After a dry spell last year of not being able to participate in or host any swim meets, our local Kanab Bull sharks swim team kicked off the 2021 season by hosting the first swim meet of the summer. The meet was held Saturday, June 12, at the Kanab City swimming pool and included the Kanab Bull sharks, the Fredonia Killer whales and the Hurricane Tiger sharks, totaling close to 100 participants from the three swim teams. Friends, family members and coaches cheered their swimmers on, hoping to feel a little splash from the sidelines to cool down from the near 100-degree temperatures.
The Bull sharks are coached by Eva Raddatz, a former coach of the Fredonia Killer whales and a Kanab resident, who saw the need for Kanab to have its own swim team and decided to do something about it. Up until the summer of 2018, many Kane County parents, including Raddatz, were taking their young swimmers to join the Fredonia Killer whales, so their children could have the opportunity to participate in a swim team experience.
In 2018, Raddatz was able to jumpstart a swim team here in Kanab, and has had continued growth and success with the program ever since. This was the first time Kanab City organized an official swim team.
Being a member of the Kanab Bull sharks is not for the faint of heart. These dedicated and determined swimmers practice every single weekday morning of their hard-earned summer break. Coach Raddatz coaches the most classes she has had thus far, teaching four classes a day from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. These classes are divided by skill level, with ages ranging from five to 18.
“Even though I’m the coach,” Raddatz said, “this team doesn’t work without all the volunteers.”
Hosting a swim meet is a huge undertaking; volunteers are needed to run the clocks in each lane, announce events, run the bullpen (the place swimmers wait until their upcoming race) and help swimmers get to their correct events, as well as the many hours spent behind the scenes in preparation for the event.
“I want to give a shout out to all the volunteers that helped with the meet,” Raddatz expressed.
“And to the city for the use of the pool.”
The Kanab Bull sharks will be competing in St. George on June 19, and will host another meet in Kanab on the 26. From there they will be swimming in Mesquite, Hurricane and back to St. George for the Championships on July 30 and 31.
If you need to cool down, the Kanab City Pool is the place to be to beat the heat this summer. Just be careful; you might have a Kanab Bull shark or two swimming alongside you.