Social Coordinator

Social Coordinators will receive a budget from the PPA, which is based on the number of swimmers per training/practice group (Maia, Nautilus, Poseidon, Juniors, Senior).  As the Social Coordinator, you can use the budget how you want to organize social events for your swimmer’s training group during the year (e.g., poster making, bagel breakfasts, Popsicles, post practice pizza, fun team building activities such as wacky relays or any other creative idea).  It would be helpful if you communicate your plans with the Age Group Social Coordinator (Kathy Finnegan) and the Piranha Office to reserve classrooms, send training group email blasts, and request reimbursements. 



Special Events Coordinators

The PPA Special Events Coordinators oversee committees that organize a wide variety of fun activities such as the swimmers’ Holiday Party, the Parent Social and the Banquet. All require volunteer support. 



Fundraising Coordinator

The PPA Fundraising Coordinator manages the Team’s annual fundraiser.  Volunteers are needed to assist in organizing this event which alternates each year between a Swim-a-thon and a smaller fundraiser.  These funds support the purchase of new technology and equipment to enhance our program, training for coaches, coach travel and website enhancement, among other things.

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Meet Volunteers


The Piranhas largest volunteer responsibility each year is volunteering at meet.  All families, regardless of your volunteer commitments to the PPA and with the exception of on-deck officials are required to be meet volunteers.  Meets cannot run without these volunteers in turn our children cannot swim without these volunteers.  If your child is swimming in a meet, it is the understanding that you may need to volunteer.  

At home meets, jobs range from Timing Coordinator (coordinator of volunteers for a specific session of a meet) or timer, to working in the concession.  At away meets, according to the size of our entry, we are assigned a proportionate number of jobs (mostly as timers) and will be fined if our volunteer requirement is not met.  Working at a swim meet is a good way to meet other parents and increase your understanding and enjoyment of the swim program. Most parents actually find it more enjoyable to participate than to sit in the bleachers.  Please make your presence known to the Timer Coordinator to help the Team avoid a fine and ensure that no parent ends up working for an entire session. Volunteers for meets may also be contacted by a timing coordinator.  Remember, many hands make light work.
Any of the following jobs fulfill the meet volunteer requirements:
  • Timer Coordinator (away)
  • Meet Coordinator (home)
  • Timers (home &away)
  • Runners (home)
  • Posters (home)
  • Marshall (home)
  • Ribbons (home)
  • Program sales (home)

Meet Volunteer Sign up
The procedure for signing up to be a meet volunteer will essentially remain the same this year.  You may sign up to work at a meet either at the October parents meeting, on the Piranha bulletin board in the lobby of the YMCA or in response to an email blast or website notice.  

But new this year…. Based on these sign-ups, if we have not filled all of our spots for any given session of a meet, we will then pull names at random to fill the remaining spots. Please note, the names entered into this lottery will be of those families who have not yet volunteered.  This will eliminate the nagging requests for help and extensive emails back and forth.  If you are unable to work at a particular meet for which you have been chosen, you are responsible for finding your own replacement.  If your name is pulled, you will be notified by email and are expected to confirm within a timely manner.  It is recommended that you sign up in advance for at least two meets per swimmer for the short course season.This new procedure will hopefully ensure that everyone has the opportunity to volunteer and that our spots are easily filled.  If we eventually have the scenario where everyone has volunteered and we have not filled our meet volunteer spots, we will do the lottery from the entire entry pool.During the season, we will publish the names of families who have NOT volunteered at any meets.  Please periodically check this list to ensure that no mistakes have been made.

Championship Season
All parents of swimmers in Championship Meets (8/U Championships, Regionals, Age Groups and Seniors) will be expected to be a meet volunteer.  If your child is swimming in finals, you may need to work during both trials and finals.Additionally, distance meets always require that a swimmer provide his/her own timer.  Timing at these meets will count towards your volunteer requirement.

Meet Volunteer Job Descriptions


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Long Course Meet Schedule

 2012 Long Course Meet Schedule


Start Date End Date Meet Name Meet Type Location Age Group Sign Up By Entries Results
May 5 May 5 NCY SM Meet USA New Canaan YMCA 8-12 yr old
Piranhas  Only
Sent Results
May 4 May 6 Wilton Invite USA Wilton YMCA 13/Overs only Sent Results
May 11 May 11 OMNI Distance Meet USA Yale
Selected 13/Overs Only Sent Entries Results
May 12 May 12

OMNI Invite
Saturday ONLY

USA Yale All Piranhas Sent Entries Results
June 1 June 1 Zeus 9/Under Yard Meet USA Norwalk High School 9/Under Piranhas Only Sent Entries Results
June 2 June 3 Wilton Open Trials/Finals USA Wilton

All Piranhas

Sent Entries Results
June 6 June 6 Piranha Intrasquad Meet Darien YMCA All House &
11/U Piranhas
June 3 Entries Results
June 21 June 21 WRAT 9/Under SCY meet USA Westport YMCA 9/Under Piranhas Only May 25 Entries Results
June 23 June 24 GRYM Invite (13/Overs) USA Greenwich YMCA 13/Over Piranhas Only Sent Entries Results
June 23 June 24 CDOG Invite (12/Unders) USA Cheshire 12/Under Piranhas Only May 9 Entries Results
June 28 June 28 Tri-Meet vs WRAT & Orcas
Warm-up 4:30p / Start 5:00p
Italian Center, Stamford All Posiedon, Nautilus
& Maia swimmers
June 18 Entries Results
July 12 July 15 CT Senior Championships USA Wesleyan University 13/Over Piranha Qualifiers only N/A Entries Results
July 21 July 22 13/Over Regionals USA Wesleyan am 13/Overs


Entries Results
July 21 July 22 12/U Regionals USA Brookfield


Entries Results
July 27 July 29 12/Under CT Age Groups Championships USA Cheshire Community Pool 12/Under Qualifiers
(Finals @ Wesleyan)


Entries Results
July 26 July 29 13/Over CT Age Group
USA Wesleyan
13/Over Qualifiers N/A Entries Results
August 2 August 5 Eastern Zone Speedo
Super Sectionals
USA Buffalo, NY 13/Overs
N/A Entries Results



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Short Course Meet Schedule

2012-13 Short Course Meet Schedule

Updated 11/20 – schedule subject to change

Start Date End Date Meet Name Meet Type Location Age Group Sign Up By Entries Results
October 17 October 17 Piranha Instrasquad Meet   Darien YMCA

10/U Piranhas
& all House

Sent Entries Results
October 26

October 27 

Greenwich Invite

Friday & Saturday only  Friday for 13/overs

USA Greenwich YMCA

9/O Piranhas Only
Friday night distance

Sent Entries Results
October 28 October
Piranha 8/Under Quadrathon USA Darien YMCA 8/Under Piranhas Only Sent Entries Results
Nov 16 Nov 16 Piranha Distance Meet USA Darien YMCA

Selected 13/O

Sent Entries Results
Nov 16 Nov 18

Wilton Thanksgiving
Invite (11/O trials & Finals)

Event line-up

YMCA Wilton YMCA 9/O Prianhas
Sent Entries Results
Nov 30 Nov 30 Dual v Wilton 8/Unders YMCA Darien YMCA 8/U  Piranhas
& House Only
We will enter all eligible House and Piranha swimmers. Entries Results
Dec 1 Dec 1 BRS Invite USA Branford 9-12 Piranhas Only & 
13/Overs not going to TYR
Sent Entries Results
Dec 2 Dec 2

Dual Meet @ Wilton 9-12 yr olds

Event line-up

YMCA Wilton YMCA 9-12 yr old
Piranhas & House
Sent Entries Results
Dec 7 Dec 7 Dual vs New Canaan

10/U Piranhas
& 10/U House

Sent Entries Results
Dec 7 Dec 7 Dual @ New Canaan
YMCA New Canaan

11/12 Piranhas
& 11/12 House

Sent Entries Results
Dec 14 Dec 16 TYR Capital Classic
(Must have 2 cuts)
YMCA Cary, NC 13/Overs
Qualifiers Only
N/A Entries Results
Jan 5 Jan 5 15-18 yr old YMCA States YMCA Wilton YMCA 15-18 yr old Piranhas


Entries Results
Jan 6 Jan 6 13/14 yr old YMCA States YMCA Wilton YMCA 13/14 yr old Piranhas Only


Entries Results
Jan 5 Jan 6 WAC Invite USA Albertus Magnus
College, New Haven
9-12 Piranhas


Entries Results
Jan 12 Jan 12 12/Under dual meet v WCYM YMCA Brookfield YMCA 12/U Piranhas
& 12/U House Only


Entries Results
Jan 18 Jan 20

GRYM Invite

USA Greenwich YMCA 9/O Piranhas


Entries  Results
Jan 25 Jan 25 Piranha Distance Meet USA Darien YMCA

Selected 13/O

Selected 13/O – coaches will speak with swimmers about entry

Entries Results
Feb 9 Feb 10 12/Under YMCA States YMCA Cheshire Community Pool 12/U Piranhas


Entries Results
Feb 16 Feb 16

WRAT Invite


Westport YMCA

9/Over Piranhas only


Entries Results
March 2 March 3 CT Regionals USA Norwalk, New Haven or New Canaan 9/Over


Entries Results
March 7 March 10 CT Age Group
USA Wesleyan University 9/Over Qualifiers TBA Entries Results
March 21 March 24 CT Seniors Championships USA Wesleyan University 13/Over Qualifiers TBA Entries Results
TBD TBD 12/Under YMCA New Englands
YMCA TBD 12/Under Qualifiers TBA Entries Results
April 3 April 6 YMCA National
YMCA Greensboro, NC 13/Overs
N/A Entries Results


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Job Description



  • Timer Coordinator – Prior to an away swim meet,  the age group coordinators will provide the timer coordinator with a list of the volunteers for the meet.  Volunteers will have already been notified that they are timing and have been told which shift.  At the meet, the timer coordinator checks in with the volunteer table, collects and distributes stopwatches and receives lane assignments.  The timer coordinator locates our timers, informs them of the location of the timers‘ meeting and makes sure each shift of timers knows who is replacing them and when.  If a timer is a no-show, the timer coordinator needs to find someone to take their spot or replace them themselves.  When the meet is over, it is very important that you email to give an accurate list of your volunteers.
  • Timers – assigned to time a lane at either home or away meets (shifts should not be more than 1 1/2 hours).  Needs to check in with our timing coordinator at the beginning of the meet.  When the Piranhas are assigned a timing assignment, it is for the entire meet.  No leaving until you are relieved or the meet has ended.


  • Meet Coordinator – Prior to a home meet, the age group coordinators will provide the meet coordinator with a list of the volunteers for the meet.  Volunteers will have already been notified that they are working and have been told which position and shift.  In addition to coordinating the timers (see timer coordinator above), the meet coordinator also needs to coordinate the runners, posters, Marshall, ribbons and program sales positions.  Finally, they are there to assist the piranha coaching staff with any needs they may have to keep the meet running smoothly.  When the meet is over, it is very important that you email to give an accurate list of your volunteers.
  • Timers – assigned to time a lane at either home or away meets (shifts should not be more than 1 1/2 hours).  Needs to check in with our timing coordinator at the beginning of the meet.  Timing assignments are for the entire meet.  No leaving until you have been relieved or the meet has ended.
  • Runners – collects the timing sheets from timers and delivers to the scorer’s table.
  • Posters – posts the results as events finish periodically throughout the meet.
  • Marshall – one male and one female, periodically checks the bathrooms.
  • Ribbons – gathers ribbons from the swim office.  Applies name and place sticker to the back of the ribbons and sorts by club.
  • Meet Coordinator – at home meets only, coordinates all of the above volunteers.  Works as a liaison with the coaching staff.
  • Program sales – sells programs and signs in volunteers.

Officials for both home and away meets are coordinated separately.  Our Officials lessen our timing commitment!









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The Piranhas have a great tradition of having many USA Swimming Officials affiliated with the Team. It is a requirement that all USA Swimming Meets have a sufficient number of USA registered Officials on deck. Without Officials, the meet cannot be considered a USA Swimming sanctioned meet.  Having Officials affiliated with the Team is a huge benefit.  


Becoming an Official entails participating in a class and taking an on-line open book test.  Once you have done both, you must work at least four meets as a trainee after the fourth meet you are a Stroke and Turn Official.  







Darien Officials

Name Type Email

David Oulighan


Gigi Kearney


Erica Merrill


Tom Ryan


Pat Begos


Charlie Hom

Stroke & Turn

Nancy Grune

Stroke & Turn

Craig Lovegrove Stroke & Turn





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Training Groups


About Training Groups

The Piranha Swim Team incorporates seven training groups:  House, Maia, Poseidon, Nautilus, Junior I & II, and Senior. The group a swimmer trains with is determined by commitment, age, ability and experience.  Coaches place all swimmers in training groups.   

Specific attendance requirements and suggestions for each training group are included in the training group descriptions below.  A swimmer’s promotion and improvement is contingent on commitment; age and ability are a distant second and third on the list of reasons for promotion.  Although we try to keep swimmers grouped by age, eventually a swimmer’s lack of attendance and dedication to the Team will catch up with him/her in many ways. Swimmers who are committed and attend practice as outlined for their group will find themselves rewarded in their advancement through the training groups, their development as a swimmer and improvement in their times.   


The Greek goddess of growth.  The Maia level consists of swimmers who are between the ages of 7-9 and have some competitive swimming experience.  Swimmers must be able to legally complete at least 25 yards of freestyle and backstroke and butterfly or breaststroke.  Maia swimmers will focus on stroke technique and learn the basics of competitive swimming, team spirit and fun.  The Coaching Staff recommends that Maia swimmers attend at least 2 practices per week. 

Nautilus I & II

Greek word meaning sailor.  Nautilus I & II swimmers have competitive swimming experience and are usually between the ages of 9 and 11, depending on ability.  This group will focus on stroke technique, swimming all four strokes and simple sets.  The goal of the Nautilus group is to have fun while learning about competitive swimming.  The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend 3 workouts per week.  Nautilus II swimmers are 9 years old who have opted to join the Team for the winter season only.  These swimmers are offered practice 4 days per week.  Nautilus I are full year swimmers and are offered practice 6 days per week.


The Greek god of the sea.  The Poseidon group is swimmers usually between the ages of 11-14. They are experienced swimmers who will focus on stroke technique, interval training, discipline, competition and fun.  Poseidon swimmers be ooffered dry lands once per week through the Y.  The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend 4 workouts per week to receive optimal training and have the opportunity to develop the necessary strength and skills for continued development. 

To earn promotion into the Junior training group, a Poseidon swimmer must demonstrate he/she is committed to the Piranhas year round and has shown the coaching staff he/she can handle Junior level training and the commitment that comes with this level of training.

Junior I & II Training Groups
The Junior training groups are reserved for our 13/Overs (12/Unders aging up to 13 before the end of season may be eligible for one of the Junior groups.)   To earn promotion into one of the Junior training group, a Poseidon swimmer must demonstrate he/she is committed to the Piranhas year round and has shown the coaching staff he/she can handle Junior level training and the commitment that comes with this level of training.
Junior II
This group will focus on building an aerobic training base, continued work on technique and building strength. The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend 5 workouts per week to receive optimal training. This group will also have dry lands at least twice per week. The goal of the Junior II group is to demonstrate the necessary dedication and skills development to become a Junior I swimmer.

Junior I
This group of athletes are experienced swimmers who are focusing on attaining the necessary skills to become a Senior Swimmer. Conditioning will become more of a focus for these swimmers and stroke technique will continue to play a major role in this training group. Dry-land sessions will be available along with morning workouts. The Coaching Staff recommends these swimmers attend 5 workouts per week to receive optimal training and have the opportunity to develop the necessary strength and skills for continued development.

To earn promotion into the Senior group, a Junior swimmer must demonstrate he/she is a dedicated member of the Piranhas, can handle the dedication and commitment necessary for Senior level training and have multiple CT Senior cuts.   As a prerequisite for joining the Senior group a swimmer must be able to swim 30 x 100 Free @ 1:20, 15 x 200 IM @ 3:00, have a Freestyle threshold of 1:15 or better and have swum following events either short course or long course; 1650/1500 or 1000/800, 500/400 Freestyle, 400 IM and all 200’s of stroke and IM.


The Senior training group is reserved for year round swimmers who have dedicate themselves to the sport of swimming and the Piranhas. A swimmer in this group must demonstrate he/she is socially, mentally and physically mature enough to handle demands of an elite swimming program. This group is the highest level of swimming offered by the Darien YMCA.   These swimmers receive the most practice time, and resources the Piranhas have to offer and they work directly with the Head Coach. Senior swimmers are 13 years of age and older.  Criteria to be promoted to the Senior group and detailed expectations to remain in the Senior groups can be viewed by clicking on the link.


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Coaching Staff


Henk Jansen

Head Coach 

Henk, an ASCA Level IV Coach, starts his 9th season with the Piranha Swim Team. Before joining the Piranhas,he was an Assistant Coach with the OMNI Swim Club of New Haven from 199-2004, Head Coach at East Haven from 1997-98, and a Volunteer Assistant at Southern Connecticut State University for the 1997-98 season while working full-time as a Computer Analyst for SNET (now AT&T) in New Haven.   Henk graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communications and a minor in Computer Science. Over the course of his 15 year coaching career Henk has sent numerous swimmers to compete at the collegiate level and has developed multiple USA Senior and Junior National qualifiers and in 2008 coached Piranha Peter Geissinger to the 2008 USA Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2006, for his accomplishments and contributions to the sport of swimming, Henk was inducted into the East Haven High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2007 he was honored by his alma mater, Southern Connecticut with the Bruce Hutchinson Alumni Award.   From 2006-2010 Henk severed as Connecticut Swimming’s Senior Chair and he is currently a member of the CT Swim’s Technical Planning Committee. Henk resides in Shelton with his wife, Michele, daughters Olivia and Avery and his son Zach.


Jason Cochran

Head Assistant Coach 

Jason, a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and an ASCA level III coach, starts his 5th year of coaching with the Piranhas. He was promoted to Head Assistant Coach of the Piranhas in 2008 and currently an assistant coach with the Darien High School Girl’s Swim Team. Before joining the Piranhas, he was an Assistant Coach for the Whippany Waves of Whippany, NJ for three years working with all levels of swimmers from developmental and novice to senior athletes. Over his 5 years with the Piranhas, Jason has coached every training group on the Team. In 2008 his 8/Unders won the New England Championship and in 2010 his 9/10’s won the same title. Also in 2009 his 9/10 200 Medley and 400 Freestyle relay Teams broke CT State records. He works primarily with the Junior and Poseidon groups, but often coaches the Nautilus swimmers as well. He currently resides in Stamford.


Liz Blau

Assistant Coach 

Liz Blau, is starting her 3rd year of coaching with the Piranhas and her 2nd as a full-time coach. Liz brings a wealth of coaching experience and knowledge to the team. Before joining the Piranhas, Liz was the Men’s and Women’s Head Swim Coach at Rutgers University, an Assistant Coach at the Red Bank YMCA and an Assistant Coach with Scarlet Aquatic Club of New Jersey. She will working primarily with the House, Nautilus and Poseidon groups. Liz resides in Stamford with her husband Fritz and their three children, Ashley, Billy and Haley.


Jim Matthews

Assistant Coach (YMCA Aquatics Director) 

Jim Matthews, the Darien YMCA Aquatics and Waterfront Director is the longest tenured Piranha Coach on staff. Before joining the Darien YMCA in 2000, Jim was an Aquatics Director at the Wilton YMCA. He has taught hundres if not thousands of kids how to swim in the Fairfield County Area. He brings decades of coaching and teaching experience to the Piranhas. His duties with the Piranhas include working primarily with the Maia group. He is a native of Rainbow Lakes, NJ, and currently resides in Stamford with wife Susanna.


Amy D’Andrea

Assistant Coach (YMCA Assistant Aquatics Director) 

Amy, starting her 8th year of coaching with the Piranhas, is the Darien YMCA Aquatics Programming Director. Before joining the Darien YMCA, Amy coached and taught swim lessons at the Merrimack Valley YMCA in Andover, Mass. She was a competitive swimmer, diver and synchronized swimmer and is a graduate of Springfield College with a degree in Psychology. With the Piranhas, she works primarily with the Maia group. She resides in Stamford with her husband Dan and their children Jessie, Mia, Samantha and Daniel.


Jessica Johnston

Assistant Coach

Jessica starts her 5th year of coaching with the Piranhas. She was a full-time Piranha Assistant from 2010-11 before she moved back to Syracuse for a year. She is a graduate of Lemoyne College in upstate New York with a degree in Psychology. While at Lemoyne she was a four year member of the Lemoyne Varsity Swim Team and captain her senior year. Since coming to the Piranhas she has coached every group on the Team and has assisted on many of the Senior travel meet trips. She works primarily with the Nautilus and Poseidon groups. She is a native of Syracuse, New York and currently resides in Norwalk.


Timea Libertiny

Assistant Coach 

Timea, a teacher for the Montessori School in Greenwich, is starting her 7th year of coaching with the Piranhas. She is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University in upstate New York where she studied History and was a collegiate swimmer for four years. Before joining the Piranhas, Timea was Assistant Coach with the Iona Gaels Swim Team in New Rochelle, New York for a year as well as a coached at the New Canaan Country Club for two summers. Over her tenure, Timea has coached every group on the Team except the Seniors. She currently works primarily with the House group. Timea resides in Norwalk.


Chris McCabe 

Assistant Coach 

Chris, a former Piranha parent, will be starting her 3rd year as Piranha coach. She was an instructor with Joan LaClair Swim School for over 10 years. Chris was a varsity swimmer while at St. Lawrence University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Math and Economics. She lives in Darien with her two children James and Caroline, who at one time swam for the Piranhas and her husband Jim. Chris will works primarily with House.


Michelle Krizni 

Assistant Coach 

Michelle, a long time Pre-School teacher at the Darien Y, starts her 3rd year with the Piranhas. She graduated in 2005 from Roger Williams College with a degree in Art History. Before joining the Piranhas, Michelle has taught every level from swim lessons to swim team the last 9 years. With the Piranhas, she will work primarily with the Nautilus and Poseidon groups. Michelle is an accomplished artist and plays clarinet in the New Canaan Community Band. She lives in Danbury with her husband Anthony and their Siberian Husky, Sasha.



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Team Competition


About Team Competition

Swim Meets

Each season will offer USA and YMCA meets.  These meets predominately take place on the weekends at different sites throughout Fairfield County and the Greater New Haven area.  A schedule will be available at the beginning of each season and meet information for each meet detailing events to be swum; start times, location, directions, etc will be available on-line and on the bulletin board located in the lobby of the YMCA. 

The coaching staff decides in which meets the Team will compete. All swimmers are encouraged to attend all scheduled meets, unless told otherwise by the coaches.  There will be sign-up sheets posted on the bulletin board for all meets.  It is the swimmer’s and parent’s responsibility to sign up for a meet.  If a swimmer is signed up for a meet and fails to attend, he/she will be responsible for the meet fees.  Meet fees only apply to USA and YMCA Invitational meets.  Generally, there are no meet fees for dual meets.  At the end of each season, USA and YMCA Swimming offer championship meets for all swimmers of varying levels of ability. There are qualification standards for certain championship meets.


Transportation to swim meets is a responsibility of each swimmer.  The Team does not provide transportation to any YMCA dual meets or USA Swimming meets. 

YMCA Swimming

The YMCA of the USA is the governing body of YMCA swimming.  YMCA swimming offers the Piranhas its dual meet competitions (Piranhas vs. one other team) and invitational meets.  As a YMCA team, Piranhas compete against other YMCA teams in the CT YMCA Swimming League.  The short course season usually consists of 2 or 3 YMCA meets and there are usually no Y dual meets during the LC season.  In March there is a New England YMCA Championship meet for 12/unders offered at the end of the season.  A swimmer must swim in at least two YMCA meets and meet a qualification standard to be eligible for the New England YMCA Championship meet.  The age of the swimmer for Y meets is determined by the swimmer’s age on the date of the meet. 


At the culmination of the winter season, Piranhas who meet the following qualifications will travel to the YMCA National meet (Y-Nationals).  In addition to achieving qualifying time standards, a swimmer must be at least 13 years of age and have swum in the equivalent of four YMCA meets during the season.  There are a sufficient number of Y meets on our schedule to meet this requirement. Swimmers are responsible for participating in these Y meets.  I will not add meets to the schedule for kids who neglected to participate in the required number of meets.  Also, a swimmer must be in financial good standing, have shown that he/she is a dedicated “Senior” member of the Team and mature enough to handle an overnight trip.  The coaching staff reserves the right to select which swimmers attend the Y-Nationals meet based on the standards listed above.  We do not attend the Summer Y National meet.  Swimmers travel as a Team to YMCA Nationals and other National-level out of region meets.

USA Swim Meets

USA Swimming is the governing body for Swimming in the United States. USA Swimming provides competition for swimmers of all ages, levels and abilities at the regional, Senior and international levels. Meets are offered throughout the winter and summer seasons, and both seasons culminate with Championship meets. In order to swim in meets, a swimmer must be a registered member of USA Swimming.  Connecticut participates as a LSC (Local Swimming Committee) of USA Swimming.  Our Club code with USA Swimming is PSDY.


USA Swimming Meets are conveniently held on weekends and meet locations are usually in the Greater New Haven, Middlesex and Fairfield County areas, as well as other areas of Connecticut.  Swimmers are grouped by age for competitions, and the age group a swimmer competes in is determined by their age the day the meet begins.  Usual age groupings are as follows: 8/Under, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, 15/Over, Senior. 


At the end of the winter and summer seasons, Connecticut hosts a variety of USA Swimming year end championship meets including Regionals, Age Groups, Seniors and 8/Under Championships (winter only).  In order to compete, a swimmer must have swum in at least two USA sanctioned meets during that season.  In order to swim in Age Groups and/or Seniors a swimmer must also meet a qualifying time standard.  CT Seniors is a meet for 13/overs only.   


In the summer the Piranhas may travel to the Speedo Sectional Championship meet and/or the USA Junior or senior National Championship Meet dependant upon qualifiers.  These are USA Swimming sanctioned meets hosted by USA Swimming.  In order to swim one or both of these meets, a swimmer must be 13 years of age or older and meet a qualifying time standard. Also, a swimmer must have demonstrated that he/she is a dedicated “Senior” member of the team, mature enough to handle an overnight trip and in good financial standing with the Darien YMCA and Team.  The coaching staff reserves the right to select which swimmers attend these meets based on the standards listed above.  Swimmers will travel as a Team and room with other Team members at these meets.

Championship Meets

As stated earlier, each season culminates in a Championship meet.  As members of the Piranhas we ask that all swimmers make time for their respective Championship meet. We post the meet schedule very early in the season to facilitate your commitment.  Aside from the fact that we are a competitive swim team and all swimmers must compete, we view all meets, especially a Championship Swim Meet, as a Team event and the Team needs all swimmers that qualify to swim.  We see this no different than the Team needing it players to participate in the championship soccer game or championship lacrosse game.  We understand that scheduling is difficult, but please make time for these meets as we need the swimmers to participate and the parents to volunteer. Please remember that in order for a swimmer to be eligible for any of these meets, his/her parents must have timed at two meets, minimum.   Please see Parent Commitment page for more details about this policy.


Swim Meet Attendance

The Piranhas is a competitive swim team. Because we are a competitive Swim Team, all members of the Darien YCMA Piranha Swim Team will be expected to attend meets faithfully. The major difference between Piranhas and swim lessons is that Piranhas do compete in swim meets. All Team members will need to attend at least two CT USA in-season meets for the winter season (meets between September and the end of February) and one CT USA in-season meet for the summer season (April-July) to be eligible for any CT USA Championship meet, Piranha Intrasquad meets and Y meets do not count towards these requirements, but time achieved at those meet do count. Also, any swimmer who does not meet these criteria will risk losing his/her spot on the Team the following Fall.

Swimming in meets is a part of the developmental process for swimmers. Learning how to race, how to split races properly, how to ‘win’ and how to ‘lose’, is as much a part of swimming as learning proper stroke technique. A swimmer is missing a huge part of the sport if they do not compete. Please make time for swim meets.



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Mission & Vision Statement



Mission Statement


Along with the YMCA core values of respect, caring, honesty and responsibility, we the Piranha Swim Club are committed to excellence and dedicated to developing the finest of athletes as well as the finest of citizens through the sport of swimming and our swimming program.


Vision Statement


We the Piranha swim club will achieve through:


  • Attending Practice Faithfully
  • Hard Work and Dedication
  • Adding Members Who Share  in Our  Vision
  • Hiring Competent Coaches
  • Creating a Fun Swimming Environment Conducive to the Development of Children

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General Information


General Information

The Piranha Swim Team is the Darien YMCA’s year-round competitive swimming program. The goal of the Piranhas is to create an environment for developing not only the finest of athletes but also the finest of citizens. We strive to teach life lessons and skills through the sport of swimming and to create lifelong swimmers. We offer swimmers 7 years of age and older the opportunity to train and reach the highest level of swimming available in the US. As a member of the Piranhas, your family will join a first class organization. As an age group swimmer (7-12 years), focus is on stroke technique, simple sets and having fun. As swimmers get older, the level of commitment increases; longer and more challenging workouts, early mornings and more meets. Invaluable life lessons are learned and friendships are made throughout the journey. The Piranhas compete in both USA Swimming and the CT YMCA Swimming League. The Team is under the leadership of Head Coach Henk Jansen.


The Piranhas compete in two courses over the year.  The short course (SC) season begins in September and ends in March.  SC season meets are held in 25 yard pools.  The long course (LC) season begins in April and ends in July.  LC meets are held in 50 meter pools.  All 10/over swimmers are expected to participate fully in both seasons.  All swimmers must participate in at least two swim CT USA Swim meets during the SC season and at least one CT USA Swim meet during the LC season to qualify for a USA CT Championship meet (Piranha Intrasquad, Y dual meets and Y Invitational Meets do not count towards this requirement).  Some high level meets may require more.  Also, swimmers’ parents must time in at least two meets over the course of the season in order for thier swimmer to be eligible for a Championship meet.  Please check the schedule carefully to make sure you are attending the necessary number of meets.


The Piranhas compete as members of USA and YMCA Swimming.  USA Swimming is recognized as the highest level of swimming available to athletes at the amateur level, providing regional, National and international levels of competition.  YMCA swimming primarily provides the Piranhas with their dual meet competition and some invitational type meets.  Both USA and YMCA swimming meets are offered throughout the season, culminating with championship meets.  All swimmers are expected to swim in the respective Championship/ end-of-the-season meet.


Registration is open to all returning swimmers in good standing (all swimmers must be current on all fees).  New members are admitted to the Team after participation and evaluation in the Fall stroke clinic.  Eligibility is based on both ability and space in age group.  Piranha Swim Team members must maintain current full Darien YMCA memberships.


The Piranha Swim Team is under the leadership of Head Coach, Henk Jansen.


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House Swimming


The Piranha House Program is designed for children 7-13 years old (6 year olds aging up to 7 by 12/31 can participate) who may not be ready for Team or may not be ready to commit to a full year with the Piranhas. House Swimmers must have advanced basic swimming skills, be able to complete at least 25 yards of all four competitive strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle) without assistance and swim 3 of the 4 strokes legally. The goal of the group will be to learn drills and proper technique for all four competitive strokes, and the emphasis during practice will be on fun and learning. There will be one House group each session that contains two training groups. Four sessions of House will be offered throughout the year, Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Schedules are listed below.

Swimmers enrolled in the Fall House will have priority for the Winter and the Winter House will have priority for the Spring and so on. Returning House swimmers should register on their respective registration date or run the risk of losing their spot. Once a session’s respective registration is complete, House will be open to new swimmers.There is limited space in all our House programs.

In a given year, a swimmer who participated in the Spring and/or Summer House session does not have to be evaluated for THAT YEAR’S Fall or Winter House session. All other new swimmers who wish to be evaluated for Fall or Winter House swimming must participate in the Fall Evaluation Stroke Clinic and new swimmers who wish to be evaluated for Spring or Summer House must participate in the Spring Evaluation Stroke Clinic (please note there is no guarantee that the Spring Clinic will be run every year). Notification of placement will be via email no later than one day after completion of the clinic for the Fall and Spring. Registration for all House session can be done at the front desk.

House swimmers who are full Darien YMCA members will be allowed to compete in YMCA dual meets. ‘YMCA dual meets’ are held throughout the year at Darien and other YMCAs in the area. A sign up sheet for meets will be located on the Piranha bulletin board in the lobby of the YMCA and all YMCA dual meets are also listed on the Piranha homepage. There are usually no meets for 13 year olds and there will be no meets scheduled during the Summer House session.



Members $430

Non-members $510

(please note there is a different fee for Summer House due to the shorter session)

Fall House Schedule – 2013
September 10th – November 21st
Spring/Summer House swimmers returning for Fall House should register on their respective registration date. After the last day of priority registration, Fall House will open to new swimmers. New swimmers who wish to be evaluated for Fall or Winter House must participate in the Fall Evaluation Stroke Clinic.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday 
House xxx 4:45 – 5:30p xxx 4:45 – 5:30p xxx 9:00-9:45a

(No Class: 10/19)

Winter House Schedule – 2013/2014  
December 3rd – February 22nd
Fall House swimmers returning for Winter House should register on their respective registration date. Registration and pricing information will be available in the Winter Programs Brochure. New swimmers should contact Jason Cochran for an evaluation, 203.655.822 x1353.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday 
House xxx 4:45 – 5:30p xxx 4:45 – 5:30p xxx 9:00-9:45a

(No classes: 12/24, 12/31 )

Spring House Schedule – 2014 
April 7th – June 14th
Returning swimmers from the Winter and/or Fall House session will have priority for Spring. New swimmers who wish to be evaluated for Spring or Summer House must participate in the Spring Evaluation Stroke Clinic. Returning swimmers from Fall and Winter should register according to the YMCA’s Spring registration schedule. After April 7th, space for House will be reserved for swimmers from the Stroke Clinic. 


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday 
House xxx 4:45 – 5:50 xxx 4:45 – 5:50 xxx 9:45 – 10:30

(No class: 5/27)

Summer House Schedule – 2013
June 18th – Aug 3rd
There will be no meets scheduled during the Summer House session. Summer House swimmers who wish continue with the House program in the Fall or Winter will not be required to participate in the 2013 Fall Stroke Clinic. If a swimmer wishes to be evaluated for Team, he/she will need to be evaluated through the 2013 Fall Stroke Clinic. All Winter-only Piranhas who swam on the Team in the winter of 2011-12 and participate in the Summer House program are guaranteed placement on the Team for the 2012-13 season.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday 
House xxx 4:45 – 5:30p xxx 4:45 – 5:30p xxx 9:00-9:45a

(No class: )


Summer Fees:

Members $250

Non-members $330

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In an effort to keep parents educated and informed, the Piranhas have set up this webpage.  It is dedicated to educating the Piranha Parents.  This resource is a great place to read articles, get nutritional information and answer some questions you may have about swimming and you role as a “swim” parent. Most of the information linked to this page is from USA Swimming.  

Gigi Kearney Presentation – April 2011
Physical Therapist Gigi Kearney spoke about shoulder mechanics, stretching and injury prevention in the Community Room of the Darien YMCA last night.   The presentation was insightful, educational and well received.  She started the presentation with a brief look at the anatomy of the shoulder.  She spoke about shoulder stability, the benefits of yoga and core training, proper and improper stretches and the difference between ligaments and muscles.  She touched on the myths of overtraining, emphasized consistency with training and answered questions.




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Darien YMCA Piranha Archives


2012 TYR Capital Classic, Cary, North Carolina
This past weekend, some of the older Piranhas took a trip down to Cary, NC to compete in the TYR Capital Classic. Led by Caroline Orem, Erik Ryan, and Zach Pear (who all scored points for the team), the Piranhas got a glimpse of what awaits them at YMCA Nationals this coming April. Finalists for the Piranhas included Lia Barsanti, Amanda Bieler, and Megan Slaughter. Most all of the kids turned in best times, and they are in great mid-season shape!! Also taking the trip were Owen Brannigan, Dylan Gilhooly, Natalie Grune, Liz Kearney, Emily Molinelli, Sam Schrenker, Phoebe Slaughter, Will Smelser, Michelle Wall, and Christian Weeks. Next up for the Juniors and Seniors is some intensive Christmas training, followed by YMCA States in January. Go Piranhas!!

New Canaan Dual Meets, 12/7
The Piranhas showed their team spirit and winning ways last Friday for our dual meets with New Canaan. The 11-12s were at NCY, and were led by event winners Caroline Haddad (girls 11-12 50 back) and Kyle Lumsden (boys 11-12 100 free/50 back/50 fly). Top 3 performers included Jen Chen (3rd 11-12 50 fly), Ali Funkey (2nd 11-12 50 breast), Nick Giotis (2nd 11-12 50 back, 3rd 50 breast), Haddad (3rd 11-12 100 fly), Jeff McKee (2nd 11-12 50 fly), Alexandra Van Dijkum (3rd 11-12 100 back), and Connor Zielinski ( 3rd 11-12 50 back and 100 fly).

The 10/unders were at the Darien Y for their meet, and were led by event winners John Barsanti (10/u 100 free), Matthew Reynolds (8/u 25 back), Max Scalise (8/u 25 fly and 25 breast), Gracie Spataro (8/u 25 breast) and Halle Spataro (10/u 100 free). Top 3 performances were also turned in by Andrew Banks (3rd 8/u 25 free), Barsanti (2nd 9-10 50 fly/50 breast), Bridget O’Toole ( 2nd 8/u 25 breast), Reynolds (3rd 8/u 25 fly), Scalise (2nd 8/u 25 free), the Spataro sisters (Gracie- 3rd 8/u 25 fly, Halle- 2nd 9-10 50 breast, 3rd 50 free), and Ben Van Steen (3rd 8/u 25 back). Next up for the younger Piranhas, the WAC Invite the first weekend in January. Go Piranhas!


BRS Invite @ Branford’s Walsh Intermediate School, 12/1
 The 9/over Piranhas travelled east to Branford on December 1st to swim in the Stingray Qualifier. Led by event winner John Barsanti (boys 10/under 100 IM and 50 breast, and 4th in 50 free), the kids showed that all of the hard work and dedication is paying off, with many kids continuing to improve their times nearly every time they race!

In the 10/under age group, Ned Smith (7th50 breast), Halle Spataro (3rd 100 IM, 4th 50 breast, 7th 100 back), Kelsey Olvany (5th 50 free), Drew Major (9th 50 breast), and Kendall Luecke (9th 50 free), scored top 10 finishes.

Also turning in top 10 performances were: 11/12 age groupers Kyle Lumsden (2nd 200 IM/100 back, 3rd 100 fly), Nolan Lovegrove (5th 50 free, 8th 200 free), Jeff McKee (6th 50 free, 7th 100 back), Kate Epifani(10th 50 breast), and Caroline Haddad (7th 200 IM, 9th 50 breast).

13/14 year olds that broke into the top 10 were Erik McKenna (3rd 200 back, 4th 100 fly, 5th 100 breast), Oliver Rus (9th 100 breast), Eric Liu (3rd 100 breast, 7th 100 fly, 9th 50free), and Ariel Gianukakis (6th 100 fly).

Also scoring for the Piranhas, 15/overs Maddie Burke (2nd 50 free/100 fly, 6th 200 free), Maggie Haddad (5th 200 free, 8th 100 fly, 10th 50 free), and Helen Watson (7th 100 breast, 8th 200 back).


9-12 Year Old Dual v Wilton @ Wilton YMCA, 12/2
The 12/under Piranhas headed on up to the Wilton bubble on Sunday 12/2 for the annual dual meet with the Wilton Wahoos. The small but spirited group were there to race- and race they did! Showcasing their skills and speed, the Piranhas had some very good performances, led by event winners Ned Smith (boys 9-10 50 free) and Alexandra Van Dijkum (girls 11-12 50 fly). In addition to their wins, Smith (5th 5o back, 6th 50 breast), and Van Dijkum (5th 50 free), had top 6 performances. Also turning in top 6 times were 9-10 girls Bella Bohnsack (4th 100 IM, 5th 50 fly), Lindsey Fay (2nd 50 back, 4th 50 free, 6th 50 breast), Sophie Hill (5th 50 breast), Sophia Perkins (3rd 100 IM), Bridget Ritchie (6th 50 fly) and Halle Spataro (3rd 200 IM/50 fly/ 100 free). The 9-10 boys that scored for Piranhas included Ivey Gehring (5th 50 breast), Drew Major (4th 50 free), and William Prendergast (6th 50 back). 11-12s  hat scored included Charlotte Gehring (6th 100 IM) and Nolan Lovegrove (2nd 50 fly, 3rd 100 IM, 5th 100 breast). Next up for the Piranhas is the dual meet with New Canaan this Friday.



8/Under Dual v WYW @ Darien, 11/30
The 8/under dual meet between Darien and Wilton proved to be an exciting one, as expected! The Piranhas were there to race,

and they did not disappoint! Led by Tam-Hao Nguyen, who had 3 first place finishes (girls 8/under 25 free/50 fly/ 100 IM), the kidsshowcased all of the skills that they have been working hard on all year. For the girls, Catherine Dwyer (2nd, 8/under 50 back),

and Gracie Spataro (2nd 8/under 50 breast, 3rd 8/under 50 free) helped lead the way. The boys added their own winners, with Max

Scalise winning gold in 2 events (8/under 50 back and 50 free) and a 2nd in 25 breast. Also scoring for the boys were Andrew

Banks (2nd in 8/under 50 free, 7/under 25 fly and 7/under 25 back), Matthew Reynolds (2nd in 8/under 50 back) and Ben Van Steen

(3rd 8/under 50 free). Great job by all of the kids, and a huge thanks to all of the parents who volunteered to help run the meet!



Wilton Thanksgiving meet @ Wilton YMCA, 11/17-11/18

The Piranhas spent the weekend of November 17-18 in the Wilton bubble for the annual Wilton Thanksgiving Invitational. It was the first prelims/finals meet of the year (for the 11/overs), and the swimmers showed that they were there to race!! Most all of the swimmers swam lifetime best times- which is no surprise as all of the kids have been working hard and smart. Leading the way for the Piranhas were event winners Eliza Bragg (Girls Open 200 back) and Erik Ryan (Boys 13-14 200 fly). Bragg led the Open (15-18) Piranhas with a 2nd in the 100 free, and a 6th in 100 breast. Emily Molinelli added a 9th (100 breast) and 12th (200 breast), Maggie Haddad was 11th (500 free) and Michelle Wall scored in the 200 breast (11th). The 13-14 boys continued their fast swimming with Ryan leading the way. In addition to his win, he also scored in the 200 back (2nd), and had 4 3rd place finishes (200 free/500 free/ 100 fly/200 IM). Zac Pear also scored big for the Piranhas, with a 2nd (500 free), 3rd (200 fly, 5th (200 free) and a pair of 7th (100 fly/200IM). Eric McKenna added to the medal tally with a 7th (500 free), 9th (100 free/100 back), 11th (200 back) and 12th (200 free). Patrick Neafsey (8th 200 breast, 9th 100 breast) and Eric Liu (9th 200 breast, 11th 200 fly) also swam well for the Piranhas. Not to be outdone by the boys, Phoebe Slaughter scored in every event she swam, placing 4th in the 100 free/200 back/100 back, 6th in 100 breast/200 free, and 9th in 200 breast in the girls 13-14 age group. Also placing in the top 12 were Kyle Lumsden- boys 11-12 100 back (9th) and 50 back (11th), Jen Chen, girls 10/under 100 back (6th), 200 IM (7th), 100 fly (8th) and 50 fly (12th), Halle Spataro, girls 10/under 200 free (5th) and 100 breast (12th), and Grant Goodrick, boys 10/under 200 free (8th). Next up for the Piranhas are dual meets with both Wilton and New Canaan, as well as the Branford Invite. Great job by all swimmers – looking forward to more successful meets to come!


Piranha Intrasquad Meet
On Wednesday 10/17, the 10/under Piranhas had their first meet of the season- the Annual Piranha Fall Intra-squad Meet. All of the practice that they had been doing for the past month and a half was finally put to the test- and they did not disappoint! For the new Piranhas, it was their first chance to race in their Piranha colors, and for a few, it was the first ever chance to race! The swimmers all had a great time and put everything they have learned so far out there for all to see. It’s always fun to get up and race and cheer for your teammates! Going forward, we are looking at the kids all being ready for every meet they enter, and have fun being Piranhas this year! A huge thank you to all of the parent volunteers who made the meet run a smoothly as it did, and to all of the fans in the stands- we couldn’t do it without you!! Results are posted. 

Eastern Zone Speedo Super Sectional, 8/1-8/5 @ Buffalo, NY
The Piranhas rewrote the record books and achieved life-time best times in 13 of 15 races at Sectionals.  3 senior Piranhas made the trip up to Buffalo for the Speedo Super Sectional meet. Jake Greene, Eliza Bragg, and Caroline Orem competed with the fastest swimmers in the eastern United States and brought their A game! Bragg was the top point scorer for the Piranhas, as she made the finals in the 200 IM (15th), 400 IM and 100 back (both 19th), and the 200 back (20th). She also broke 8 Team records.  Greene followed up with a 15th in the 400 IM and a 28th in the 200 IM and broke 6 Team records.  Orem scored in the 100 back (23rd). With a very successful long course season behind the Piranhas (young and old), the coaching staff is looking forward to another successful season that begins on Monday, September 10th. Swimmers- enjoy your much deserved rest and be ready to go again in September!!!

Eastern Zone Age Group Championship, 8/8-8/11 @ Richmond, VA
The Piranhas sent 4 swimmers, Erik Ryan, Phoebe Slaughter, Courtney Ferreira and Zac Pear, to the Eastern Zone Age Group Meet and they swam awesome!!  Zones feautures teams from the Eastern part of the United States from Virginia to Maine.  All the Piranhas who attended the meet represented the CT Swimming delegation.  All 4 swimmers did a great job racing and achieved many life-time best times.  Courtney Ferreira (200 Freestyle), Zach Pear (200  Butterfly) and Phoebe Slaughter (100, 200 Backstroke) finaled in the top 8!!  Zach broke the boy’s 13/14 200 butterfly Team record and Courtney broke the girl’s 13/14 800 freestyle Team record.  Great job swimmers!


A Trophy1 IMG 20120630 115005


CT Open Water Championships
Nolan Lovegrove placed 6th at the CT Open Water Championship’s Mini-mile June 30th for the 12/under age group.  This event is an annual Open Water competition held under the sanction of Connecticut Swimming.  This year’s event took place at Lake Quassy Amusement Park in Middlefield, CT.



SpOly-2  SpOly-5  SpOly-4
Piranha Senior and Juniors swim with Darien YMCA Special Olympians
On Friday May 11th, the Junior and Senior Piranhas swimmers came out for a fun filled night of relays, games and pizza with the Darien YMCA Special Olympians.  It was a great event that was a lot of fun for all.  This marks the third time the Piranhas and the Special Olympics have gotten together for such an event.  Thanks to Jim Matthews and Kathy Risely for setting up the evening.  Thanks to all the swimmers who came out to swim and support and thanks to coaches Jason Cochran and Liz Blau for supervising

USA Olympic Team Trials June 25-July 2

Congratulations to Peter Geissinger for making the semi-final in the 100 butterfly.  Just so you know after prelims where there were about 160 swimmer competing in the 100 fly, Peter finished 14th making the semi-final round.  He got to swim at night in Ryan Lochte’s heat eventually finishing 15th overall (top 8 go to the final and a chance at making the Olympic Team).  Again, great job Peter!!! 

Main Trials Page

Live Results


ORCAS/WRAT tri-meet @ Italian Center, Stamford, 6/28
Great job at the Italian Center.  It was a great opportunity for the swimmers to swim Short Course Meters and swim outdoors.  There were many great performances.  Event winners included John Barsanti (9/10 50 Free & Breast), Tam-Hao Nguyen (8/U 25 Free, Back & Fly), Griffin Xie (13/O 100 Back) and Conway Zhou (50 Fly).  Results are posted.   


Westport YMCA 9/U Yard meet @ Westport YMCA, 6/21
Although the Piranha entry was small, it was mighty!!!  The Piranhas descended on the Westport Y and when the dust settled they had won 3 events, placed 2nd in another, 4th in two others along with 3 other top 7 finishes.  Not bad for a Team of 7 swimmers.  Tam-Hao Nguyen won the girl’s 8 year 25 fly and Andrew Pasierb won the boy’s 7 year old 25 Breast and 25 Back.  The entire Piranha Team of Anna Hoffman, Kendall Luecke, Kendall Miller, Jamison Moore, Tam-Hao, Andrew and Jack Stobbie swam great and had a lot of fun.  Thanks to the volunteers who helped the meet run smoothly.  Results are posted. 

CDOG Invite for 12/Unders @ Cheshire Community Pool, 6/23-6/24
On June 23-24, the 12/under Piranhas were ready to race at the CDOG Invitational in Cheshire. Spencer Erickson led the way with a 1st place in the boys 10/under 100 free, a 2nd in the 50 free, 3rd in the 100 back and 200 free, 4th in the 50 back and a 5th in the

50 fly. Other top 8 performers for the Piranhas included Kyle Lumsden- 4th in 50 back and 7th in 50 fly (boys 11/12), Lauren Picard-

3rd in 200 free and 50 back and 4th in 100 free (girls 10/under), and Allie Truwit, who swam to a 6th in the girls 11/12 50 free. It

was a great chance to get in some good long course racing for all of the kids, and it was nice to swim outside!  Up next for the

12/under Piranhas are the CT Regionals 7/20-22, and all things point to more great swims by all!

GRYM 13/Over Invite @ Greenwich YMCA, 6/23-6/24
The Piranhas continued to impress with some great swims this long course season at the Greenwich Marlins Invite June 23-24. Liza Bragg was the top Piranha as she swam to a win in the girls Open 400 IM. She also added 2nd place finishes in the 100 back, 100 fly, 200 back, and 3rd place finishes in

the 100 free and 200 IM. Adding to the medal count for the Piranhas were Chris Weihs- 3rd in boys Open 100 fly and 200 back, Tyler Gould- 3rd in boys

Open 50 and 100 free, and Jake Greene- 3rd in boys Open 200 IM. In the 13/14 age group, Phoebe Slaughter added four 3rd place finishes in the 50/100

free, and 100/200 back, and Erik Ryan was 2nd in the boys 200 IM. Top 8 performances included: 13/14 boys Ryan, Gilmar Barrios and Erik McKenna,

13/14 girls Slaughter, Courtney Ferriera, Becca Maroney and Maggie Orem, Open girls Bragg, Amanda Beiler, Caroline Kearney, Caroline Orem and

Megan Slaughter, and Open boys Gould, Greene, Weihs, Will Smelser and Steven Grune. Next up for the Piranhas will be the CT Senior Championships,

followed by the CT Regionals. Let’s get ready for some more fast swimming!

Thanks to our officials who made up more than half of the officiating crew for the weekend, Gigi Kearney, Nancy Grune, Pat Begos, Tom Ryan and Erica Merrill for volunteering at the meet.  The meet literally would not have been run without your help.  Also thanks to the three timers we had to produce each day.  I don’t have all your names, but thank you for stepping up. 

Meet Information:
Zeus 9/Under Meet @ Norwalk High School   Friday, June 1st the littlest Piranhas took to the water at Norwalk HS for the Zeus Mayor’s Cup swim meet. The kids all picked up right where they left off last season, with each one improving their best times in at least one event. Top ten performances were turned in by 8&under boys Ivey Gehring, Andrew Pasierb, and Jack Stobbie, 9 year old boys Jamison Moore and Ned Smith, 8&under girls Gracie Spataro and Tam-Hao Nguyen and 9 year old girl Caitlin Pasierb. Despite having only 10 swimmers at the meet, we certainly cheered the loudest for our teammates!! Next up for the 9/under crowd is the WRAT meet on Thursday, June 21st. Go Piranhas!!


Wilton Trials/Finals Meet @ Wilton YMCA, 6/2-6/3   With only one rain delay on the last night of competition, the Piranhas stormed into the pool at the Wilton Y (minus the bubble) for their first outdoor LC meet of the season. After a chilly start on the first morning, the swimmers got out their mirrored goggles and swam fast in the sunshine that was in, but mostly out, all weekend. Erik Ryan was the top Piranha, winning the boys 13/14 100 fly and 400 free, followed by top 3 finishers Lauren Picard (girls 10/under), Gilmar Barrios and Zach Pear (boys 13/14), Courtney Ferreira and Phoebe Slaughter (girls 13/14) and Jake Greene (15/over boys). A number of swimmers recorded best times in their events—a very encouraging sign since it’s so early in the season!! Keep up the good work!!!




Darien Piranhas Intrasquad meet @ Darien YMCA  Wednesday June 6th the Darien Y pool was filled with Piranha energy as the 11/unders swam in the annual Spring Piranha Intrasquad meet. It was a lot of fun to have the kids get some racing in in their home pool, as well as cheer on their teammates. All of the kids had a great time and we saw some fast swimming for this time of year. Thanks to all of the parents who helped run the meet- we couldn’t do it without you!


Omni Meet @ Yale, May 11-12
The waters of the historic Yale 50 meter pool beckoned the Piranhas to come out and play this past weekend- and play they did!! The meet began Friday night with the rare chance for swimmers to compete in the 800 meter freestyle, and continued through Saturday, with the 13/overs dominating in the morning and the 12/unders racing fast in the afternoon. First place finishers Megan Slaughter (girls 13/over 200 breast) and Julia Stobbie (girls 13/over 200 free and 200 IM) led the Piranhas, as many swimmers swam fast early-season times, and many swimmers won their heats with ease. Top ten performers include : Gilmar Barrios, Matt Benz, Alex Clark, Paige Cleary, Courtney Ferreira, Dylan Gilhooly, Jake Greene, Chris Janson, Caroline Kearney, Liz Kearney, Daniel Lu, Becca Maroney, Emily Molinelli, Patrick Neafsey, Zach Pear, Lauren Picard, Oliver Rus, Lauren Rutledge, Erik Ryan, Phoebe Slaughter, Will Smelser, JJ Whalen, Ben Zhao, and Sheena Zhou. Piranha power rules!



NCY Spectacular 5/5
The 12/under Piranhas quickly got back to their winning ways with the first meet of the long course season May 5th at New Canaan YMCA. Led by 8/under Jack Stobbie (3 first place finishes!), the Piranhas attacked the 25 meter course with the same intensity they left off with at the end of the short course season. Lots of great swims were turned in, and the swimmers showed they want everyone to know that they mean business! Top 10 performances were turned in by Jennifer Chen, Nico Clark, Matthew Colonna, Spencer Erickson, Ariel Gianukakis, Caroline Haddad, Daniel Lu, Kyle Lumsden, Cassie Maroney, Kendall Miller, Lauren Picard, Oliver Rus, Gracie Spataro, Halle Spataro, Ben Zhao, Sheena Zhou, and Connor Zielinski.


The Wilton Invite May 4-6
While the 12/under Piranhas were at New Canaan, the 13/0ver Piranhas kept the waters churning at their first long course (50 meter) meet of the season, the Wilton Invite May 4-6. Sometimes adjusting to racing in a long course pool takes some getting used to, but you wouldn’t have noticed that as the Piranhas raced quite well for this early in the season. Led by event winner Erik Ryan (boys 13/14 100 fly), top ten performers included Gilmar Barrios, Matt Benz, Paige Cleary, Courtney Ferreira, Dylan Gilhooly, Freddy Hinkley, Chris Janson, Caroline Kearney, Liz Kearney, Becca Maroney, Erik McKenna, Emily Molinelli, Patrick Neafsey, Caroline Orem, Maggie Orem, Zach Pear, Erik Ryan, Phoebe Slaughter, Will Smelser, Julia Stobbie and Michelle Wall. Way to go Piranhas!!

12/Under YMCA New Englands @ Harvard, March 24 & March 31-April 1

The mighty 12/under Piranhas finished out the short course season with a trip up to Boston for the 2012 New England YMCA Championships on March 24th, 31st, and April 1st. Most all of the swimmers swam lifetime best times in their events and many placed in the top 16.

On Saturday 3/24, the 11/12 boys and girls got things off to a great start. Kristen Picard, Allie Truwit, Ariel Gianukakis and Carly Rutledge competed for the 11/12 Piranha girls, with Picard placing 8th in the 100 back and 9th in the 50 back. Alex Clark, Matthew Freeman, Kyle Lumsden and Cam Shutts teamed up to place 16th in both the 11/12 boys 200 medley and 200 free relay.

The following weekend, the 10/under team made the trip up to the Harvard pool and kept the energy flowing! Saturday 3/31, Kelsey Vrooman, Cassie Maroney, Lauren Picard and Caroline Haddad started things off with a 6th place finish in the girls 9/10 200 medley relay. Vrooman also placed 10th in the 50 free, 11th in the 100 free, and 13th in the 50 fly. Picard added an 11th in the 100 back and a 14th in the 50 back and Maroney finished up with a 15th in the 50 fly. The boys also got into the action with Spencer Erickson placing 12th in the 50 back and 15th in the 50 free and Daniel Lu finishing 14th in the 100 IM. Erickson and Lu teamed up with Connor Zielinski and John Barsanti to finish 3rd in the 200 free relay and the team of Barsanti, Zielinski, Michael Pizzani and Ethan Keyes added an 11th in the 200 medley relay. On Sunday 4/1, the 8/unders proved that they will be a force for the Piranhas in the future, with the boys finishing in 5th place overall (112.5 points) and the girls placing 6th overall (73 points). Alex Peters and Jamison Moore led the boys, with Peters placing 2nd in the 25 breast, 4th in the 50 free and 6th in the 100 IM. Moore added to the medal count with a 4th in the 25 breast and an 11th in the 25 free. Peters and Moore teamed up with Jack Stobbie and Ned Smith to place 5th in the boys 100 free relay and the team of Moore, Stobbie, Smith and Grant Goodrick finished 10th in the 100 medley relay. The girls’ team of Arden Anderson, Ridgely Gargano, Tam-Hao Nguyen and Kelsey Olvany raced to a 4th place finish in the 100 medley relay and a 5th place finish in the 100 free relay. Rounding out the top performances for the weekend was Gargano’s 8th place finish in the 25 breast, Anderson with a 14th in the 25 back and Nguyen with a 15th in the 25 fly.

With such a great short course season behind them, the kids earned a much needed rest (this week) and will be back to training on Monday, April 9th for the opening of the long course season. Keep up the fantastic work!!!

CT Age Groups @ Wesleyan, 3/15-3/18

The Piranha Age Group Championship team, 30 strong, took to the pool this past weekend at Wesleyan University. Though the competition was fierce, and fast, many Piranhas swam fast enough to make it back to finals at night. Led by Liza Bragg, the Piranhas had great swims in all events, with most everyone posting best times in all events they swam. Bragg, competing in the 15-18 girls events, is now the reigning Age Group Champion in the 400 IM, 200 back and 200 free. Additionally, she finished in 2nd place in the 200 IM, and 6thin both the 50 free and 100 free. Liza’s performances in the 200 IM (2:06.05), 400 IM (4:27.98), 200 back (2:02.10), 100 free (52.93) and 200 free (1:53.07) are now new Piranha team records! Other finalists included 13-14 girls Courtney Ferreira and Phoebe Slaughter, 15-18 girls Caroline Kearney, Emily Molinelli and Megan Slaughter, 13-14 boys Zach Pear and Erik Ryan, 15-18 boys Chris Janson and Will Smelser and 11-12 boys Ben Zhao. Although there were no finals for the 10/unders, the Piranhas proved that we are the ones to watch in the future with Nico Clark, Spencer Erickson, Daniel Lu and Lauren Picard all scoring points in their events. The 12/under Piranha contingent was rounded out by great performances by Allie Truwit, John Barsanti, Michael Pizzani, and Connor Zielinski. Watch for these 12/under Piranhas (and a few more!) to top off their season over the next 2 weekends at the New England YMCA Championships at Harvard.

Results are now posted.



CT 8/Under Championships, 3/10 @ Greenwich YMCA
The Mighty Maia group of the Piranhas gave us a glimpse of the future this past Saturday at the 8/under Ct. State Championships at the Greenwich YMCA- and it’s a bright one!! The boys meet kicked off in the morning with Ned Smith and Jack Stobbie swimming best times in nearly all of their events, highlighted by a 10th place in the 25 back for Ned and an 11th place for Jack in the 25 fly. The girls continued the success through the afternoon session, with all swimming best times in most all of their events. Great performances were turned in by Gracie Spataro (2nd in 7yr. 25 breast), Ridgely Gargano (5th in 8yr. 25 free, 6th in 8yr. 25 breast), Tam-Hao Nguyen (6th in 8yr. 25 fly, 10th in 8yr. 25 breast), Kelsey Olvany (6th in 8yr. 25 free, 7th in 8yr. 50 free), and Kendall Leucke (15th in 8yr. 50 free). Gracie, Ridgely, Kelsey and Tam-Hao teamed up for a 7th place finish in the 8/under 100 free relay, and the team of Kendall, Ridgely, Tam-Hao and Kelsey placed 4thin the 8/under 100 medley relay to finish a great day of swimming. Thanks to all of the parents who provided great cheering and encouragement, as well as volunteering where needed- we all make a great team to help the kids reach their goals!!!  Results are now posted.


12/Under YMCA States @ Cheshire, 2/11-2/12
The Piranhas once again showed that they are a force to be reckoned with this season as they swam very well at the 12/under Y State Championships. Most of the swimmers posted best times in at least one event. Top ten finishers for the Piranhas include : Arden Anderson, John Barsanti, Nico Clark, Spencer Erickson, Ridgely Gargano, Tam-Hao Nguyen, Kristen Picard, Lauren Picard, Oliver Rus, Ned Smith, Jack Stobbie, Kelsey Vrooman and Ben Zhao. Congratulations to all swimmers on a job well done!


WAC Invite for 13/overs @ New Haven, 2/11-2/12
The 13/over Piranhas took a break from their hard training to compete at the WAC Invitational on February 11th and 12th. Despite being in their hard-training phase, the swimmers gave it their all and some impressive performances were turned in. Top ten finishers include : Gilmar Barrios, Lia Barsanti, Amanda Bieler, Maddie Burke, Lexi Devlin, Courtney Ferreira, Caroline Kearney, Liz Kearney, Eric Liu, Becca Maroney, Emily Molinelli, Patrick Neafsey, Caroline Orem, Zach Pear, Erik Ryan, Megan Slaughter, Phoebe Slaughter, Julia Stobbie, Michelle Wall, and Jay Whelan. Keep up the hard work!

Zeus 9-10 Year Old Invite @ Norwalk High School, 2/4
The Zeus meet was a big success for the Piranhas.  Most everyone had best times and looked great!  Swimmers scoring points for us were: John Barsanti, Jacqui Benisch, Spencer Erickson, Kate Goldsmith, Grant Goodrick, Ethan Keyes, Nolan Lovegrove, Daniel Lu, Cassie Maroney, Jamison Moore, Lauren Picard, Michael Pizzani, Hayden Puff, George Sarbinowski, Josie Yeager, and Connor Zielinski.  Keep up the great swims!! 


Please be reminded that in order for swimmers to compete at CT Regionals and/or Age Groups a swimmer must have participated in at least one CT USA Swim meets (this changed from the beginning of the season).  YMCA and Intrasquad meets do not count toward this criteria.  Here are the CT USA meets we have and are attending this season (Oct. BRS Meet, 13/O Oct. and Dec. Piranha Distance Meets, Dec., FINS meet, 12/U Jan BRS Meet, Jan NCY Meet, Jan 13/O Piranha Distance meet, FEB 9/10 Zeus Meet, Feb WAC Meet).  Regional meet sign up comes down Monday Feb 13th.  Lastly, please check the Piranha Handbook for criteria for other high level meets. 


DAY 1 – The 2012 Swim Challenge went off with a bang Sunday.  The Piranha Seniors were the first swimmers to jump in and fulfill their challenge.  They swam a 4 hour workout Sunday morning amassing 14,000 yards (540 laps) which is roughly twice a normal workout.  Later in the day the Piranhas went to the Depot for the Swim Challenge Kickoff Party.  There was music, dancing, raffle, food and fun.  Thanks to all the Piranha parents who helped make the party a huge hit.  Couldn’t do it without you.

Day 2 – The second day of the 2012 Swim Challenge proved just as exciting and fulfilling as the first.  The Maia and Nautilus were on tap to take on their challenge and they did not disappoint.  It was an evening full of tired but happy faces and proud coaches and parents.  The music was blasting, Henk was getting the parents and kids pumped up with the help of his bull horn and Jason and Liz were on hand to greet the kids as they exited the pool.  It was a great night to be a Piranha!!!  Thanks to all the kids, parents and helpers on hand to share in the 2012 Swim Challenge.  Everyone did a great job and your coaches and parents are so proud!!

Day 3 – The third day of SC featured the Junior I&II group in action.  The pool was packed as the two groups, much like the Seniors, swam a long and grueling practice.  The Junior I group swam a 2 hour and 45 minute workout which amounted to 10,000 yards (equal to 400 laps)!!!  The Junior II’s swam a shorter but no less impressive 8600 yard workout in the same amount of time.  This was actually 100 yards over the goal that was set for the group!!  Each group exited the water tired but very proud.   Great job swimmers!!!

Day 4– The Poseidon group jumped in the water last Friday for their respective Swim Challenge.  The night was full of music and a ton of swimming.  There was little to no stopping by the swimmers as most of them swam straight for the allotted 2 hours!!   It was pretty intense!  As the clocked struck 7:30p and the swimmers exited the pool, Ali Truwit and Cam Shutts emerged with most laps swum for the evening, 332 laps for Ali and 310 for Cam!!!  Ali swam 8300 yards which is over 100 laps more than her designated challenge!!  Everyone did an awesome job.   Your coaches and parents couldn’t be more proud!!      

Day 5– Make up day of Swim Challenge was no less enthusiastic than the first!!  The 5th day featured swimmers from the Maia, Nautilus and Poseidon groups.  Once again there was music, little to no stopping and a lot of swimming.  Maia swimmer Kelsey Olvany set the high mark for the Maia with 172 laps, followed closely by Kendal Luecke with 156!!  Michael Pizzani and Nico Clark led the Nautilus with 200 and 180 laps respectively while Alex Clark led the Poseidon with 240.  This draws to an end the 2012 Swim Challenge.  Great job everyone!!  

The Piranhas as a Team have amassed 882,900 yards– that’s 501.65 miles!!!!!!

Most laps by group

Maia – Kelsey Olvany 172, Kendall Luecke 156, Arden Anderson 155

Nautilus – Jackson Morgan 200, John Barsanti 200, Michael Pizzani 200

Poseidon – Ali Truwit 332, Cam Shutts 310



Piranha Intrasquad Meet 1/11/12
The Piranha Intrasquad meet was once again a big success. It’s always fun for the kids to get a chance to race in a relaxed atmosphere. The swimmers all swam well, and it was nice to see them cheering for their teammates, and the having the more experienced swimmers help out the newer ones. Thanks again to all of the parents for all of their help in running the meet, and getting your swimmers there! (As a side note- we were short on first place ribbons, so we have ordered them and expect them in soon!)





TYR Capital Classic
This past weekend the Piranhas traveled to the TYR Capital Classic in Greensboro, North Carolina for the 12th consecutive year. This year the Piranhas traveled with 23 swimmers!! Their largest group ever. The meet showcased some of the fastest swimmer in YMCA swimming and some of the fastest swimmers on the east coast. Top 10 Championship finalist for the Piranhas were Caroline Orem (400 IM, 200Back), Liza Bragg (50, 100 Free, 100, 200 Back, 200 IM, 100 Fly) and Steven Grune (50 Free). Other finalist include Jack Bair (200, 500 Free, 200 Back), James Baker (200 Fly 1650 Free), Bragg (400 IM), Tyler Gould (50, 100, 200 Free, 100 Fly), Grune (100 Fly, 200 Fly, 100 free), Chris Janson (400 IM, 200 Back), Caroline Kearney (100 Breast), Orem(200 Free, 200 Breast, 100 Back). Chris Janson made his first YMCA National qualifying time standard in the 400 IM!! Caroline Orem broke 2 Team records for the 15-18 and Open Girls division in the 400 IM only to have Teammate Liza Bragg break the records later that evening. Liza Bragg broke 8 Team records for the Girl’s 15-18 and Open division (100, 200 Back, 200, 400 IM.)   The 100 Backstroke records was one of the oldest records on the books, set in 1995. Congratulations to all the Piranhas on a great meet!!  Thanks to Chaperones Nancy Grune and Britt Bair and Assistant Coach Jessica Johnston.


FINS Meet @ Meriden, December 10-11
The Piranhas returned to action this past weekend at the Fins Invite in Meriden, CT.  Our 13/Over Piranhas competed both Sat/Sun afternoons and had some great races.  It was a chance to swim some new events and to see improvement on events that they competed in earlier in the season. Our 12/Under Piranhas competed Sunday morning.  After braving the early wakeup, they showed up in force and ready to race!  Once again it was a chance to see improvement and try some new events.  Congratulations to all swimmers for a great job.  Thank you to our parents who stepped up as both timers and officials!  Great meet! Results coming soon.


8/Under Dual v Wilton @ Darien YMCA, 12/2
Piranha swimmers were at it again, racing tough and swimming well against the Wilton Y Wahoos.  Top 3 performances were turned in by Ivey Gehring, Grant Goodrick, Schuyler Hyde, Kendall Luecke, Jamison Moore, Tam-Hao Nguyen, Kelsey Olvany, Andrew Pasierb, Ned Smith and Jack Stobbie.  All of the swimmers should be proud of their performances as they have all improved greatly since our first week of practice!  A special thank you goes out to all of the volunteers who helped to make the meet run smoothly, as well as all of the cheerleaders in the stands!


9-12 Year old Dual v Wilton @ Wilton YMCA, 12/4
The Nautilus and Poseidon groups got to see their hard work pay off during our dual meet with Wilton.  Many of the swims were best times and the swimmers had lots of fun cheering for their teammates.  Top 3 performances were turned in by John Barsanti, Andrew Benz, Anthony Bosco, Ian Brown, Alex Clark, Nico Clark, Lindsey Ferreira, Matthew Freeman, Cassie Maroney, Alexander Peters, Kristen Picard, Lauren Picard, Michael Pizzani, Oliver Rus, Allie Truwit, Kelsey Vrooman, Ben Zhao, Conway Zhou, Sheena Zhou and Connor Zielinski.  Keep up the hard work!!



New Canaan Distance Meet @ New Canaan YMCA, 11/18
Great job!  Results are posted.  The Piranhas had 97% best times!!


Wilton Thanksgiving Invite 
Results are posted.  Great swimming at Wilton!! Once again the Piranhas put their best foot forward at the Thanksgiving Invite. Congratulations to Liza Bragg for winning the Senior High Point Award. She won the 200 back and 200 IM, as well as placed 2nd or 3rd in all of her other events. Other Piranhas that scored points: Jack Bair, Gilmar Barrios, Lia Barsanti, Nico Clark, Mackenzie Coughlin, Lexi Devlin, Spencer Erickson, Courtney Ferreira, Steven Grune, Chris Janson, Eric Liu, Daniel Lu, Becca Maroney, Cassie Maroney, Erik McKenna, Emily Molinelli, Patrick Neafsey, Maggie Orem, Zach Pear, Cesar Pena, Kristen Picard, Lauren Picard, Erik Ryan, Samantha Schrenker, Megan Slaughter, Phoebe Slaughter, Julia Stobbie, Allie Truwit, Kelsey Vrooman and Ben Zhao. Keep up the good work!!!


New Canaan Dual meets

Congratulations to all swimmers who competed in the dual meet vs. New Canaan last Friday. A great time was had by all and there were some great swims. Special congratulations to individual event winners: Arden Anderson, Ridgely Gargano, Jamison Moore, Alexander Peters, Lauren Picard, Kelsey Vrooman, Matthew Freeman, Kyle Lumsden, Kristen Picard, and Ben Zhao. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the meets run smoothly.  Our next dual meet is vs. Wilton on Dec. 2nd and 4th.


Branford Invitational
This meet proved to be an exciting one for the Piranhas- and not because of the snow! In our first USA swimming meet of the season, the kids, coaches and parents got a glimpse of what lies ahead. With nearly every swimmer turning in best times in at least one event, Piranha Power was evident in almost every race on Saturday and Sunday. Congratulations go out to individual event winners Spencer Erickson (Boys 10/under 50 fly and 50 back), Tyler Gould (Boys 15/over 50 free and 200 free), Emily Molinelli (Girls 15/0ver 100 fly and 100 breast) and Kristen Picard (Girls 11/12 50 back). Special congratulations go out to the following swimmers, who achieved best times in all events they swam: Gilmar Barrios, Nick Giotis, Caroline Haddad, Freddy Hinckley, Jordan Kuhlman, Kyle Lumsden, Peter Marment, Cassie Maroney, Jeffrey McKee, Sean Mullen, Patrick Neafsey, Cary O’Brien, Kristen Picard, Lauren Picard, Michael Pizzani, Matt Ross, Carly Rutledge, Lauren Rutledge, Erik Ryan, Cam Shutts, Emma Sisk, Cara Tracey, Kelsey Vrooman, Parker Ward, Kenny Yamaguchi, Ben Zhao, and Sheena Zhou.  


Piranha Winter Intrasquad Meet
The House swimmers and 9/U Piranhas got together for a fun filled night of swimming, cheering and Team bonding.  For many this was their first Piranha meet or their first opportunity to race this season.  The evening was a lot of fun.  Thanks to Mary Pasierb who organized all the volunteers , Official Gigi Kearney and the coaches for doing a great job making the meet run smooth. 


Piranha Distance Meet @ Darien YMCA – 10/14
The Piranhas kicked off their short course season by hosting a distance meet this past Friday evening here at the Darien YMCA.  It was a great opportunity to swim either the 400 IM or the 500 Freestyle.  For our Seniors, it was a chance to compete in both events.  Congratulations to Gilmar Barrios for competing in his first ever 400 IM.  Congratulations to Erik Ryan, Phoebe Slaughter, Andrew Lomanto, Patrick Neafsey, Erik McKenna, and Matt Ross for swimming their first 500 as Piranhas! Seniors Tyler Gould, Will Smelser, and Devin Oulighan all pulled the double by racing both events in a short time period.  The Piranhas will return to competition with the Stingray Qualifier October 29-30th.  Thank you to all parents for timing and thank you to Dave Oulighan, Tom Ryan, Delphine Brown, Pat Begos, and Craig Lovegrove for officiating the meet.


Long Course Meets:     
Eastern Zone Championships, August 10-13
Erik Ryan the Piranhas lone representative at the Eastern Zone Age Group Championships, had an awesome meet!  He had a strong third leg to help Team CT WIN the 400 Free and Medley relays.  He finaled in three events bettering his life-time best time in all three, 100 Free, 100 Fly, 200 Fly.  He also swam a life-time best time in the 100 Back.  He also  broke two Team records for the boy’s 11/12 100 and 200 Fly!  Great job Erik, an awesome way to end the season!

Speedo Super Sectional Championships, August 4-7
The Piranhas ended the season on a high note at Summer Sectionals.  Overall 8 Team records were broken and the Piranhas had 5 of the 6 swimmers attending final!  Jake Greene came away with 6 Team records.  He broke the boy’s 15-18 & Open  record in the following events, 400 Free, 1500 Free and 400 IM.  Two of the records were held by 2008 Olympic Trial qualifiers!   Liza Bragg broke two records in the girl’s 15-18 and Open 100 Back.  The 400 free relay Team of Chris Weihs, Steven Grune, Jake Greene and Tyler Gould finished 9th!


Another great meet!!
Age Group Championships
Great job to all Piranhas who competed in the 2011 LC Age Group Championships this past weekend! Even the hot temps couldn’t stop this group – you all did a fantastic job! Friday night got off to a great start with a total of 8 swims making it back at finals – an impressive five of the eight being in the Championship final. Erik Ryan smashed the long time standing Piranha team record from 1995 to end up placing 1st overall in the 11-12 100 fly! Also – special congratulations to the 11-12 boys 400 freestyle relay of Erik Ryan, Eric Liu, Parker Ward, and Zach Pear who broke the previous year’s team record in this event. The second night the Piranhas held their own, bringing a total of 8 swims back to finals (with five swims being a part of the Championship final). The relay team of Zach Pear, Erik Ryan, Eric Liu and Parker Ward once again broke two more records on this day including the 11-12 boys 200 freestyle relay from the previous year and the longstanding 11-12 boys 200 medley relay from 2001! Going out on a high note, Sunday evening finals ended up being the busiest night of the weekend for the team with a total of 15 swims making it back to swim! Two more team records were broken on this night including Phoebe Slaughter in the 11-12 girls 200 breaststroke and Erik Ryan in the 11-12 boys 200 fly! Special congratulations to first time Age Group Championship finalists Caroline Kearney (7th in 15-19 200 breaststroke), Will Smelser (6th in 15-19 400 freestyle and 7th in the 15-19 200 freestyle), Jack Bair (4th in the 15-19 400 free) and Kristin Picard (8th in 11-12 50 backstroke). Congratulations also to the following first time Age Group top 16 finalists: Parker Ward, Paige Cleary, and Zach Pear. Other finalists for the Piranhas included Emily Molinelli, Amanda Bieler, and Elizabeth Kearney. A big thank you to officials Nancy Grune, Gigi Kearney, and Tom Ryan for fulfilling all of our volunteer requirements and to Gigi and Tom for fulfilling all of our finals requirements! You showed tremendous strength to battle through the hot temps all weekend and we appreciate your efforts!

Awesome swims at 2011 CT Regionals
The Piranhas traveled to Brookfield and Middletown this weekend for one of the last meets of the season. The CT Regional Championship was the culmination of many weeks of hard work and dedication for many of our swimmers and the Piranhas had an amazing meet!!   Among the slew of new Age Group and Seniors cuts, 75% of the Piranha swims were life-time best times!!! That is a huge percentage. On Saturday, the 13/overs had 2 swims that were not life-time best times.   The swimmers who had all best times for the weekend: Eric Liu, Zac Pear, Lauren Rutledge, George Sarbinowski, Rachel Stobbie, Parker Ward, Ben Zhao, Conway Zhou, Sheena, Zhou, Caroline Kearney, Lia Barsanti, Becca Maroney, Maggie Orem, Amelia Ornato, Matt Ross, Sam Schrenker, Megan Slaughter, Michelle Wall. Regional Champions included: Liz Kearney in the 100 Breast, Hadley Merrill in the 200 Fly, Zac Pear in the 100 Fly, 100 Back, and 50 Back, Rachel Stobbie in the 50 Free and 50 Fly. Congratulations to all the Piranhas for a great weekend of swimming! Keep up the awesome job!

CT Seniors July 14-17 @ Wesleyan
Great job to all swimmers who participated last weekend in the CT Senior Championships! The piranhas had a strong showing with a total of 36 swims returning for the evening’s championship final session. Special congratulations to the following top 8 finalists overall: Liza Bragg (100 back, 200 IM, 200 back) Jake Green (1500 Free), and Steven Grune (50 Free). Will Smelser and Chris Janson also finished up their season with lifetime best times in every event they swam. Special thanks also to our meet leader Laurie Orem.

Jake Greene wins CT Swimming Open Water Championship!
A group of 12 Piranhas, (Greene, Chris Janson Jack Bair, Gilmar Barrios, Cesar Pena, Hadley Merrill, Amanda Bieler, Sam Schrenker, Natalie Grune, Lia Barsanti, Becca Maroney and Amelia Ornato) travel to the Madison Surf Club Madison CT, for the annual Open Water Madison Mile.  This event is conducted as Connecticut Swimming’s Open Water Championship and the only open water race on the CT Swimming calendar.  This was a great and challenging opportunity to get the swimmers out of the “comforts” of the pool and into the open water.   Many of the Piranhas were swimming an open water race for the first time and they did not disappoint.  Jake Greene, a long time Piranha heading to Lehigh University in the fall, was not only the first 15-18 year old male out of the water, but the first overall swimmer to finish the race.  Jack Bair was the third 15-18 male to finish.  Amanda Bieler was third overall for the 13/14 girls followed by Amelia Ornato in 4th and Natalie Grune in 5th.  It was a great day in Madison and the Piranhas did an awesome job!

June 25-26, Sea Dog 12/U Invite @ Cheshire
The 12/U Piranhas made the early drive up to Cheshire both Saturday and Sunday to compete in the Cheshire Sea Dog Invite. It was a great experience not only swimming another long course meet before championship season begins, but also swimming outside in the elements! Swimmers battled colder temperatures and overcast skies on Saturday and warm weather and sunshine on Sunday. Everyone was prepared and swam great! There were many best times and big smiles. Great job to all who participated. Special thanks also to all of our parents who volunteered during the meet.

Wedneday June 8, Intrasquad Meet @ Darien

The Piranha Intrasquad meet this past Wednesday was a huge success! This meet is a great opportunity for House and 10/U piranhas to swim several good races, cheer on teammates, and have a fun time.  There were many new best times and great swims. All swimmers who participated did a great job and should be proud!  Special thanks to meet leader Mary Pasierb, official Gigi Kearney, and all Senior Piranha swimmers who helped make sure each swimmer was in the right spot at the right time!  Thanks also to our dedicated parents who volunteered to time or help with ribbon writing.  We couldn’t have done it without your help.

Sunday May 22 – WCYM Meet @ Brookfield
While the day was cold and dreary, the Piranhas were ready to heat things up in the pool!  In their second meet of the season, the Piranhas once again showed that they are willing to race anytime and anywhere.  A strong group of 13/O swimmers braved the cool temperatures in the morning and put together some great swims.  Once again there were many best times.  Our 12/U Piranhas showed up in the afternoon and were not going to let the unfavorable weather keep them from swimming fast!  Just like the morning, best times and great racing were the theme.  Congratulations to all of our swimmers for doing a great job.  Thank you to our parents who volunteered throughout the day.  The Piranhas will return to competition June 3-5 at the WAC Invitational at Wesleyan.  Results posted.
Wed, May 11th – Shoulder mechanics and injury prevention presentation
Thanks to Gigi Kearney, for taking the time to put on a great and informative presentation.  I will post the presentation shortly.  Presentation.


Link to May 15th meet article at the Daily Darien:

Saturday May 14 – OMNI Meet  @ Yale:  
The Piranhas kicked off their first weekend of long course competion at the annual Omin Invite at Yale University.  Will Smelser and Natalie Grune got the weekend started with two great 800s on Friday night.  Saturday morning, our 12/U Piranhas were excited and ready to swim fast!  For some, it was their first time swimming in a long course pool.  All the practices leading up to the meet paid off as the morning was full of best times!  Congratulations to Ali Truwit for breaking the Team record in the 9/10 Girl’s 50 Breaststroke!!  The afternoon session was a chance for our 13/O Piranhas to see how far they have come in the last year.  Once again, they stepped up and swam fast with many best times!  Thank you to our officials Tom Ryan and Martin Milewski and all of our parent timers that volunteered their time this weekend. The Piranhas return to action this coming Sunday at the Mako Invitational in Brookfield, CT. Results are posted.


Sunday May 15 – Piranha 9/U Yard meet  @ Darien YMCA
The Piranhas turned out in full force to represent our team during the Piranha 9/U meet this past Saturday at home.  There were several best times and during most races a Piranha could be seen out front.  Special congratulations to Spencer Erickson for placing first overall in the 9 and under Boys division 50 Freestyle!  Other Piranhas placing in the top 6 in an individual event in their prospective age groups include Lauren Picard (9), Halle Spataro (9), Payton Miller (8), Justin Osler (8), Jennifer Chen (9), and Arden Anderson (8).  Great work Piranhas – your hard word is paying off! Special thanks also to our meet leader Nora Baker, Senior swimmers and to all of our dedicated officials and parent volunteers who helped us run the meet.  We could not have done it without your support!

2011 Piranha Banquet
Sunday night the Piranhas capped off the 2010-11 SC Season with the annual Piranha Banquet.  Pat Morrissey started the evening with a heart felt and poignant invocation.  The evening was full of fun and inspiration capped off by speeches from 6 graduating Piranhas.  The Seniors spoke about how much the Piranhas and coaching staff meant to them as they progressed through the program and the best part, they all thanked their parents.  A huge thank you to Annie Slaughter and her crew for putting on a great banquet! 

Congratulations to Chris Weihs who was honored with the CT High School Swimming Scholar-Athlete award last week at the All-State banquet.  Only one boy from the state receives this award!


YMCA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS                                                                                                                       
8 Piranhas traveled to the YMCA National Championship meet last week in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The competition was fierce with the meet featuring YMCA teams from the across the country and Canada! All the hard work and determination that these swimmers showed all season paid off as they posted many lifetime bests. The following team records were broken during the meet: Lindsay Tyler (Girls 15-18 and Open Division 500 Free, 1000 Free and 200 Back!) ; Jake Green (Boys 15-18 and Open Division 1650 Free – previous record set in 2003 by Matt Donch a 2008 Olympic Trials Semi-finalist!) ; Chris Weihs, Steven Grune, Jake Greene and Tyler Gould (Boys 15-18 400 Free Relay); Chris Weihs, Steven Grune, Jake Greene, Jack Bair (Boys 15-18 800 Free Relay); Tyler Gould, Jake Greene, Steven Grune, Chris Weihs (Boys 15-18 Medley Relay). Great work Piranhas!




Peter Clark, visit – swimmers
On Tuesday morning about 25 Piranhas piled into Henk’s office for an intimate and unique opportunity to sit down with one of USA Swimming’s top swimming advisors and consultants, Peter Clark.  Peter’s discussion centered on, how to formulate long and short term goals and the importance of both.  His discussion also touched how a swimmer could and should plan a season, college swimming and process of recruiting.  He also touched upon elite swimmers and how they become “elite,” how they prepare for races and how they plan.  He challenged the kids and he got them to think.  The best part is 99% of what he said, transcends swimming and sports.  He gave them valuable information they can use in all aspects of life.  It was an awesome discussion for all our swimmers who took advantage of this opportunity.   




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