Four members of the Tellico Village Silver Tarpons swim team competed this week in the Tennessee Senior Olympics in Brentwood.
On the women’s side, Holly Seguine swam in the 50-yard backstroke, 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke, 50-yard butterfly, 100-yard individual medley and the 200-yard individual medley, while Leslie Shuman took part in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 50-yard butterfly and 100-yard individual medley.
On the men’s side, Dean Reynolds competed in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard individual medley, 50-yard butterfly and 50-yard breaststroke. John Wand swam in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle.
All four swimmers teamed up for the 100-yard freestyle relay and the 100-yard medley relay. Results were not available by The Connection presstime.
“I’ve been kind of focused on this meet for about a year now, and it actually started with strength training and spent about six months working on strength and very little in the water at all,” Wand said. “Once January rolled around, I said, ‘OK, it’s water time.’ I went away from the strength training and got back into the water and started swimming five or six days a week to just try to get my stamina back. In April, Dean and I started working out together. Holly does a fabulous job getting workouts to the Silver Tarpons group.”
The Silver Tarpons is an adult swim team comprised of recreational swimmers who enjoy swimming for fitness and building relationships. The group was formed in fall 2019 and has grown close to 20 members.
“The Tellico Village Recreation Department has been working on having a senior swim club for a while now, and we are excited to see the Silver Tarpons come to fruition and now compete in the senior games,” Simon Bradbury, Tellico Village Property Owners Association recreation director, said. “This is a resident-driven and organized club that provides training and opportunities for competition.”
The COVID-19 pandemic halted all recreational activities for several months, which deeply impacted the group’s progress.
“They had the pool open, but everything was closed for a while so at that point I was just trying to walk or do some exercises at home,” Seguine said. “Once they opened up here, I started swimming in the outdoor pool and then here at the Wellness Center and just swimming on my own.”
“They kind of made an ad-hoc registration system, where you go in and set up the lane,” Reynolds added. “That was really useful because we knew we could only fit in one lane, so they made the lanes available and the times available. For what they had to work with, I think they did a great job.”
The team is comprised of several experienced swimmers, including Wand, who is a former collegiate swimmer and coach with the USA Youth organization. Reynolds swam with the Arizona State University Swim Devils Masters team, and Seguine is an experienced synchronous and competitive swimmer.
Shuman was training for an iron man event prior to joining the team.
“There’s a lot of talent in Tellico Village, and it would be nice to draw that talent here,” Reynolds said. “I think there’s technicalities to where we can’t get a Masters team here because you need to open it up to the public, but we could have a team where each individual signs up for Masters as an at-large swimmer. There’s plenty of talent in Tellico and I’ve seen it, but if we could just draw that talent.”
Despite fielding several talented swimmers, the Silver Tarpons welcomes all swimmers regardless of experience or age. The group practices at 7 a.m. Thursdays at the Wellness Center, and all interested swimmers can show up by making an online reservation at https://app.acuity scheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=18866695.
Swimmers can also join the Silver Tarpons’ Nextdoor page.
“People don’t need to be competition-focused or don’t need to have a very high level of endurance,” Seguine said. “We have many levels that swim with us, and you don’t have to know how to do a flip turn, you don’t have to know how to do a butterfly. I don’t want people to feel intimidated.”