The Cambridge-Stevens Pointe swim team is riding the Waves this summer, and that might make the Piranhas a big fish in a small pond during the current CSRA Swim League season.
Watervale's swim team has gone belly-up, and many of the former Waves have joined the CSP squad this year.
"It was a good thing for us, because we get to use their pool and all their swimmers," CSP's Katie Arfman said of Watervale's decision to disband. "Our team has grown a lot, and now we're a lot bigger and better."
Over the past few years, Watervale's swim slogan was "Only lightning can stop us!" The team's numbers had become so low, though, that the Waves were declared a washout and the team folded.
"I was disappointed, but it's fun now," said former Watervale swimmer Brianna Lowrie, who now is competing with the Piranhas.
Dillon Keeler competes for Springlakes Stingrays in Tuesday's home meet against Cambridge-Stevens Pointe.
Photo by Mike Howell
Cambridge-Stevens Point has grown from 16 swimmers a decade ago to 130 this summer. In summer-league events, size matters -- the Piranhas chewed up Woodbridge in the season-opening meet, then added a solid win last week at Springlakes.
"I'm not going to lie -- having more swimmers is definitely an advantage," CSP coach Peter Caruana said as his team stroked past Springlakes on Tuesday. "A lot of our increase is attributed to Watervale, but we've been growing every year."
The Piranhas also have been winning. Two seasons ago CSP seized the Division 4 title, the squad took top honors in Division 3 last summer, and CSP is an early favorite in next month's Division 2 championships.
For former Wave and new Piranha Amy Leigh Mulherin, success is a new experience.
"When we were at Watervale, we lost a lot. We weren't very good," the 13-year-old said. "I'm very proud to be on this team now because we're very big, we win and it's a lot of fun."
Still, it's too soon for CSP to celebrate a third straight division crown. Of the CSRA Swim League's four divisions, Division 2 features the most Columbia County-based teams. Along with Cambridge-Stevens Pointe and Springlakes, Jones Creek, Woodbridge and Farmington-Northwood also compete in Division 2.
"I guess it makes things a little more competitive," Springlakes swimmer Christian Kata said of the 2003 division alignments. "Last year we were in Division 1 and we got killed, because we just didn't have the numbers. The teams are a bit more even this year (in Division 2)."
At this point, CSP seems to have an edge. The Piranhas have been bolstered by the Watervale swimmers, and also feature several strong year-round athletes from Greater Augusta Swimming.
Cambridge-Stevens Point swimmer Christi Parker leaps into the pool for her leg of the 6-and-under medley relay event last week at Springlakes.
Photo by Mike Howell
But superior numbers and solid strokes are no guarantee of another title for CSP at next month's season-ending meet.
"At the division championships there will be more teams, and that will even out the points," Kata said. "There could be a surprise at the end."
CSRA Swim League
Week Two, Columbia County results
Jones Creek 379, Farmington-Northwood 377
Cambridge-Stevens Pointe 454, Springlakes 351
Woodbridge 423, North Augusta Country Club 297
Rivershyre 427, National Hills 315
West Lake 369, Brynwood 333
Augusta Jewish Community Center 346, Richmond County 273
This Tuesday's swim schedule
Petersburg Racquet Club at Hammond Hills
Springlakes at Jones Creek
Woodbridge at Farmington-Northwood
Cambridge-Stevens Pointe at North Augusta Country Club
Brynwood at Rivershyre
Glennwood at Augusta Country Club
Augusta Jewish Community Center at Stratford
END Found Above Body -->
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.