Invitational meet begins Friday

Published 11:45 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2012



LAPLACE — The River Parish Swim League’s regular season is over, its champion crowned and its standings set in stone.

Its swimmers, however, have a final impression to leave, yet.

Friday marks the beginning of the annual three day River Parish Swim League Invitational, which will bring all seven of the league’s teams together to compete against one another one last time this summer. The swimming officially begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and will continue all day on Saturday and Sunday.

The competition will take place at LARAYO, home of the league champion Barracudas who once again clinched the regular season crown outright last Monday.

LARAYO and Belle Terre will join together as co-hosts for the event. It marks the first of two consecutive seasons that the event will be held at LARAYO.

“We’re looking forward to (hosting),” said LARAYO coach Michelle Jensen. “Between the final regular meet and the beginning of the invitational, we’ll have nine days of practice. It’s a quick turnaround, but that might be a good thing. Everyone stays in practice and active, so everyone could be at their best.”

Qualifying runs will take place over the first two days, with Sunday marking the championship round.

For LARAYO, the meet marks a chance to punctuate the championship win with a sweep of the regular season and invitational titles, a feat the Barracudas have accomplished throughout their dynastic run.

Meanwhile, Riverlands comes off of a season in which the Stingrays separated themselves from the rest of the pack, securing second place outright after winning a series of exciting, closely contested meets against Sun Villa, Hill Heights and LaVacherie — the latter the team Riverlands tied for league runner-up honors a year ago. The invitational represents a chance to cement that separation further.

LaVacherie, Sun Villa, Hill Heights, Belle Terre and Ellington all enter with a second chance, an opportunity to reshuffle the deck sorted by the regular season standings.   

A young Belle Terre team finished 1-5 during the regular season. A strong impression left at the invitational could go a long way toward building momentum for a bounce-back season in 2013.