Eagle kids swim with the Glenwood Barracudas
GRAND JUNCTION – Swimming their best is just a piece of why Jack Cassidy and his sister, Kelly, joined the Sopris Barracudas. The best part, both said, is making new friends and hanging out with the team’s other members.”The most fun part is being with the team,” Jack, 10, said during a break at the weekend-long Dolphins Invitational meet. “Really it’s just all about being with friends. That’s what I like the most.”Kelly, 11, echoed her brother’s words, then added that Barracudas’ head coach Howard Jay makes the club experience enjoyable.”What I like about Sopris is everybody on the team is fun to be around, and Howard makes swimming fun,” she said. “I also like going to different places and swimming at different pools. It’s pretty cool.”
The team bonding and coaching Jack and Kelly get with the Barracudas is worth the 5 a.m. alarm and the hour-long daily commute from the Cassidys’ home in Eagle to Glenwood, said their mom, Amy Cassidy.”The kids were swimming with a handful of kids from Eagle,” she said. “They were going to these same meets as unattached swimmers. We kept watching the Barracudas, and it looked like they were having fun, and they looked like a really nice group.”Some friends of ours who used to live in Eagle – the Scholls – kept trying to convince us to swim with the Barracudas, so we gave it a try over the winter, and it’s just been great. It’s so much fun for them to be part of a team.”When it comes to swimming, both Cassidy kids have fashioned good seasons.Last week, Jack won five individual events at the Barracudas’ home meet at the Community Center. This weekend, participating against 19 other club teams in the boys 10-and-under division, Jack set new seasonal best times in two events.
Kelly advanced her way to the finals of the 11- to 12-year-old girls backstroke and butterfly. Her preliminary times in both events were strong enough to qualify her for the Western Slope club championship meet in Aspen in late July.As serious as club swimming can get, it also gives Kelly, who also made it to the championship meet last year, a chance to swim with the team’s older members.”At Western Slope last year, I swam relays with the 15-and-over girls,” she said. “I never swam with people older than me before. And they were really nice to me. It made me really good.” Along with making newer swimmers welcome, both Cassidy siblings said the Barracudas’ older members are always willing to help them improve.
“They help me out a lot,” Kelly said. “It’s really cool watching them because they swim so smooth and their strokes look really good. It makes me want to swim like them.””It’s kind of incredible,” Jack added. “It looks like (the older kids) are not even trying to swim. They barely make any splashes in the water.”Contact Phil Sandoval: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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