Springdale swimmers adjust on fly, make strides
Springdale's boys and girls swimming teams don't have a pool, but they've learned to carpool.
Team members are responsible for finding their own way to close meets. A bus is only provided for longer road trips.
It's just another example of Springdale finding a way to, well, stay above water, without the amenities of more enduring programs.
Springdale started swimming six years ago but has never had a home pool. All meets are away and practices are at Valley High School.
The Dynamos work around Valley's practice and meet schedule to carve out pool time.
“It's hard when you don't have your own pool,” Springdale coach Sally Hurley said. “ Valley is gracious enough to let us use their pool, and they try to accommodate us as best as they can. The kids don't mind and are grateful they have a team and Valley lets them swim there.
“We have a lot of dedicated swimmers.”
And parents are the backbone of the carpooling efforts.
“The older kids have been great in helping out with carpooling to practice,” Hurley said.
Said senior Rachel Carlberg: “It's a little harder to get to practice, and sometimes the practices have to be cut short.”
The program is relatively young. Carlberg said interest started around 2007.
“A few people with swimming backgrounds wanted to start a team,” Carlberg said. There was some interest from people who swam in the summer.”
Like many members of Springdale's team, Carlberg grew up swimming in summer leagues at Bouquet Park in Springdale. Carlberg swam at Bouquet for 11 years.
With multiple programs using the same facility, practice time is at a premium at Valley. Valley practices right after school and then Springdale has the pool after them.
Despite all of the obstacles, the Springdale girls have had a competitive year in the pool. The Dynamos have a 2-2-1 record.
“It's a good year for us because we have a lot of good, new, younger swimmers,” Carlberg said.
Hurley commended her seniors for their veteran leadership. She said Carlberg and Marissa Sarsfield, a Cleveland State soccer recruit, and sophomore Tracy Kondrit have been the top swimmers.
“They have really stepped up for us this season,” Hurley said.
Jesse Huba is a freelance writer.