REDfins draw nearly two dozen swimmers for mock meet

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The Port Townsend REDfins Youth Swim Club drew at least 23 young swimmers for their mock meet at the Mountain View campus pool May 24.

Emily Harrenstein, head lifeguard at the pool and head coach of the REDfins, noted that many of the participants were first-time competitors.

“Most of our new competitors are part of our 10-and-under REDfins group, which has only been active since February,” Harrenstein said. “They have grown by leaps and bounds, when it comes to skill levels and endurance, since their first month.”

Harrenstein credited the REDfins with showing good sportsmanship, which she cited as fostering friendships among their members, as well as bolstering their confidence enough to do “some excellent dives” off the blocks.

“Our older and more experienced swimmers set wonderful examples for our younger athletes, and overall, our athletes were very supportive of each other,” Harrenstein said.

On a bittersweet note, the mock meet marked the last day for Harrenstein’s assistant coach, Ashley Avery, who has decided to move on to other things.

“She has been a wonderful help this past year, and I only wish the best for her in whatever she does next,” Harrenstein said.

The REDfins’ next official meet remains undetermined, but the team is planning on another mock meet in June.

“There were no other teams at this meet besides the REDfins, unfortunately,” Harrenstein said. “It is possible we’ll invite another team in the coming months.”

Because the 20-yard Mountain View campus pool is not an official-sized pool, falling short of the 25 yards needed to be able to make official times, Harrenstein acknowledged the difficulty in inviting other teams.

“I’m still going to reach out and see if there are teams who wouldn’t mind having some friendly competition,” Harrenstein said.

Part of the purpose of the mock meet was to help support the REDfins, and while the donations totaled only $78, Harrenstein pointed out, “It’s more than we had before.”

Both Harrenstein and Lena Curtis, aquatics program coordinator with the Mountain View campus pool encouraged young swimmers to check out its age-specific subdivisions.

The 10-and-under swimmers practice Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m., while the 11-and-older swimmers practice Mondays through Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m., with Wednesdays serving as their tryout days.

“To be accepted in the older group, you need to have passed Level 4 swimming lessons, or demonstrate equivalent skills,” Curtis said. “The younger group is for swimmers who know freestyle and the backstroke, but are just beginning the breaststroke and butterfly.”

For more information, email redfins@cityofpt.us.

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