TIGER SHARKS-AGE GROUP VERSION-These Patton Tiger Sharks show their teeth friendly-like and the only time they become fierce is when they take to the water in swimming races against other 13 and 14 year olds. All will take part in the annual Christmas week age-group swimming meet Tuesday and Wednesday at Patton Pool. From the left, Barb Church, Carol Danboise, Irene Silva, Alice Ceresko, Sharon Hancock and Pat Holcomb. They seldom miss a day in training and a two-mile distance is a routine workout for any of this sextet. The meet will start at 9 a.m. both days with heats and will be followed by the finals around 4 p.m. About 1,200 are entered.-News Photo
Wintertime Pool Time
Lack of proper wintertime swimming pool facilities is blamed by many coaches for Michigan's poor ranking nationally in age-group swimming. "Michigan now is rated 13th among the states," says Tom Sullivan, amateur coach of the Patton Tiger Sharks. "Michigan has a lot of fine young swimmers and there's great enthusiasm for age-group swimming generally but we're strangling for facilities." "We've become known as a short-race state. Our swimmers do fine in the shorter distances but we're lagging in the long races." "It's difficult to find pool time indoors," says Roy Pouliot, one of the coaches of the Motor City Swimming Association. "In the summer, we do fine, with the Brennan Pools (50-meters long) and the other outdoor pools around here. But right now we're crowded. Our swimmers are practicing in four different pools during the week. "Detroit's best pool on the east side is at St. Clair but this is an old tank and has only four lanes. Besides about a half dozen school teams use it. We need six and eight lane pools for our swimmers." Patton Pool, on the west side, now 7 years old, has six lanes but the swimming facility is crowded. The city has cut down on the time we can use the Patton pool. We have 125 youngsters in our swimming club and usually have at least 60 out for practice. But we must wait while sometimes only two or three kids are playing around in the pool," says Sullivan. "California and other states are getting further and further ahead of Michigan in age-group swimming," says Pouliot. "George Haines, with his Santa Clara (Santa Clara, Calif.) team has an edge to start with. That team swims outdoors year 'round in 50-meter (this is the official Olympic distance) tanks. But all we ask for is 25-yard or 25-meter pools with six or eight lanes indoors and we'll do all right." Both Sullivan and Pouliot are pointing their best swimmers for Patton's annual two-day Christmas meet Tuesday and Wednesday. The meet starts at 9 a.m. both days. Finals are figured to start around 4 p.m. for the more than 1,200 entries from all over the midwest and Canada.
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