“Take Me Out to the Swim Meet!”

Gold River, CA  |  By Jan Float
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“Batter up, Matthew Choi! Photo courtesy Stingrays

GOLD RIVER, CA (MPG) - Well, sports fans, just as Spring Training for baseball leagues is rounding the bases, so is Spring Training for the Stingrays’ swim league. Gold River, intent on knocking it out of the ballpark this year, has already opened Spring & Summer registration at reduced fees. Most exhilarating is their New & Improved dryland training program – also established and underway. Although league bylaws prohibit in-the-water training in February [aka a “dry” month], this isn’t called “dry”land for nothing … and the Stingrays are taking full advantage of what was the seventh-inning stretch.

Both innovative and effective, from now through Spring Training and right on into the summer, these sessions will be conducted not as they once were, poolside and outdoors, but in the gym with Gold River Sports Club’s certified personal trainers and team coaches. Clever, right? Here they are doing their thing in the group-exercise room with trainer Christine Williams. Once competition begins, the swimmers will be strong, conditioned, flexible … and well ahead of the ballgame, ready to hit those grand slams. An added bonus? Training in the AC when it’s 100 degrees in the shade without baseball caps.

This season, the fans will be cheering and the scoreboard reflecting many home runs. “Batter up, Matthew Choi! You’ve got this!” Now in the league’s Gold Rush conference, the Stingrays’ opposing teams are more equal in numbers.

Baseball requires nine players out in the field for each play; swimming generally requires four Stingrays in the field for each race. With Winter, Spring & Summer training, the age-grouped athletes have fervent goals, including one triple play after another … slamming 1, 2, 3 into the wall. “Take me out to the swim meet!”

During the summer, when baseball and swimming are in full swing, the Sacramento River Cats invite regional teams for their annual nod to the sport. All athletes, along with Tigger, parade the field, each team is recognized, and a champ within the swimming community throws out the first pitch. “Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out to the crowd.” And, yes, “Buy some peanuts and crackerjacks”; at swim meets, they’re not allowed!

March Clinics will soon be sliding into first base. Each week of the month is divvied up to focus on swimming’s four strokes. There’s also concentration on starts, turns and finishes … sliding into first place. All the while, in the indoor bullpen, Spring Training is in full gear. Parents are likewise gearing up for their personal training: a presentation [no hand signals], an open Q&A session, and excitement to share with their Little Leaguers.

Included within team fees [decreased by 10%] are the fun-filled social events. And, just for you lucky readers, swim meet tickets are free. Baseball looks to sweep a series; swimming looks to sweep the season. The Stingrays are winding up to throw curve balls, steal countless bases and cross many a home plate. In It to Win It! More to come … “at the ol’ swim meet!”