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Hammerheads dive in
LCRD swim eam competition starts today
The 2008 Liberty County Hammerheads and their coach Susan Baker. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
The warmer weather is the perfect time to take a quick dip in the pool. Just be careful you’re not swimming with the Hammerheads.
The Liberty County Hammerhead swim team is set to start competition and the first meet is schedule for Monday at the LCRD pool.
“It’s our first meet and the only meet at our pool,” Hammerhead coach Susan Baker said. “From then on they go to Ware, Wayne, Jeff Davis, Douglas and Appling counties.”
Baker’s team boasts many return swimmers from the last few seasons, ranging from 7-18 years of age. The dedicated group practices in the wee morning hours for approximately two hours.
“When they join the swim team they have the ability to swim the backstroke and freestyle,” Baker said. “We teach them the breaststroke and butterfly and when they get those, they learn the turns and the starts.”
The team had two of the swimmers earn spots at state last season, a difficult task considering that only three of the top swimmers within a district region can go to state.
“If they can be in the top three during the district meet, which normally has 220 plus kids then make it to state, it says a lot,” she said.
Baker said her focus is two-fold. As always she stresses having fun, but when preparing for a meet she focuses on the rules and techniques.
“My main goal is to keep them from getting disqualified,” she said. “Through USA Swimming rules and regulations, illegal kicks, illegal arm use, illegal turns and stopping and going during their swim race can get them disqualified.”
The competition is fierce, as the Hammerheads must swim against some of the finest swimmers in the area. It sets the stage for the coach’s ultimate goal.
“This is the off-season for USA Swimming, so a lot of those swimmers are swimming at other recreation departments or the YMCA and making the season a big challenge,” she said. “I’m trying to place at least in the top three in the district. And with the competition, making top three would be the icing on the cake.”
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