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SGM(R) George Gurrola, of the Soldiers Requirement Division, practices swimming Friday at the Briant Wells Pool. Gurrola, a triathlete, is a member of the new Masters Swim Club on post. He uses the time to prepare for triathlons. The club meets from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday at Briant Wells Pool. For more information, send an e-mail to katelynn.mcconnell@us.army.mil.

There's a new Master's Swim Club at Fort Benning that meets from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Briant Wells pool. The yearround club, which began in January, is open to Soldiers, civilians and family members ages 18 and older.

The club was created because of the high demand, said Katelyn McConnell, swim club coach.

"We had people coming to adult swim lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Smith (Fitness Center) who didn't need help swimming, but said they just wanted a chance to swim," McConnell said.

SGM(R) George Gurrola, who works with the Soldier Requirements Division, said he was excited when he found out there would be a Master's Swim Club on post, he said. Gurrola said he is participating in two full-length ironman triathlons, three half ironman triathlons, and an Olympic distance competition this year.

"It's about time we have a swim club," he said. "I have been looking for something like this to practice and help me prepare for triathlons. It's really convenient to have the club on post. I was going to join a club in Columbus, but why do that when they have one at Fort Benning'"

Gurrola said the club is for every skill level.

"I would recommend any swimmer - whether a beginner or expert - to come out," he said. "You can always modify the workout and tailor it to your swimming abilities."

The club is sanctioned by the United States Masters Swim Club. Post club members have the option to sign up for the Masters Club for a fee or they can just come and work out.

The club has grown to 20 since January, but McConnell said she wants to have at least 35 active members. By 2011, McConnell said she wants to have a team that consistently competes in masters competitions.

Page last updated Thu February 18th, 2010 at 17:33