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Greenville#039;s swim team dries off after a successful season

Earlier this summer, a school of Tiger Sharks invaded the swimming pool at the Greenville Y.M.C.A.

But there's no need to be alarmed.

This aquatic species are swimmers, not biters.

The Y.M.C.A.'s swim team, the Tiger Sharks, recently dried off for the summer, as its fifth season ended.

"I think it went real good," first-year swim coach Joyce Sasser said. "All our swimmers improved their times."

The Tiger Sharks are made up of swimmers ages 5nton18. The Y's executive director Amanda Phillips said that the competition the swimmers faced was among the top in the state.

"I think the competition was strong because in Montgomery they've got a lot of team members that go on to compete in national competitions too," Phillips said. "Montgomery also has the benefit of an indoor pool, so they have a year round swim team, where as our outdoor pool is just seasonal. So they're naturally a little stronger than we are."

Phillips said that swim team hopefuls have to go through a rigorous tryout in order to make the team. She said that swimmers have to know all the strokes including the breaststroke, the backstroke and the butterfly stroke and have to swim 500 yards continuously, which is the equivalent of swimming back-and-forth in Greenville's pool 15 times to qualify for the team.

Phillips said that this season was one of the best seasons she can recall the swim team having. She said that that the swimmers won numerous ribbons and medals at every swim meet. As for Sasser, Phillips credits her leadership led to the team's success.

"She did a wonderful job," Phillips said. "The children love her, the parents love her, and everybody does."

Sasser said her key to coaching was teaching the swimmers to better themselves so that later they will be able to be more competitive.

"I tell the kids that they're not always racing the person in the other lane, but racing themselves," Sasser said. "From the beginning of the season to the end of the season they did an exceptionally good job of bettering themselves."