Brandy McCauley had reservations Monday entering the CSRA Swim League Division I Championship.
The coach of Petersburg Racquet Club's swim team, which did not lose a meet during the season, was missing about 20 of her swimmers for its biggest meet of the year.
But vacations were something all teams had to deal with, and the Crocodiles proved they were the deepest, finishing off their third consecutive undefeated season by claiming the Division I title. Petersburg finished with 1,350 points, beating out Houndslake's 1,071.50.
"Overall, it's our depth," McCauley said. "We have strong swimmers. They have the dedication and they love it."
The Division I swim meet kicked off four days of championship meets. The Division 2 meet was held Tuesday. Division 3 swam Wednesday, and Division 4 closed the championships Thursday.
The goal for the hundreds of swimmers who swarmed Augusta Aquatics Center was a spot in the CSRA All-Star Meet, which was held Saturday. The top finishers from all divisions in each age group earned a place in Saturday's competition, the culmination of the CSRA Swim League season.
"Everyone across the board, we have everyone with the potential to reach the all-star meet," said coach Evan Mulloy, while watching his West Lake Country Club team compete in the Division 2 meet.
Mulloy said he was expecting a competitive meet. Each of the division's teams dropped at least one meet during the season.
In the end, West Lake finished third, behind Augusta's Montclair and division champion Woodside Plantation of Aiken. But there were plenty of highlights for West Lake. Among them was a record-breaking performance in the mixed 8-under 100-yard medley relay. The Dolphins finished with a time of 1:19, breaking the CSRA Swim League record they set in 2008.
"They all put in the hard work to do it," Mulloy said.
McCauley shared similar thoughts about her Crocodiles team. She said Petersburg was among the only teams to hold two practices daily -- one in the morning and one in the evening -- so that swimmers have the opportunity to make at least one practice if they have other obligations.
"It's all options," she said. "It's more of a chance for the swimmers, if they can't make morning, they come at night."
McCauley has been head coach of Petersburg the past two seasons and served in some capacity with the team the past four years. In the past, Division I held its meet on the final day, meaning swimmers knew almost immediately whether they qualified as all-stars.
This year, they had to exhibit some patience.
"Usually, we're in the last night, and then they have the list out the next day," McCauley said. "Everybody's kind of impatient wondering and I'm like, 'I can't tell you until Friday.'"
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