Fast-start Sharks

Siblings find early success in the pool

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Last summer, Colten Tegtman, 10, watched his sister, Laurel, 9, swim for the Craig Sea Sharks Swim Club. This year, he decided if he was going to be at the pool, he might as well swim, too.

"I had to come to practice sometimes, and it was really early," Colten said about the 6:30 a.m. practices. "I'd rather do it if I had to get up early."

The early mornings don't seem to have hampered either swimmer -- they've emerged as upcoming stars for the Sharks.

"They're both natural swimmers," coach Marin Campbell said. "Laurel has a beautiful backstroke, and after she beat her brother early in the season, it helped motivate him to do well."

Although they couldn't come up with anything that they were competitive about at home, the siblings agreed that they have a rivalry.

"We're just competitive," Laurel said. "I like competing in meets more than training for them."

Laurel proved to be a talented competitor last year. At 8, she swam three Junior Olympics qualifying times. The games are the ultimate goal for young summer swimmers and are the equivalent of a state swim meet.

This year, Colten set three pool records for his age group at the meet in Glenwood Spr--ings. His best time in the 50-meter backstroke is 0.6 seconds from a Junior Olympics qualifying time.

"I was surprised that I was beating people," Colten said. "It has been fun, and it will probably help me with football."

The Tegtmans and the rest of the Sea Sharks will be in Craig this weekend for the annual ABC meet.

The format of the meet allows for every level of swimmer to have a chance to place high. The swimmers are separated into three levels of ability (A, B or C) according to past times.

Campbell said they expect 300 swimmers to be in Craig for the meet.

"We've reduced some of the events to fit a majority of the meet into Saturday and Sunday," she said.

There will be a session tonight for the mile swimmers.

The rest of the meet will start with warm-ups at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

There is no charge to watch the Sea Sharks compete.

The Sea Sharks will host another home meet this summer.

The state summer club meet will be in Craig from Aug. 4 to 6.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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