MUNSTER | For the past seven years, Christmas has come early at the Munster High School natatorium.
What started as the "Candy Cane Dual," the Munster Swim Club has hosted a meet — usually the weekend before Christmas — where participants donate at least one item for "Toys for Tots."
"I came up with the idea with (Irish Aquatics Swim Club coach) Wil Bernhardt, who I used to swim against in college," said MSC coach Matt Lee.
Now the Candy Cane Dual is the Candy Cane "Tri-Dual" as the Lansing Swim Organization started participating three years ago.
"Matt got in touch with us, and we though it would be a good idea to get involved," said LSO coach Art Czarobski.
Bernhardt has moved on to coach at the college level. Matt Dorsch took over Irish Aquatics two years ago.
"We're strong at the senior level," said Dorsch, whose team placed fourth at Senior State during the summer.
This year's Tri-Dual was held Dec. 22.
"This is halfway mark of the winter season," Lee said. "Our numbers are good. We're heavy on young swimmers, so we focus a lot of skills. When they get older, it's more repetition."
Sponsoring this year's Candy Candy Tri-Dual was T-Shirt Blanket Shop.