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Swimming notebook: RACY swimmers got to see Phelps live

By Ronnie Gallagher
rgallagher@salisburypost.com
The swimming notebook …
Want to pump up young swimmers? Do what Hurley YMCA Rowan Aquatic Club coach Matt Hall does: Take them to see Michael Phelps.
The RACY went to the Charlotte UltraSwim recently and was wowed by the Olympic hero.
Phelps performing the butterfly was entertaining, according to Hall.
“It was unreal,” he said. “The man goes through probably 12 feet in one stroke. I’ve never seen anything like it. When you watch him on television, you can’t see how far he goes. Standing there watching, it’s really impressive. It shows how much flexibility he has. His feel for the water is uncanny.”

The RACY will swim in Greensboro this weekend but Hall is looking forward to the USY meet in Hickory. It gives the swimmers a chance to qualify for the nationals.

Hall plans on taking seven or eight swimmers to the nationals. One is East Rowan’s Tanner Lowman, a state champion and future Florida State Seminole.
“Tanner has lofty goals,” Hall said. “He has hit the weight room real hard.”
In fact, Lowman will be joined in Tallahassee by RACY teammate Carolina Smith, a Davidson County resident who has been working out with the RACY. She is currently at Florida State, starting classes.

Swimmers on the national team include Lowman, Shelby Carrion, Andrew McColister, Madi Ralston, Jackie Ramdin, Garrett Spake, Garrison Stevens. Will Stokes and Carley Drye.
Hall called Drye “up-and-coming.”
Carrion is coming off shoulder surgery.

The excitement ó as well as the numbers ó has steadily grown.
Hall said, “We’ve got so many kids who are really coming into their own. Sometimes, it takes that competition and something wakes up in their heads and there’s no looking back.”
There are almost 90 in the program. It has tripled in size from before to after the Olympics.
“We’ve been able to hold on to most of them,” Hall said.

Want to see plenty of photos of everything from meets to parties? Go to RACYswim team.com. Click on team information and go to photo gallery.

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