For the last month or so, Force Aquatics Swim Team (FAST) — a newly developed, competitive swim club representing Delaware County and neighboring communities — has called the Mount Carmel Fitness Center pool in Lewis Center home.
Today, though, it’ll look to turn Keating Natatorium in Cincinnati into its personal playground.
The Cincinnati Marlins Pepsi Cola Spring Invitational, which starts today and runs through Sunday, will be the team’s first showcase since a group of parents from the Delaware and Buckeye Valley school districts came together with the goal of creating a year-long program focused on advanced training and competition.
Force Aquatics, based in Delaware County, represents the completion of that goal. The team, which will look to produce top-level athletes at the national and, eventually, Olympic stages, will compete against other successful local swim clubs such as Ohio State Swim Club, Dublin Community Swim Team, New Albany Aquatics Club, Upper Arlington Swim Club, Worthington Swim Club and Westerville Athletic Club, just to name a few.
Head coach Dale Sprosty leads the squad into its inaugural season. He brings more than 40 years of coaching and swimming experience to Central Ohio, including work with Junior Olympic, Junior National and Senior National qualifiers, as well as state champions, high school All-Americans and multiple Division I scholarship recipients.
“I was approached by a group of parents interested in establishing a long-term, competitive swim program that the Delaware community could be proud of and that would produce results in line with local swimmers’ goals,” Sprosty said. “I’m looking forward to establishing a team of excellence that will meet both the swimmers’ individual and team goals, as well as help them to understand and develop tools that will make them not only fast in the pool, but contributors to their families, schools and communities.”
The club, sponsored by TYR Sport, Inc., consists of 60 swimmers ranging in age from six to 17 years old. Skill levels vary, from the beginning competitive level to swimmers able to compete at the Junior Olympic, Zones and national levels.
Brittany Hanks, a 2015 graduate of Delaware Hayes High School, has been named assistant coach and will be heading the younger “Force 1” and eight-and-under swimmers. She brings coaching experience to the club through her work with the Delaware YMCA and DARTS swim team.