Northern Lake YMCA Seahorse Swim Team Head Coach Mike Hewitt knew something was special about Matt Grevers' swimming about 20 years ago at the Waukegan YMCA.
"Matt's older brother, Andy, and sister, Caroline, were swimming on our team, and at the time, his mom had him on the bench. We thought, 'throw him in and see what happens,'" Hewitt said. Grevers, now 27, was 6 or 7 at the time when he began swimming on his first team, the Seahorses.
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"It was obvious early on that he had special ability," said Hewitt, who has been head coach for 27 years.
Hewitt joined children from the Northern Lake YMCA summer day camp program yesterday to film a five-second video wishing Grevers good luck in his Olympic trials. The video was uploaded to the Lake County Family YMCA Facebook page. It also was tweeted to Grevers, who the Seahorses and YMCA day camp children plan to follow during the Olympics.
Grevers yesterday swam the 100 backstroke in the trials. The former Lake Forest High School and Northwestern University swimmer, who now lives in Arizona, will compete in the 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 50 freestyle trials later this week.
The Seahorse Swim Team teaches participants important life values and decision-making skills and helps young athletes develop to their full potential while clarifying their personal values and goals. The team will be marching in the Waukegan Independence Day parade this Sunday, July 1.
For more information about the team, contact Hewitt at (708) 702-4281 or check out www.seahorseswimming.org
The Lake County Family YMCA also has another swim team, the Central Lake YMCA Turtles, based in Vernon Hills. Both teams will be participating in a special Centennial Celebration from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at the Northern Lake YMCA, 2000 Western Ave., Waukegan. The event is free and open to the public.
The Lake County Family YMCA is a cause-driven nonprofit that strengthens the community through programs and services that foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Chartered in 1912 as a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit, our association is comprised of the Central Lake YMCA in Vernon Hills, Northern Lake YMCA in Waukegan and Early Head Start in Waukegan. To learn more, visit www.ymcalakecounty.org