The Haines Dolphins swim team’s annual Winter Games is Saturday and Sunday at the pool.
“It’s always exciting when you have a home meet,” said coach Tyler Wyatt. “It’s a little bit more comfortable and there’s a little bit more confidence, because this is a pool that they know.”
Wyatt said he hopes dozens of Dolphins participate in the meet, along with swimmers from Juneau and Whitehorse. Competition is scheduled to start 9:30 a.m. each day.
The pool closed for a week this month to replace a sand filter. Wyatt led the Dolphins in calisthenics, jumps, push-ups and sit-ups to keep up their conditioning.
“The timing of this was not good, being that we were just crawling out of winter break, with Christmas and everything and everybody being on vacation,” Wyatt said. “Then, all of a sudden, we’re turning around and swimming for a week, and now we’re out of it again for a week.”
He said the squad still should make a strong showing. “This is a very young team, so it shouldn’t affect them very much.”
Public facilities director Brian Lemcke said the pool filter replacement, budgeted at $24,500, would improve on previous patchwork and plugs so the pool “will work better and won’t be leaking all over the place.”
“They replaced the old, metal sand filter with a new, fiberglass one,” Lemcke said. “Also, there’s an overflow tank that’s part of the old pool system that’s eating itself up, as well, and we’re replacing that with a new, fiberglass one.”
With the pool up and running again, the Dolphins will turn to dozens of volunteers to host the meet, handling responsibilities such as timing, serving concessions and housing swimmers. A sign-up sheet for volunteers is at the pool.
“If they show up, we’ll put them to work,” said Rachelle Galinski, Dolphins board president.