Swimming in Spirit

Anna Epstein, Eva Shpak, Michael Snodderly, Cara Machlin and Melanie Cirillo of Tilden Woods warm up their vocal cords.
Anna Epstein, Eva Shpak, Michael Snodderly, Cara Machlin and Melanie Cirillo of Tilden Woods warm up their vocal cords. (Photos By Marvin Joseph -- The Washington Post)
By Dan Zak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 23, 2006

The neighborhoods were screaming, screaming, screaming at one another over chlorinated turquoise.

"Are we not the winning team?"

"YES, WE ARE THE WINNING TEAM!"

"Are they not the losing team?"

"YES, THEY ARE THE LOSING TEAM!"

This on a Saturday morning, when any good suburbanite should be plopping chocolate chips into pancake batter.

Not the children and parents of Tilden Woods and Hallowell.

It is summer, and this is war -- a war over points and times, yes, but also over pep. The team from Tilden Woods considers itself the most spirited and zealously dedicated in the Montgomery County Swim League. So when the swimmers meet a team such as the Hallowell Hurricanes, which attempts to match them cheer for cheer, they just turn up the volume.

When Hallowell first marched into the pool area, cheering and blaring "We Will Rock You" from a boombox, the oldest Tilden Woods swimmers led the team in a counterattack:

"When I say, 'Go,' you say, 'Fight.' Go!"

"FIGHT!"

"Go!"


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