The sound of 16 joyous, young kids jumping and screaming “Graham Tidal Waves” filled the Saturday morning air.

Just as the word “waves” emanated from their lips, water caved over their heads which were protected by swim caps. The swimmers, who were all under the age of 12, popped back up, looking like blue and yellow balls bobbing in the water.

They had to tread water for two minutes as the crowd shouted encouragement to each swimmer to keep their head up and kick their legs as fast as they could.

Then, the swimmers took their mark on the concrete edge of the swimming pool, ready to start the first official swim meet at the Graham Municipal Swimming Pool.

But the meet wasn't about winning. It was about showing off what everyone had learned over four days.
“I saw some of the best swimming strokes we've seen all week,” swim instructor Kris Neal said. “They got serious today, so it was a lot of fun.”

Each swimmer participated in a swim camp that culminated with the meet. Even though it was small and the crowd consisted of parents, grandparents and siblings, the swimmers impressed everyone there.

Lauren Mahaney couldn't believe the progress each kid had made in one week, especially her son Tripp.


Seven days ago, Tripp could do the breaststroke, but he struggled with most of the others.

Now, he can do the butterfly, freestyle, sidestroke and backstroke thanks to Neal's coaching.
“He has come leaps and bounds this week with her,” Mahaney said.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.