LARAYO wins crown, Rays’ 2nd

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014


LAPLACE — It was a LaPlace swim sweep at the River Parish Swim League Invitational last weekend, as LARAYO defended its Invitational crown while host Riverlands and Piranha Swim Team took second and third place respectively. 

LARAYO scored 3,463 points to win the meet comfortably. Riverlands finished with 2,334 points while PST’s mark of 1,980 edged out fourth place LaVacherie’s 1,850. 

“All of our swimmers, be it in the Invitational or not, swam personal bests by the end of the season,” LARAYO coach Michelle Jensen said. “That’s what I’m most pleased with. I thought we performed really well this weekend. Our six and unders and seven and eight-year-old groups came out really strong in terms of high points. We had six of them in the six and under group and four between the seven and eight-year-olds.”

For LARAYO, Aliyah Manson and Emily Schexnayder each took three first place finishes. Dylan Smith and Kelly Campbell both walked away with two firsts while Adrienne Arnett, Noelle Remondet, Rylee Schexnayder and Ben East rounded out LARAYO’s winners. 

For Riverlands, Alli Badeaux took two first place finishes. Jillian Badeaux and Jack Chapman each hauled in a win as well.

Christopher Hammett led PST with two first place wins. Nathaniel Carter and Colby Watkins each lifted Piranha Swim Team with one first place win each.

Carter and Christopher Hammett were each high point winners in their respective age groups for PST. Riverlands’  Chapman and Alli Badeaux each won high points while LARAYO’s Manson, Emily Schexnayder and Kelly Campbell each led their groups. 

For Riverlands, the second place finish made for an extremely positive end to the summer after what was a disappointing regular season finish. The Stingrays slipped from second place last season into the bottom half of the 2014 league standings after losing a handful of close meets, but regrouped for a strong Invitational weekend. 

“We showed what we were made of,” Riverlands coach Lindsey Vicknair said. “We felt like we deserved second place and everyone came out and showed it. We didn’t have the disqualifications we had before. I’m proud of our team all the way around.”

Piranha Swim Team jumped from fourth in the invitational last season to third this season, matching the team’s regular season finish.

“It’s a big deal for us,” PST coach Blaine Tatje said. “It shows how much improvement we’ve made. We’re hoping to springboard off of this and get up to second next time.”

The theme of the Invitational was “Swimopoly,” and Vicknair said she was pleased at how the weekend went.

“So many people put in a ton of time and effort,” Vicknair said. “I thought everything was awesome. We had the TV feed up in the clubhouse and people were able to get some A/C. We had our scoreboard up and the swimmers were able to see their times instantly, which was very cool. I thought everyone had a really good time.”