The pool deck at the Hastings Family YMCA was a frenetic place Saturday.
Special Olympic athletes from throughout the area gathered there for the West Central Special Olympic regional aquatics meet.
Wave after wave of swimmers hopped into the pool, many calling out to family members watching from the bleachers overhead beforehand.
Some nervous participants had to be coaxed into the water, but everyone was smiling after his or her heat.
"The best part of the whole thing is seeing that expression on that athlete's face, knowing that you have helped them feel good about themselves by accomplishing what they can," said Karen Overfield, meet organizer and head of delegation for the Hastings school-age team.
The meet included 81 athletes from the following teams: Cozad/Gothenburg, Dundy County, Grand Island, Hastings alumni, Hastings school age, Kearney, Lexington, McCook and North Platte.