When most are hitting snooze on their alarm clocks, you can find swim coach Lisa Korbitz and her students poolside.
The Trofins A team practices begin at 6 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays at the Las Animas Public Pool. Students under her tutelage range from 3-year-old kids to teenagers in high school.
“Six and under is our youngest," said Korbitz. "The oldest age bracket is 15 and over, so really you can be 86 and still swim. We don’t usually have many kids that compete after their 18, but we do have a few that swim for college that compete a little bit."
The Trofins swim club is a member of the Southeastern Colorado Aquatics League. Their season started the first of June and includes many meets across the state.
“We go from Lamar all the way to Salida, Canon City, all the Pueblo teams, La Junta and Rocky Ford,” Korbitz said.
And while winning meets is a very important aspect of the league, the ultimate goal for swimmers is to qualify for the state championship in August.
Normally, only the A Team competes in swim meets. However, SECAL is the only league that hosts B-team meets, said Korbitz.
For B-team meets, swimmers can use any stroke to get themselves from one end of the pool to the other. Kids who can’t swim the full length have helpers who take them down the lane.
Korbitz said B-team meets give the younger members an idea of how a competition is run.
Korbitz has coached the La Junta High School swim team for six seasons and is now in her third summer with the Trofins. Her duties include teaching kids as young as 3-years-old to swim.
“Coaching little kids is more rewarding, I think, in the long run," she said. "You get to see their growth so much; high school is just a little more intense.”
The parents at practice last week had nothing but praise for Korbitz.
“I think she’s done wonderful with the kiddos,” said Sharon Link.
Faith Stuart and Bonnie Martinez, who were on “grandma duty” during last week's practice, said their grandchildren were really improving, thanks to Korbitz and her helpers.
Korbitz said her job isn’t just to create a fun environment for the kids, it’s also to teach them water safety.
Rachael Tamin, who was a Trofin herself years ago, said the safety factor is why she put her child in the program.
For more information about the Trofins, go to facebook.com/lasanimastrofins.