Lots of kids in Richmond Hill like to go swimming over the summer. November and December? Not so much.
The 34 members of the Richmond Hill High School swim team, however, are a different breed.
“It can be cold, that’s for sure,” Coach Kristin Arnold said. “But they’ve been putting in a lot of hard work.”
With no indoor pool in the area, the team practices at the Richmond Hill Swim Club’s outdoor pool near ACE Hardware. Arnold said even though the water is heated to 81 degrees, it can still make for some chilly mornings and evenings.
The team of 34, which is about evenly split between boys and girls, has to alternate between 5:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. practices due to the size of the pool.
“Our numbers are up from last year, so that’s encouraging,” Arnold said. “We’re even seeing some athletes from other sports who want to try something different and stay in shape.”
The teams kicked off the 2016 season by hosting the Pumpkin Plunge Invitational on Nov. 12. Arnold said that since the event was the day after Veterans Day, the teams also donated 25 percent of all proceeds to the Capt. Matthew Freeman Project.
The girls’ team finished third out of 15 teams, while the boys came in sixth out of 15.
“I was happy with the results for our first meet,” Arnold said. “It was some good competition.”
One of the strongest performances was turned in by Robby Jones, who has already qualified for the state meet in the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter fly.
The Wildcats host Savannah Country Day Friday at 5 p.m. in a dual meet, then travel to the Cadet Invitational on Dec. 9 hosted by Benedictine.