Event packs ‘em in

By on July 13, 2011

By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor truth.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

The Lancaster Aquatic Club has held its annual Speedo Classic here in Ephrata for 20 years.

But if its 11th hour plea to Ephrata Borough Council to reconsider its current pool plan falls through, the club’s meet this past weekend will have been its last at Ephrata Community Pool.

"Well, (if that happens) then we are going to have to look around and try to find another pool that we could possibly rent," LAC coach Casey Coble, an Ephrata High School graduate, said. "We might have to go to another county. We might have to try to rent Franklin & Marshall, but it would have to be indoors and the price for rent would be at least double."

The problem for Coble and LAC lies with the fact that there just aren’t many 50-meter long course pools in Lancaster County. According to the coach, Ephrata is only one of three 50-meter pools in the county and only one of two that are outdoors.

"F&M has one but it is indoors, and the other outdoor pool in the county is not set up for competition. This is the only outdoor pool set up for long course competition in the county," Coble said.

Just last week, Coble, along with Nancy Houck, president of the Lancaster Aquatics Club, presented borough council with a one-page summary of key points which would support keeping the current 50-meter Olympic competition pool in its current configuration rather than cutting off the 25 meters closest to Oak Street and filling it in — as is in the current plan.

The Speedo Classic has been a huge success for LAC, and according to Coble has been an economic boost for Ephrata as well. This past week, for instance, approximately 750 swimmers from several states competed at the event, which is a big fundraiser for the club. Coble estimated that approximately 1,500 people attended the event, which he says would have in turn benefited area businesses.

"I would think so," he said. "I mean, bringing that many people in, a good amount of them stay in the hotels. I think the Hampton Inn gets sold out, and if people stay in the Hampton Inn they are going to walk down Main Street and eat there and do other things there.

It is a big fundraiser for us, but it is also something for which our kids can compete in," he continued. "We do make a substantial amount of money on it, but it’s not all about that. We hold it for the opportunity for the kids." More EVENT, page A16

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