Julia Worcester and Belle Crawford check a board listing the day’s exercises for the Southwestern High School swim team. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Julia Worcester and Belle Crawford check a board listing the day’s exercises for the Southwestern High School swim team. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Julia Worcester, Belle Crawford and Raygan Crawford hope to be swimming stars when they get older.

For now, they are happy to fill the roles of unofficial mascots and cheerleaders for the Southwestern High School swim team.

"They are here for nearly every practice and go with us to a lot of the meets," said Shelly Anderson-Hamilton, girls varsity swimming coach.

When Belle, a fourth-grader at Southwestern elementary school, was a toddler, Anderson-Hamilton said they would put her in the pool with flotation devices and let her float around. "She just sort of learned what to do by watching the big kids."

These days Belle and her sister, kindergartner Raygan, and their friend, third-grader Julia Worcester work out with the team and take their own place in a slow lane at practice.

"They are fun to watch," freshman team member Zaynah Watson said. "They are always excited to be with us and they cheer us on at the meets."