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Team takes the plunge at YMCA in Pasco

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This keeps them from being fish out of water. • Middle school-aged kids at the James P. Gills Family YMCA are part of the branch's swim team, basically a developmental team that competes against other developmental teams from fellow local YMCAs during the summer.

"Most of the kids come here from (other) swim lessons," coach Danielle Petika said. "So they come here to learn and how to understand the techniques. They learn the basics, then learn the advanced techniques for the future."

Petika knows a thing or two about swimming. A four-year swimmer for Mitchell High, which is just a stone's throw away from this YMCA, Petika, who graduated in 2007, knows that swimming competitively, if anything, requires practice before moving on to the next level.

"We have a lot of different age groups and styles for experience," Petika said, "and some of them are a little rocky, but it helps them improve their strength and conditioning."

Right now, the team is just swimming laps in the pool, improving themselves during the fall/winter offseason. Eventually, however, many of these kids plan on swimming in high school.

But they have to start somewhere.

"All these kids came in and didn't have any of these friends and now they work with each other and they build who they are," Petika said. "We even have some kids who have high energy and they use this swimming to channel that into swimming."

>>Fast facts

Learn more

For more info on the swim team, call (727) 375-9622 or log onto www.suncoastymca.org to find your local YMCA branch.

What's going on in your neighborhood?

Let us know and we may come document it. Tell about an event, a game, a practice, an outing, a tournament — anything! There's a lot going on in the community and we want to know about it. Contact Community Sports Editor Mike Camunas and tell him what's happening. Call him at (352) 544-1771 or e-mail him at mcamunas@sptimes.com. We live in this community, so let's talk to each other.

Team takes the plunge at YMCA in Pasco 11/12/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 14, 2008 10:23am]
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