By Carin Kirkegaard
Children from across Castle Pines North (CPN) neighborhoods enjoyed their days in the sun swimming for the community on one of the local swim teams. This summer was the first that CPN was able to offer families a choice in choosing a swim team.
Castle Pines Piranhas
The Castle Pines Piranhas spent their summer developing their strokes, dives and turns and representing CPN in the CARA swim league across the South Metro region.
In the past, the Piranhas were the sole swim team in CPN and had over one hundred swimmers. Having two teams in the neighborhood this summer allowed for smaller teams. With fewer swimmers, the Piranhas’ coaches, Lauren Smith and Derek Shaw, were able to spend time with kids that needed more stroke refinement.
“This year, the coaches were able to spend so much more time working on stroke improvement with individual swimmers. The swimmers had an excellent opportunity to really work on their strokes throughout the summer,” said Stacey Dowling a parent for a Piranha swimmer.
Practices were held in the morning, Monday through Thursday, at the HOA2 pool. This was an adjustment from previous seasons where practices were held in the afternoons. The change ended cancelled practices due to afternoon thunder showers. Swimmers of all abilities competed in a total of five meets throughout the summer.
For the Castle Crocs, swim season began with the close of Memorial Day weekend. The first week of June found many swimmers bundled in sweatshirts and pants when they made their way to the pool, but summer arrived in full force and found swimmers anxious to hit the water and cool off. From 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. swimmers were working on freestyle, butterfly, back and breast strokes with coaches Jon Cain and Christian O’dwyer. Hundreds of meters were covered and everyone had a great time.
The focus of the first season was stroke instruction, with four junior coaches, Lexi Hruza, Kendra Hudgen, Rocio Meli and Alexandra Ruiz helping out. Swimmers could track their time improvements with each dual meet competition. “This inaugural season has been great. The kids have had fun and everyone’s stroke has improved,” said Coach O’dwyer,
The Castle Crocs are members of the Mountain High Swim League. Throughout the summer, they competed in four dual meets as well as preliminaries, championships, and at press time, had four swimmers with qualifying times for the All Star meet.
Run by parent volunteers, the team could not have had such an incredible first season without the group of dedicated parents that put in countless hours judging strokes, running stop watches, setting up and tearing down for meets, fundraising for blocks, and helping in many other areas needed to run a swim team.
The team would also like to thank the residents of HOA1 for supporting the team with the use of their pool for practices, meets and potlucks. Thanks to all of the Castle Crocs corporate sponsors: Linda Knight, Castle Pines Orthodontics, Castle Cones, Safe Splash Swim School, Little Italy, Washington Mutual and Gandolfo’s.