Alexis Wagner does the back stroke during a swim meet at the Augusta Jewish Community Center on June 29 in Evans.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The West Lake Swim Team's progress this season has satisfied coach Peter Caruana.
But the former Lakeside swimmer wants more.
Caruana guided West Lake to the regular season co-championship of Division IV of the CSRA Swim League.
The West Lake Dolphins will attempt to win the Division Championship Wednesday night (July 7) at the Augusta Aquatic Center.
The Dolphins are just one of a handful of Columbia County teams that compete in the five-week CSRA Summer Swim League.
The Jones Creek Sharks, Springlakes Stingrays, Woodbridge Beavers, Farmington/Northwood Fins, Glenwood Gators, Cambridge-Stevens Point Piranhas, Augusta Jewish Community Center Jaws, Rivershyre Tiger Sharks, Stratford Royals, and Petersburg Racquet Club Crocodiles all compete in the league.
"The swim league is real interesting because it pits neighborhood teams against one another," says league president Gil Eustice. "It makes for good competition because some of these kids have grown up on the same team, which can make good rivalries."
Sean Peavy pushes off from the side to begin the first leg of a relay race during a swim meet at the Augusta Jewish Community Center.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
West Lake and Brynwood of Augusta fought all season and tied for the regular season division title, despite Brynwood having nearly 40 more swimmers.
"It's an advantage for a pool to have more swimmers because they can field more relays and more individual swimmers in different events," Caruana said. "It made us feel good to tie a pool that has that many more swimmers than us."
Of the four divisions, Columbia County teams won three. Along with West Lake, Springlakes and Rivershyre won regular season titles.
Springlakes, coached by Evans alum Adam Lewis, won the Division III regular season title. The Stingrays ran through the division, finished with an unblemished record.
"We had a great season and are ready for the championships," said Springlakes' team representative Jennifer Miller.
Rivershyre similarly walked through Division II with a 5-0 undefeated record.
The championships will take place throughout the week at the Augusta Aquatic Center. Division III competes on Tuesday, Division IV on Wednesday, Division II on Thursday and Division I on Friday.
Regardless of how the teams finished in the regular season, every team is eligible to win the division title. All of the division teams face off in the championships, rather than the dual-meet format that is used during the regular season.
More is at stake in this week's championships than a trophy or bragging rights.
The CSRA Swim League uses a system, similar to the ones used by European soccer leagues, that allows teams that finish with extremely good records to knock out teams that finish with poor records.
One or two teams that finish among the top of the division advance to the next highest division and the lowest finishing teams are relegated in a similar manner. Rivershyre has advanced from Division IV to Division II and will probably be in the first division next season, according to Eustice.
Size of the pool membership is also a deciding factor. Cambridge-Stevens Point has the highest membership of the Columbia County pools with 125. The smallest pool is Glenwood with 50 members.
Recent Swim Meet Results
CSRA Swim Results
Augusta Jewish Community Center
Double Winners: Ben Dynan, Alex Waxman
Triple Winners: Maple Dynan, Ben Albrecht
Double Winners: Austin Chapman, Burney Herbert, Jessica Whitlock
Triple winners: Timothy Behnke, Matt Russell, Alex Trakowski
Double winners: Emma Nelson, Jake Gilbert, Rebecca St. Louis, Lauren Bigham
Triple winners: Lacey Ante, Bobby Nelson, Steven Brown
Double winners: Corey Singletary, Haley Shepherd
Triple winners: Madison Norton, Josh Andrews, Chelsea Hendry, Brad Coody
Double winners: Lindsey Poppell, Jordan Allison
Triple winners: John Richards, Katie Croft
Double winners: Nick Brown
Triple winners: Chris Mershon
Petersburg Racquet Club
Double winners: Austin Banks, Molly Hynes, Connor Crowley, Ben Brooks
Triple winners: Eric Chiu, Katherine Huff, Melissa Eustice, Drew Hess, Kennedy Ezzell
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.