The Flaherty Dolphins recently had to say goodbye to their home pool, of which the club's namesake derives. After the Dolphins victory, the pool was closed immediately to prepare for a year-long renovation.
The Dolphins took on the Wayside Waves from Marlborough in a Nov. 17 meet dedicated to the ailing Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who has been instrumental in arranging for the renovations.
The lobby was already being emptied, but the deck was packed with spectators and competitors ranging from age 18 all the way down to five. Younger swimmers competed in 25-yard races in freestyle and backstroke. As the ages moved upward, butterfly and breaststroke were added, as well as longer races of 50 and 100 yards. There were also relays for all age groups. With many close races that everyone on their feet cheering, the Dolphins scored resounding victories for both the girls (115.5-86.5) and the boys (102-66).
It was the second meet of the year for the Dolphins, and the second win. They beat the Nashoba Aquatic Club last week to open the season. What is impressive about this large and diverse team is that everyone cheers for each other, and the older swimmers watch out for the younger ones, especially when it comes time to get them arranged for their relays.
After the meet against the Waves, coach Louis Barnes said, “The kids did an amazing job. I can’t wait until the facility’s renewed and ready so that we can get back in here and give them a nice place to swim so they can continue to compete.” For the rest of the year, the Dolphins will practice and compete at the West Roxbury Educational Complex.
During the next year, the Flaherty Pool on Florence Street will get new systems, from electricity, to filtering, to air conditioning. The locker rooms will be revamped, and supports installed beneath the foundation. Parking will also be extended, and the outdoor patio improved.