(COLORADO SPRINGS) — What started as swimming lessons at Little Fins swim school, has transformed Lillie Ratican and Peyton Baker’s friendship into a lifetime.

About seven years ago, Ratican and Baker joined Little Fins to take their swimming to the next level. Now they’re competing with the Coronado High School swim team.

“My mom always struggled to get me out of the pool. Whenever we went to the pool, I wanted to stay there. When we went to the lake, I’d always want to stay in the lake, didn’t want to leave,” said Ratican.

The pair who are now in their sophomore and junior years at Coronado High School will never forget where their swim journey began.

“Little Fins means a lot to me because this is where my swim journey began. I started here. My family teaches here, and it’s just been so much fun, like having that connection to little fins,” said Baker.

For Baker, she started out at Little Fins with a family tie. Her aunt, Kory Skalsky, began teaching at the swim school right around the same time Ratican and Baker started swim lessons.

“I’m a little biased because Peyton is my niece. But they are truly good people,” said Skalsky. “They are good girls. They are good women. They’re turning into the most amazing individuals. And it is so fun to have been a part of watching them grow and watching them grow together.”

The girls competed at their first high school state championships that wrapped up on Sunday, Feb. 12th.

Ratican is now teaching lessons at Little Fins and her partner in crime, Baker, is right behind her and will pick up teaching lessons this summer.