U.S. Masters Swimming returned to Covington this week with coaches and swimmers who hope the program will thrive here.
Blue Wave Aquatics, a team affiliated with U.S. Masters and formerly known as Federal Way Masters, began a new workout group at Covington Aquatic Center Wednesday. The team had a group in Covington prior to the pool renovation that was completed in 2009. During the renovation the group moved to a pool in Kent, where it remained until the end of 2012.
“The (Covington) pool is in great shape and the staff take great care of it,” said Eric Durban, who is a Blue Wave member and the pool representative for the Covington group. “We will have more lanes in Covington — you don’t have to feel like you are running over anybody, or being run over.”
Sharon Wright, who joined Blue Wave in 2009 and has coached swimming in the area off and on over the last 22 years, is the coach at the new location.
Wright has known Wendy Neely, the head coach for Blue Wave, for years through the swimming community, Wright said. Wright started an adult swimming group in Fairwood over the summer but the location proved prohibitive for continuing into the fall.
“We had tossed the idea around of growing the program and the (new) location was the final thing that made me say yes,” Wright said. “I would like the group to grow and have everyone’s needs met — whether that is getting faster, improved technique or having a group to train with that makes it fun.”
Wright, who coaches boys and girls swim at Kentwood, expected six to eight swimmers on the first day, and hopes to grow the group to 12 regulars.
The team is open to anyone 18 and over and the Covington group meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. New swimmers can sign up for a free one week trial.
“There’s not anybody who isn’t good enough,” Neely said. “We get a little bit of everything.”
For Durban it is a love of the sport and the team camaraderie that he enjoys the most.
“It’s good to have a group to go to and know they’ll inspire you to come back,” Durban said.
Reach Katherine Smith at email@example.com or 425-432-1209 ext. 5052.