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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 Two

My Travels Through SAIL - 6/7/2007

First Stop, McCarter at Del Norte

Historical Day, We have the first home meet for Del Norte since 2001. The pool was empty, no members, pool was in disrepair, and abandoned. For those of you that don’t remember, Del Norte Pool has hosted, Divisional meets as well as Championships and Classics in the past. As with many of the neighborhoods in Greenville a transformation has occurred, younger families with small children have begun to move into the neighborhood. With the hard work of the neighborhood, the pool has returned in full glory. They have been back in SAIL a couple of years but today they had a home meet. For those of you that have been through this type of situation, a HOME meet after such an absence is a MAJOR achievement. Tommy Finch and Tracy Shook have done a wonderful job of bringing back one of our pools. Tommy showed me to what extent that they have made changes. A complete rework of the plumbing system for the pool. It included removal of a big portion of the concrete deck ALL the way around the pool.

They didn’t subcontract the work, the workers were the possible members of a pool that might not come back. The pool looked BETTER than what I remember it looking when I visited the pool with friends and at the swim meets years ago. Michael Brinn is heading up the coaching responsibilities for a much rejuvenated neighborhood. Michael was a fifteen year swimmer with Silver Leaf. One thing I did to Tracy was a bit cruel but I just had to! Tracy was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off and I walked up to her and she asked how the pool looked. I told her that everything was fine but that the backstroke flags were upside down! She was devistated, I had to let her off the hook after that look she gave me. Sorry Tracy.

CONGRADULATIONS TO ALL and welcome back!

To add to the atmosphere, we have McCarter swimming this meet as McCarter. Not Stone Lake-McCarter, but as McCarter! Anne Peterson walked up to me before the meet started and she was beaming. Mary Beth McCall, the Coach, was directing the warm-ups and all could tell the pride they have, it beamed as well.

Second Stop, Canebrake at Wade Hampton Gardens

Wade Hampton has been in SAIL since 1970. Eric Thornton is the Head Coach for the Gators, along with Amanda Harmon they are carrying on the long tradition of WHG. Eric and his family are old friends of mine. Eric has been swimming with SAIL and a year round team for many years. He has a brother that has done the same thing. Now, his Mom! Charlotte has been a teacher in Greenville for years, she took up Masters Swimming a few years ago. Yes there is a Master swimming program available in Greenville, ages 19 to 100+, swimmers have meets all over the South. Eric’s Mom is a GOOD swimmer, she wins her age class at many of the meets she attends. No way am I mentioning the age class! But for you parents that think you are as fast as some of those 18 year old swimmers, there’s a place for you to PROVE IT!

Canebrake, Shelley Hutcheson and Ryan Patane lead this group. Canebrake has a long history in SAIL as well. I can remember a Divisional Meet held at Canebrake that had long time WYFF weatherman, Dale Gilbert as the Starter. Again, Shelley’s dad, Jim, was kind enough to make sure I had plenty to eat! Hutch, do I look malnourished to you? Shelley and Ryan both swim as well as Coach, both are very fast swimmers and I am sure they will be at C & C again this year. I missed the Bats flying around the pool this year, I had to leave before dark to make my next meet.

Third Stop, Sparrows Point at Heritage Lakes

The home of the State AAAA Girls 2006 High School Championship winners, MAULDIN HIGH SCHOOL! Sorry for the plug, I love Mauldin High Swimming. Cody Bellows is the head Coach for this group, along with Morgan Padgett, and Charlie Carson. If you have never been to this pool off of Hwy 14 and Woodruff road, make a drive and take a look. This pool is set up on top of the hill in front of the subdivision. They have gobs of parking in the field around the two story clubhouse. Behind the pool the ground tapers down to the lake, this is a very pretty setting for a swim meet. After all the meets that they have had over the years with SAIL and the high school, putting on a meet has become second nature to them. Any team attending a HL meet will be very happy with the facility as well as the hospitality.

Sparrows Point, My goodness! 120 swimmers, 70% of them under 12! This is a team that in a few years will be moving up in Divisions very quickly. Tammy Crabtree has been the Coach since the team was started. Look for great things coming from this team.

Fourth Stop, Botany Woods at Knollwood/Brookside

This is my home pool, just a couple hundred yards from my house.

As I was driving home to make the last stop I began to wonder if the meet was over. I came over the hill down to the pool and Yep, they were done! James Tanzey and Becky Webber run a very tight meet. Both have been involved with SAIL for many years.

I personally think it’s due to my tutelage!

Easy, James and Becky, I have a dog at the house, he bites!

I will reschedule a trip to both teams.

Wrap Up

So, another week closer to Divisionals and C&C, goes quick doesn’t it? Hopefully this week’s meets ran a bit smoother than the past week, each time you have a home meet you get better! It’s crazy with all the setup and making sure you have all your bases covered. But once the meet is over, it sure is nice to sit back and reflect to what your people have just accomplished. Swam a meet, hosted parents, grandparents, and kept calm in the neighborhood. Hopefully you made a couple of bucks on concessions, got the meet in without any problems, and above all, MADE SOME NEW FRIENDS!

Please, during the meets, go up to a perfect stranger and just introduce yourself. No real reason other than to meet another fan of SAIL swimming. They may look at you a little funny at first, but in the end they will understand, and you will have a new friend to say hello to outside of swimming! Personally I think we all have gotten this shyness to just going up to a stranger and saying “Hi”. This is what we do in the South, we say “Hi” to everyone, even if we don’t know them. What better place to do this than at a SAIL swim meet!

So I hereby charge the group to meet a minimum of two new people each meet for the rest of the season. You will gain a minimum of six people that are no longer strangers that love swimming as much as you do!

Hey, remember they won’t bite you!

Till next week