At 7:59 a.m. on Oct. 28, the water of the Springville-Griffith Institute High School pool was calm and still. By 8:01 a.m., the water had transformed into a churning well of splashes and shouts, as 110 swimmers began warmups and practice laps for the SWAT Spooktacular Splash.

SWAT – or the Springville Waves Aquatic Team – is a volunteer run athletic organization that coordinates training and competitions from September through March each year. It serves as an important feeder program for the powerhouse teams at SGI.

This meet welcomed teams from Arcade (AAST), Franklinville (FVST), Gowanda (GWST) and Genesee Valley’s Aquajags. Sixty-six heats proceeded like clockwork over three hours under the watchful eyes of swimming officials, coaches, club officers and parent volunteers. Races ranged from the 25 yard freestyle for the youngest swimmers to the 500 yard free that concluded the competition.

Between the cheers, parents, grandparents and spectators packed the bleachers, rotating in and out as their athletes took to the blocks. Swimmers and spectators were able to set up “camp” in the SGI high school gym, where swimmers were easily staged and could relax and rest before and after their race.

“SWAT is here to promote a love for the sport of swimming,” said coach Jill Cerasani. “We’re so proud of our swimmers as they work hard to swim their personal best times with each race.”

SWAT swimmers have an intense schedule with meets nearly every other week through the middle of March. Future home meets are scheduled for Dec. 16, Jan. 20 and Feb. 10.

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