As the Sea Colony Sharks close the door on their regular season and swim toward the Delmarva Swim Association’s championship meet this weekend, the team’s coaches proudly reflected on what head coach Janna Schneider called “a great season full of fun, friendships, team buddies, hard work and fast swimming.”
The Sharks finished their season with a 4-3 record after facing teams from across Delmarva.
Last weekend, 14 swimmers represented Sea Colony at the Platypi Plunge Invitational in Salisbury, Md. — a meet that is informally known across the league as “Junior Champs.” The meet is specialized for swimmers who either didn’t make the qualifying times necessary to compete at the league championships or had qualified in only one event.
The swimmers earned a total of 157 points overall, giving the team a fourth-place finish in the meet.
Highlights from the meet included swimmers Reagan Rykaczewski, Matthew Troiano, Nicholas Troiano and Cameron McKay earning the highest amount of points amongst all swimmers in their respective age groups.
The team’s coaching staff said that the Platypi Plunge is consistently one of their favorite meets during the summer season, because the swimmers who go always swim well and make last-minute time cuts for the following weekend’s championship meet.
The coaches also said that all Sharks at the meet swam at least one personal-best time, and that Sara Ryan, Brynn Crandell and Cameron McKay swam a best time in all of their events. According to assistant coach Cathy Gallagher, that has been a theme of the team’s season thus far.
“There were tons of best times at every meet,” she said, “which is what coaches always love to see!”
Looking ahead, Schneider said that the team is sending 40 swimmers to the championship meet in Dover this weekend, but that even more swimmers qualified during the regular season.
The swimmers, who are all between 7 and 18 years old, will be competing in 121 individual swims and 12 relays.
Becca Webb, assistant coach for the Sharks, said that the league championship meet is what the swimmers strive toward all season long.
“It’s what we train for all season,” she said. “It’s the all-time goal for the swimmers to make the qualifying times and make it to ‘Champs.’”
Webb added that the coaches and swimmers are working hard to prepare for the final races of the season.
“We are prepping the kids for ‘Champs’ this week, to build speed, endurance, and work out kinks in dives, turns or stroke technique. When Saturday arrives, we are looking for the kids to put all their effort forward, finish hard, reach personal bests and leave everything they have in the pool. But, most importantly, we want the kids to have fun!”
All in-water accomplishments aside, the coaches raved about the level of sportsmanship and teamwork that embodied the “Sharks family” this summer.
Assistant coach Johanne Danver said that swimmers and parents had great attitudes during practices and meets, and that “this was a season of stellar sportsmanship.”
The team’s coaching staff enacted a new “screen-free zone” during meets, in what they said was an effort to encourage swimmers to interact with each other while they were waiting for their races.
Gallagher said, “I was a huge fan of our ‘no screens’ rule at meets. The kids got to know each other, and play and be involved in the meet!”
“I think meets were my favorite part of the season. The parents and volunteers were especially awesome, and all of the kids were amped up and had fun with each other.”
The Delmarva Swim Association Championships and the Sea Colony Sharks’ final meet of the season is scheduled to take place this Saturday, July 30, at the Central Delaware YMCA in Dover.