Bethel Holds First-Ever Swim Meet

Sep 13, 2017

The pool at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Fitness Center in Bethel.
Credit Dean Swope/KYUK

Bethel held its first-ever swim meet last weekend, and coach Mike Calvetti says that it was a resounding success.

On Saturday, 15 teenagers from Bethel’s high school and middle school competed against three high school girls from Nome. Nobody officially won the meet - Calvetti says that it was a friendly competition - but it was an excellent dress rehearsal for the Bethel team’s participation in a Kenai swim meet this weekend.

The Bethel swim team is only a year old and Calvetti says that some of his best athletes only learned how to swim in the past few years. Calvetti is new to the sport too; he’s only been the coach for the past six or seven weeks and says that he has no prior experience. The way he puts it, he was “horn-swoggled” into the job by former coach Erica Andrews and the team’s enthusiastic parents.

Calvetti says that his swimmers did very well last weekend, despite their lack of experience, and he was touched by the community’s “phenomenal” support. Bethel residents fundraised for years to build the pool, he said, and this, he says, was the culmination of that vision.