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2019-20 Meets/News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zovNBRhPKEY
Regional Championship 

What an awesome meet!!!  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped fulfill our volunteer duties, our officials (some of them worked even though they did not have kids swimming) and the swimmers, who gave an awesome effort all weekend and swam great!  Results will be posted soon.

Regionals by the numbers

1 – Age Group cut made by Oskar Sulkowski in the 100 backstroke
2 – Senior cuts made in the girls 15-18 200 Backstroke by Milena Judge and Sophia Karidas
2 – only 2 scratches all weekend!
5 – Total Piranha relays entered
6 – 3rd place finishes
7 – 2nd place finishes
7 – 1st place finishes by Alex Khilko
10.27 – Largest time drop, by Eliza Swaggert in the 50 free!
13 – Regional Champions
32 – Piranhas who competed
34 – Piranhas entered in the meet
47 – Top 10 finishes by the Piranhas
50 – shortest event contested by a Piranha
102 – Best times achieved by the Piranhas
141 – Total Piranha individual swims
152 – Total Piranha individual entries
400 – Longest relay contested by the Piranhas
500 – Longest event contested by a Piranha
1650 – Longest event offered 

AS ALWAYS #ONETEAM

8/Under YMCA State Meet @ Brookfield
A small but mighty group of Piranhas competed at the 8/under CT YMCA State Championships on Super Bowl Sunday.  Each of the swimmers recorded best times in at least one event, and they had lots of fun!  Alex Capolongo, Maggie Martin, Mariia Tataryn and Kylie Warner all showed huge improvements from the beginning of the year in all of their strokes and did a fantastic job!  We even had some top 30 finishes– Alex was 25th in the 25 free and 30th in the 25 back, Maggie was 18th in the 25 back, Mariia was 20th in the 25 breast, 23rd in the 25 free and 25th in the 25 back, and Kylie was 2nd in the 25 back, 4th in the 25 free and 12th in the 25 breast.  What a great outing for us!  Go Piranhas!

9-12 yr old YMCA State Meet @ Cheshire Community Pool, 1/25
The 9-12 year old Piranhas took the trip up to Cheshire to compete in the CT Y State meet and did a fantastic job.  Everyone swam best times in at least one of their events, with some swimmers racing to personal bests each time they dove in!  We are right on track to continue this success on through the end of the season.  The swimmers are all paying attention to details and working diligently on their stroke technique each and every day.  With an Intrasquad meet and the Yale Bulldog Invite just around the corner, the Piranhas will be ready for the CT Regional Championships in March!  As always, a big thank you to all of the parents who volunteered at the meet.  

13/Over YMCA State Meet 
The month of January is always a funny time.  Everyone is coming off the holidays, kids have mid-terms, the weather is cold and unforgiving and swim coaches ask their swimmers to step-up and race fast!  Well none of this is easy, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  The kids who attended the 13/over Y State meet really did a good job.  All I ever ask of my athletes is to show up at a meet ready to give everything they have that day with the goal of taking a step forward in progress.  Sounds a lot easier than it is but the Piranhas did just that.  Some came away with best-times, actually many did, some came away with really tough, gutty swims and a pat on the back from me, some swam an event for the first time but everyone walked away with great experience and took a step forward, some two!!   Where it is so easy to complain about early warm-ups, not enough rest in-between events, tired legs and a myriad of other things, the kids did none of that, took on the challenge and really swam well.  Bravo to you and thanks again to everyone taking the time to attend the meet.  Official results coming soon.

GRYM Meet for 12/Unders 
Thank you to all the timers and officials who worked the meet.  Great job swimmers!  Results coming soon.

Dec 21 – RYWC 10/Under Santa Claus Classic
What a fun meet to end 2019!   With a visit from Santa, the Piranhas got in the holiday spirit with their Christmas hats and pants and had a great meet!  Every Piranha swam best times in most of their events, and we even had several ribbon winners!  Top 16 finishers included 8/unders Lola Jenkins (12th 25 fly), and Mariia Tartaryn (10th 25 breast and 15th 25 fly), as well as 9-10 year olds Will Curtis (15th 50 free), Hanna Marcus (16th 50 back), Oliver Martin (11th 100 IM) and Ellen Zuckerbrod (12th 50 breast).  Next up for the Piranhas is the second Blue-Yellow Intrasquad meet on 1/8, the GRYM Invite on 1/18 and Y States on 1/25, and the Piranha Swim Challenge on Wednesday 1/22 for the P190, P105 and P90 groups and Monday 1/27 for the Maia, Nautilus, Neptune and Junior groups.  

ARENA Meet – Cary, North Carolina – Results
Another awesome showing at the ARENA Capital Classic for the Piranhas!  This meet always serves as a great mid-season test for the swimmers and the results showed the Piranhas were ready to perform.  The Piranhas were led by Andrew Rodriguez, who made finals in the 13/14 Boy’s 50, 100 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly, and Alex Khilko, who made finals in the 13/14 Boy’s 500 Freestyle and 400 IM.   Along with those swims, the Piranhas posted several life-time best times.  Beyond all the swim successes, the kids represented the Piranha program, the Darien YMCA and themselves with enthusiasm and pride, and were well behaved in and out of the pool.  Every swim was performed with great effort and every swim had teammates on their feet cheering.    A terrific experience with a really great group of swimmers!  

RYWC Meet, 12/7-12/8Results
The Piranhas had an incredibly successful weekend at the RYWC Winter Invite last weekend with nearly every single swimmer achieving best times in at least one, if not all, of the events that they swam!  All of the concentration and hard work is paying off for all of the kids; they looked really great and swam fast!  Event winners included Oskar Sulkowski- boys 11/12 100 free and 50 back, and Carolina Raz-Guzman- girls 10/u 50 breast.  Other top six finishes for the Piranhas included:  10/u girls- Heili Jalakas- 4th in the 50 fly;  Hanna Marcus- 3rd in the 100 back;  Carolina Raz-Guzman- 3rd in the 100 IM;  Zofia Zalewski- 4th in the 100 breast.  10/under boys- Nikolas Vasilko- 3rd in the 100 back and 100 breast, 4th in the 50 back, and 6th in the 100 free.  11/12 girls- Sameera Patki- 3rd in the 50 back and 100 breast, and 4th in the 100 IM; Grace Quinn- 6th in the 50 breast; Olesia Tataryn- 2nd in the 100 breast, 4th in the 50 breast, and 5th in the 100 free and 100 IM.  11/12 boys- Nick Lucas- 4th in the 50 free;  Brendan McCarthy- 6th in the 50 back;  Maks Shemiako- 5th in the 50 free and 100 IM and 6th in the 100 back;  Oskar Sulkowski- 2nd in the 50 free, 3rd in the 100 back and 4th in the 100 breast and 100 IM.  13/over girls-  Daphne Konstantinis- 6th in the 200 breast;  Victoria Typa- 6th in the 100 free and 100 back;  Jasmina Ujkaj 6th in the 100 fly.  13/over boys- Neil Chaudhari- 5th in the 100 back and 6th in the 100 fly;  Mateusz Zalewski- 2nd in the 200 breast and 4th in the 200 IM. 

Next up for the Piranhas is the RYWC 10/u Santa Claus Classic, then after the Christmas break we start back up again with the Y State meets and the GRYM Invite.  Go Piranhas!!

Wilton Thanksgiving Meet by the numbers 
1 – #ONETEAM
3 – swimmers in the A final of the 13/14 boys 200 free
4 – 1-2 finishes in the 13/14 boys 100 back, 200IM, 100 freestyle and 200 backstroke
9 – events won  by the 13-14 Boys – 200 IM, 100, 200 Breaststroke (Alex Khilko), 100, 200 Back (John Frankowski), 100 Fly, 100 Free (Andrew Rodriguez), 200 Medley & 400 Free Relay (3 aforementioned + Mateusz Zalewski)
14 – swims by John Frankowski this weekend
16 – ‘A’ finals swims
18 – different swimmers made finals

45 – swimmers entered from the Piranhas
46 – swims at finals
68 – best times by the 9-12 yr olds
75 – swims all weekend by the 9-12 yr olds
91 – percent best times for the 9-12 yr olds
200 – Medley Relay won by the 13/14 boys by the 3 aforementioned buys plus Matuesz Zalewkski
202 – Events entered
400 – Free Relay (3 aforementioned + Mateusz Zalewski)
500 – longest event swum by Alex Khilko and Sophia Karidas

13/Over – SMST Meet – Results
Thanks to all for taking the time out of your Sunday for the SMST meet this past weekend. I have to say your swimmers were pretty darn awesome!   As one parent said to me after the meet “They were on fire!!” and they were, but for more reasons that just fast swimming, and they swam FAST.  For those of you who may not know, all swimmers at this meet swam 5 events, all four 100’s and the 200 IM.  All of these events in a matter of about 2.5 hours, which may sound like a lot of time, but honestly, it isn’t. The kids had about 20-25 minutes in-between events and by their third event, they truly understood the meaning of fatigue.  They were exhausted, but kept going to the blocks with a great attitude and a great effort each time. This is all I can ever ask of an athlete.  There was no complaining, no whining, it was all positive and they were very supportive of each other, which to me is one of the most important aspects of youth sports.   A real proud coaching moment and a great way to start out the meet season.  Thanks to our awesome officials and volunteers.  Once again, your help makes the Piranhas a first class organization.  

12/Under – SMST Meet –Results
The 12/under Piranhas competed in their first USA Swimming meet of the season this past Sunday at Masuk HS.  The 10/unders competed in a “quadrathon” (4 events in a session)- butterfly, backstroke, breastroke and freestyle- with the 8/unders swimming 25 yards of each and the 9-10 year olds swimming 50 yards of each.  There were also a few relays in there to make it fun!  The 11-12 year olds swam a “pentathlon” by adding a 100 IM into the mix in addition to their 50’s of each stroke.  The kids did a fantastic job getting up and racing without much rest.   Although we had some disqualifications (which is not uncommon in the beginning of the season with new swimmers), overall it was a great way to start the season!  It was great to see the kids race after putting in lots of hard work over the past seven weeks and it also gave the coaches a benchmark as to what we will be focusing on going forward in the season.  A great big thank you goes out to all of the parents who cheered for the Piranhas and also volunteered when needed – we couldn’t do it without you!  We have a busy end of the year with more meets and we are excited to see the progress each swimmer will be making in the next few months!

Piranha 9-12 yr old 200 Freestyle Meet – Results 
The younger Piranhas had the chance to race a 200 free for the first time in a meet this season and the results were great!  We had 17 swimmers compete in the event for the first time ever, and we had eleven additional swimmers improve on their lifetime best times.  What a great way to start the season!  Thanks to all of the parents who helped run the meet, we couldn’t do it without you!

Piranha 13/Over 1650 Freestyle Meet – Results
It’s pretty cool when you can swim one event and get two, sometimes three, best times.  That is the case when a swimmer swims a 1650 (the swimmer’s mile).  Several of the Piranhas not only swam a best time for the 1650, but hit some best times on the way at what we call the “milestone” splits.  Milestone splits are the splits at distances that are events themselves, i.e. 100, 200, 500, 1000 freestyle.  Those splits count as actual times – not bad for one swim!   Congratulations to all the Piranhas, especially those swimming the 1650 for the first time.

2018-19 Meets/News

CT Age Group Championships & WHAT Summer Showcase
This past weekend the Piranhas competed at both the Age Group Championships in Cheshire and the WHAT Summer Showcase at Wesleyan. After twelve sessions of swimming the Piranhas ended the 2019 Summer season with some awesome swims! John Frankowski led the Piranhas at Age Groups with six swims and six life-time best times, placing 6th in the 50 freestyle and 10th in the 100 backstroke; both were CT LC Senior cuts.  Andrew Rodriguez swam four races and came away with four life-time best times, plus a finals swim in the 50 freestyle, placing 16th.  Alex Khilko swam life-time best times in four of his six events, placing 13th in the 400 IM and 9th in the 800 freestyle.   Michael “Spike” Frankowski swam two life-time best times in the 50 and 200 backstrokes, and Brianna Zhang rounded out the Piranha Age Group squad.  At the Summer Showcase, Brianna Zhang and Sophia Karidas led the Piranhas with six finals swims between them.  Brianna placed 2nd in the 200 breaststroke, 8th in 100 breaststroke and 12th in 100 backstroke.  Sophia placed 4th in the 200 back, 7th in 200 IM and 13th in the 100 freestyle.  Other finalists included Nolan Lovegrove who swam the 100 backstroke under 1:10 for the first time, and Daphne Konstantinis, who placed 7th in the 100 breaststroke.  Biggest drop of the meet goes to Grace Quinn in the 100 free, -12.5 seconds!  Great meet, great results, great volunteers, great kids!!  Results are posted.

CT Regionals 7/12-7/14
A small but mighty group of Piranhas traveled to various locations in CT for the CT Regional Championships.  Results coming soon.  Thanks to our awesome timers and officials!!!

CT/Eastern Zone Open Water Championships
Congratulations to Nolan Lovegrove for placing 7th in the Eastern Zone and 5th in Connecticut in 17-18 age group for the 2K Open Water Swim.  This event took place at Lake Quassy in Middlefield, CT.  This is an annual CT Open Water Championship that has doubled as the Eastern Zone (Maine-Virginia) Open Water Championship the last two years.  Awesome job Nolan!!   #ONETEAM #PiranhasLoveOpenWaterSwimming 

Piranha Blue v Yellow Summer Intrasquad Meet
Another hard fought battle between these two friendly rivals but alas as the dust settled and the last race was swum it was Blue yet again taking home the hard fought and well earned victory!!   

ORCAS v Piranhas Dual Meet @ Italian Center, Thursday June 27th
On June 27th, 31 Piranha Swimmers competed at the Orcas Fun Meet.  Held in the beautiful outdoor facility, the meet was fun, hot, and the Piranhas raced hard to be rewarded with a trip down the water slide at the end of the meet!  Top finishes and improvements are as follows:  Michael Frankowski won 1st place in 50 Free, -4.86, 100 Back and 50 Fly, -11.15.  Pauline Hausman finished 1st in 100 Free, 2nd 100 Back and 2nd 100 Breast.  Hayden Hines placed 3rd in 25 Breast.  Heili Jalakas placed 2nd in 50 Fly and 2nd 50 Breast.  Liisa Jalakas placed 1st in 100 Back, 2nd 100 Free and 2nd 50 Breast.  Alex Khilko won 1st place in 100 Free, 100 Fly and 100 Breast.  Daphne Konstantinis placed 2nd in 100 Breast.  Leanna Li placed 2nd in 50 Free and 1st 50 Back.  Nick Lucas placed 2nd in 100 Breast.    Caroline Morrison placed 3rd in 50 Fly.  Sophia Palacio placed 1st in 100 Breast, 1st 100 Back and 2nd 100 Free.  Jake Patterson placed 2nd in 50 Back and 1st 100 Breast.  Sahasra Sangu placed 1st in 25 Free, 2nd 25 Back and 2nd 25 Fly.    Maks Shemiako placed 3rd in 50 Breast and 2nd 100 Free.  Oskar Sulkowski placed 1st in 100 Fly, 2nd 100 Back and 2nd 50 Breast.  Eliza Swaggart placed 2nd in 25 Free, 2nd 25 Breast and 3rd 25 Fly.  Salma Thomas placed 1st in 100 Breast, 1st 100 Fly, and 1st 100 Free.  Jasmina Ujkaj placed 1st in 50 Free, and 1st 50 Back.  Nikolas Vasilko placed 1st in 25 Free, 1st 25 Breast and 2nd 25 Back.  Keriana Velazquez placed 1st in 50 Fly and 2nd 100 Back.  Jashan Wu placed 1st place in 25 Back, 2nd 25 Free and 2nd 25 Breast.  Selen Yasanliel placed 1st in 50 Breast, 2nd 100 Fly and 2nd 50 Free.  Tolga Yasanliel placed 2nd in 50 Back, 3rd 50 Free and 3rd 50 Breast.  Mateusz Zalewski placed 1st place in 100 Free, 1st 50 Back, and 1st 50 Breast.  Zofia Zalewski placed 1st place in 25 Back, 1st 25 Fly and 1st 25 Breast.   Results.

Piranha Blue v Yellow Summer Intrasquad Meet
Another hard fought battle between these two friendly rivals but alas as the dust settled and the last race was swum it was Blue yet again taking home the hard fought and well earned victory!!   

Greenwich LC Meet, 6/22 @ Greenwich YMCA
The Piranhas swam fast and showed great improvement with over 34 life-time best times!   Top finishes and improvements are as follows:  Roman Gagliardi placed 8th in 100 Back, -4.03.  Alex Khilko had a personal best in 100 Back, -1.23.  Daphne Konstantinis had a big 11.11 drop in 100 Back.  William Moles had three best times, with a great 6.40 drop in 100 Breast.  Sophia Palacio had a 2.13 drop in 50 Free.  Jake Patterson had a personal best in 100 Back, -2.12.  Harvey Pena had two best times with a big 11.58 drop in 100 Free.  Carolina Raz-Guzman had a big 10.40 drop in 100 Free.  Congratulations to Andrew Rodriguez who qualified for Age Groups in 100 Back, dropping 3.55!  Maks Shemiako had a great 50 Fly, -7.88.  Oskar Sulkowski placed 7th in 100 Free, and 8th 50 Fly, -4.38.  Keriana Velazquez had three best times, including a nice 4.40 drop in 50 Fly.  Lily Voigt had three best times, with a big 10.00 drop in 200 Free.  Selen Yasanliel placed 5th in 50 Breast, -1.12.  Tolga Yasanliel had two best times with a great -10.06 drop in 50 Breast.  Mateusz Zalewski had three best times, and placed 7th in 50 Fly, -2.63.  Brianna Zhang had a best time in 100 Back, -.83.

CT YMCA State Meet, 6/1-6/2 @ Greenknolls Aquatic Center
30 Darien Piranhas traveled to Brookfield to compete in the 2019 CT Long Course Championships.  The Piranhas swam very well, with over 60 life-time best swims and 30 top 10 finishes.  All showed great team spirit, cheering for one another.  Top finishes and improvements are as follows:  Amy Baiocco had a personal best in 50 Fly, -3.53.  August Chickles had some great first time 50-meter swims.    John Frankowski had seven best times and placed 4th in 200 IM, -1.09, 4th 200 Free, -2.84, and 3rd 100 Fly, -6.02.  Paula Frankowski had a personal best in 200 Free, -5.40, placed 6th 200 Back and 5th 50 Free.  Maryan Guzman placed 7th in 200 Free, -.30, and 3rd 50 Free.  Liisa Jalakas had a big 8.13 drop in 100 Free and placed 8th 50 Breast, -6.21.  Sophia Karidas had seven best times and placed in the top 8 in all of her events:  7th 100 Fly, -4.76, 5th 100 Free, -2.36, 5th 200 Fly, -4.16, 4th 200 IM, -4.32, 4th 200 Back, -3.95, and 4th 200 Free, -5.12.  Alex Khilko had six best times and placed 3rd in 200 IM, -3.72, 2nd 100 Breast, -.97, and 2nd 200 Breast, -.30.  Daphne Konstantinis had two best times and placed 10th in 50 Breast, -.92.  Nick Lucas had some great first time 50-meter swims.  Sophia Palacio had three best times with a big 13.32 drop in 100 Breast.  Grace Quinn had a big 8.40 drop in 50 Free.  Carolina Raz-Guzman had two best times with a great 12.99 drop in 100 Breast.  Andrew Rodriguez placed 7th in 50 Free, -.13.  Denisse Salazar placed 7th in 200 Fly.  Maks Shemiako had two best times with a nice 6.98 drop in 100 Breast.  Oskar Sulkowski had four best times and placed 9th in 50 Back, -1.54.  Salma Thomas had four best times and placed 5th 50 Breast, -.86.  Egor Vasilyev had some great first time 50-meter swims. Keriana Velazquez had a personal best in 50 Free, -3.02.  Lily Voigt had four best times and placed 7th in 100 Free, -1.59.  Victoria Wloszek had a personal best in 50 Free, -4.41.  Mateusz Zalewski had five best times with a solid 2.36 drop in 50 Free.  Brianna Zhang placed 2nd in 100 Breast, -1.72.  Congratulations to all 

Westport 10/Under SCY meet, 6/6
Eleven Darien YMCA Piranhas competed at the Westport Water Rat 10 & Under Meet.  The meet was fun and very exciting for the Maia and Nautilus swimmers.  Top finishes and improvements are as follows:  Mischa Gagliardi placed 8th in 25 Breast and had a best time in 25 Free, -1.29.  Roman Gagliardi placed 7th in 50 Breast.  Hayden Hines had two best times and placed 5th in 25 Free, -2.01, 4th 25 Breast, -1.07, and 4th 25 Back.  Hanna Marcus had a personal best in 50 Free, -.37.  Jake Patterson had two best times and placed 6th in 100 IM, 5th 50 Free, -1.24, and 2nd 50 Back, -4.11.  Sahasra Sangu had some great “first in heat” swims.  Jasmine Su placed 7th in 25 Free, -2.90, and 2nd 25 Breast, -1.86.  Jaden Sutter had two best times and placed 3rd in 100 IM, 3rd 25 Free, -.65, and 2nd 25 Fly, -2.38.  Eliza Swaggart placed 7th in 25 Free, -3.47, 7th 25 Back, and 5th 25 Breast, -3.11.  Tolga Yasanliel had a best time in 50 Free, -3.03.  Zofia Zalewski had three best times and placed 3rd in 25 Breast, -2.32.  Congratulations to all.

Piranha Spirit Contest Poster Winners:
1st place:  Daphne Konstantinis, 2nd place:  a three way tie between Zofia Zalewski, Hanna Marcus and Salma Thomas,  3rd place:  Paula Frankowski.  Congratulations.  

OLYMPIAN

Dear Piranhas:

I couldn’t think of a better way to put a cap on week three than with a visit from three time Olympian Elizabeth Beisel!  Too bad we couldn’t something like this every three weeks.  LOL.  I seem to say this every time we bring someone in, but she was the best guest speaker we’ve had, and we’ve had some great ones over the years.  Not only was she down to earth and charismatic, she was gracious and showed humility. Virtues I wished all great athletes embodied.  I really hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as I did.

In so many way she is an ordinary person and ordinary people do extraordinary things every day!!  Her story about being sick before her first final at the Olympic trials in 2008, getting injured before the 2016 trials, playing the violin, playing pranks on people (well, Michael Phelps to be exact), resonated with me.  Being nervous, playing an instrument, injury, these are things that happen to regular people all the time.  I think the message that will stick with me the most is when she spoke about believing in yourself and if you don’t believe in yourself behind the blocks, no matter how you prepared, you will never swim up to your potential.   This statement is true for everyone in every walk of life if you just replace “behind the blocks” and “swim.”

Be sure to check the Piranha Facebook and Instagram pages for pictures and videos from Saturday.  Also don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.   I will be posting videos there as well.

Ordinary people do extraordinary things every day!

Henk