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High hopes for Malta Swim Team in 2014


After having a rough year in 2013, due to a majority of the swim team being in the lower parts of their age bracket, the Malta Swim team will look to make noise this year.

"Most of these age brackets go in two year age brackets," Malta Swim Team head coach Donnie Lynn told the PCN. "About 70 percent of our team was sitting at the bottom of the age bracket. That's just tough in this sport."

But when it came to state last year, two third of the team's swimmers swam better than they were seeded heading into state.

Last year the team was led by first year Midget Darrow Messerly (9-10) who took three bronze metals at state. This year Messerly is in the older end of the Midget class and is expected to do big things.

Bret Amestoy did very well last year as a senior and will help lead the team as the club's assistant coach.

"I'm very thankful and blessed to have him as my assistant because he's a good kid who's been in the program a long time and knows the strokes," said Lynn. "He's got a lot of patience with the kids, which is something you've got to have."

According to Lynn, the team has high hopes for their season, though their numbers have dropped since last year.

One reason why is that a good nucleus of swimmers have returned including Jenise Amestoy, who had a good season last year even though she was among the younger of the senior women.

Some newcomers include Juliana Holt and Taylor Score, both Midgets, who apparently love the water.

Collin Holman a senior class swimmer, who was a state champion for a few years is back with the team this year, hoping to add to his closet full of trophies.

The team has numerous new, younger swimmers in the Bantam class (8 and under), but Lynn believes it will take them a year or two to blossom into competitive swimmers.

"The kids have been working hard and coach Amestoy and I have been impressed with how the kids are so enthusiastic about practice."

In today's society it's hard to find kids that don't gripe or complain about hard work and practice but Lynn told the PCN he hasn't even heard one grumble en leui of the team's long and hard practices.

"We have been swimming them pretty hard so a lot of kids have been taking naps during the day and sleeping hard at night because they are getting a lot of exercise," said Lynn.

Practices start almost everyday at 6 a.m. for kids that want extra time to practice and generally 7 a.m. for more experienced members. Practice ends at 10 a.m. But that's not all. Nighttime practices start at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the older swimmers.

"For anyone who wants to compete, they really should come to two practices a day," Lynn told the PCN. "We do change it up. We do a lot of long swimming in the morning to wake them up. In the evening we don't do a lot of drills but we swim our hardest."

So why train the kids so hard?

"Swimming is all about muscle memory and we are trying to engrain the proper muscle memory on each stroke," said Lynn.

Mark Hebert

Dallan Messerly, 10-years-old, leaps from the starting block at the Malta Swim Meet in Malta on Saturday afternoon.

According to Lynn most swimmers do swim the same speed in water, but it's whoever has the best dive off the block coupled with turns at the wall that will rise above the competition.

"The start and the turns are most important than the swim itself," said Lynn. "I've seen these turns make or break a lot of races."

Though it seems like Lynn runs a swimming boot camp the swimmers seem very content, love the water and even have fun.

Though the team is definitely looking for more members, the team isn't a swim class per se. It is strictly competitive swimming.

The only real requirement for potential member is that they can swim the length of the pool, to make sure they aren't phased by deep water.

"They have to love the water," Lynn said. "The more they love the water, the more they will come to practice."

For More information on joining the swim team, contact Malta Swim Team President Brandi Hunter.


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