WEST HARRISON, N.Y. The Harrison Swim Team held tryouts Thursday afternoon in preparation for its upcoming summer season, as the relatively new program continues to build its foundation.
Swim Coach Dottie Klein, who formed the summer swim team five years ago when the Ron Belmont Pool in West Harrison opened, said that swimming is more competitive in the summer than the winter team she also coaches, because the summer season is shorter - which gives her less of a window to prepare the swimmers.
We've got to get them moving at a quicker pace, Klein said. Were still building a program here, and it is hard to compete. Some of the country club teams have over 200 swimmers and divers combined. We dont have any divers, but we are hoping to get up to 50 kids for swimming.
Klein said that the summer swim team is open to Harrison residents ages 5 to 17, adding that some of the kids who are now senior members of the team have been swimming with Klein since they were in kindergarten. Harrison High School freshman Brianna Pavesi is one such swimmer. Having been with Klein since she was 6 years old, Pavesi is now helping to coach some of the junior members of the team.
Its really exciting, and Ive been doing it for so long that I just about know everyone by now, Pavesi said. I see myself in these young kids. I used to struggle; then I got really good because of the help I received.
Purchase resident Naomi Wall has been swimming with Klein for a decade. Wall said that the younger swimmers she is helping are coming along very well.
The number one thing for members of this team is that we get exercise, Wall said. It helps every muscle in our bodies. Its really the water that is your biggest opponent.
Klein said that the team will kick off its season on July 6 with a home meet. Right now, she is using the month of June to get the team prepared for that competition.
Swimming is something you can do forever, Klein said. Its an individual sport, but a team sport as well. If you finish in last place in your heat but you took two seconds off your time, you did really well.
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