Swim Association Invitational League
Greenville, South Carolina
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Craig Report - Divisionals 2008
My Travels Through SAIL - 7-11/12-2008
Made my last trip around to Divisionals this year, got to say, it was a wonderful trip.
First Stop, Red Division @ Stone Lake - Friday afternoon
First stop was Red Division Friday afternoon. The pool is down a two lane crooked road covered with trees. After a while I began to see cars parked on the side of the road as well as the side streets. As I rounded a curve I saw people, and more people, all walking down in to this hole! As I got to a barrier, two nice men asked me who do I think I am trying to park in their special hole! I explained that I have permission to be in the special hole and I didn't have a rabbit, so it's ok. As I strained myself to get out of my pleasantly air conditioned car I saw the bottom of the hole.
It was a swim meet with people everywhere at the bottom. There was shade under a bunch of trees, with people sitting on the ground enjoying the breeze. People sitting in bleachers, Coaches screaming as usual, Judges, parents, grand parents, all watching young people swim in a nice cool pool. This Alice in Wonderland place is the Stone Lake Pool. Red Division held their meets over two days due to the size of the teams and the younger group was here tonight. This is an eight lane pool, and no diving well. What a great place to hold a swim meet. Teams were in their own special hole on the tennis courts down below the pool. Ralph Mendez, the Referee, mentioned that while on the deck it didn't feel like the crowd was looking over your shoulder, it felt open to him. Now it WAS HOT, it was hot everywhere, but folks, this is an absolutely gorgeous place!
Alice would be very lucky to come here and spend some time in Stone Lake Wonderland.
Second Stop, Purple Division @ Woody Creek - Friday afternoon
Another two day Divisionals. Mellissa Whitaker welcomed me with her usual bright smile. This was the first Divisional meet that Chris Caldwell has done as Referee. I am writing this on Bloody Sunday and I can tell you that she did a Great Job.
She had some doubts about it a few days before the meet but just as most of us knew she did a really good job. Be proud Chris!
Oh, the meet, there were swimmers doing their thing, Coaches screaming, parents doing the same thing just the normal stuff. Woody Creek was one of the first to figure out if you put the grill close to the deck it makes people very hungry. Woody Creek seems to always be able to park cars all over the place, but some must pay for it in the form of a nice long walk. But as usual, meet starts, kids swim, Mom, Dad, Granny and Grand Dad all are happy! Isn't that the reason we do this?
Third Stop, White Division @ Forrester Woods - Saturday Morning
At 6:00 AM in the parking lot. Weird, no one is here. Why?
I'm an HOUR EARLY!
So there I sat in the car, reading the G'ville news drinking coffee with AC/DC cranked up on the CD player.
Ed Benton came up to the window and scared the Dejesus out of me!
Ed was the Meet Director and was there to do the last minute set up for the meet.
I have always made Forrester Woods my first stop on Divisional weekends. Main reason is that it's close to my house, second is that a whole bunch of the Mauldin High Swim team comes from this pool. I know a lot of the families since I help with Mauldin High Swimming.
There was a very touching ceremony and opening prayer for Mrs. Mary Lou Epps from this pool. She lost her fight against cancer recently. There was also a moment for Mrs. Lisa Roberts of Silverleaf who also recently passed away on July 4th. A time to reflect on the ones we care dearly about as well as prayers and good thoughts for those we have yet to meet.
One note about this pool's traditions, they have an after meet party at the pool. They cook about four or five nice large pork butts on a big smoker during the day, and all that help clean up get to sit and enjoy some very fine smoked meat that evening.
Fourth Stop, Gold Division @ Botany Woods
Botany Woods, has been "THE" place to live ever since I was young. Refined, Stoic, and First Class. All very true! I arrive at the pool, walk on the deck, head toward the Coach area. There is a large awning set up over the Coaches. Under this awning is a table, covered with a tablecloth. On this table is a basket with items rolled up in Aluminum foil. I was offered one, I took it of course, IT'S FOOD, unwrapped it, inside was a freshly made biscuit with a fried egg covered in cheese with bacon on top! Beside this basket was a very large bowl filled with fresh cut fruit, strawberries, watermelon, grapes, pineapple, and cantaloupe.
Wait, it gets better!
Another basket with sliced Banana Nut Bread and very large muffins!
A cooler was on the deck under the table; water was sitting in ice as well as 7oz bottles of Orange Juice.
This is first class stuff here folks! All the Coaches were all very appreciative of the host pool going way beyond above in showing the true class of people at this pool.
Fifth Stop, Green Division @ McCarter
McCarter, on their own, no more Stone Lake. All alone!
Guess what, doesn't matter that they are alone, they are just fine thank you!
What a nice refreshing thing to see, room on the deck, everything clean as it could be, and SHADE! If you have never been to this pool, take ride a down Edwards's road and take a look. Trees on two sides, tennis courts and a big parking lot on the other. They were so afraid of hosting Div. at their pool, they forgot to stand back and look at what they have. They have good people willing to work and a very nice venue! They couldn't fail if they tried. Look for McCarter to make their way back up in the Divisions, the neighborhood is doing the same thing as Del Norte, young families moving into the neighborhoods. Watch those 8 & Under swimmer numbers climb.
Sixth Stop, Blue Division @ Wellington Green/Brookfield
Good thing these people have three soccer fields right beside the pool! They were FULL OF CARS.
Again, welcome to the pool that hosted C & C years ago. Right up the road from Botany Woods, made it a pleasure to travel this year. Three Divisionals within a couple of miles of each other.
This was the site of my home pools Divisional; saw a bunch of the homies, as well as the Head Referee, Exec Board member David Kramer. David is the head of SAIL Official training. Seems to me by what I have seen around at the meets this year he did a good job! Jo Baker the SAIL CPU trainer was also here.
Do you think they had any problems with Records or Officiating?
Not a chance.
Well that's it for the 2008 regular season.
It's on to C & C next weekend.
Make sure you enjoy yourself for the rest of the summer, they go by very fast!
I love all of you very much, you have been, and will continue to be a very proud and warm spot in my heart.