EDWARDSVILLE - Evan Grinter is one of the best and most accomplished swimmers for the Montclaire Swim Club in Edwardsville, and as he starts the summer season for the Marlins, he's looking forward to both competing and having fun in the pool.

Evan GrinterThe Marlins started their 2022 Southwestern Illinois Swimming Association season on June 9 at home against Summers Port of Godfrey, and Grinter was looking ahead to the new season.

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"Actually, I'm really excited to get the season going," Grinter said in an interview that followed one of his races. "Summer league is probably one of the highlights of my year; it's just so much fun. Everybody's in a good mood for the whole thing, it's less competitive and more focused on everyone having fun, so this is really exciting to get started."

Grinter pointed out some of the differences between summer league swimming and the high school season, in which he competed for Edwardsville High before graduating in May.

"The big difference is the competitiveness," Grinter said. "I would say the high school season is much stronger and it's more people. I'm surrounded by more people my age around here. I'm surrounded by people of all ages and it's a lot of fun. I make a lot of new friends here, just because there are a lot of people I've never met that are trying out swim. So it's a bunch of different skill levels and it's just really different from each other."

It's also a chance to set an example for the younger swimmers on the team, showing them how to do things and do them the right way.

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"Yeah, I'm actually trying to," Grinter said. "Some of them are a little bit unbehaved," he said with a smile and laugh, "so I'm trying to push them in the right direction a little bit."

Besides the regular races he's competed in during his career, Grinter is going to try a new race as well, which he looks forward to.

"Probably looking at the 50 (yard freestyle), the 100 (yard backstroke), and maybe the 50 (yard butterfly). I haven't been doing a lot of butterfly in the last few years, but as of late, I feel like my butterfly really formed together and I'm just kind of excited to test it out and see if I can get better at it at a competitive level."

Grinter also has a goal he'd like to accomplish before the 2022 season ends and it's a big one as well.

"I'd like to get at least one record to put in the record board," Grinter said, "because that would be cool to be like put down in Montclaire history. But just having a lot of fun is the number one goal, just go to every meet and have a blast. And then, hopefully, be home before midnight," he said with a laugh.

The emphasis, again, is on having fun and enjoying the sport and the togetherness of being with his teammates.

"Everybody should have fun here," Grinter said.

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