Piranha Swim Team Archives


RYWC Spring Meet, May 2-3 @ Greenknoll Aquatic Center

A great first Long Course meet of the season. Starting off with fast swims and life-time best times is always a good thing. THANKS TO ALL THE TIMERS and OFFICIALS WHO STEPPED UP AND VOLUNTEERED. We had a hefty assignment this weekend and we fulfilled it. Thanks to those who did double shifts and/or timed on both days. Thanks to Liane, Alison and Neenu for organizing.

The Piranha swim team had 41 swimmers compete in the competition at Brookfield. Our Piranhas did extremely well considering this was our first 50 meter meet of the year. The weather cooperated nicely and all of the coaches were pleased with the great team spirit shown through team cheers and mutual swimmer/parent support.

Top performances and improvements from the meet are as follows: Miller Ward had a great 1st place “ducky” swim in her 50 meter back @ 53.68. Mabel Albright and Michael Frankowski had some great first time swims in a 50 meter pool. Lily Albright had some super swims, posting best times and dropping 15 seconds in her 50 fly, 11 in her 50 back and 15 in her 100 free! Bella Bohnsack had two top ten performances in her 200 free (9th) and 50 free (10th). Bella also had some nice first place “ducky” swims and showed off her new faster hand speed in 50 free and 50 back. Amira Elhattab posted best times in the 50 fly, 50 breast and 100 free. Julia Erdlen had a great 50 breast and posted best times in 50 back and 100 free. John Frankowski had a super meet placing top ten in four of his events and capturing several ducks. John was 9th in 100 breast, 6th in 50 free, 6th in 50 back and 7th in 100 free. Thomas Frank dropped four seconds in the 100 free and placed 9th. Erin Luecke had a great five second drop in her 50 free. Kendall Luecke had a 7th place finish in her 50 fly and a nice two second drop in 50 free. Nina Mukhametzyanov had big drops in time in 100 breast – 20, 100 back -11 and 100 free -16. Olivia Myers had a great 100 free, dropping over seven seconds. Kelsey Olvany had three top ten places, finishing 9th 50 fly, 9th 100 breast and 9th 50 free. Helen Zhou had four personal best swims in her 50 fly, 50 free, 50 back and 50 breast. Tam-Hao Nguyen captured some ducks and posted seven top ten finishes and six best times – 3rd 50 fly, 2nd 100 breast, 5th 50 free, 4th200 IM, 6th 50 back, 4th 50 breast and 4th 100 free. Way to go! Several of our swimmers posted best times while competing in a 50 meter pool for the first time: Sasha Intile, Sophia Karida, Bryant Quispe, Isabella Moss, Nicholas Robbins, Lily Voigt, Will Doran, Alejandro Ross, Lindsay Cator and Connor Zielinski.

13/Overs: P.K. Brannigan dropped 8 seconds in his 200 IM and placed 7th in his 100 free. Ariel Gianukakis had two personal bests in 100 free and 100 Breast. Nick Giotis had a great freestyle meet dropping 9 seconds in his 100 free and 4 seconds in his 50 Free. Ethan Keyes placed 7th in his 100 Back and had a 7 second drop in his 200 IM. Taylor Mitchell had personal bests in her 50 free and took 23 seconds off her 200 Free. Kate Murray placed 8th in her 100 Free. Sophia Perkins had 2 best times in her 50 and 200 Free. Jesse Stewart had a personal best in her 100 Breast. Mae Uniacke had 3 personal bests and took off 30 seconds in her 200 Free. Chris Zhang had two top ten finishes in his 100 Back (5th place) and 100 Breast (8th place). Phoebe Slaughter had four top finishes, placing 1st in both the 200 IM and 100 Back and 2nd in the 100 Breast and 100 Free. Erik McKenna took 1st place 100 Free, 2nd place 200 IM and 100 Back and 3rd 100 Breast.

BLUE TEAM!! Congratulations!

Pre-Level 3A3:45 - 6:15 3:45 - 6:15 8:30 - 11:00
Level 3B3:45 - 6:15 3:45 - 6:15 8:30 - 11:00
Level 3/43:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:15
Level 43:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:158:30 - 11:00
Level 5A3:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:15
Level 5B3:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:153:45 - 6:158:30 - 11:00
Level 6A6:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:1510:30 - 1:30
Level 6B6:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:1510:30 - 1:30
Level 76:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:15
Level 7/86:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:1510:30 - 1:30
Level 8/96:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:1510:30 - 1:30
Level 9/106:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:156:15 - 9:1510:30 - 1:30




2015 YMCA National Championships

The last Championship meet of the season proved just as fruitful as all the others in March. The Piranhas sent 4 swimmers to the 2015 edition and came away with great swims and a world of experience. The Piranhas were led by sophomore Phoebe Slaughter. She became only the 3rd Piranha female in the last 25 years to final at the Y National meet. Her time of 4:57.75 in the 500 free was good enough for 20th place after prelims becoming the first Piranha female ever to break the 5 minute barrier in the 500 free. With that swim she set a Team record for the 15-18 and Open girls. Phoebe also set a Team record in the 200 free, 1:52.67 and posted a life-time best time in the 200 Back with a 2:02.83. Tim Gould set 3 personal best times in the 100 & 200 back and 100 free. PK Brannigan set personal best times in the 50 & 100 freestyle and Erik McKenna set a personal best in the 500 Freestyle. A great way to end the season!!



The atmosphere was electric as the final meet of the Blue vs. Yellow Intrasquad series took place on Wednesday, March 18th. With the team title on the line, there were plenty of fast swims and lots of cheering from both teams! Double event winners Cailin Zielinski, Max Scalise, Amira El-Hattab, Kelsey Olvany, Tom Frank and Ethan Keyes (Yellow team), and Alex Khilko, Tammy Nguyen and Jen Chen (Blue team), all earned valuable points for their teams. Other event winners included Julia Blake, Emmy Brennan, Lily Albright, Vincent Xu, Laura Moore and Nick Giotis (Blue team), as well as Evan Anavy, Michael Frankowski, Brianna Zhang, Will Doran, Chris Ortega and Mae Uniacke (Yellow team). We will all be eagerly awaiting the results, which will be announced at the Piranha Banquet on April 26th, to see who will be the champion of the Inaugural season of the Blue vs. Yellow series! A big thank you to all of the parents who volunteered to help run the meets, as well as our party volunteers – we couldn’t have done it without you!Medals and ribbons are filed in the swimmer folders on deck.



This past weekend ten Piranhas competed with the best age group swimmers in the state at the CT Age Group Championships at Wesleyan University. John Barsanti, Morgan Desautelle, Ethan Keyes, Alex Khilko (first time qualifier), Tam-Hao Nguyen, Oliver Rus, Max Scalise (first time qualifier), Gracie Spataro (first time qualifier), Jesse Stewart and Chris Zhang all proudly raced in their “Angry Piranha” caps and had a very successful weekend. Top performances were turned in by Barsanti (boys 13/14 200 breast-13th, 100 breast-15th, 200 back-16th, 200 IM-18th, 400 IM-19th) and Spataro (girls 10/under 100 breast-10th, 50 breast-14th, 50 fly-19th, 100 IM-20th). Also scoring points for the Piranhas were Keyes (boys 13/14 100 back-14th, 200 back-15th), Nguyen (11/12 girls 50 fly-15th, 50 free-19th), Desautelle (15/18 girls 200 back-18th) and Stewart (15/18 girls 100 back-17th). Great swimming by the Piranhas- what a way for the age group swimmers to finish the championship season!



The second Championship meet of the season was a fruitful one for the Piranhas. The Piranhas finished 12th overall (there are over 60 teams in CT) which is not bad considering only twelve Piranhas participated in the meet.

The Piranhas were led by Phoebe Slaughter, who made the top 10 final heat in the 200 Back, 400 IM and 200 Free, and she made the consolation heat (next 10) in the 100 and 500 Free, and the 200 Fly. Phoebe broke the Team Record in the Open and 15-18 Girl’s 500 Freestyle. Erik McKenna, who made the YMCA National cut in the 100 Back on the second night, made the Top 10 Final heat in that event. He also made it to finals in the 200 & 400 IM and the 50, 200 & 500 Free, posting best times in all six of his events! Kate Murray made finals in all three of her events, the 200 Fly and the 200 & 500 Freestyle, posting life-time best times in all three! Other Piranha finalists include PK Brannigan (50, 100, 200 Freestyle), Tim Gould (100 & 200 Backstroke) and Cesar Pena (100 Fly). Emma Janson posted a life-time best time in her 200 IM, John Barsanti posted life-time best times in both of his events, the 100 & 200 Breaststroke and Ethan Keyes posted a life-time best time in his only event of the weekend, the 100 Backstroke. Rounding out the Piranha CT Senior Team was Ariel Gianukakis, Morgan Desautelle and Jesse Stewart who had solid swims. Morgan and Jesse will be competing this weekend at Age Groups. Great swimming Piranhas!!



On Friday, February 27th through Sunday March 1st, the Piranhas took 64 swimmers to Norwalk High School to compete in the 2015 CT Regional Championships. To say that our Piranhas had a good meet would be a huge understatement. With over 250 swims in the pool as a team, they posted over 60% best times! In order to swim these great times the Piranhas overcame cold hallways, flat wall turns, wintery weather and stiff competition. When the races were over and the water settled our Piranhas were feared by all swimmers because they were clearly on the attack!

Congratulations to our Piranha Swimmers who took home the Individual Gold at this year’s Regionals: Ariel Gianukakis, Emma Janson, Alex Khilko, Gracie Spataro, Halle Spataro and Jesse Stewart. Congratulations to our Triple Gold winners Katherine Murray and Christopher Zhang. Regional Relay Gold was struck in the following relays – 15-18 Girls 400 Medley Relay: Jesse Stewart, Emma Janson, Kate Murray and Ariel Gianukakis. The 13-14 Boys struck relay Gold twice, in the 400 Free Relay: Jeff McKee, Nolan Lovegrove, Connor Zielinski and Ethan Keyes and in the 400 Medley Relay: Ethan Keyes, Nick Giotis, Connor Zielinski and Jeff McKee.

Top Six Relay finishes scoring big points for the team included: 10 and under Girls 200 Free Relay 4th place Gracie Spataro, Olivia Myers, Helen Zhou and Amira Elhattab. 10 and under boys 200 yard Medley relay 3rd place Alex Khilko, Denis Proskuryakov, John Frankowski and Sebastian Raz-Guzman. 11 & 12 girls 200 Free Relay 2nd place Tam-Hao Nguyen, Halle Spataro, Kendall Luecke and Kelsey Olvany. 11 and 12 Girls Medley Relay 5th place Bella Bohnsack, Tam-Hao Nguyen, Kelsey Olvany and Eliza Koorbusch. 13 & 14 girls 400 Free relay 6th place Alexandra Van Dijkum, Mae Uniacke, Nisha Nalawade and Lindsay Cator.

Top six individual performances for the Piranhas: Amira Elhattab Girls 8-10 50 Fly 4th place. John Frankowski had a whale of a meet posting 6 best times with 5 medal winning finishes in the Boys 8-10 50 Free 5th, 50 Breast 4th, 100 Free 6th, 50 Back 4th and 50 Fly 4th. Ariel Gianukakis was very impressive with top 6 finishes in all of her events – Girls 15-18 200 IM 5th, 100 Free 6th, and 200 fly, 50 free and 100 Back 2nd, and 100 Fly 1st. Nicholas Giotis had a super 10 second drop in his 13-14 200 Breast and 100 Back, placing 6th in both. Emma Jansen had a huge 14 second drop, winning 15-18 200 Breast, and finishing 4th 100 Back. Ethan Keyes took 5th place in 13-14 200 IM, 200 Fly and 200 Free. Alexander Khilko had a very special meet, qualifying for CT age groups in the 50 Fly 1st and 50 Breast 2nd. Alex also had great finishes in 100 Free 5th, 100 IM 3rd and 50 Back 3rd. Nolan Lovegrove placed 4th in the 13-14 200 Back, dropping over 2 seconds. Jeffrey McKee placed 4th in 13-14 200 Fly. Tam-Hao Nguyen was a great scorer for the Piranhas, finishing top six in all of her events: 11-12 Girls 5th 50 Breast, 100 IM 4th, 200 IM-100 Fly 3rd, 100 Free & 100 Breast 2nd. Kelsey Olvany posted five best times and took 5th in the Girls 11-12 50 Free. Pragun Sharma also posted five best times and took 5th in the Boys 13-14 200 Back. Gracie Spataro cranked out a 13 second drop and brought home the Gold in the Girls 8-10 100 Back. Halle Spataro had family bragging rights to this meet, posting 7 best times and finishing in the top six in all seven of her events: Girls 11-12 500 Free 2nd, 200 Free, 50 Back & 50 Fly 3rd, 50 Free & 50 Brst 4th and Gold in the 200 IM. Jesse Stewart took 2nd in Girls 15-18 200 Free and was the sprint Champ, taking the Gold in the 50 Free. Alexandra Van Dijkum had a great 100 Fly, dropping 2 seconds and placing 6th in the 13-14 age-group. Connor Zielinski had two top 6 performances, placing 6th in Boys 13-14 100 Fly and 3rd in the 200 Fly.

Katherine Murray took some time out of the water polo pool to shine as a swimmer in Girls 15-18 100 Back & 50 Free 6th, 200 Back & 100 Fly 2nd, and Triple Gold in 200 IM, 100 Free and 200 Free. Last but certainly not least was our very talented Christopher Zhang who had the meet of his life, taking one Bronze place in 100 Breast Boys 13-14, two Silvers in 100 Free & 50 Free, and struck Triple Gold in 200 IM, 100 Fly and 100 Back! Way to Go!

A special shout out to all the Piranha Coaches who prepared our swimmers for the “flat-wall turns”. At the Norwalk pool there are no gutters or lip of the pool to aid in open turns and backstroke starts. Great job Coach Liz Blau and Paul Frankowski, who proudly hung our banners and Piranha flags for all to see! It was great to see our parents in Piranha shirts to build team unity and spirit. Please look at the posted results of regionals on the bulletin board. There were so many best times and other worthy gold medal swims that everyone couldn’t be mentioned.

The Coaches are so proud of our swimmers’ success this year. Thank you to the swimmers and parents for their dedication and a very high attendance rate at practice this year.


9-12 Y States at East Hartford Feb 7th and 8th

The threat of a snowstorm didn’t stop the 12/under Piranhas from heading up to East Hartford for the Y State meet. Nearly every Piranha swam lifetime best times, some doing so every time they dove in to race! Leading the way for the Piranhas were Bella Bohnsack, Gracie Spataro, Maya Nalawade, Olivia Myers and Brianna Zhang, who all swam best times in every race. Other standout performances were turned in by Paula Frankowski and John Frankowski (5 of 6 best times), Nicholas Robbins and Denisse Salazar (4 of 6 best times), and Taylor Mitchell, Morgan Moir, Amira El Hattab and Max Scalise (2 of 3 best times). 11/12 year olds Bohnsack, Kendall Luecke, Kelsey Olvany, Maya Nalawade, Ned Smith and Halle Spataro all combined for an incredible 100.88 second drop in their 200 freestyle swims! Next up for the 12/unders is the CT Regional Championships which will take place the last weekend in February. Go Piranhas!


Greenwich YWCA Dolphins 13/O Meet, Greenwich High School, 2/5

The 13/Over Piranhas had an evening date with 200’s of stroke and freestyle in Greenwich this past Thursday. The Piranhas had a great showing and really revealed some pride and grit racing two 200’s in one evening. There were many life-time best times and just flat great races. The Team is looking really good going into the Championship season.


Intrasquad #4

A close fought battle results in the Blue Team taking the win and a 36 point overall point total lead. A huge comeback from the first meet way back in October. The final installment to take place in March.


8/Under YMCA State Championships

On Super Bowl Sunday, six of the smallest Piranhas made their way up to the Canterbury School to compete in the 8/under YMCA States. Evan Anavy, Julia Blake, Olivia Stramandinoli, Miller and Shea Ward, and Cailin Zielinski all swam best times almost every time they dove in the water! Top 8 finishers for the Piranhas include Julia Blake (25 fly- tenth place), Miller Ward (50 breast- fifth place, 50 free- sixth place) and Cailin Zielinski (25 free- third, 25 fly- seventh). Great job Piranhas!


New Canaan Bowl Invitational

On Friday, January 23rd and Sunday January 25th, the Darien YMCA Piranha Swim Team took 39 swimmers to the New Canaan Bowl Invitational held at the New Canaan YMCA. Saturday’s meet session was cancelled due to the snow. This created a unique and challenging opportunity for both swimmers and coaches. Sunday’s meet ran in three sessions with the 11 & Overs swimming in both the morning and evening sessions while the 10 & Unders age group swam in the afternoon. Despite the challenges, the Piranha Swim team had some great swims and success in the pool.

In the 10 & Under age group, Gracie Spataro had a monster meet, posting four best times and placing in the top seven in all six of her events! Gracie’s top finishes included 2nd place finishes in 50 Fly, 100 fly and 100 Breast. Lily Albright had nice personal best swims in her 100 Back, 50 Fly and 100 Free. Amira Elhattab had three 9th place finishes in 50 Back, 50 Fly and 100 Breast. Helen Zhou had a great 100 Breast placing 11th. John Frankowski was on fire with five personal bests and six top 12 finishes. John placed the highest in his 100 Back (4th) and had two 5th place finishes in his 50 Free and 50 Fly -way to go! Olivia Meyers had a nice four second drop in her 50 Fly. Maryan Guzman had a two second drop in her 50 Free. Sebastian Raz-Guzman placed 10th in the 50 Breast and had personal bests in his 100 Back and 50 Back. Sydney Dweck had a personal best in her 100 Back. Evan Anavy had a super 50 Fly and a personal best in his 50 Back. Brynn Karczewski placed 8th in 50 Breast and had best times in her 50 Free and 100 Back. Sophia Karidas had five personal best swims. Lily Koerner had two best swims in her 100 free and 50 Fly. Alex Khilko took 3rd place in both 50 Back and 100 Free, and took 8th place in the 50 Fly. Clara O’Connor, Cecelia Wolters, Andrew Rodriguez and Allen Shao had a best time in 50 Free. Denis Proskuryakov placed 10th in his 50 Fly. Annalise Wolters had best times in 50 Free and 50 Breast. Cailin Zielinski had best times in her 50 Fly and 100 Free. Helen Zhou placed 11th in her 100 Breast.

In the 11 & 12 yr old age group, Halle Spataro finished in the top 12 in six of her events! Personal best finishes for Halle included 4th 200 IM, 8th 100 Fly and 10th 100 Back. Bella Bohnsack had a great twelve second drop in her 200 IM, and personal bests in her 50 Back, 50 Breast and 50 Free. Kelsey Olvany had a personal best in her 200 IM and 100 Back. Kelsey also placed in the top 12 in four events: 9th 50 Free, 10th 50 Breast, 10th 50 Fly and 11th 200 IM. Kendall Luecke had a personal best in the 200 IM-12th and 100 Fly-11th. Caroline Zerbe had a 1.7 second drop in her 50 Free. Mark Streeter placed 11th 100 Breast and 12th 50 Breast. Michael Zielinski had a best time in his 50 Free. Sophia Perkins had a personal best in her 100 Breast, placing 9th. Nina Mukhametzyanov had nice drops in her 50 Fly and 100 Free. Paula Frankowski had big drops in time in her 100 Free, 100 Breast and 50 Free. Kaitlyn Olvany had a nice time in her 100 Breast. Tam-Hao Nguyen continued to shine in the pool as she had best times in 100 Fly 3rd, 50 Free 4th, and 100 free 8th. Tam also finished in the top 12 in all of her events!

In the 13 & over category Alexandra Van Dijkum posted two best times in the 50 Free and 100 Free. Pragun Sharma placed 9th in the 200 Back and had a personal best in his 50 Free. Nolan Lovegrove grooved to the disco music and swam to two best times in the 200 IM and 50 Free. John Barsanti had top finishes in 200 Breast 2nd, 100 Breast 3rd, 400 IM 2nd, and 200 IM 6th. Ethan Keyes was also a top point finisher in his 200 Back 2nd, and 100 Back 5th!

Congratulations to all of the swimmers who competed and a big thank you to all the parents who volunteered at the meet.


WRAT Pentathlon, 1/10 & 1/11, Westport YMCA

On January 10th and 11th the Darien Piranhas took 54 swimmers to the WRAT Pentathlon Swim Meet held at the Westport YMCA. All swimmers on Saturday competed in a 50 yard race of all four strokes followed by a 100 IM. On Sunday our swimmers competed in four 100 yard races of each stroke. The meet was exciting with some fast competition. For many of our swimmers it was their first time competing in a 10 lane pool. Top Swimmers and outstanding improvements are as follows:

In the 9 & 10 age group Max Scalise had a solid meet with a personal best in his 100 IM. Max also received a 12th place trophy for his total standings against the rest of the completion-Congratulations. Lily Albright had a nice five second drop in her 100 IM. Amira Elhattab had a personal best in her 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Free, and 100 IM! Helen Zhou had a personal best in her 50 Breast. John Frankowski had a great four second drop in his 100 IM and a two second drop in his 50 fly. Erin Luecke had a personal best in her 50 Free. Maryan Guzman had a two second drop in her 50 Breast. Sebastian Raz-Guzman had a great five second drop in his 50 Breast and a personal best in his 50 Fly. Brianna Zhang had huge ten second drop in her 100 IM and a seven second drop in her 50 fly. Sophia Karidas had two second drops in her 50 Free and 100 IM. Lily Koerner had three best times, 50 Fly, 50 Breast, and 50 Free. Mia Langeveld had a whopping eleven second drop in her 50 Breast, and a six second drop in her 50 Fly. Lily Voigt, Annalise Wolters, and Allen Shao all had multiple best times.

In the 11 & 12 yrs. old age group, Bella Bohnsack had a nice two second drop in her 50 Breast, and a personal best in her 50 Free. Sophie Gedney had a super meet with a seven second drop in her 50 Fly, and a four second drop in her 50 Breast and in her 50 Free. Kelsey Olvany had a personal best in her 50 Back. Kendall Luecke had a personal best in the 50 free. Caroline Zerbe had a nearly two second drop in her 50 Breast. Mark Streeter had a six second drop in his 50 Back and personal best in his 100 IM.Ned Smith had a two second drop in his 100 IM. Nick Robbins had personal best in his 50 Free. Sophia Perkins had a personal best in her 50 Breast. Nina Mukhametzyanov had nice drops in her 50 Back and 50 Breast. Nisha Nalawade had three personal best swims. Grant Goodrick had four personal bests with a big five second drop in his 50 Breast. Alexander Hu had big drops in his 50 Back and 50 Free. Thomas Frank had a nice drop in his 50 Free.

In the 13 & over category Nick Giotis had two personal best times in his 100 Fly by ten seconds and in his 100 Back by four. Nolan Lovegrove had a four second drop in his 100 Fly. Mae Uniacke had a nice two second drop in her 100 Free and 100 Back. Elizabeth Bradley had personal bests in her 100 Fly and 100 Back. Jacqueline Benisch had a great six second drop in her 100 Breast. Connor Zielinski had a solid meet with impressive personal best swims in his 100 Fly, 100 Breast and 100 Free. John Barsanti had a personal best in his 100 Fly. Jeffrey McKee had a personal best in his 100 Breast. Ethan Keyes was caught showing off his new and improved pull-outs, swimming to a twelve second drop in his 100 Breast! Congratulations to all of the swimmers who competed and a big thank you to all the parents who volunteered at the meet.


Pat Spinola Invitational 8/under meet, Saturday, 1/10

Swimmers from the mighty Maia group made the short trip to Norwalk to race this past Saturday. Emerson Langeveld, Isabella Moss, Miller and Shea Ward, Cecilia Wolters and Cailin Zielinski represented the Piranhas in fine fashion as they all swam best times almost every time they dove in the water! There was lots of cheering, smiles, and plenty of rubber ducks (given to heat winners) to go around! Next up for the 8/unders is the 8/u YMCA States on Feb. 1 in New Milford.


Omni Invite, Yale University, Saturday 12/20/14

Top Swimmers and outstanding improvements are as follows: In the 8 yr old age group Evan Anavy had a couple of first place heat winner swims in the 50 Back and 50 Free. Miller Ward had a nice twelve second drop in her 50 Back. Cailin Zielinski had some nice swims including a solid 50 Fly. Isabella Moss and Cecelia Wolters had some nice 50’s in Free and Back. In the 9 & 10 yr age group Tam-Hao Nguyen had three 1st place finishes in the 200 IM, 50 Free and 50 Back. Lily Albright had a nice ten second drop in her 100 Free. Amira Elhattab had a big 21 second drop in her 100 Free and best time in 50 Breast. Helen Zhou had a nice twelve second drop in her 100 Free. John Frankowski had a great meet with three top eight swims: 50 Fly at 2nd, 50 Free at 5th & 50 Breast at 7th. Alex Khilko had two top three finishes in his 50 Breast at 2nd and 50 Free at 3rd. Erin Luecke had a nice three second drop in her 50 Fly. Maryan Guzman had a huge 41 second drop in her 100 Free! Sebastian Raz-Guzman had a great ten second drop in the 100 Free and a one second drop in the 50 Free. Brianna Zhang had a nice 1.7 second drop in her 50 Back. In the 11 & 12 yr old age group John Barsanti took 1st place in 50 Breast & 200 IM and 2nd in the 100 Free! Halle Spataro took 5th in 100 Free and 8th in 50 Fly. Kelsey Olvany had two personal bests taking 6th in 200 IM and 4th in 50 Free. Kendall Luecke had a solid 200 IM taking 5th place with an eleven second drop. Paula Frankowski, William Prendergast and Maya Nalawade each had three swims and three best times! Hannah Gould had a four second drop in her 100 Free. Caroline Zerbe had a nice 1.4 second drop in her 50 Free, breaking 40 seconds for the first time! In the 13 & over category Phoebe Slaughter had four top four swims: 2nd place 100 Breast & 200 IM, 4th 100 Fly, and 1st 100 Free. Erik McKenna had two personal bests: 3rd 100 Fly, 6th 100 Breast and 1st place in his 200 Free. PK Brannigan finished 4th in the 100 Fly with a best time and got 3rd place in the 100 Free. Christopher Zhang broke the two minute barrier in the 200 Free for the first time, placing 6th, and finished 7th in the 100 Back. Ariel Gianukakis had a nice five second drop in the 200 Free. Nick Giotis had a nice 1.63 second drop in his 100 Free. Nolan Lovegrove had two best times in 100 Back and 100 Breast. Oliver Rus had three top five swims, taking 4th in the 200 free, 5th in the 100 Breast, and 4th in the 200 IM. Mae Uniacke had a nice two second drop in her 100 Free. Connor Zielinski and Elizabeth Bradley both had three best times in three swims. Lindsay Cator had two best times in her 100 Back and 100 Free. Morgan Desautelle took 6th place in the 100 Breast. Maddie Hauben had three top 7 finishes, placing 6th in both 200 IM & 100 free and 7th 100 fly. Congratulations to all of the swimmers who competed and a big thank you to all the parents who volunteered at the meet.




Hamden Pentathlon, Hamden Hall Sports Complex, 12/6

The Darien Piranhas take home the Hardware in Hamden!
The Piranhas traveled to Hamden, CT for the Hamden Hall Aquatics Pentathlon. In a Pentathlon the athletes swim 50’s all four stokes, plus compete in a 100 individual medley (25 yards of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle without stopping). The top six fastest combined overall times in each age group (9/10, 11/12) and each gender are awarded trophies. Max Scalise took 2nd in the boy’s 9-10 age group; Halle Spataro took 6th in 11-12 girl’s age group; Tam-Hao Nguyen took 1st place for the 9-10 girls and John Barsanti took 1st place for 11-12 boy’s. Tammy and John are repeat champions from last year! Congratulations to all the Piranhas!




Piranhas travel to North Carolina

A dozen Piranhas travelled to Cary, North Carolina December 5-7th for the 22nd Annual TYR Capital Classic. This is a YMCA meet that attracts some of the fastest swimmers from Connecticut to Georgia. This is a fast mid-season meet and some of the fastest swimming the Piranhas will see until April at YMCA Nationals. The Piranhas posted many life-time best times and were led by Phoebe Slaughter who made finals (top 24) in every event she swam (50, 100, 200, 500 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and 400 IM). Her highest placing was 7th in both the 400 IM and 200 Freestyle. She also broke the Piranha Team record in the 500 freestyle for the 15-18 girls. Other finalists included Erik McKenna in the 500 freestyle and 200 backstroke and Tim Gould in the 100 and 200 backstroke. All the Piranhas posted some great swims and had a blast bonding with their teammates and coach!


New Canaan Dual Meet, Nov 21st

On Friday, November 21st the Piranha Swim Team travelled to New Canaan to compete in a 10 & under dual meet with the New Canaan YMCA Caimans. Each swimmer competed in two individual events and many participated in a freestyle relay at the end of the meet. The meet was exciting, fun and loud as 54 Piranhas raced against the Caimans! Many swimmers had great swims dropping off many seconds from their previous best times. Top finishers and performances: In the 9-10 Age Group Tam-Hao Nguyen was a double winner in the 50 free and 50 back! Denis Proskuryakov won the 50 breast and took 8th in the 50 free. Gracie Spataro took 2nd in both 50 fly and 50 free. Max Scalise took 1st 50 free and 2nd 50 Back. Amira Elhattab swam to 4th 50 fly and 6th 50 back. Also, Paul Frankowski 4th 50 breast and 5th 50 free; Maryan Guzman 6th place 50 fly and 10th 50 free; Brynn Karczewski 6th 50 Breast and 7th 50 free; Alex Khilko 2nd 100 IM and 4th 50 free; Mia Langeveld: 6th 100 IM; Sebastian Raz-Guzman:4th 50 Back and 6th 50 free; Erin Luecke 7th place in the 100 IM; Annalise Wolters 8th 50 Back. In 8 & Under Miller Ward 1st place 50 free and 2nd place 25 breast; Olivia Stramandinoli 4th place 25 back; Isabella Taranto 6th 25 back; Cecelia Wolters 1st 25 free and 4th 25 fly; Cailin Zielinski 2nd 25 free and 3rd 25 fly; Evan Anavy 5th 25 back and 7th 25 free; Julia Blake 2nd 25 back; Lucie Bohnsack 6th 25 fly and 8th 25 yd free; Bridget Fitzgerald 4th 25 free and 8th 25 back. Congratulations to all Piranha swimmers who competed in the meet. Our next YMCA dual meet vs. Wilton Wahoos is December 7th.


WILTON YMCA Thanksgiving Invite 11/21-11/23

On November 21st-23rd the Darien Piranhas Swim Team took 52 swimmers to the Wilton YMCA Thanksgiving Invitational. Personal best times seemed to be the norm as our Piranhas raced against other CT YMCA teams and 1 team from Maryland. The final tally on the 12 and unders had best time swims for 85% of their races! Our 9 & 10 yr. olds raced as timed finals. For the 11 and overs, many swimmers qualified in the morning session to race again in the finals at night. The top 12 finishers in each event qualify to compete again at the finals. For some of our Piranhas swimmers, this was very exciting as it was their first time qualifying for a finals meet. Our top Piranha swimmers responded great, and we had over 95 percent faster swims at night compared to the morning. Way to go!

Top swimmers and outstanding improvements are as follows: In the 9 & 10 age group, Tam-Hao Nguyen and Gracie Spataro led the way with top finishes! Tam-Hao had 6 second place finishes in the 100 IM, 100 Brst., 100 Fly, 50 Brst., 50 Fly, and 100 Free. Gracie had 6 top 8 finishes: 8th 100 IM, 5th 100 Brst., 3rd 50 & 100 Fly, 4th 50 Brst. & 100 Free. Helen Zhou had a nice 2 second drop in her 50 Back. Denis Proskuryakov had some nice “ducky’ swims: first in heat swims and improvements in his 100 Brst. and 100 IM. Allen Shao had a great 12 second drop in his 50 fly. Alex Khilko racked up some points for the Piranhas, scoring in four of his events while getting best times in all of his swims. Coach Jordan really liked the 7 second drop in his 100 IM. Erin Luecke had 6 swims with 6 best times, including taking nearly 10 seconds off her 100 Brst. time. Molly Baum had some great swims, including a 6 second drop in her 100 Brst. Lily Albright had some nice drops too, including a 2.68 second drop in her 100 Free. Paul Frankowski had some great “ducky” swims, showing the coaches that he will be a piranha to reckon with in future meets.

In the 11 & 12 yrs. old age group John Barsanti & Jennifer Chen rocked the Wilton pool! John took 1st place in 50 Brst. & 100 Brst., 3rd 100 IM, 5th 50 Back, 100 Back & 100 Free! Jennifer finished 2nd 100 IM, 3rd 100 Fly, 4th 100 Brst. & 50 Fly, and 5th 50 Brst. Halle Spataro had a great meet with numerous best times and an awesome finals swim in the 50 Back, finishing in 7th with a four second drop. Kelsey Olvany had five personal best swims. Julian Van Dijkum, Mark Streeter, Sophia Perkins, Nisha Nalawade, Maya Nalawade, Caroline Zerbe, Nina Mukhametzyanov, Taylor Mitchell, Kendall Luecke, Sophie Gedney, Thomas Frank, Paula Frankowski and Bella Bohnsack all had lifetime best swims in every race they swam!

In the 13 & over category Phoebe Slaughter was back in action for the Piranhas, taking 2nd 200 Back, 7th 100 Free, and 7th 200 Fly. Timothy Gould had strong backstroke performances placing 6th in the 100 and 200 Back, both best times. Erik McKenna made finals in 100 Back in12th place and 200 IM in 11th place, along with some best time swims in his events. PK Brannigan made finals placing 6th 100 Free and had a big drop in his 200 Back. Christopher Zhang had a very solid meet, taking two 6th place finishes in 200 Free and 200 IM and three 9th place finishes in 100 Brst., 200 Fly and 200 Back. Alexandra Van Dijkum had some great personal bests in 5 of her races, including a whopping 22 second drop in her 200 IM! Ariel Gianukakis had 2 personal bests in 100 Brst. and 200 Fly. Nick Giotis had 3 best times. Nolan Lovegrove had some nice swims, including a 1.6 second drop in his 100 Brst. Ethan Keyes had a great meet with some top finishes and all personal bests, including 200 Back 7th place and 4th place in 100 Back. Laura Moore, Jack Savage and Jeffrey McKee had several personal bests. Last but not least, Oliver Rus continued his great season thus far with 5 personal best swims in his events and making it to finals in 100 Brst. 7th place and 200 Brst. 9th place.

Congratulations to all of the swimmers who competed and a big thank you to all the parents who volunteered at the meet.


Blue vs Yellow Intrasquad Meet #2

Another Blue v Yellow Meet rocked the Henry Ziegler Memorial Pool at the Darien YMCA!! On Wednesday night, November 12th, nearly 100 Piranha swimmers competed in backstroke and butterfly events. The coaches were impressed with the fast swimming and time drops posted by our swimmers. The following Junior 1 team members get extra thanks for assisting Coach Liz Blau and Coach Michael Jordan: Nolan Lovegrove, Connor Zielinski, Alexandra VanDijkum, Jennifer Chen, John Barsanti, Halle Spataro and Jeff McKee. The Blue team put up a great fight and is closing the gap; the Yellow team won by only 23 points. Top four finishers were as follows – Girls 8 & under 25 Back: Helen Zhou, Cailin Zielinski, Julia Blake and Miller Ward; Boys 8 & under 25 BK: Sriram Pankanti, Evan Anavy, Callum McCracken and Michael Frankowski; Girls 9 & 10 50 yd BK: Gracie Spataro, Amira Elhattab, Clara O’Connor and Annalise Wolters; Boys 9 & 10 50 yd BK: Max Scalise, Alex Khilko, John Frankowski and Dennis Proskuryakov; Girls 11/12 50 yd BK: Kendall Luecke, Kelsey Olvany, Sophia Perkins and Eliza Koorbusch; Boys 11/12 50 yd BK: William Prendergast, Thomas Frank, Vincent Xu, and Paul Scalise; Girls 13 & over 100 yd BK: Lindsay Cator, Maggie Doran, Emma Neuman and Amelia Fordyce; Boys 13 & Over 100 yd BK: Pragun Sharma, Chris Ortega, Niko Witkowski and Roberto Chadwick; Girls 8 & under 25 fly: Miller Ward, Helen Zhou, Cailin Zielinski, Emerson Langeveld; Boys 8 & under 25 fly: Sriram Pankanti, Evan Anavy, Callum McCracken, Michael Frankowski; Girls 9 & 10 50 yd butterfly: Gracie Spataro, Amira Elhattab, Annalise Wolters and Clara O’Connor; Boys 9/10 50 Fly: Max Scalise, Alex Khilko, Denis Proskuryakov and Sebastian Raz-Guzman; Girls 11/12 50 Fly: Kelsey Olvany, Kendall Luecke, Eliza Koorbusch and Sophia Perkins; Boys 11/12 50 fly: Thomas Frank, Will Prendergast, Vincent Xu and Michael Zielinski; Girls and Boys 13/14 100 fly: Lindsay Cator, Maggie Doran, Emma Neumann and Amelia Fordyce, Chris Ortega, Niko Witkowski, Pragun Sharma and Roberto Chadwick.

Congratulations to all of the Piranha swimmers who competed and are improving their strokes! Thanks to all parent volunteers & officials for a great meet. A big thank you goes out to the PPA for hosting a fun Pizza Party after the meet. We will see everyone at BLUE v YELLOW #3 on Wednesday DEC 10th!



On November 1st & 2nd Piranha Swimmers travelled to Lehman College in the Bronx to participate in our first USA meet of the season. The swimmers were well prepared and after several weeks of training, they were ready to show off their skills in the pool. John Barsanti swam like a Piranha on the attack finishing 1st 50 free 25.80, 2nd 100 brst, and 3rd 100 fly-18 second drop. Coach Jordan was impressed with 50 free considering the fact that John went so fast without kicking:) PK Brannigan finished 6th and 7th in the 100 free and the 50 free and also had a big drop in time -3.56 in the 100 brst 1:14.27. Jennifer Chen raced to the top having four top 8 finishes: 50 free 4th, 100 brst 4th, 50 bk 6th, and dropped 18 seconds in her 200 free 2:26.22 to get 8th. Will Doran had a big drop in time in the 100 IM -25 seconds 1:38.65. Amira Elhattab got eleventh in her 50 back 44.75. Philip Gallagher had a 1.67 drop in his 50 free 40.28. Dylan Gilhooly was a top 6 finisher 100 fly 56.95 and did his best “teen wolf” impression forgetting his bathing cap in the 50 free. Timothy Gould had some nice early season backstroke races finishing in 3rd 200 back 202.62 and 5th 100 back 57.47. Brynn Karczewski looked great in her 100 breaststroke placing 6th in 1:42.72. Emily Kieran-Mendez had a big drop in 100 IM, taking over 19 seconds off. Kendall Luecke had some nice improvements in her swims and placed 11th in both the 50 free and 50 back. Erin Luecke made a big splash in her 50 free, dropping almost 7 seconds. Erik McKenna finished in the top 8 in all of his 7 events. Eric placed 1st in the most grueling of events, the 400 IM, in a winning time of 4:33.31. Kelsey Olvany raced to a seventh place 50 free, and 8th place 50 back and had a nice drop in the 100 IM, -3.61 at 1:18.81. Nicolai Ostberg had a nice drop in 100 brst 1:11.33. Oliver Rus was the new fish on the block with several great swims. Oliver’s top finishes included 3rd place 100 brst, 4th place 200 brst, 5th place 200 IM and 6th place 200 back. Pragun Sharma impressed the coaches with all best times. Gracie Spataro proved once again that she is a Piranha not to be messed with placing 2nd 200 free, 3rd 50 free, 3rd 50 back, and 4th 100 brst. Meanwhile big sister Halle Spataro finished with 3 top 8 finishes: 6th 50 free, 6th 100 fly and 7th 200 free. Christopher Zhang swam his way to two 4th place finishes in 200 fly and 400 IM. Michael Zielinski had a strong 200 free placing 13th. Bella Bohnsack swam to four personal best swims.

Congratulations to all Piranha swimmers who competed at the HYDRO MEET!!



The first installment of the Blue v Yellow meet was a lot of fun!! Thanks to all the parents who volunteered, especailly starter Nancy Grune who didn’t have a swimmer at the meet. Also thanks to the kids for being so enthusiastic and the coaches who had to corral them and get them to their lanes:) For many swimmers, it was their first time competing as a member of the Piranha Swim Team. This first meet consisted of freestyle, breaststroke and relay events. The meet was exciting, loud, and did we already mention Fun!!? The Yellow Team had 49 swimmers compete to the Blue’s 46. Yellow team took the overall meet victory but we know the Blue Team will be up for the challenge next time. One exciting addition to the meet was the New Kick-Board Relay which had the kids kicking white water everywhere! Double event winners included Tam-Hao Nguyen, Nidhi Verma, Kelsey Olvany, Sriram Pankanti and Max Scalise. Other top finishers included William Prendergast 1st in 50 free and 2nd 50 Brst , Cailin Zielinski 1st 25 free & 3rd 25 Brst, Alexander Hu 1st 50 Brst & 5th 50 free, Miller Ward 1st 25 Brst & 3rd 25 free. Other notable Piranha swimmers who had big drops in time included Thomas Frank -10 seconds in the 100 Brst, Mia Langeveld -12 in the 50 Brst, Andrew Rodriguez -14 in the 50 Brst, Phillip Gallagher -6.74 in the 50 Brst, Maryan Guzman -12 in the 50 Brst, Caroline Osborn -10 in the 50 Brst, Alex Wang -6 in the 50 Brst & Sydney Dweck-7.5 in the 50 Brst. Congratulations again to everyone who competed and we will see you on November 12th for Blue vs Yellow Intrasquad Meet #2.





The day started out at 10am with about 60 wide eyed 11/under Piranhas on deck waiting to hear from an Olympian. Kim Vandenberg made an appearance this past Saturday to run a swim clinic for the Piranha Swim Team. Kim is a 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist and multiple International medalist at every big International meet you think of. On this morning it wasn’t Australians or Europeans waiting to race, but a captive audience of eager 7 to 11 years old. Kim started her clinic on land with a short dry land warm-up on deck where she utilized very functional and deliberate body movements (not your grandparents stretching routine) to warm the kids up. Some of the movements could have been mistaken for the latest dance moves. She then dove in the water and demonstrated a few freestyle and butterfly drills as the kids watched from the side of the deck. Once she was done it was the kids’ turn. All the drills Kim performed had to do with body rhythm and awareness, length of stroke and body position in the water. She spoke to the kids about how important it was to pay attention to technique and NOT rush through drills. I really hope that statement sounded familiar 🙂 After about an hour it was the 12/over’s turn to do the same. Although a bit quieter and smaller in number, the older swimmers received the same great clinic and message from Kim. Once everyone towelled off and dried up, it was time to hear Kim speak. The best way I can describe Kim’s personality is that she is genuine and real. Her love of swimming was obvious and her message of perseverance and sacrifice is something all swimmers and athletes can relate to and learn from. As Kim said, “If you love what you do, the sacrifices aren’t as big a deal.” and in regards to confidence, “it took years of failing and not reaching my goals to realize that.” If there is one thing I have learned as a coach from meeting and hearing Olympians speak, is that they are human and “put their pants on one leg at time” like the rest of us; they just decided to maximize their ability and desire. The Question and Answer session fielded such hardball questions as “What is your favorite stroke?” and “Did you swim in the Olympics?” but the best question of the day was “If 30 year old Kim can speak to 12 year old Kim, what would she say?” Her answer was, and I am paraphrasing, “be confident.” The day ended with autographs and pictures. Kim signed over 200 autographs for the kids in attendance with a bright smile for every picture. Thanks for a great day Kim!!

Anyone who couldn’t attend and would like an autographed picture of Kim can contact the Piranha office. We have some extras and will hand them out while supplies last.



Sectional Championships & Age Groups

What a way to end the season!!

The Darien YMCA Piranha finished up their Long Course (50 meter- Olympic distance) season in style this past weekend. The oldest Piranhas travelled up to Buffalo for the Speedo Super Sectional Championships on July 24-27th. Led by 4 time-top 8 finalist Liza Bragg , the Piranhas shook up the record book! Bragg set the Open 100 back, 200 back and 400 IM records, while Phoebe Slaughter, a top 24 finalist in the 100 back, 200 free and 200 IM, set the girls 15-18 record in the 200 back. Jake Greene added his name to the record book in the boy’s open 200 IM, while swimming to top 16 finishes in both the 200 IM and 400 IM.

The younger Piranhas also had a chance to race at the CT Age Group Championships on July 25-27th at Wesleyan University. The Piranhas were led by 12 year old John Barsanti, who left his mark on the Piranha record book with team records in the 50 breast, 100 breast, and 100 back. He also finished in the top 8 in all events that he swam- 50/100 breast- 2nd, 100 back-3rd, 200 free-7th, 50 free-8th. 10 year old Tam-Hao Nguyen also set a team record for the girls 100 breast, and she also finished in the top 8 in everything she swam- 50 fly-3rd, 100 free/100 breast-4th, 50 free/200 IM-6th, 100 back-7th. Michelle Wall also set a 15-18 girls team record in the 100 breast while finishing 3rd. Other Piranhas that had top 16 finishes and scored points for the team included Erik McKenna, 15-18 boys 400 IM-4th, 200 IM/400 free/800free-5th, 100 back-7th, 200 back-9th, Wall, 200 breast-4th, Tim Gould, 15-18 boys 100 back-8th, 200 back-14th, Dylan Gilhooly, 15-18 boys 100 fly-13th, Jennifer Chen, 11-12 girls 50 breast-11th, and Kelsey Olvany, 10/under girls 50 free-13th, 100 free-16th.


CT Regional Championships

Several Piranhas competed at the CT Regional Championships in East Hartford (13/overs) and Stamford (12/unders). All of the swimmers swam lifetime best times nearly every time they dove in to race! Leading the way for the Piranhas were Chris Zhang (13/14) and Nolan Lovegrove (11/12), who placed in the top 16 in every event they swam! Other Piranhas who had top 16 performances included 15/over Ariel Gianukakis, 11/12 Halle Spataro, and 10/unders Hannah Gould, Kelsey Olvany, Max Scalise, and Alex Khilko. The racing continues this upcoming weekend with the Super Sectionals in Buffalo, NY and the CT Age Group Championships at Cheshire/Wesleyan. GO PIRANHAS!!




Awesome swims at CT Seniors!

The Piranhas traveled to Wesleyan University this past weekend for the CT Senior Championships. This meet features the fastest swimmers in Connecticut. The Piranhas finished 10th overall out of over 50 Teams and broke 6 Team records! Liza Bragg led the Piranhas with top 8 finishes in the 400IM (3rd), 100 Freestyle (8th), 100 (3rd) & 200 Backstroke (8th) and winning the 200 IM on the last night of competition! She also finished 16th in the 100 Butterfly. Other finalists included Phoebe Slaughter in the 100 (12th) & 200 Backstroke (7th), 200 (13th) & 400 IM (14th), 100 Freestyle (13th) and 100 Breaststroke (20th), Jake Greene in the 200 (7th) & 400 IM (11th), 100 Breaststroke (23rd), 400 Freestyle (20th), Caroline Orem 100 (24th) & 200 (22nd) Backstroke, 400 IM (20) and Chris Weihs 100 (20th), 200 (13th), & 400 (23rd) Freestyle. Thanks to all the Piranha parents who stepped up and helped with our timing and volunteer assignments. Couldn’t do it without you!


Greenwich Invite, Saturday June 28th, Greenwich YMCA

Last Saturday, the Piranhas had their final long course tune-up (before Championship season begins) at the GRYM Invite. With swimmers of all ages competing from Fairfield County and Westchester County, the Piranhas swam great! Led by event winners Eliza Bragg (Open 100 back) and Tahj Thompson (13-14 100 free), the meet was the first chance for many of the newer Piranhas to compete in a long course (50 meter) pool. The 12/unders swam an impressive 80% lifetime best times! Piranhas racing to top 10 finishes included John Barsanti (11/12 100 free-6th, 50 fly/100 back-8th), Bragg (Open 200 free-4th, 100 free-8th), Jennifer Chen (11/12 50 fly/breast-8th), Ariel Gianukakis (13/14 200 fly-6th), Tim Gould (Open 100 back-8th), Jake Greene (Open 400 IM-3rd, 200 free-9th, 100 free-10th), Tam-Hao Nguyen (10/u 50 breast/100 back-2nd, 50 fly-3rd), Kelsey Olvany (10/u 100 free-3rd, 50 fly-10th), Caroline Orem (Open 100 back-7th, 100 breast-9th, 200 free-10th), Phoebe Slaughter (Open 200 free-2nd, 100 breast/back-3rd), Michelle Wall (Open 100 breast-7th), Chris Weihs (Open 100/200 free-3rd), and Chris Zhang (13/14 200 fly-5th, 100 back-10th). Next up for the Piranhas is CT Senior Championships (7/10-13), and CT Regionals (7/19-20). Go Piranhas!!


Piranhas vs. Orcas meet at Italian Center, Stamford Thursday 6/26

The 14/under Piranhas were invited again this year for the annual swim meet with the Orcas at the Italian Center in Stamford. Although it was a scorching hot day, the Piranhas didn’t mind- they swam great! Led by event winners Lily Albright, John Barsanti, Jeff McKee, Olivia Myers, Kelsey Olvany, Will Prendergast, Denis Proskuryakov, Max Scalise, and Helen Zhou, the kids had a fun time swimming outdoors. Thanks go out to all of the parents who volunteered to time, and all of the parents who were Piranha cheerleaders!


WRAT 10/Under SCY meet, Westport YMCA, 6/19

The 10/under Piranhas made their way up to the Westport Y on June 19th to race in the WRAT Invitational. Led by event winners Tam-Hao Nguyen (10/u 50 back/breast, 100 IM), Kelsey Olvany (10/u 50 fly/100 free), and Olivia Myers (8/u 25 free), nearly every Piranha swam lifetime best times! Placing in the top 10 for the Piranhas were Hannah Gould (10/u 100 free-3rd, 50 fly-6th), Maryan Guzman (8/u 25 back-4th, 25 free/fly-7th), Alex Khilko (10/u 100 IM-5th, 50 free-6th), Nina Mukhametzyanov (10/u 100 free-7th), Myers (8/u 25 back-8th), Clara O’Connor (10/u 50 breast-10th), Olvany (10/u 50 breast-3rd), Juan Posada (10/u 50 fly-7th), Denis Proskuryakov (8/u 25 fly-2nd, 25 free-5th, 25 back-7th), Allen Shao (10/u 50 breast-7th), Lily Voigt (8/u 25 breast-7th), Alex Wang (10/u 50 fly-6th), and Helen Zhou (8/u 25 fly-6th).


Piranha Summer Intrasquad meet, 6/18, Darien YMCA

The Piranhas held their annual Summer Intrasquad Meet on Wednesday 6/18, and the kids had a blast! There was some fast swimming, and lots of cheering for teammates while the 10/u Piranhas and the House swimmers got to race for fun, rubber ducks and ribbons! Afterwards, the kids headed to the community room for a fun pizza party. Thanks to all the volunteers and to Heidi Mitchell and her crew for the delicious pizza!


Zeus 10/Under Mayor’s Cup Meet, 6/6 @ Norwalk High School

and put on a great showing! Led by multiple event winners Tam-Hao Nguyen1st) and Denis Proskuryakov3rd), the Piranhas had some great swims and many best times! Piranhas with top 10 finishes include Ben Bryan (10/u 50 fly- 7th, 50 breast- 8th), Will Doran (10/u 50 free- 8th), Hannah Gould (10/u 50 fly- 4th, 50 free- 5th, 100 free- 10th), Alex Khilko (10/u 50/100 free- 5th, 50 breast- 6th, 50 back- 8th, 50 fly- 9th), Olivia Myers (8/u 25 free/fly- 6th, 25 back- 8th), Sriram Pankanti (8/u 25 breast/fly- 5th, 25 free- 6th, 25 back- 10th), Max Scalise (10/u 50 fly- 2nd, 50/100 free/50 breast- 3rd, 50 back- 5th), Allen Shao (10/u 50 breast- 9th), Lily Voigt (8/u 25 breast- 5th, 25 back- 9th, 25 fly- 10th) and Helen Zhou9th).


RYWC Invite Meet, 6/7 @ Greenknolls Aquatic Center, Brookfield

The Piranhas had perfect weather for racing outdoors at the RYWC Invite June 7th. Led by event winners John Barsanti (12/under 100 breast), Ethan Keyes (12/under 50 back), and Phoebe Slaughter (13/over 200 IM), the Piranhas put on a fantastic showing, with the 12/unders swimming lifetime best times 81% of the time, and the 13/overs racing to best times 76% of the time– great percentages for a mid-season meet! Swimmers racing to top 10 finishes included Barsanti (12/u 200 IM-3rd, 100 free-7th), Tim Gould (13/o 100 back-4th, 200 IM-10th), Keyes (12/u 100 free-5th, 200 IM-8th), Erik McKenna (13/o 200 IM-3rd, 100 back-8th), Tam-Hao Nguyen (12/u 200 IM-7th), Caroline Orem (13/o 100 back/200 IM-8th), and Slaughter (13/o 200 fly-5th, 200 breast-6th). Thanks to all the parents who timed and officiated.


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Special Olympic & Piranha Swimming

Last Friday the Piranhas and Special Olympics got together for some fun in the pool. There were beach balls, noodles and good ol’ fun with pizza afterwards! Pictures coming soon.

Mako Swim Meet 5/17-5/18 @ Brookfield

The Piranhas competed in their first Long Course meet of the season last weekend in Brookfield- and they swam FAST! The Piranhas were there to race, led by event winners John Barsanti, 12 (50/100 breast), Ethan Keyes, 12 (50 fly/100 back), Erik McKenna, 16 (100 free) and Phoebe Slaughter, 15 (100/200 free, 400 IM). With nearly every Piranha swimming a best time each time they dove in the pool, the 12/unders posted an impressive 94% best times, while the 13/overs had 83% best times. Piranha swimmers that finished in the top 10 include Barsanti, Jennifer Chen, Ariel Gianukakis, Keyes, Nolan Lovegrove, McKenna, Tam-Hao Nguyen, Oliver Rus, Slaughter, and Tahj Thompson. The season will kick into high gear in June, with meets in Brookfield, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich– so look for more fast swimming in the weeks to come! Great job Piranhas!!


9/Under Piranha SCY Meet, May 4 @ Darien YMCA

The 9/u Piranhas kicked off the LC season with some great racing this past Sunday at the Piranha 9/u Meet. With swimmers from Wilton Y and Bridgeport-Stratford Y in attendance, the meet featured many swimmers competing for the first time as Piranhas, including Evan Anavy, Rhea Bhat, Lucie Bohnsack, Jake, Lexi and Scott Dansker, Amira Elhattab, Lila Gianukakis, Avery Horn, Joanna Kieran-Mendez, Emerson Langeveld, Will Moles, Andrew Rodriguez, Bella Taranto, and Lily Voight. Event winners included 9 year old Max Scalise (50 free), 8 year old Olivia Myers (25 free/fly/back), 7 year old Miller Ward (25 free/fly), and 6 year old Emerson Langeveld (25 free/back/fly). Thanks to Kara Bohnsack for organizing all of the parent volunteers, Nancy Grune, Gigi Kearney, Craig Lovegrove and Charlie Hom who volunteered as officials even though they didn’t even have a swimmer in the meet! Thanks to all of the parents who timed and cheered for their swimmers, as well as the many Senior and Junior 1 Piranhas who helped the little ones get to their lanes on time!


Northeast YMCA All-Star Meet @ Canterbury School, New Milford March 21-13

18 Piranhas finished out their short course season with some fast swimming at the Northeast YMCA All-Star meet. Nearly every Piranha swam best times each time they dove in to race! Led by event winners Nolan Lovegrove (boys 11-12 100 back) and Chris Zhang (boys 13-14 200 fly), the Piranhas showed everyone that all of the hard work they did all season had paid off! Swimmers that scored points (by placing in the top 8 finishers) were Jamie Hogan (boys 13-14 200 back-4th, 100 back-5th, 200 IM-6th, 100 breast-8th), Lovegrove (boys 11-12 50 back-3rd, 100 free-5th, 50 free/100 IM-6th, 200 free-7th), Will Prendergast (boys 11-12 50 back-4th, 100 back-5th), Oliver Rus (boys 13-14 50 free/100 fly/200 breast/200 IM-2nd, 100 free-3rd, 200 free-4th), Max Scalise (boys 10-under 50 free/50 fly-3rd, 100 back-4th), Ned Smith (boys 10-under 50/100 breast-2nd, 100 back/100 IM-3rd, 50 free-4th, 100 free-5th), Halle Spataro (girls 11-12 200 IM-3rd, 100 free-4th, 100 fly-5th, 50 free/fly-6th, 100 breast-8th), and Zhang (boys 13-14 200 back-2nd, 200 IM-3rd, 100 fly/breast-5th, 100 free-6th). After a much needed 2 week break, the Piranhas will be back into the pool on April 7th to begin the Summer 2014 Long Course season- and they will be ready to race again!


CT Age Group, March 14 – 16, Wesleyan University

What a great weekend!! 17 Piranha swimmers made the trip up to Wesleyan U. this past weekend to compete in the CT Age Group Championships. Racing against the fastest swimmers in the state, the Piranhas had some fantastic swims, with nearly everyone swimming lifetime best times- by far! Led by 15 year old Erik McKenna (4th-100 back, 6th- 200 back/400 IM, 7th- 500 free, 8th- 200 back, 12th- 200 IM), 12 year olds Ethan Keyes (3rd- 50 back, 4th- 200 back with a new Piranha team record of 2:16.97!) and John Barsanti (7th- 100 IM, 8th- 50/100 breast, 11th- 200 IM), and 10 year olds Tam-Hao Nguyen (6th- 100 breast, 8th- 100 IM, 9th- 50 fly, 11th- 50 free/100 back, 14th- 50 breast) and Kelsey Olvany (15th- 100 free), the Piranhas were there to race! Other swimmers placing in the top 20 were Megan Slaughter, 17 (20th- 200 breast), Morgan Desautelle, 16 (19th- 200 back), Kate Murray, 14 (10th- 500 free), Jennifer Chen, 12 (18th- 50 breast) and Connor Zielinski, 12 (20th- 100 fly), as well as the 10/under girls relays of Nguyen, Olvany, Kendall Luecke and Gracie Spataro (13th- 200 medley relay and 200 free relay) and the 11/12 boys relays of Barsanti, Keyes, Zielinski, and Nolan Lovegrove (7th- 200 medley relay, 15th- 200 free relay). Also swimming in individual events for the Piranhas were Maddie Burke, Natalie Grune, Sam Schrenker, Oliver Rus, and Luecke. Great job!!!


Piranhas in College

Congratulations to Jake Greene (Lehigh) and Steven Grune (Bucknell) for making finals at the Patriot League Championships, Jake in both the 200 and 400 IM, and Steven in the 50 free and 100 fly. Also, Liza Bragg (Duke) for making finals in the 400 IM and 200 Back at the ACC Championships while breaking the Team record in both! Also making finals this past weekend were Chris Weihs (Williams) in the 200 and 500 Free, Emilie Geissinger (Bates) in the 100 and 200 Free at NESCADC Championships and Tyler Gould (Gettysburg) at the Centennial Championships. Great job to all!!

Follow Piranhas as they swim in their respective College Conference Meets. Eliza Bragg – Duke – ACC Jake Greene – Lehigh – Patriot League Steven Grune – Bucknell – Patriot League Caroline Orem – Bucknell – Patriot League Chris Weihs – Williams – NESCAC James Forde – Wesleyan – NESCAC Jack Bair – Loyola Maryland – Patriot League Catherine Treesh – Williams – NESCAC J Whelan – Middlebury – NESCAC Claire Treesh – Middlebury – NESCAC Hadley Merrill – Trinity – NESCAC Emily Molinelli – NYU – CAA Lindsay Tyler – Dartmouth – Ivy League Wes Dean – Dickinson – Centennial Emilie Geissinger – Bates – NESCAC Andrea Smelser – Boston College – ACC Tyler Gould – Gettysburg – Centennial



The 2013-2014 short course championship season got off to a great start last weekend at the CT Regional Championships. 55 Piranha swimmers of all ages competed, with a chance to showcase all of the hard work they put in all year long. With nearly everyone swimming best times each time they dove in to race, the meet was a great one for the Piranhas! The Piranhas were led by event winners Kate Murray (13-14 200 IM, 200 free), Tam Hao Nguyen (10/u 100 fly), Kendall Luecke (10/u 100 free), and Connor Zielinski (11-12 100 free). Also placing in the top 6 were Anthony Bosco (15/over 100 breast- 6th), Jamie Hogan (13-14 200 breast- 2nd), Ned Smith (10/u 50 breast- 2nd, 50 free/100 free- 4th, 100 breast- 5th), Matthew Taylor (10/u 50 fly-3rd), Chris Zhang (13-14 400 IM- 4th), Zielinski (11-12 200 free- 4th, 100 IM- 5th), Jennifer Chen (11-12 50 back- 2nd, 50 breast- 4th, 50 fly- 6th), Morgan Desautelle (15/o 400 IM- 2nd, 100 breast- 3rd, 200 IM- 5th), Ariel Gianukakis (13-14 100 fly/200 fly- 3rd, 100 back- 5th), Hannah Gould (10/u 100 fly- 6th), Luecke (10/u 50 back- 2nd, 100/200 IM- 4th, 50 breast/100 back- 5th), Murray (13-14 200 fly- 2nd, 100 fly- 5th), Nguyen (10/u 100 back- 2nd), Kelsey Olvany (10/u 200 IM- 2nd, 100 back/breast/fly- 3rd, 100 IM- 5th), and Hannah Vogel (15/o 100 free- 4th). Next up for several Piranhas is the CT Age Group Championships at Wesleyan on March 13-16, followed by the Regional YMCA Championships at Canterbury School March 21-23 to finish up the season. Go Piranhas!Results


8/Under Finale @ Hopkins School, New Haven

Five 8/under Piranhas from the Maia group made the trip up to New Haven last week for the 8/under Finale at Hopkins School. Denis Proskuryakov, Maryan Guzman, Grace Hanley, Karthika Siva and Helen Zhou had a chance to race against some of the best 8/unders in the state. There was a lot of cheering and fast swimming by the Piranhas (everyone had best times!), with a few placing in the top 10 in their events: Denis in the 25 fly (4th), Helen in the 25 back (6th), and Karthika in the 50 back (7th). Go Piranhas



With a few more Piranhas taking advantage of the make-up day, this calls to a close the 2014 Piranha Challenge!! Overall, the Swim Challenge was AWESOME!! From the Maia swimmer who had to do 100 laps to the Senior who had to do 540, all the Piranhas who fulfilled their challenge should feel proud of their accomplishment. From all the coaches, I would like to thank the swimmers and parents for another great Swim Challenge and for taking part in building our program, and building the unity of our Team!! Don’t forget that family and pledged donations are due by Friday, March 7th.

Totals – 24,140 LAPS – 603,500 YARDS – 366 MILES

Maia Leader Board
Olivia Myers – 209
Helen Zhou – 178
Jack Kolman – 178
Sophie Xu – 169
Triton Leader Board
Morgan Moir – 142
Brynn Karczewski – 140
Matthew Taylor – 140
Nautilus Leader Board
Kelsey Olvany – 224
Tam Hao Nguyen – 224
Kendall Luecke – 224
Thomas Frank – 215
Vincent Xu – 214
Ben Bryan – 206
Poseidon Leader Board
Sophie Perkins – 232
Maya Nalawade – 210
Mae Uniacke – 208

Junior II
13 of the Junior II’s fulfilled their challenge by swimming a 3 hour practice administered by Jason Cochran. The total yardage was 8000 yards which equated to 320 laps. The kids wore tired smiles as they exited the pool having just swum more yards in one practice than they have ever done before. They showed their true grit as they mustered up the strength to devour 5 large pizzas and two dozen cookies at the Swim Challenge after party. Great job!!
The Senior training group fulfilled their Challenge by swimming a 4 hour practice which equalled 14,000 yards!! Great Job kids!
Junior I
The Junior I group swam a 3.5 hour practice which equaled 11,000 yards. Awesome job!


9-12 Yr Old Y-States 2/15-2/16 @ Wesleyan Univ.

15 Piranhas got the chance to race in the beautiful Wesleyan University pool at the 2014 YMCA State Championships last weekend. Swimming against the best YMCA swimmers in the state, the Piranhas put up some great swims (and top 16 performances)! Led by 12 year old John Barsanti (100 IM/50 breast-7th, 200 free-9th, 100 breast-13th, 100 free/200 IM-16th), 10 year old Kelsey Olvany (50 free-12th, 100 free-13th, 100 back-14th, 50 breast-16th), 12 year old Connor Zielinski (100 fly-8th, 50 fly-9th) and 10 year old Ned Smith (50 breast-12th, 50 back-16th), the Piranhas swam big! Also competing in the meet were 10/unders Kendall Luecke, Morgan Moir, Bridget O’Toole, Corin Riahi and Michael Zielinski, as well as 11/12 year olds Nolan Lovegrove, Taylor Mitchell, Maya Nalawade, Nisha Nalawade, Sophia Perkins, and Will Prendergast. Next up for the Piranhas is the 2014 Regional Championships, Feb. 28- March 2. Go Piranhas!


Westport Swim Meet 2/8 @ Westport YMCA

The Piranhas raced last weekend at the WRAT Qualifier and had a great weekend! Many Piranhas placed in the top 16 in their events, and many swam best times nearly every time they dove in the pool! Leading the way for the Piranhas were 10/under Tam-Hao Nguyen, who was a triple winner (50 fly/50 breast/100 IM), double event winners 11/12 year old Ethan Keyes (50 fly/200 back) and 15/over Tim Gould (200 back/500 free), and event winners 13/14 year olds Leigh Harrison (100 breast) and 15/over Owen Brannigan (100 fly). Also placing in their age groups were 15/overs PK Brannigan, Erik McKenna, Patrick Neafsey, Morgan Desautelle, and Hannah Vogel. 13/14 year olds that scored for the Piranhas were Matthew Colonna, Jamie Hogan, Jeff McKee, Chris Zhang, Lizzy Bradley, Ariel Gianukakis, Kate Murray, Emma Sisk, and Alexandra Van Dijkum. 11/12 year olds that finished in top 16 include John Barsanti, Will Prendergast, Connor Zielinski, Jackie Benisch, Bella Bohnsack, and Halle Spataro. The 10/unders also had a great showing with Ben Bryan, Max Scalise, Michael Zielinski, Sophie Gedney, Kendall Luecke, Georgia Sheehan, and Gracie Spataro all scoring in the top 16. The complete results are available online. Way to go Piranhas!


8/Under YMCA States @ New Milford 2/2

On Sunday Feb. 2, a dozen of the littlest Piranhas made their way up to the Canterbury School in New Milford for the 8/under YMCA States. There were plenty of smiles to go around as the Piranhas swam great races and had a lot of fun cheering for their teammates! Leading the way with top 10 finishes were Andrew Banks (3rd- 25 free, 7th- 25 back), Brynn Karczewski (4th- 25 free), Alex Khilko (6th- 100 IM, 7th- 50 free), Olivia Myers (10th- 25 free), and Denis Proskuryakov (7th- 25 breast, 8th- 25 fly). Next up for the 8/unders is the 8/under CT Finale at Hopkins School this coming Sunday. Go Piranhas!


2014 Swim Challenge Kickoff Party

The kids had a blast! There were great team building activities that got all of the swimmers working together- and some new friends were made! A big thank you goes out to Heidi Mitchell, Alexandra Taylor, Sherri Prendergast, Colleen Funkey, and all of the Piranha parent volunteers for orchestrating such a great kick-off party!


John Geissinger named to the NCAC All Decade Team

Former Piranha, Denison graduate and current Head Coach, Arcadia College, John Geissinger made the NCAC (Denison’s conference) All Decade Team in the 100 and 200 Freestyle. John swam for the Piranhas until his graduation from Lawrenceville in 2006. He was an All-America while at Denison and held several Team and Division III National records. He still holds Piranha records in the Senior Boy’s 50 Freestyle and several relays. Article available on SwimSwam.


Greenwich Swim Meet 1/25-1/26 @ Greenwich YMCA

The Piranhas made their way down to Greenwich last weekend for the Marlins Qualifier, where they raced against some of the top competition in the state. The 11/12’s led the pack with 77 lifetime best times (out of 97 swims), followed by the 10/unders, with 77 best times (out of 114 swims). Many swimmers swam a best time each time they dove in the pool- including John Barsanti, Bella Bohnsack, Jessica Chen, Will Doran, Amelia Heissan, Sophie Hill, Jamie Hogan, Brynn Karczewski, Jeff McKee, Taylor Mitchell, Morgan Moir, Maya Nalawade, Corin Riahi, Mae Uniacke, Niko Witkowski, and Chris Zhang. Other great swims were turned in by Jennifer Chen, Lily Koerner, Nolan Lovegrove, Will Prendergast, and Paul Scalise, who all had 5 best times (out of 6 swims). Top 6 finishers included multiple event winner Phoebe Slaughter (15/over 100 breast, 200 free/back/IM- 1st, 100 back, 200 breast- 3rd), John Barsanti (11/12 50 breast- 2nd, 100 breast- 3rd, 100 free-5th), Lia Barsanti (15/over 100 breast/200 IM- 4th), Amanda Bieler (15/over 200 IM- 6th), Maddie Burke (15/over 100 fly-4th, 50 free- 6th), Jennifer Chen (11/12 50 fly-3rd, 50 back/breast- 5th), Morgan Desautelle (15/over 200 back- 3rd), Ariel Gianukakis (13/14 100 fly- 6th), Natalie Grune (15/over 100 fly- 5th), Ethan Keyes (11/12 100 IM- 3rd, 200 back- 4th, 100 back/fly- 5th), Kendall Luecke (10/under 100 IM- 5th), Erik McKenna (15/over 200 back- 4th, 50 free- 5th), Kate Murray (Open 500 free- 4th), Patrick Neafsey (Open 400 IM- 2nd, 500 free- 3rd, 15/over 200 IM- 5th, 100 breast/200 free- 6th), Tam-Hao Nguyen (10/under 100 IM- 2nd, 100 free/breast- 4th), Kelsey Olvany (10/under 50 back/100 fly- 4th, 50 free- 5th, 100 IM- 6th), Megan Slaughter (15/over 100 breast- 6th), Halle Spataro (11/12 100 IM- 5th, 50 fly- 6th), Michelle Wall (15/over 100 breast- 3rd, 200 breast- 6th), Chris Zhang (Open 400 IM- 3rd, 500 free- 4th, 13/14 100 breast- 6th), Connor Zielinski (11/12 50 fly- 2nd, 100 IM- 5th), and Michael Zielinski (10/under 100 fly- 5th). Not to be outdone by Lily Albright (100 Back), Will Doran (50 Breast), Amelia Heissan (100 Free), Lily Koerner (100 Free), Taylor Mitchell (100 Back) and Maya Nalawade (100 Free) who all dropped at least 10 seconds from their best time in an event! Next up for the Piranhas is the 8/under Y States this Sunday, followed by the WRAT Invite on February 8th. Way to go Piranhas!!


12/Under Dual v RYWC-Brookfield, 1/11 @ Brookfield

The 12/under Piranhas made their way up to Brookfield for the annual dual meet against RYWC last Saturday. Led by event winners Brynn Karczewski (girls 8/under 25 breast/25 free), Tam-Hao Nguyen (girls 9-10 50 breast/50 back) and Grant Goodrick (boys 9-10 50 fly), the Piranhas had lots to cheer about as there was a lot of fast swimming and team spirit to go around! Also placing in the top 6 for the Piranhas were: 11-12 boys John Barsanti (2nd-50 breast/50 free, 4th- 50 fly), Nolan Lovegrove (5th- 200 IM), Connor Peeke (4th- 50 breast, 6th- 50 back), Connor Zielinski (2nd- 50 fly, 3rd- 200 IM, 4th- 50 free), 11-12 girls Jackie Benisch (3rd- 200 IM), Bella Bohnsack (4th- 200 IM), Sophia Perkins (6th- 50 back), and Halle Spataro (3rd- 50 fly, 4th- 50 breast, 5th- 50 free). Placing top 6 in the 9-10 age group were boys Thomas Frank (3rd- 50 fly/50 back, 4th- 50 free), Goodrick (2nd- 100 IM, 6th- 50 free), Ned Smith (2nd- 50 fly/50 free, 3rd- 100 IM), Michael Zielinski (3rd- 50 free, 5th- 50 fly), and girls Sophie Gedney (5th- 50 breast), Kendall Luecke (3rd- 50 fly/100 IM, 4th- 50 free), Nguyen (2nd- 50 free), Kelsey Olvany (2nd- 50 fly/100 IM, 3rd- 50 free), and Gracie Spataro (3rd- 50 breast, 4th- 100 IM). Not to be outdone by the older Piranhas, the 8/under girls swam fast, with top 6 performances turned in by Grace Hanley (4th- 25 breast), Karczewski (2nd- 25 fly), Erin Luecke (5th- 25 breast), Miller Ward (5th- 25 free, 6th- 25 back), Helen Zhou (3rd- 25 fly, 6th- 25 breast), and Cailin Zielinski (3rd- 25 free). Next up for the 9/over Piranhas is the GRYM Invite at Greenwich YMCA January 25-26.


WAC Swim Meet @ Albertus Magnus College, New Haven 1/4

The 12/under Piranhas braved the beginning of the Arctic Vortex cold snap and made the trip up to the WAC Invitational- and they heated up the place with some great swimming! After a long holiday break, it was good to get back into racing! Several Piranhas won their events, led by 11/12 year old boys John Barsanti (1st 100/200 free, 2nd 100 back), and Ethan Keyes (1st 50 fly/100 back, 2nd 200 free). The 10/under girls had a pair of event winners in Kelsey Olvany (1st 100 free, 2nd 50 breast, 4th 200 IM) and Tam-Hao Nguyen (1st 50 breast, 2nd 50 fly, 4th 200 free). Also scoring in the top 6 of their events were Ben Bryan (10/under 50 fly-6th), Thomas Frank (10/under 200 free-6th), Kendall Luecke (10/under 100 back-5th), Max Scalise (10/under 50 fly-3rd, 50 breast-6th), Halle Spataro (11/12 50 fly/50 breast/100 back-6th), and Connor Zielinski (11/12 100 free-3rd). Next up for the Piranhas is the annual dual meet vs. RYWC in Brookfield this Saturday.


OMNI Meet @ Yale University, 12/21

The Piranhas finished out 2013 in style at historic Kiphuth Exhibition Pool at Yale. The pool is quite an architectural gem and one of the great facilities in the country with over 2000 seats surrounding the pool. It is quite awe inspiring the first time you attend a swim a meet there. The Piranhas swam well as Erik McKenna, Nick Giotis, Hannah Gould, Morgan Moir, Chris Zhang, Tahj Thompson, Taylor Mitchell, Oliver Rus and Kate Murray all swam best times in every event they competed. John Barsanti brought home the Piranhas lone win in the 50 Breaststroke. Here’s to more great swimming in 2014!


21st Annual TYR Capital Classic, Cary North Carolina, 12/6-12/8

For the 12th consecutive year the Piranhas travelled to North Carolina for the TYR Capital Classic. Sixteen Piranhas made a good showing against the YMCA best swimmers this past weekend. The Piranhas were led by Phoebe Slaughter, who made finals in 4 of her 7 events, and Erikc McKenna, Morgan Desautelle and Tim Gould who achieved best times in every event they competed in. Other finalists included Michelle Wall and Lia Barsanti, both in the 100 breaststroke. This was a great opportunity and mid-season inidcator for the Piranhas who attended the meet.


8/Under Dual v Wilton @ Darien, 12/6

The Piranha 8/unders took to the pool last Friday in the annual dual meet against the Wilton Wahoos, one of the best teams in CT. There was lots of fast swimming and cheering for teammates as most all Piranhas swam best times each time they dove into the pool! The Piranhas were led by double event winner Alex Khilko (8/under 25 back/100 IM) and event winners Andrew Banks (8/under 50 free) and Denis Prokuryakov (8/under 25 fly). Scoring points by placing in the top 3 were Khilko (second- 8/under 25 fly/50 free), Banks (8/under 100 IM- third), Proskuryakov (8/under 100 IM- second, 25 free- third), Brynn Karczewski (8/under 50 free/25 breast- second), Annalise Wolters (8/under 100 IM- second, 50 free- third), Cecilia Wolters (7/under 25 breast- second, 25 free/25 fly- third), Sriram Pankanti (7/under 25 breast- second, 25 fly/25 free- third), Cailin Zielinski (7/under 25 free- second), Maryan Guzman (8/under 100 IM- third), and Olivia Myers (8/under 25 fly- third). Go Piranhas!


Hamden Pentathlon 12/7

The12/under Piranhas competed on Saturday at the HHAC Pentathlon at Hamden Hall School in Hamden, CT. This is the first time the Piranhas have ever competed in this pool. A pentathlon is a meet where each swimmer races in 50 yards of each stroke plus a 100 IM. It was a fun meet and a unique opportunity to swim 5 events on one day. Swimming 5 races in 2.5 hours is not totally ideal but a great way to learn how to race when tired and a great experience the next time a Piranha has little time between races. Awards were given for the swimmers with the lowest total time for all events combined- and Tam-Hao Nguyen came away the winner in the 10/under girls! Also receiving awards were 10/under Kelsey Olvany (fourth), and 11/12 boys John Barsanti (third), and Connor Zielinski (sixth). Overall a fun meet for everyone!


9-12 yr old dual @ Wilton, 12/8

Press coverage

The 9-12 year old Piranhas went to the Wilton Y on Sunday morning for the annual dual meet with the Wahoos. Piranhas had a great showing and more than held their own with one of the best age group programs in the state. There was lots of fast swimming as most Piranhas had best times in each event they swam! Standout performances were turned in by Ethan Keyes, John Barsanti,Tam-Hao Nguyen, Kelsey Olvany, Kendall Luecke, Connor Zielinski, Michael Zielinski, Halle Spataro, Jennifer Chen, and Alexandra Van Dijkum. Results will be posted as soon as they are available.


CT Swimming Official’s Clinic 12/2 6:30-9p @ Wilton YMCA

IF YOU COULDN’T MAKE THE ONE IN DARIEN I AM HOPING YOU CAN MAKE THIS ONE IN WILTON. WE ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF OFFICIALS. As you may or may not know USA Swimming and CT Swimming would not be able to function without certified officials. Officials are unpaid trained volunteers that preside over swim meets. In order for times at meets to “count”, a proper number of officials must be present. This is a great way to get involved and get close to the action. I ask that all parents consider becoming an official. The Piranhas are in desperate need of more officials. We host about 4-5 meets a year and if we do not get more officials trained, we run the risk of hosting no meets next year which means all our meets will be away from the Y. After you take this course, there is an open book test and after you have passed the test you shadow an official at a minimum of 4 USA meets before you become a “full-fledged” official. Once that happens the Piranhas will buy you your very own white Official’s shirt. If you are interested please contact Denis Rodney who is the Official conducting the clinic. It is also best to get registered before the clinic. Fill out the form and pay. You will be reimbursed by the club for any expenses incurred. If you have questions please contact Piranha Officials Gigi Kearney or Nancy Grune.


Wilton Thanksgiving Invite, 11/22-11/14 @ Wilton YMCA

Piranhas of all ages descended upon the Wilton bubble last weekend to race in the annual Wilton Thanksgiving Invite. For the 11/overs, it was the first trials/finals meet of the year. There was fast swimming and the Piranhas were a big part of it! The 12/under Piranhas swam 129 best times, while the 13/over Piranhas swam 74 best times! Many Piranhas scored points (by placing in the top 16), and were led by the mighty 10/unders: Kelsey Olvany (6th- 100/200 free, 7th- 50/100 back, 50 breast, 9th- 100 breast, 12th- 100 IM), Tam-Hao Nguyen (2nd- 100 IM, 3rd- 50 free/100 breast, 4th- 50 back, 8th- 200 free), Kendall Luecke (8th- 50 back, 11th- 100 breast, 12th- 200 free, 15th- 100 IM), Ned Smith (12th- 200 free, 13th- 50 back, 15th- 100 free), Thomas Frank (11th- 50 back), Hannah Gould (12th- 100 fly), Gracie Spataro (14th- 200 free), and Matthew Taylor (16th- 50 fly). Also scoring points were 11/12 boys Ethan Keyes (3rd- 50 back, 4th- 100 back), John Barsanti (9th- 50 breast), Connor Zielinski (11th- 100 fly), and Jamie Hogan (12th- 50 breast), as well as 13/14 boy Oliver Rus (11th- 100 breast, 12th- 100 back/200 breast), and in the Open division, Phoebe Slaughter (5th- 200 IM, 8th- 200 back/200 breast, 12th- 100 breast, 15th- 500 free). Other great performances were turned in by Halle Spataro and Kendall Luecke who both had all best times in all of their events! John Barsanti, Jackie Benisch, Sydney Dweck, Lily Genovese, Ethan Keyes, Nolan Lovegrove, Kendall Luecke, Tam Hao and Kelsey Olvany all had at least one event where he/she dropped over 10 seconds from their best time! After a weekend off for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Piranhas will get right back into the action the weekend of December 6th with the Senior and Junior groups travelling to North Carolina for the TYR Invitational, and the 12/unders seeing action at the Hamden Pentathlon and our annual dual meets with the Wilton Y Wahoos.





Piranha 9/Under Quadrathon meet @ Darien Y, 11/10

The 9/under Piranhas competed this past Sunday in the annual Quadrathon (where each swimmer races all four strokes), against swimmers from Wilton Y, Westport Y, and Bridgeport-Stratford Y. With all Piranhas swimming best times in most of their events, the meet was a fast and fun one! The Piranhas were led by Tam-Hao Nguyen, who won the high point award for the 9 year old girls with 80 points– she won all of her races! On the boys side, double winner Max Scalise took home the high point award for the 9 year olds, with 72 points. Also scoring in high point awards were Gracie Spataro (9 year old girls, 2nd place with 66 points), and Sriram Pankanti (7 year old boys, 3rd place, with 60 points). Points were awarded for 16 places, and the Piranhas had many point scorers including 9 year olds Lauren Hassell, Bridget O’Toole, Catherine Dwyer, Gigi Morgan, Kiera Henry, and Allen Shao. 8 year olds that scored included Olivia Myers, Maryan Guzman, Brynn Karczewski, Grace Hanley, Adair Beck, Andrew Banks, Alex Khilko, and Denis Proskuryakov. The littlest Piranhas also got into the action, with 7 year olds Helen Zhou, Cailin Zielinski, and Bridget Fitzgerald adding to the total point tally. A big thank you goes out to all of the parents and officials who volunteered to make the meet run smoothly!


Darien YMCA v New Canaan Y Dual meets – 11/1

The 12/under Piranhas started out the short course season last Friday with a dual meet with New Canaan YMCA. It was the first chance to race against competition for the swimmers, and they did a great job! The 9/under Piranhas raced at the New Canaan Y, and were led by event winners Andrew Banks (8/under 50 free), Alex Khilko (8/under 25 breast, 25 free), Tam-Hao Nguyen (9/under 100 IM, 50 free, 50 back), Denis Proskuryakov (8/under 25 fly, 25 back), and Max Scalise (9/under 50 free). Placing in the top 16 and scoring for the Piranhas were Banks, Adair Beck, Emmy Brennan, Ben Bryan, Sydney Dweck, Catherine Dwyer, Ryan Genovese, Lila Gianukakis, Maryan Guzman, Grace Hanley, Pasquale Hoffman, Brynn Karczewski, Khilko, Lily Koerner, Mia Lagenveld, Erin Luecke, Gigi Morgan, Olivia Myers, Meg Nedder, Caroline Osborn, Bridget O’Toole, Sriram Pankanti, Proskuryakov, Kirin Raval, Sebastian Raz-Guzman, Denisse Salazar, Scalise, Allen Shao, Matthew Stevens, Sammi Stevens, Tierney Struk, Annalise Wolters, Cecelia Wolters, Sophie Xu, Helen Zhou, and Cailin Zielinski. Shortly after the 9/under meet finished, the 10-12 year olds took to the pool at Darien. Led by event winners Kendall Luecke (10 yr. old 50 free), Kelsey Olvany (10 yr. old 50 back), and Connor Zielinski (10-12 100 fly), the Piranhas all raced with nearly all swimmers posting best times every time they dove in the pool! Placing in the top 16 and scoring points for the Piranhas were John Barsanti, Jackie Benisch, Bella Bohnsack, Jen Chen, Schuyler Coughlin, Will Doran, Cavan Duffy, Sophie Gedney, Grant Goodrick, Hannah Gould, Claire Hannigan, Amelia Heissan, Sophie Hill, Jamie Hogan, Isabelle Hole, Ethan Keyes, Emily Kieran-Mendez, Nolan Lovegrove, Luecke, Drew Major, Jeff McKee, Taylor Mitchell, Laura Moore, Nina Mukhametzyanov, Maya Nalawade, Nisha Nalawade, Olvany, Connor Peeke, Myles Peeke, Sophia Perkins, Juan Posada, Will Prendergast, Oscar Ross, Paul Scalise, Ned Smith, Henry Sparkman, Katie Stevens, Mark Streeter, Alexandra VanDijkum, Ian Wise, Nico Witkowski, Vincent Xu, and Zielinski.


Hydro Swim Meet @ Lehman College, Bronx, NY – 11/2-11/3

The Piranhas travelled to the Bronx last weekend to race against swimmers from New York teams (something we don’t get to do too often), and swam great! Led by double event winner Phoebe Slaughter (13/over 100 back/200 fly), and Tam-Hao Nguyen (10/under 50 free winner), the Piranhas had best times nearly every time they dove in the pool! The competition was tough, but the Piranhas swam great! 13/over Piranhas that placed in the top 16 include Slaughter (2nd-50 free/100 free/400 IM, 3rd- 200 free), Morgan Desautelle (5th- 200 back, 9th- 200 free), Dylan Gilhooly (5th- 100 fly, 13th- 50 free), Cesar Pena (8th- 200 IM/100 breast, 12th- 100 fly), Hannah Vogel (8th- 200 free, 16th- 100 fly), Tim Gould (9th- 100 back, 12th- 200 IM), Nicolai Ostberg (9th- 100 fly, 13th- 100 breast), Erik McKenna (10th- 200 IM/200 free), Andrew Lomanto (12th- 200 breast, 14th- 100 breast), Owen Brannigan (15th- 100 fly) and PK Brannigan (16th- 50 free). The 12/under Piranhas also left their mark, with top 16 performances by 10/unders Nguyen (2nd- 100 IM, 4th- 50 back), Kelsey Olvany (2nd- 50 free/50 breast, 3rd- 100 free, 4th- 50 fly, 7th- 50 back, 9th- 100 IM), Kendall Luecke (8th- 100 back, 10th- 100 free), Ned Smith (12th- 50 free), and Ben Bryan (12th- 50 fly). 11-12 year old Piranhas that placed include John Barsanti (2nd- 50 breast/100 IM/200 IM, 3rd- 100 breast, 8th- 50 back, 10th- 100 back), Ethan Keyes (2nd- 50 back/100 back, 4th- 100 IM, 5th- 50 free, 6th- 50 fly/100 free), Connor Zielinski (2nd- 100 fly, 5th- 50 fly/100 free, 7th- 50 free), Jamie Hogan (5th- 50 breast, 8th- 100 breast, 10th- 100 free, 12th- 50 free), and Jeff McKee (8th- 50 free, 12th- 50 back).


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I hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as I did on September 28th and left as inspired as I did. I think it is great that the Piranhas can offer this sort of “enhancement” to the Piranha program and for free, no less. I didn’t meet an Olympian until I was racing them and this was after I graduated college. I truly enjoyed, and I think I speak for everyone, Rebecca’s charm and charisma when she was teaching the kids in the pool and speaking in the gym. I personally enjoy hearing stories from the people who lived them and this was no different. What she was thinking before her Olympic race, what was going through her mind during the Olympic final and her thoughts afterwards. I feel like she was letting us into her innermost thoughts and feelings (now I’m getting corny, I know). Overall, I thought the best information that came from the visit was her humble beginnings as a swimmer. Her stories about not wanting to swim at the age of 10, taking a nap in the locker room to avoid practice but then getting to a point later on where she never wanted to miss practice. The night before her visit I was doing some research and I was specifically looking for Rebecca’s results as an Age Grouper. Those are usually not newsworthy so you seldom hear about them. Although I didn’t know what I would find, I was surprised (pleasantly so) to find out that she was not a ‘great’ age group swimmer. Above average, yes, but by no means was anyone crowning her as the next Olympic Gold Medalist as a 12,13 or 14 years old. So I started my introduction as I did with asking the group about her rankings as an 11/12 and 13/14 year old. Ironically enough, Rebecca had no idea she was not ranked in the top 100 all-time for USA Swimming in those events at those ages. I hope this resonated with the parents and swimmers in the audience that not being the best or even close to it at 10, 11, 12, 13 or even 14 does not mean you cannot be a great swimmer at 16,17, 18 years and beyond.

Thanks Rebecca!


P.S. I have extra autographed pictures for any Piranha who was not able to attend. Please contact the Piranha office. Please no requests for friends, I would like to get them to the Piranhas first then see if there are any left over. Also be sure the check the Darien Times and News for articles.

Piranhas in the Darien Times

YNATS Darien Times coverage: Piranhas set seven team records at nationals
Recent Darien Times coverage: http://www.darientimes.com/15291/piranhas-progress-in-the-pool-the-winter-long/