Published 12:00 am Friday, July 18, 2008


Sports Editor

So dominant has Larayo’s swimming team been over the past decade, that in entering each annual River Parish Invitational the question seems to be not whether Larayo will win, but what will the Barracudas’ final margin of victory look like?

2008 did nothing to dispel that thought process.

Larayo added the invitational championship to its regular season crown, besting the River Parish Swim League’s other six teams at this past Sunday’s final round at LaVacherie swimming club.

“The invitational is a special win for us,” said Larayo Coach Michelle Jensen. “It’s a chance to compete against all the teams at once, against all the best swimmers from each club. It’s a lot of fun for everyone.”

The Barracudas scored 12,659 total points, besting second place Hill Heights (8,438) by more than 4,000 points.

Riverlands (7,828) finished third, LaVacherie (7,548.50) took fourth, and Belle Terre (2,583) captured fifth place in the meet. (See story on page 10 for more on Riverlands and Belle Terre).

Three Barracuda swimmers left their mark on the Invitational permanently. Brandon Klibert, Meredith Keating, and Maggie Trepagnier all set individual records over the weekend.

Keating set a new record in the 11 & 12 year-old girls freestyle (29.91). Trepagnier tied the best feat in the 13 & 14 year-old girls butterfly, and will share the record with former Sun Villa swimmer Jenny Rohan, who set a time of 31.37 in 1993.

Klibert, though, had a day for the ages. He broke records in the 11 & 12 boys’ individual medley (1:11.40), the freestyle (29.06), and the backstroke (32.25).

“That was really something special,” said Jensen.

Larayo also topped all teams in terms of individual high points swimmers (swimmers placing in the top four of their age group in total points.)

Those swimmers included all four of the Barracudas’ 6 & under swimmers – Luke Brouwer, Evan Brady, Evan Roussel, and Trey Lowry.

Also included were: Kelly Campbell, Jordan Jensen, Alex East, Alexis Puisseguer, Will East, Justin DuBose, Jacob Jensen, Paige Williams, Kaila Klibert, Brandon Klibert, Ben East, Brennan Clement, Meredith Keating, Hailey Specht, Austin Matherne, Luke Jackson, Maggie Trepagnier, and Emily Brady.

Brouwer, Brandon Klibert, Kaila Klibert, Keating, Williams and Trepagnier all took three first place finishes.

Jensen said that the meet was a good showcase of a deep and talented roster of swimmers, who have combined to make the team a consistent winner – and champion.

“We’ve got a lot of talented swimmers spread over all age groups,” Jensen said. “A lot of them are versatile, just really good athletes. Not all of our high point swimmers were year-rounders, and some beat others who do swim year round.”

Finally, the meet provided an opportunity for Jensen to sit back and watch her swimmers perform.

“At the Invitational, most of it is organized before hand,” she said. “That’s as opposed to the dual meets, where we have to be on the edge of the pool and keep everything going smoothly.

“Really, it’s the first chance you get to sit down and truly enjoy a meet, and watch the swimmers.”

    No doubt she enjoyed the show that her Barracudas put on.