Swim teams ready

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010



NORCO — The River Parish Swim League season ends with a bang this weekend, as its annual three day Invitational championship swim meet caps off the season at Sun Villa.

Beginning Friday, all seven swim teams will convene to determine a final meet champion.

LARAYO is fresh off of another regular season crown, and has won the Invitational in conjunction with that title for the last decade. The Barracudas will try to repeat the feat this weekend.

The Barracudas might truly be tougher to tackle in the invitational due to its incredible depth. While only the top three swimmers in the first heat earn points during regular season meets, the top 16 advance to the championship round during the Inviational, and more swimmers earn points overall.

LARAYO coach Michelle Jensen says that keeping her swimmers focused and in shape after its last meet is the focus of her staff.

“We need to make sure these kids get to practice, stay in the pool and stay healthy,” said Jensen, who noted that five of her swimmers have suffered arm injuries this season.

For Belle Terre’s Kyle Wilking, it is the first time he will be at the Invitational in the coaching capacity. It was only last season that he helped Riverlands earn Invitational and regular season runner-up status.

Now, he’s coordinating things for the Piranhas.

“It’s a big difference,” he said. “We’re refocusing on things that we’ve worked on all year, and mainly just trying to peak with our best times. Mostly, we just want our kids to swim their hardest, don’t get hard on themselves or discouraged if things aren’t perfect. We just want to get better.”

For Riverlands, coach Lindsey Eichhorn says the main goal is simply to put together its best overall performance, with the placing chips falling where they may.

“Everyone knows their best times. As long as we can best those, we’ll be happy,” she said.

She says the event is a good way for the participants to compete and enjoy themselves with friends across all seven teams.

“It’s a chance for everyone to be together at once for three days,” Eichhorn said. “You see everyone, not just a select few like in the regular season. Everyone’s getting excited.”