Summer activities at Taylor Pool including lessons, adult lap swim, water aerobics, open swim and team practices were off to a successful start Monday morning.
The only program that has yet to begin is synchronized swimming, taught by Leslie Reisdorf. Those classes begin June 18 and will be offered in two sessions from noon to 1 p.m. or 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
According to Reisdorf, class sizes are limited, so prospective participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible at the Payson Parks and Recreation Department at Green Valley Park.
Synchronized swimming, Reisdorf said, is a great way to improve physical conditioning and also participate in a fun and enjoyable sport.
Currently, the town swim team is undergoing a change of leadership. Former coach Dani Hatch resigned her position last week. According to P&R officials, Hatch's resignation was prompted by a town code that stated employees could not work in a supervisory position over immediate family members.
"It was a town policy," Recreation Coordinator Bethany Beck said.
Hatch's two sons, Tanner and Reed, are Taylor Pool employees and swim team assistant coaches.
Former volunteer assistant Christy Ford is currently coaching the 100-plus member team.
Ford says she has not applied for the head coaching job because of time commitments to her job and to being a member of the Payson school district governing board.
However, she said, if a coach can't be found during the interviewing process this week, she will continue to serve as head coach.
"I'll help them get through the season," she said.
The 100-plus member team which began 16 years ago as the Payson Pikes started preparing for the season Monday morning and will continue to practice each weekday throughout the summer.
The squad is slated to participate in a series of four recreational meets at Taylor Pool.
The season opener, an intrasquad competition, will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday. Spectators are welcome free of charge.
If she continues as head coach, Ford says her coaching emphasis will be on self improvement rather than outperforming opponents.
"With a recreational team, we want you to compete against yourself," she said. "We're looking for good progress."
Special Olympics squad
Another team that will soon begin preparing for the summer season is the Special Olympics squad coached by Becky Derwort.
Beginning June 19, the Olympian crew practices from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays.
Swim lessons are slated to be given in four sessions this summer. The first began Monday and will continue until June 15.
Other sessions are from June 18 to 29, July 2 to 13 and July 16 to 27. Class sizes are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The fee is $15 per participant. Taylor Pool manager Jim Quinlan has six newly certified instructors to help teach the lessons. They are Amanda Mays, Sara Sieverson, Shaun Hounshell, Gloria Olsson, Reed Hatch and Tanner Hatch. All graduated this spring from a Water Safety Instructor training course.
Taylor pool lessons are taught by skill levels ranging from the beginning water acclimation sessions to more advanced classes in perfecting stroke techniques.
The always popular water aerobics classes are conducted weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9:55 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 6:25 p.m. Classes will continue until Aug. 3. The registration fee is $10, with $1 per visit to be paid at the pool.
Currently, a number of lifeguards are instructing, including Sara Sieverson, Gloria Olsson, Amanda Mays and Ashley Grubbs.
More than 100 people have signed up for the program.
Also for adults, lap swim will be held weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. until July 27. Registration is $40 per person.
To date, the program had drawn 13 participants, but Quinlan says he expects more to participate as the summer wears on.
From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday, open swim sessions will be held at the pool. Admission is $1 for youth and $1.50 for adults. On hand to supervise in the afternoon are two assistant managers Sara Siverson and Beth Rimmer.
Thanks to trained lifeguard crews and Quinlan's 16-years of managing Taylor, the pool has never experienced a drowning or near drowning. On duty at all times are five lifeguards, four of whom are on the pool deck.
This summer's crew of about 30 lifeguards is a mixture of veterans and newcomers, Quinlan said.
A lifeguard training course taught by Quinlan last month drew 20 applicants, of which 13 graduated. All are currently working at Taylor.
The remainder of the guard crew is made up of returning guards from past summer seasons.
Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information about Taylor Pool's summer programs.