Cruisers to field a swim team this year

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The Groveport Madison Cruisers are going to make a splash this year as the high school will field a swimming team for the first time since 2004.

“Groveport Madison hasn’t had much of a swimming history,” said Groveport Madison Athletic Director Steve Petros.  “The last time we had a team was the Bradford sisters (Jennifer and Heather) who went on to win multiple state championships and earn college scholarships. The 2003-04 season was the last time we had a team and it was their senior year.”

The revitalized swimming program will have a lot to live up to as Jennifer Bradford and Heather Bradford are also members of the Cruiser Athletic Hall of Fame in honor of their swimming achievements.

“Having a swim team will benefit our athletic program because it gives more kids the opportunity to participate,” said Petros.  “It will also help us get more points in the Ralph Young standings, which is a competition among schools in our division that schools earn points in each sport.”

Petros said most Ohio Capital Conference schools have swim teams.

“The Groveport Recreation Center has such a great youth program it doesn’t make sense to not have opportunities here at the high school,” said Petros. “I had parents reach out to me about getting the program started again and I felt this was a great time.”

Petros said that for now the swim team will be a “varsity only” program.

“I anticipate about 8 to 10 swimmers this first year,” said Petros.

He said the team will practice in the Groveport Recreation Center’s six lane, 25 meter lap pool.

“Groveport Recreation Director Kyle Lund and the board have been great about providing the facility,” said Petros. “I believe they feel, as we do, that this is an extension of the work they do in the summer with youth swimming.”

Petros said the team will begin conditioning in October. He hopes to hire a swimming coach this summer.

“It is a winter sport that goes from November through February,” said Petros. “I don’t see us hosting ‘home’ swim meets for a while. We need to get things started and that is something we will discuss in the future.”

Another factor regarding hosting ‘home’ swim meets is that Lund stated at an April Groveport City Council meeting that the recreation center’s indoor pool lacks enough deck space to accommodate swim meets. Lund also said times could be available at the recreation center for the swim team to practice in the afternoons Monday through Friday.

“We are excited to get this going,” said Petros. “It is a big challenge restart a sport, but with the new OCC division alignment and our new high school coming, the time is right.”

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