FORT MILL TOWNSHIP -- The pool just got a little more crowded this summer.
The Metrolina Swim League opens its summer season this week with the addition of its fourth team from Fort Mill Township. The Springfield community has started its own swim team made up of kids within the neighborhood.
"This is our second summer being open and it's a natural progression," said Rachel McGrath, activities director for Springfield. "All of the communities like ours have their own swim team."
The Springfield Greenwave, as they are known, has 49 kids on its team ranging in age from 5 to 14. They don't have any swimmers in the 15-18-year-old range.
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The community didn't have to look far to get its coach in Nation Ford High head swimming coach Melissa Halstensgard.
"They called me and were looking for a coach," Halstensgard said. "Its nice, because its a feeder program into the schools."
Halstensgard said she didn't have a lot of expectations for her squad this year, except to have fun and learn.
"Everyone is more about having a good time this year," she said.
The eight-team Metrolina League is divided into two division -- Single A and Double A. The Single A teams are those with 90 or more swimmers and include River Hills, Rock Hill Country Club, Tega Cay and Baxter. The Double A teams are those with under 90 swimmers and include The Landing, Shiland, Leroy Springs Recreation Complex and Springfield.
Tega Cay Breakers
Tega Cay has one of the biggest teams in the league with 220 swimmers. Loaded in every age group, the Breakers have 22 swimmers between 15 and 18 and 34 swimmers in the 5-to 6-year-old group.
Making room for all those swimmers can be difficult at times.
"It's a challenge," said head coach Cindy Van Buskirk. "But it's working out fine, because I have a good coaching staff."
Tega Cay's biggest competition will probably come from defending league champs River Hills.
Baxter will have its work cut out for them being in the same division as Tega Cay, Rock Hill and River Hills.
Second year coach Elena Bowen has 121 swimmers on her team and said that competing with teams like Tega Cay is hard.
"It's hard to compete with teams like Tega Cay because the numbers don't match up," Bowen said. "It's not because they are more talented, it's just the numbers."
Bowen is deep with 9-and 10-year-olds with 35 on the team, the most of any age group, and she said she believes they will improve on their one win from last year.
"I think we will do very well," she said. "A lot of our swimmers have aged up. "
Leroy Springs Dolphins
Leroy Springs head coach Harry Truesdale said his team has improved greatly and should be more competitive this year with 73 swimmers.
"We are bigger than last year," Truesdale said. "My older group will be better than my younger group."
Truesdale said some swimmers who should star this summer include the Goss sisters -- Polly, Leslie, and Suzanna, Jessie Duffield, Richard Haring, Luis Bravo, the Sweigarts -- Kaitlyn and Kayla, the Normans -- Chynna, Jada and Myka; and Taylor Rouse, just to name a few.
Truesdale said he is looking forward to going up against Springfield.