Torpedoes eye strong 2014Published 8:40am Thursday, May 29, 2014
With rising temperatures becoming commonplace and the summer season being right around the corner, a lot of people are going to be spending time in the water.
But if you’re a member of the Alexander City Torpedoes swim team, that time will be spent trying to leave competition in your wake.
According to team assistant coach Eric Smith, there is no type of race that the Torpedoes won’t compete in.
“We have 40 swimmers, and they’re going to swim freestyle, backstroke breaststroke and butterfly,” Smith said. “We’ll also have relay teams. We have a lot of swimmers, and last year it wasn’t as structured organizationally. This year, it’s a lot better.”
As it is still the pre-season for the team, there are a couple of kinks to work out, but with nearly half of this year’s squad being composed of swimmers from last season, Smith and fellow coaches are optimistic about what kind of team Alexander City will have. He added that some members are already putting up times that could have them swimming in Birmingham (the site of the state championships).
“We have a couple things to work on, but I think we’ll be ready. I see a lot of potential,” Smith said. “From what I’m looking at, we already have some who have beaten the state qualifying times, so we’re looking forward to putting a good team out there.”
Most of the team’s experience will be found in the relay teams, Smith said.
As a result, there are expectations for that sector of the team to have a strong summer of competition.
“I’m hoping for big things from our relay teams. We have six teams, ages 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12, both boys and girls,” Smith said. “A lot of our older kids know the strokes because they’re returning. Teaching the stroke is the hardest thing to do, but we’re planning on qualifying for state.”
Last season, the Torpedoes made it to the district meets but were unable to advance to state thanks to finishes right outside of the top three slots, which automatically earn berths to the state championships.
“We had a couple swimmers finish No. 4, so we were right there at it,” Smith said. “But, we’re planning to turn that around this year.
Monday will be the proving ground for the swim team, as it will have its first meet at the Russell City Pool when they take on Auburn and Talladega.
“This first meet is going to be important as it will let us know where we’re at and where we stand,” Smith said. “As far as the teaching process, it will also let us know how we need to push the children and what our weaknesses are so we can know what to fix.”
The Torpedoes’ season-opening meet is set to begin at 2 p.m. on June 2.