Members of the Roswell Rapids swim team accept their trophy at the Nov. 25 City Council meeting. From left are Roswell Aquatics Supervisor Matt Gillentine, coach Kyle Smith, Chelsea Lincoln, Jonathan Luckhurst, Mary Tapia, Ryan Bried and Russ Thomas.
HATCHER HURD/Staff. (click for larger version)
December 11, 2013ROSWELL, Ga. The Roswell adult swim team, the Roswell Rapids, won the Atlanta Adult Swim League championship for the second straight year.
That is all the more remarkable when you take into account the team is less than three years old.
Matt Gillentine, aquatics supervisor for Roswell Recreation, said the team was formed after some parents of children in the swim program said they would like to swim competitively again.
"So we thought we would start one just for fun and to see what happened," Gillentine said. "And it just grew into this highly competitive adult swim team."
Russ Thomas was one of those parents who had a daughter swimming and suggested an adult team, so Gillentine told him to see if he could recruit anybody.
"He really grabbed the reins on it and started recruiting his friends. And some of those friends told their friends. And it just grew from there to this awesome powerful swim team," he said.
Today, there are 37 members of the Rapids of all ages.
With the success of the team in just two years, Gillentine was asked if it is too early to start talking dynasty.
"No, it's never too early to start talking dynasty," Gillentine said, laughing.
The Rapids compete against teams from all around Atlanta. They practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings in good weather at the city pool at Roswell Area Park.
But Gillentine said it isn't necessary to come to practices to be on the team. And some who come to the practices don't want to compete, at least not yet. It is a laid-back atmosphere that seems to pay off when the starting gun sounds.
It has been successful enough to add an adult diving team as well.
"We hope to add synchronized swimming for youths 9 to 15 yes, boys and girls," Gillentine said.
The Roswell Rapids is the official competitive swim team of the Roswell Recreation and Parks Department. All swimmers 19 and older are eligible to join the team.
For those swimmers who only want to participate in practices, the Roswell Recreation Department also offers adult fitness swimming at the introductory, intermediate and advanced level. To learn more about the adult fitness swimming and adult swim team, go to the website at roswellrapids.org.
The Roswell Rapids
Head coach Cynthia Lou and assistant coach Jonah Beri.
Tierah Ellard (assistant coach)
Kyle Smith (assistant coach)
Roswell adult Rapids individual event champions were:
Tierah Ellard (Women's 19-29, 50-yard backstroke, 50-yard breast and 200-yard free);
Kyle Smith (Men's 19-29 50-yard backstroke);
Ryan Bried (Men's 30-39, 50-yard backstroke);
Erica Kenney (Women's 40-49, 50-yard backstroke and 40 and older 200-yard free);
Dan Beatty (Men's 40-49, 50-yard backstroke, 50-yard breast and 40 and older 200-yard free);
Ian King (Men's 50 and older 50-yard backstroke);
Stacy Fox (Women's 30-39, 100-yard IM);
Carlton Eaton (Men's 40-49, 100-yard IM and 50-yard fly);
Ig Ibarguen (Men's 50 and older 100-yard IM and 50-yard fly);
Tina Gravenstein (Women's 30-39, 50-yard breast);
Jon Gellin (Men's 19-29, 50-yard fly)
Executive Editor, Appen Media.