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SPY swim team to host free clinic featuring alums as coaches

Members of the Springfield YMCA SPY swim team spend so much time together in and out of the pool, they are more like family members than teammates.

On Wednesday, the team will host a free Swim with Champions clinic from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. at the Springfield Y for any interested youth swimmers.

The event will also be a family reunion. Thirteen alums of the program, all college swimmers, will come back to teach at the clinic and provide instruction in the four competitive strokes.

Coaches John Bishop, Mickey McNeil and Carrie Henderson will also supervise the program.

“SPY swimmers seem to be close-knit,” McNeil said. “They seem to get together one way or another. People I coached 20 years ago still do things together because of that unity.”

The event comes during a period of change for the SPY team. Bruce Patmos announced Aug. 5 he was leaving for a job at a YMCA in Sarasota, Fla.

McNeil said the YMCA is conducting a national search for a new coach and hopes to have one hired by Aug. 26. McNeil said Bishop is running the program in the meantime.

The most-decorated swimmer returning Wednesday is Margo Geer, a Fairbanks High School graduate who commuted to Springfield to train during her prep career. She became the first Ohio swimmer ever to win state titles in two events (the 50 and 100 freestyle) all four years in high school.

Geer will be a senior at Arizona next season. As a junior, she won Division I championships in the 50 and 100 free.

The other swimmers returning are: Shawnee grad Kendra Crew, who will be a freshman at Kentucky; Catholic Central’s Jeff Ross, a freshman at Wright State; Yellow Springs’ Elizabeth Malone, a sophomore at St. Bonaventure; Victoria Burcham, a senior at Wilmington; Lauren Funk, a Kenton Ridge graduate who swam at Ohio University; Drew Keriazes, a Springfield High School graduate who swam at Ohio Northern; Miranda Hampton, a freshman at Cincinnati; Mary Kallinicous and Colleen Powers, freshmen at Akron; Allison Lohnes, a Catholic Central grad who swims at Ohio Northern; Katie McHugh, a Duquesne graduate; and Taylor Massie, who swam at Eastern Kentucky.

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