By Daisy Geiser
Special to the Stuttgart Citizen
BERLIN, Germany – The Stuttgart Piranhas Swim Team recently returned from the European Forces Swim League, Rheinland divisional championship swim meet, with a coveted team trophy.
It’s Stuttgart’s fourth divisional win in the last five years.
The championship was extremely competitive this year, said Michelle Sanders, Piranhas’ head coach.
“Fifty-three Piranhas represented Stuttgart in the water contending for the trophy and giving it their all,” Sanders said.
Roughly 200 swimmers, from age six to 19, from Berlin, Kaiserslautern, Stuttgart, Vilseck and Wiesbaden teams competed at the historical Finkensteinalle swimming pool. Each of the 5 teams had about same number of swimmers.
During the meet, running totals were not announced, so teams had to wait until the end to find out who was in the lead. Coaches, swimmers, and parents eagerly anticipated the final announcement, which came after the last relay race finished.
Tension mounted. Announcers called out fifth, fourth and third places. Then, it came down to rivals Stuttgart and Kaiserslautern
When organizers announced that the Piranhas took first place, the Stuttgart swimmers found they scored 1054 points, 90 more that the Kaiserslautern Kingfish’s 964 points. The Wiesbaden Wahoos had 448, the Berlin Bear-a-cudas, 381, and Vilseck Sea Vipers, 355.
The Piranhas swimmers left Berlin and focused training for their individual events at the EFSL short distance championships in the Netherlands at the end of February.
Relay Team: Madeline McBride, Daniel Madjid, Truitt Taylor, and Isabel Geiser. This 11-12 age group relay earned a total of 24 points for the team in the medley and freestyle relays.
Individual: Piranha individual triple event winners in their respective age bracket: Madeline Crabtree (8 & under) and Madeline McBride (12). Piranhas double event winners: Ella Kalinowski (13-14), Kiersten Koning (17 & up), Elizabeth Kyle (10), Grace Schad (15-16), Kyle Stevenson (17 & up), and Emily Zimmerman (8 & under).
Dropping more than five seconds from their seeded time in an individual event:
200m Individual Medley – Loghann Bellamy, Luke Biddle, Madeline Crabtree, Andrew Just, Braden Taylor and Emily Zimmerman.
200m Freestyle – Erin Morrow, Bethany Schad, and Jasper Treadway
100m Freestyle – Nathanial Egbert
400m Freestyle – Jude Light
50m Backstroke – Charles Kyle