When Sidney Robison was an elementary school student in Utah, she was a competitive swimmer. But when she moved to Florence in sixth grade, she thought her competition days were over.
That changed a couple of winters ago.
The only pool in town was at a fitness center and she taught some classes there.
She was at a party at the Highland Pool in Reedsport and told some of the people she was interested in becoming a lifeguard.
“They were saying, ‘Why don’t you just go out for the swim team?’” she said. “I wanted to join.”
Reedsport’s team had just started back up then and Robison started looking into it.
“I was literally in tears of joy when I found out there was a swim team,” she said. “I’ve never been so happy.”
Reedsport coach Guy Marchione said Robison took the initiative and has continued to for three seasons, arranging rides — 25 minutes each way every day for practice.
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“I’m astonished that she’s willing to do that,” Marchione said. “She’s the one who asked if she could (join the team). She’s persevered. She filled out the paperwork.”
Robison has been a valuable addition to the team because she can swim every stroke, which enabled Reedsport to have a medley relay team at some meets this year. She swims mostly freestyle and breaststroke.
She’s also been a leader on the team, Marchione said.
“She’s one of the people that the team will follow her,” he said. “She’s a great addition to the team.”
This year, she provided an added boost, recruiting two newcomers from Siuslaw — Cienna Vergara and Brianna Tabor. Though both juniors are first-year competitive swimmers, they have shown potential.
“They’re both doing good,” Robison said. “I’m impressed.”
Meanwhile, Robison is excited for her final district meet.
“I feel like I’ve really improved,” she said. “The whole team has really improved.”