Under the tutelage of first-year coach Gloria Olsson, more than 80 members of the Payson Parks and Recreation swim team made their 2002 debut Saturday in an intrasquad match at Taylor Pool.
Competing in age/sex divisions, the teammates showcased their skills in four basic strokes freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly as well as on relay teams.
Some of the best competition of the morning took place in the 11-12-year-old age group, where Lacy Donovan and Rachel Ward proved they have the skills to become topnotch swimmers. Donovan won the butterfly and freestyle events and was second in the backstroke and breaststroke. Ward captured the gold in the backstroke and breaststroke and was second in the freestyle and butterfly. The two hooked up on the 200-yard freestyle relay team to help win a gold medal by a full nine seconds over the runner-up squad.
In the 9-10-year-old girls division, Ciara Romance swam her way to a first-place finish in the butterfly event and runner-up showings in the backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle competition. In freestyle, she finished just two-tenths of a second off the pace of gold medalist Kady Ward.
The 9-10-year-old boys division offered fledgling swimmer Sean Peters an opportunity to put his considerable skills to the test.
He responded with a first-place showing in the butterfly and second in the breaststroke and freestyle. In the backstroke, he was third. He also swam a leg on the first-place finishing relay team.
In the 15-18-year-old girls age group, veteran team member Tina Jackson swam to first-place finishes in the butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke.
Next up for the Taylor Pool squad is a June 15 clash against Arizona Sports Ranch.
Meets also are slated for June 22 (vs. Sedona), July 20 (vs. Cottonwood) and July 27 (vs. Kingman). All meets begin at 8 a.m. at Taylor Pool.
Assisting Olsson this summer are Shea Hatch, Malori Heppler and R.C. LaHaye. Volunteer assistants include Judy Hunt and Kristi Ford.