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Rim Country members of the Swim Neptune team get to practice at the pool in the Tonto Apache Recreation Center, but competitions require a lot of miles on the road to and from the Valley.

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Rim swimmers splash onto state competition scene

Although it would be a stretch to consider Payson an aquatics hot spot, the town is turning out several outstanding swimmers. They include Emily Giarrizzo, Catalina Coppelli, Garret Chance, Julie Gibson, Blain Chance, Caroline Morris, Caitlin Harold, Abby Ballam and Tianni Lawrence. All are members of the Scottsdale-based Swim Neptune, being coached locally by Cheryl Chance. For the aquatics season, Swim Neptune head coach Joe Zemaitis contracted with the Tonto Apache Tribe to have the Payson team members practice in their pool, which gives the local swimmers a year-round program and limits trips to the Valley for practices.


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