SPOKANE – With summer still going strong, Spokane area pools are filled with kids enjoying the water. But there is one special group of swimmers taking their sport to the next level. They are called The Spokane Waves.
About 250 kids gather at Witter Pool on Fridays to push themselves, and each other.
“We train the kids all the same,” said Assistant Coach Natalie Turner. “We have several different groups based on ability level. And from that it’s pretty obvious which kids are going to progress in the sport and which ones are just here to have fun.”
It is crystal clear which category Emma Shanz falls into. She just returned from competition from California. Before that she qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials.
“I was really surprised. I got it by about half a second, so I was really happy,” said Shanz.
What is perhaps more impressive is where Emma trains. Since she lives in Colville, she and her brother Dylan swim twice a day in a hotel pool.
Emma’s brother is going to college next year on a swimming scholarship. He guides Emma through practice with a weekly routine from their Spokane Waves coach.
The Spokane Waves is holding open tryouts for the team on September 1. The team is also looking for a new head coach. The level of talent in the kids like Emma and Dylan is attracting top-level coaches.
Emma hopes to go to college on a swimming scholarship and see where the sport takes her from there.