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Families look forward to using new pool

Dennis Webb

With words like “cool” and “awesome,” visitors to the indoor pool at the Glenwood Springs Community Center drank in their first look at the new facility at an opening ceremony Friday.And those were just the adults.”This is so cool. This is awesome. Look at this!” said a hyped-up Bob Noone, a father of competitive swimmers, as he surveyed the facility from poolside.His previous views of the facility had been limited to what he could see from outside.”I skulked around the windows and peered in and monitored the progress,” he said.Noone recalled seeing the rebar that sat in the pool bottom, awaiting the pouring of concrete. Come Friday, pool enthusiasts saw a much different finished product.Jessica Betts was among the first to do more than just look. The freshman at Glenwood Springs High School dives for the swim team, and her initial dip into the pool came in the form of a forward pike.Bouncing repeatedly on the 1-meter board to get a feel for its springiness, she then followed up with a forward 1-12 somersault.Dive coach Patty Schaffner monitored the action with an appraising eye. She rated Betts’ early efforts as fair.”She’s getting used to the board,” Schaffner said.”It’s really good, actually,” Betts said. “I’m getting a lot more height.”Schaffner said that’s because the board is warmer at this time of year than the one the divers are used to training on at the Hot Springs Pool.Schaffner is looking forward to seeing how much better her divers do now that they can practice at an indoor facility.Practice long has presented a special challenge to local swim teams who have had to brave winter conditions at the Hot Springs Pool. But it was particularly hard on the divers, who don’t get to stay in the water where it’s warm.”I call them my burly mountain women,” Schaffner said of her divers.Noone noted that even a June meet at the outdoor pool in Carbondale wasn’t always a comfortable occasion. He remembers meets there and elsewhere in which it snowed.”We’ve had four-season tents packed with kids trying to get out of the snow. It has been brutal,” he said.More than just competitive swimmers and their parents will welcome the pool. On Friday, a young boy enjoyed the warmth of the adjacent spa as his family kept an eye on him, and some teenage boys took some of the first trips down the water slide.But no one may appreciate the new pool as much as the competitive swimmers and their parents.”This compares with any swimming facility in the state for competition, barring the Air Force Academy. This is state-of-the-art,” said Noone, whose only concern was whether it has adequate space for spectators at events.That answer may come Jan. 28, when the first meet takes place at the facility.Kae McDonald, whose daughter Emily is a standout Glenwood Springs swimmer, said her daughter is looking forward to competing at the new pool.”I think all the girls are real excited,” she said.McDonald said she and her family will keep a membership at the Hot Springs Pool as well. “They both offer different sorts of amenities. We want to support both,” she said.


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