SAIL of Greenville
Swim Association Invitational League
Greenville, South Carolina
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Historical heat sheets from the Ancient Days posted!
Take a look and see who was in SAIL in the 70s and 80s!

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Craig Report - Week Five

My Travels Through SAIL - 7/7/2006

The last of the regular season meets.

I have really enjoyed getting out to all the meets this year. Everyone I have talked to and spent any amount of time with has been so kind. The hospitality shown at the meets just reemphasizes the "Southern Hospitality" of the area that we live. If you have moved into the area from other parts of the US you are now a Southerner. Be proud!

Here we go!

First Meet, PMP/HL at PHP

I arrived very early for this one. This gave me a chance to sit and just talk to the parents about a host of issues. Most of the comments were about how well things have run this year. PMP lost two pumps in one day, this is why they had the mad scramble to move the meet last week. They are in the process of getting the water back to a color other than a deep dark green! I had the chance to sit and talk with the Greenville News photographer Gwinn Davis for a little while before the meet started. He was commenting on his own travels to all the different pools as well. He will be at some of the Divisional Meets next week so keep an eye open for him! Also a PARKING PLACE! I talked with the Padgett family from Heritage Lakes, Morgan Padgett is one of the Coaches from HL, she will be attending Clemson next year and her parents are already beginning to miss her as well as some of their hard earned cash for football game tickets!
My very first experience in SAIL was at the Poinsettia Pool. I arrived wondering where in the world all the cars came from; I got my answer as soon as I caught my breath from walking four blocks to get to the pool. That was the last time I told the family I would be at a meet late! I have been working the meets in some capacity ever since! I arrive early now for all meets because parking is a luxury at ANY pool!

Second Meet, FW at SLMC

The meet was at the McCarter pool and OWE MY GAWD! I came over the hill down toward the pool and all I saw was this large mass of people around a very small blue dot! I figured somewhere is this boiling mass there must be a pool! I walked in to the pool and Deb McClure gave me a big hug, and I still couldn't see any swimmers! The spectators were like 5 deep, I went around to the start end and then I noticed that they actually had people swimming! Man, two teams that big, at that pool, is a load. But you know what? They were swimming, and they were actually ahead of schedule! Amazing what people can do sometimes with a little organization and good people all working together. I climbed my way over to the Coach area; there stood Deb's son, Taylor. He had a good view of things; he's about 6'5" so he was looking over the top of everyone else. I talked a bit with a man that has been around Greenville swimming for many years, he was part of the founding of the old Paladin Swim team, Terry Palma. The best description of Terry is "INTENSE". I stood beside him and Steve Epps and Terry noticed a swimmer finishing the free leg of the IM. Terry standing at the middle of the side of the pool noticed why the swimmer didn't finish well while doing Freestyle. It was when she finished with a left hand touch she would slow down before the wall. When touched with her right hand she wouldn't slow up! With the many years that Terry has been smelling chlorine and screaming for swimmers he has learned much! Forester Woods is very lucky to have Terry on the side of the pool.

Third Meet, NF at RME

Cars everywhere, wait, I've said that already. It didn't matter much to me because Gene Gibbs had me a place right in front, thanks Gene. Since you were so nice in providing me a space, I hope to purchase a new Ford from you in the future to park in the spot (insert commercial)!
This meet had many veteran officials working. Gene Gibbs and Mark Belfore were the Ref's. We had a show of some new footwear by one of the RME Coach's. She either got it by encouraging her swimmers, discussing domestic issues with her husband, or running! I hope it was the running!
The Neely farm Coaching staff was there in all their glory, screaming at everyone in the pool. All these Coach's must be hoarse until Sunday after a meet.

Fourth Meet, BMSW at CB (well almost)

CB had a pool problem like PMP had last week but they had some advance notice! The meet was held at BMSW, and by what I saw it was flawless. There was one time I noticed that the Starter seemed a bit slow, I understand he O.D.'d on Chic-Fil-A nuggets!
Richard Sheridan must like chicken.
Speaking of food, Jim Hutcheson must have thought I was hungry, wonder why? When I first got at the pool there was a Deputy Sheriff at the parking lot, he noticed my old ratty truck and waved me in to my private spot. Looks like he knew the truck. I went right over to the Coach's and started talking and all of a sudden Hutch has someone bring me a Chic-Fil-A sandwich and lemonade! Now this is the proper way to take care of me! I enjoyed my sandwich while watching the Butterfly. Then I feel this pressure on my leg and its Hutch again stuffing another chicken sandwich in my pocket, and handing me a tea. This is GREAT!
I stayed until the end to watch Brook Bridges, Chris Harrington, Tyler Price and a young 40 something Mom swim the free relay (Sorry I forgot her name). The un-named Mom swam a 50 Butterfly. She was fast Y'all! Made the older folks in the crowd very proud!

Wrap Up

Well that's it for the regular season, I made a lot of new friends, had a chance to talk to some old ones. I was met with open arms at each meet, feed at most, and enjoyed every minute of it!
On another topic, this could possibly be my last year with SAIL. I have not had a swimmer in the water for the last two years. I have done this because I love it, meeting young people, the busy part of C & C, and the pride in knowing people call and ask me questions because I know most of the answers. SAIL has been a part of my summer for over 10 years; it's hard to walk away after putting in so much time. I thank every one of the people that I have ever met or interacted with in SAIL, it has changed me in ways you will never know. Some good and some bad!

I will be around at all of the Divisional meets sometime either Friday or Saturday. I look forward to seeing some good meets, and remember one thing. We do this for the kids, not just for Divisional titles.
It's summer swimming. Keep it fun for everyone, even the competition!