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Johns Creek Aquatics swims for city on state-wide stage
by Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
July 17, 2013 01:06 PM | 1527 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray<br>Johns Creek Aquatic Team member Chris Shin practices his backstroke.
Staff / Erin Gray
Johns Creek Aquatic Team member Chris Shin practices his backstroke.
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There is nothing fiercer than a wet cat. That’s the motto of the Johns Creek Aquatic Team, which is comprised of elite youth swimmers who will represent the squad at the Georgia Recreation & Parks Association State Swim Meet in Gainesville, from July 26 to 27. Each swimmer qualified at the Atlanta Swim Association Championship meet that took place on June 28 at Georgia Tech. On a humid weekday afternoon, the JCAT swimmers, residents from Johns Creek ages 7 to 18, swim grueling laps at the Seven Oaks neighborhood community swimming pool to represent their home city.

The top three designated finishers at each event during the ASA meet that showed intent to swim for the JCAT qualified for the squad, along with up to 12 of the top freestyle finishers in each age group who may qualify for relay teams.

The JCAT has been in existence since 2008 and one of the first members was current Georgia State student Lexi Koutrelaks who now serves as the coach of the swimmers from age 11 to 18.

“The swim community is strong here because you have excellent club teams such as Swim Dynamo and Swim Atlanta right here in the North Fulton area,” said Koutrelaks. “The kids in Johns Creek love the summer league.”

Some of the girl members of the JCAT will include Cambridge subdivision swimmer Aubrey Lee, who will participate in the 100-meter individual medley in the age 9-10 group, Wellington subdivision swimmer Grace Hansen, participating in the 50-meter butterfly competition and Holly Riddle, a resident of the Double Gate subdivision and swimmer of the 50-meter freestyle in the 15 to 18 age group.

“Swimming teaches you how to get though tough situations,” said Niklaus Sykes, the head coach of the 7 to ten-year-old swimmers and a sophomore water polo player attending Purdue University. “If you take any sport and deprive oxygen, that’s what swimming is like. You can practice everyday what is going to happen at a meet but it’s also good because you get to be by yourself.”

Male swimmers such as Pinewalk resident Luke Riley will represent the JCAT in the 9-10 age group in the 25-meter butterfly, while Carson Greenburg, Sugar Mill, and Reed Carlson, Haynes Landing, will swim in the 100-meter freestyle within the 11 and 12 age group and 13 and 14 age group respectively.

The summer swim competitions present an alternative to the ultra-competitive tone of club and high school swim meets for the swimmers. The JCAT swimmers will practice at least one hour per day leading up to the competition.

“We, as coaches, get to have more interaction with the kids in the summer league and have more fun,” said Koutrelaks. “Swimming is unique because you get to be in your own lane and control your environment unlike other team sports.

“However, the kids love the relays because it gets everyone involved, including the community.”

The JCAT is sponsored by the Johns Creek Recreation & Parks Division.
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