Columbus Hurricanes swim to the future

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Swimming may a demanding sport, but every four years, it turns into a pool party. That's because there's a chance to see the world's best do their thing.

The Columbus Aquatic Club is proof of that. The Hurricanes are getting more popular as they develop kids with attitude.

But it's a good attitude.

"I love the sport," said 10-year old Karson Havican. "It's the best that's ever happened in my life," she added.

JD Rousseau agrees.

"It made me a better athlete of course, but it's also made me a better person," said Rousseau, who will be on the swim team at Darton College in the fall. "It's built a lot of character. You know, in a lot of sets, when you're really hurting and you just want to give up and stop, you just have that mentality. You just have to keep going and just push through the pain."

Michael Stewart took over as head coach for the Hurricanes program ten months ago. He has big plans for the future.

"We're trying to change the swimming culture here in Columbus," Stewart said. "It was not really that great prior to my arrival. We had some talent in the water but they needed to understand that what we're watching at night right now -- the Olympic Trials -- these kids can be a part of it in 2016."

The kids themselves seem to be buying into Coach Stewart's vision for the future.

A sectional qualifier, Piero Orderique is thrilled with Coach Stewart as his coach. "Coach Michael is a very excellent coach," said Piero Orderique, who qualified for sectionals. "He is always telling us how to do it right, swimming right."

Rousseau chimed in his approval.

"He really just picked up the program and got everybody a lot faster in the short amount of time he's been here."

From Friday through Saturday, the Hurricanes will be competing in the Tallahassee Aquatic Club's Long Course Invitational, a perfect change to build for their future.