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Crafton Crocodiles' reunion swim meet set for Saturday

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
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The Crafton Crocodiles continue to be a fixture on the Crafton sports scene.

Crafton will host a herd of crocodiles both young and old on Saturday, but residents shouldn't panic.

Current and former Crafton Crocodile swimmers and staffers are invited to a reunion swim meet and pool party at the borough pool, an event that former swimmer and current aquarobics instructor Sharon Gaitens hopes will become an annual event.

Gaitens came up with the idea from her own experiences with the Crafton Crocodiles Swim Team. She joined the team when she was just 5 and worked at the pool for nearly two decades. Her children do the same.

“That's the norm here,” she said. “So many people were actively involved in the swim team as kids, and now their kids are, too. Now they come back and volunteer at the pool.”

The reunion will include an alumni swim meet for current and former members, ages 18 and older, from 5 to 8 p.m. Warmup begins at 4:30 p.m. Current and former Crocodiles can enter any of 10 events, even if they “haven't swum a lap since the 1970s.”

Former pool staff members also are invited.

The swim meet will be followed by a pool party for all ages from 8 to 10 p.m. Party attendees are asked to bring an appetizer or dessert to share.

The event also will be a fundraiser for the organization. Swim team supporters can purchase customized yard signs for $25. The signs will be displayed at each home swim meet.

“We're hoping to renovate the pool in the next two years,” Gaitens said. “We want to cater to more of an age range.”

The team also hopes to invest in a new timing system and competition supplies.

More than anything, she said, the event is a way for current and former swimmers to reminisce.

“Everyone has such fond memories,” she said. “So many people are who they are because of the great values we learned at the pool.”

Many current swim team members, she said, had parents or grandparents who were involved with the team.

“We just wanted to get everyone together to embrace where we came from,” she said. “You form lifelong friendships. You can run into someone 30 years later and pick up where you left off.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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