AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam Sea Rams youth swimmers have started the new swim season.
The swim season started with practices the first week of October and will run through Gold Championships in March.
The Amsterdam Sea Rams Youth Swim Team is a non-profit age group competitive swim team for girls and boys between the ages of 6 to 18.
The 2012-13 Amsterdam Sea Rams youth swim team poses for a photo. In the front row, from left, are Antonia May, Grace Patrei, Melody Valberg, Jillian Galway, Brandon Jasewicz, Thomas Pradere, Michaela Lewis-Hardies, Kaitlyn Stearns and Bradley Jasewicz. In the second row, from left, are coach Marie Thomas, Amelia Barkevich, Christian Salisbury, Evan Iannuzzi, Trevor Dzikowicz, Jonas Barkevich, Daniel Dylong, Santino Smullen, Ousman Lusack, Karen Troche Esteva, Anastacia Montalvo and Matthew Abbondandolo. In the third row, from left are Julianna Busseno, Paige Bertuch, Brianna Ziobro, Alex Slovak, Lauren Santiago, Bailey Isolda, Isabella Porter,Emma Gras, Victoria Kennedy and John Sawitzki. In the back row, from left, are coach Jef Martin, Katrina Reeber, Olivia Brahler, Kayla Dzikowicz, Justine Youngs, Jordan Hammons, Erica Wagner, Erica Askew, Tyler Askew, Matt Swart, Trevor Askew and coach Mike Schanthal. Missing from the photo are Ferneidy Dotel and Tim Lin. (Photo submitted)
Tryouts take place in August and September for new swimmers who are interested in becoming a member of the Sea Rams. Swimmers who try out should have some swimming ability.
Swimmers will practice between three to five nights per week depending on what level they are at.
The team has swimmers from Amsterdam and the surrounding area and has been serving the area for almost 20 years.
The Sea Rams are a registered swim team through USA Swimming.
The Sea Rams also are a member of Adirondack swimming, which is part of USA Swimming. Within Adirondack Swimming there are nearly 30 registered swim teams.
A number of these teams host USA Swimming meets on weekends for swimmers to participate in.
The Sea Rams also belong to the Central Valley Swim League. The swim league is made up of four teams from Amsterdam, Canajoharie, Cooperstown, and Schoharie. The league schedules swim meets for the swimmers to participate in and a CVSL Championship meet at the end of every season.
The goal for the season is to have swimmers qualify for the two championship meets that Adirondack Swimming has in March.
The first is Adirondack Short Course Gold Championships. There are times that the swimmers must achieve in order to qualify for the championships. Swimmers participate in numerous USA swim meets held throughout the season starting in October through February in order to meet the qualifying times for certain events and strokes.
Adirondack Swimming competes in the Eastern Age Group Zone Meet.
All swimmers that are registered USA swimmers and affiliated with Adirondack Swimming can apply to attend this meet. Adirondack Swimming has certain requirements that swimmers must meet to be considered for this meet.
They must meet certain time standards, be either first or second fastest in that event or stroke, have participated in a certain number of USA Swimming meets, and must have qualified for Adirondack Short Course Gold Championships.
All Sea Rams coaches meet the high criteria set forth by USA Swimming.
Each coach is a certified lifeguard and has first aid and CPR training.
Coaches also are required to take a safety training class for swim coaches. Mike Schanthal is the head coach and has been a swim coach for 29 years. He is assisted by Jef Martin and Marie Thomas who both have many successful coaching years, as well.
The team encourages any interested swimmers to go to www.amsterdamsearams.com. for additional information about the team.