Gene Layton Memorial Pool Host’s Swim Meet
BY LUIS BURGOS
The Holtville High School swim team is nearing the end of their season, culminating in CIF competitions during early May. Throughout the year, the team has its practices and meets at the Gene Layton Memorial Pool, located on Holt Avenue. The season started on February 14, when the team had its practice.
The team’s coach is Christina Croak, who has had her position since the inception of the team, five years ago. Coach Croak emphasizes that, even though swim is an individual sport, it can still foster a strong sense of teamwork in the athletes.
“I’ve been involved with the pool ever since 2000, and I have coached the swim team for five years,” she said.
The members of the swim team are given the chance to practice year-round through the IVDA (Imperial Valley Desert Aquatics).
“Most of the team members come from The Stingrays, which is the summer recreational program. Some even learned how to swim from that program. Athletes such as Abby Hester, a freshman, have shown me that they will surely develop their skills and be exceptional athletes by the end of the year,” said Coach Croak.
She went on to say, “A coach that inspires me to this day is Mr. (John) Kirchenbauer, who was also a very good golf coach. He would tell me that, like golf, a teamwork oriented attitude was essential to succeed in swimming despite its individual nature. It’s important to work with your coaches and establish friendships with them. Personally, I teach my first year athletes the basics and subsequently introduce more complex techniques throughout the rest of their time with the team.”
Coach Croak has taken a number of classes and courses in order to improve her skills as a professional, not to mention the mandatory lifeguard classes she has to attend every 3 years. She also helped the team acquire new lane lines which will also help the other various recreational programs the pool hosts.
Coach Croak commented, “I would like to thank two parents that have supported the swim team for the four years that their daughters participated, Lance Burfield and Anastasia Miki. Also, if it weren’t for the Bradshaw’s efforts, the team would not have been assembled five years ago.”