Swim Team Season Just Around the Corner

By Beacon Staff

You’ll see it soon, but you won’t believe it.

There you are, driving past Pinewood Park at 630am when you get an urge for a donut. You pull into the bakery, get out of your car. A noise to the south makes you look down the hill toward the pool where you see….30-40 teenagers swimming laps at oh-dark-thirty on a chilly June morning.

Are they nuts? Nope, just Columbia Falls Swim Team members.

Thankfully, the pool is quite warm and everyone is having a good time despite the early hour.

June 1st marked the beginning of the Montana Federation of Swimmers summer league season, the first day that teams can have organized practices with coaches. It’s just a matter of time before you see different age groups of young kids and teenagers at the Pinewood Park pool swimming laps from 6 to 10am every weekday. As soon as the city fills the pool, cranks up the heater and gives thumbs up, the Columbia Falls Swim Team will start churning out laps.

Returning for a 3rd year as head coach is NAIA collegiate swimmer Price Richardson (Cumberland College), assisted by Columbia Falls’ own Zak Ward. Most Federation teams are coached by collegiate (or former collegiate) swimmers, who focus on conditioning, strategy and technique as with any other competition. Price is from Hamilton and swam competitively in the Federation league for many years as a Bitterroot Swim Team member.

Columbia Falls’ home meet is the weekend of June 16-17, 2007, followed by meets in Hamilton, Plains, Ft Benton, Conrad, Shelby and Cut Bank (Divisionals). The State meet, held the first weekend in August, is in Lewistown this year.

Families with kids (4 to 19 years of age) interested in joining the team should contact Bryan Donner at 892-3214.

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