Two Baton Rouge-headquartered teams, Crawfish Aquatics and Tiger Aquatics, help lead the list of teams set for a long haul at the Louisiana Long Course Swimming Championships that begin Thursday at the LSU Natatorium.
The four-day meet features three sessions each day. Preliminary competition for swimmers 13-and-over starts at 8:30 a.m. Finals only competition for the 12-and-under age groups is set for 1 p.m. Finals for 13-and-over swimmers are set for 5 p.m. each day with Tiger Aquatics serving as the meet host.
Crawfish Aquatics won Louisiana’s short course title in March in Sulphur, with TAQ placing second. Two New Orleans area teams, Nu Wave and Mandeville’s Franco’s Fins, were third and fourth.
Since 2005, Crawfish has won 14 short course/long course titles and seeks its ninth consecutive long course crown.
Two rule changes could add some intrigue. One change allows college-aged swimmers to compete in the open division that has been limited to high school swimmers in recent years. The other allows swimmers to compete in seven individual events instead of six.
“As soon as the short course meet ended we started meeting with our parents to start getting ready for this meet,” Tiger Aquatics coach Jeannine Malbrough said. “The swimmers have trained to get ready for this meet. We’re looking for some big things. We think we have the chance to set some state records in some events.”
Crawfish Aquatics coach Jayme Cramer didn’t cite team or specific individual goals. Cramer said his team will look to focus on each race.
“The goal for us is to get the best times,” Cramer said. “For some, that will mean winning events. For others, it could be winning a heat or advancing to the consolations.
“Each individual will have their own goals. But overall, you want to get the best swims possible. They’ve put in the work. Now, it’s a matter of staying focused and using the things they’ve done all year.”
Cramer lists Tiger Aquatics, Fins Nu Wave and another traditional power from the New Orleans area, the Crescent City Swim Club, as the teams to watch. Cramer also said the meet will feature top individuals from around the state.
In addition to drawing swimmers from Baton Rouge, Crawfish also has competitors from its Lafayette and Houma-Thibodaux sites. Crawfish enters the meet with 100 individuals qualified. Tiger Aquatics has 73 individual qualifiers.
Crawfish Aquatics has eight competitors with more than one top entry mark, while Tiger Aquatics has seven. Nu Wave has five competitors with more than one top entry mark.
Colin Bone, of Crawfish, has top marks in seven events and will compete primarily in the 15-to 16-year-old boys division. Jolee Liles (girls 12-and-under), John Miller (boys open), Caroline Beene (15-16 girls), Ashlyn Hunt (13-14 girls), Sarah Hansen (10-and-under girls), Rylee Moore (10-and-under girls) and Cameron Miles (10-and-under boys) are the other Crawfish competitors with multiple top times.
LSU swimmers Gabe Rooker (boys open), Sophie Weber (girls open) and Amber Carter (girls open) are among the Tiger Aquatics swimmers with multiple top marks. Rooker has four top marks. Lance Rodriguez (13-14 boys), Mary Beaver (15-16 girls), Clayton Black (15-16 girls) and Johanneh Cangelosi (12-and-under girls) are other TAQ swimmers with multiple top marks.
Nu Wave competitors with multiple top entry marks are Davis Edwards (12-and-under boys), Kacey Guichard (10-and-under girls), Pierce Thionville (10-and-under boys), Patrick Reiss (boys open) and Phillip Endom (10-and-under boys).
Heidi Fritscher (13-14 girls) and Megan Loop (15-16, open girls) are Franco’s Fins competitors with multiple top times. Parker Hughes (12-and-under boys) and Eric Klein (boys open) have multiple top entry marks for Crescent City.