Local teams vie for title in weekend invitational

Published 8:09 am Saturday, July 27, 2019

LAPLACE — After Hurricane Barry forced a two-week delay on the crowning competition of the River Parish Swim League, the pressure was on to prepare the LARAYO pool to host the annual Invitational.

Last year, the LaPlace-based LARAYO Barracudas swam to a first place title, continuing an undefeated tradition that has persisted for two decades. However, head coach Michelle Jensen said the competition between LARAYO and the Riverlands Stingrays, also based in LaPlace, was “closer than ever” in 2018.

This year’s Invitational, themed “Off to the Races,” started Friday and concludes Sunday.

“We’ve worked hard on it, and we have been looking forward to hosting it,” Jensen said before the races kicked off.

“Hopefully, it will go off without too many weather delays. We probably are losing a few swimmers from each organization because some people already left for vacation, but it wasn’t like we had planned on having it this particular weekend.”

Jensen said LARAYO’s Colden West is one to watch as a potential record breaker in the boy’s 7-8 division 25m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.

She said the 15-18 age division swimmers from Sunvilla in Norco and the 13-14 Riverlands girls relay team are highly regarded within the league and are expected to make waves this weekend.

Riverlands swim team coach Lindsey Vicknair said the entire team has performed well this season. Swimmers range in age from 4 up through 17 and cover all experience levels.

“We had kids who couldn’t even swim across the pool in the beginning who are swimming breast stroke now and rocking it,” Vicknair said.

Stay tuned to L’OBSERVATEUR for invitational results.

Isabella Prichard enjoys a sweet snack during a swim team donut day.

Riverlands Stingrays

Next year, Riverlands will host the 2020 River Parish Swim League Invitational.

An Inaugural Riverlands Stingrays Golf Tournament is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 27 to raise funds for pool upgrades to be completed prior to the Invitational. Registration cost is $60 for a single golfer and $225 for a team entry.

Local businesses can support the swim team as hole sponsors ($150 for a sign displayed on one tee box), cart sponsors ($300 for a sign on each cart facing passengers) or food and beverage sponsors. There is no cost associated with food and beverage sponsors; however, sponsors must provide enough refreshments for 100 golfers.

To register, please call 985-652-6316 ext. 3 or turn in the entry form on the Riverlands Stingrays Golf Tournament Facebook page to the ProShop at Riverlands, located at 500 Fairway Drive in LaPlace.

The Belle Terre Swim Team comes together during a summer 2019 meet.

Belle Terre Piranhas

The Belle Terre Piranhas swim team, a member of the Jefferson Community Club Association League, took a bite out of the competition this month by taking second place overall in the annual Meet of Champs.

The Piranhas collected a combined 1,650 points at the July 16 meet, which saw fierce competition from 10 teams. Lakeside Country Club was the first place winner with 2,185 points.

Coaches Brooke Lloyd and Laura Sullivan and Piranhas Swim Team director Natalie Tatje guided the team through a successful season.

Donut Days and cookouts were held throughout the season to enhance the family atmosphere.