Mitchell's swim team got into the pool for real on Sunday.
The Mitchell Indoor Aquatic Center held its first competitive swim meet on Sunday, as the Mitchell Aquatic Club faced off in a dual against Huron.
Nearly every one of the 194 seats was occupied next to the competition pool and there was plenty of excitement for the first indoor meet in Mitchell in MAC history.
Heidi Gehrke, a member of the MAC Board of Directors and a meet official, said the first event went pretty well, but there are some kinks the board plans to address and improve on for future swimming events.
"We have come across just a few encounters that we are going to have to work on before we hold a bigger meet. But things are going well overall, and the energy is great," Gehrke said in between events.
MAC was one of the biggest backers of the new indoor pool effort, pledging to raise $1 million to support the project. The $8 million pool was narrowly approved by 54 percent of voters in late 2015 and opened to the public in June. According to Gehrke, the MAC board of directors will discuss making the appropriate improvements before hosting another meet.
"The timing system is an area we will look to improve," Gehrke said. "But this dual helps us make sure our pool setup is appropriate and see if we need to make any changes before our December invitational meet."
The MAC Winter Invite will mark the first tournament-style swim meet at the indoor pool, which will take place on Dec. 7, 8 and 9, featuring teams from all over the state.
Gehrke said making adjustments on the go is easier to do for a dual, rather than an invitational, because there are fewer teams, which is partly why MAC hosted a dual for its first home meet.
MAC head coach Clyde Smith was pleased with the high turnout of fans and is anxious for hosting future events.
"I'm really excited to see all of the fans show up for our first dual at the indoor pool, and the local support has been great," said a proud Smith.
Smith said the Mitchell Recreation Center has been instrumental in accommodating MAC's needs. At swim meets, there are traditionally areas known as camping spaces available, which are designated areas outside of the competition pool area that teams and fans can gather in between heats, allowing for more fans to have a better chance at watching their respective swim teams.
"The Rec Center has been awesome, and they are letting us use the front gymnasium for camping space during the December invite," Smith said.
Moving forward, Smith envisions hosting more swim meets, given the success of the first event.
From a fan's perspective, Josh Stange, a father of four swimmers on the MAC team, said excitement is high among his kids as they now have a nice place to host home swim meets.
"The energy is really high at our home right now, and my kids were extremely excited for their first home dual at the indoor pool," Stange said.