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Local swim teams

Developing competitive swimmers in a fun, supportive environment

Metro Aquatics Swim Team members take to the pool. Photo credit: Metro Parks Swim Teams

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Youth swimmers stay active year-round and build confidence in and out of the pool. Swimming is a sport that allows for individual achievement and team participation. It builds endurance, strength and self-esteem. If this sounds ideal for your kids, check out these local swim teams.

Metro Aquatics Swim Team

Run by Metro Parks Tacoma, the Metro Aquatics Swim Team takes swimmers from lessons to competitive swimming. The team offers several practice locations including the indoor pool at Mt. Tahoma High School -- the closest pool to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Teams practice two to four times a week and have optional meets throughout the year.

"We strive to make swimming accessible to all kids," said Dane Wolfrom, head swim coach for Metro Aquatics. "We keep our fees low and offer financial aid. We want all kids to learn to swim and experience the empowerment that comes with swimming."

Younger kids typically start on the Ducklings Swim Team which trains seasonally. Ducklings need to be able to swim 25 meters freestyle and backstroke. At this level, swimmers hone their freestyle and backstroke technique and learn breaststroke and butterfly.

Swimmers with all four strokes are eligible for the year-round teams. The Explorer Group, for ages 8-11, focuses on increasing efficiency. The goal of this level is to instill a love of swimming. The next level is the Challenger Group where speed starts to come into play. This group is typically for ages 10-13.

The Achiever Group, for ages 11-14, emphasizes aerobic development and race strategy. High school and college students swim with the Sectional Group where athletes work on personal goals.

"I really enjoy swimming with Metro Aquatics," said Zoe Marsh, a Sectional Group team member. "The kids are friendly and welcoming, and the coaches really care and want you to have a good experience. I love swimming because it's the perfect workout. It works your whole body."

To learn more about the Metro Aquatics Swim Team, visit or call 253.278.4129. You can register by texting swimmer to 555888.

Mt. Tahoma High School Pool, 4634 S. 74th St., Tacoma  

Lakewood Family YMCA

The Lakewood Family YMCA is home to the Sharks Youth Swim Team. Their Pre-Competition Team is open to swimmers age 6 and up who can swim at least 50 yards in three out of four competitive strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly). These swimmers practice one to two evenings a week.

The Sharks Swim Team is for swimmers who can comfortably swim 100 yards freestyle and backstroke, 50 yards breaststroke and 25 yards butterfly. This team swims three to five times a week and participates in Puget Sound Swim Association meets.

"The YMCA is about building community, and that's what I love about the swim team," said Sarah McGhinnis, aquatics director at Lakewood Family YMCA. "It's a chance for kids to be on a team and build community, and at the same time, engage in a competitive sport in a supportive and engaging atmosphere."

Team try-outs are held during swim practices. To schedule a try-out, email Sarah McGhinnis at

9715 Lakewood Drive SW, Lakewood, 253.584.9622,

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