Piedmont Piranhas Swim To RCSL City Meet Title

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The Piedmont Piranhas won the championship at the 2016 Rocket City Swim Meet. (Photo: Rocket City Swim & Dive/Facebook)

The Piedmont Piranhas won the championship at the 2016 Rocket City Swim Meet. (Photo: Rocket City Swim & Dive/Facebook)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Piedmont Piranhas nipped the Greenwyche Gators for the overall team title at the 51st Rocket City Swim League City Meet at the Natatorium.

The Saturday and Sunday meet featured 1,351 athletes from 18 pools all around Madison County. The meet was in doubt until the final heat of the final race finished.

Greenwyche was the defending champions of the swim portion. The Gators did win the team crown in the diving competition on Friday.

Piedmont scored 1,511 team points. Greenwyche had 1,492, followed by Blossomwood with 1,411.5, Byrd Spring 1,167, Jones Valley 1,070 and Sharon Johnston 1,040. The first 6 teams in points will make up the top portion of the 18-team league next season.

Piedmont Coach Stone Strankman with the hardware at the awards ceremony on Sunday, July 10. (Photo: Philip Black)

Piedmont Coach Stone Strankman with the hardware at the awards ceremony on Sunday, July 10. (Photo: Philip Black)

“We really came together this year,” said first-year Piedmont Coach Stone Strankman. “Rather than having four coaches, we now have 12. It was actually a lot easier for the kids to get to know one another and their coaches. I think it made the older athletes want to be with the younger ones.”

Strankman, 20, is going into his junior year at Birmingham Southern, majoring in English. He prepped at Huntsville High and swam competitively for the Crimson Panthers. He swam for Piedmont for 10 years and was an assistant for seven seasons.

Monte Sano finished seventh with 929 points, followed by Sherwood (859.5), Mt. Carmel (929), Hampton Cove (757.5), Mountain Springs (741) and Lily Flag (650) to round out the “B” League for next season.

Redstone (590), Whitesburg (506), Camelot (378), Valley Hill (179), YMCA (119) and Chapman Pool (22) will comprise the “C” League.

Blossomwood won the 6-and-under girls and boys high point team awards. Byrd Spring collected the 8-and-under girls title and Greenwyche won on the boys side. The Gators were first in the girls 9-10 division with Blossomwood winning the boys high point title.

Swimmers prepare for the girls age 15-17 backstroke finals on Sunday, July 10. (Photo: Philip Black)

Swimmers prepare for the girls age 15-17 backstroke finals on Sunday, July 10. (Photo: Philip Black)

Sharon Johnston was high in the girls 11-12 grouping, Jones Valley won the boys title. Mt. Carmel was high point in the girls and boys 13-14 division. Byrd Spring was first in age 15-17 girls, and Piedmont won the boys crown.

City Meet swimmers competed in four basic strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke. Three swimmers per team were allowed to compete for points in each event and no swimmer competed in more than three individual events. Top swimmers also competed for points in team medley, mixed freestyle and freestyle relays.

Nobody is left out. Swimmers who don’t make the top three in any of the four events competed in the freestyle exhibition event. There was also a special needs event, along with coaches and parents relays.