday morning in Peachtree City.
A good showing at the District meet will qualify the Gators for the State swim meet July 30-31 in Carrollton. Gators head coach Courtland Day said the team will take 52 swimmers to Peachtree City, up from 38 last year. The Gators will compete against Carrollton, the Carrollton Bluefins, Peachtree City and Rountree Recreation.
“The whole team has improved so much this year. Last year we finished second at Macon and in 2010 we finished first,” said Day. “Our guys and girls will be fighting for a lot Saturday at District; the top 3 swimmers in each age group will qualify for the State meet at the end of the month. It’s real exciting for the team.”
Two swimmers who are excited about being on the Gators are siblings Ansley and Garrett Calhoun, first-year swimmers who have improved a lot since joining the team this year, according to Day.
Ansley, 13, and Garrett, 12, both said swimming on the Gators is “fun.”
The Calhoun siblings saw a flyer about the Gators and decided to try it out — and now swimming is in their blood. At the Carrollton meet earlier in the summer, Garrett was first in his heat in the butterfly and the IM while Ansley helped her 200 free relay team place third. They both said they want to swim all the way through high school.
“It’s fun just being in the water,” Garrett said.
“The coaches also make it fun,” Ansley said.
Day said he feels his older swimmers (11-18 years old) will do well at the District meet, particularly swimmers Helen Hicks (13-14 age group) and Miles Grier (15-18).
“The relay teams could also do well and qualify for State, especially the boys 15-18 relay teams and the girls 11-12 relay teams,” he said.
Hicks, 14, placed second overall at the Macon meet and said she’s not nervous about competing in the District meet, which she has done for a while. She’s been on the Gators since she was 8-years-old and said she enjoys getting exercise and socializing with the other Gators.
“I’m ready for the District meet,” said Hicks, who also loves horseback riding. “It should be fun.”
The Gators are also looking forward to the annual Griffin Gators Invitational, set for July 16-17 at the City Park Pool. The Gators have won their home meet for three years straight.
“I feel pretty confident we’ll come out victorious in our Invitational. We will outnumber many of the competing teams and we’ll drag out the moms and dads who want to swim,” Day said.