PRAIRIE GROVE -- Prairie Grove Aquatic Park's swim team recently completed its sixth season and the program has grown from 27 members its first year to 80 swimmers who participated in the 2019 season.
Former Razorback swimmer Liz Braun started the program in 2014 and has coached the Prairie Grove Piranhas all six seasons. She has stepped down from the coach's position and will begin working for Bentonville School District in 2019-20 as the high school's swim coach and as an elementary school teacher.
"It was hard for me to step away because of the community," Braun said, adding she considers Prairie Grove one of the best communities to live in because of its parents and kids.
She said she's enjoyed watching the sport grow in a small town in Arkansas, pointing out that some of the team members have moved on to participate in year-long programs, such as the Aqua Hawgs club team.
About 80 kids, from 5 years of age to 18, swam for the team this year and 50 of them qualified to compete in the championship meet held July 25 at the Jones Center in Springdale. Of the 50, Braun said 40 were able to go to the swim meet. Some couldn't go because of scheduling conflicts.
Prairie Grove finished in third place out of eight teams in the South Division for the Arkansas Summer Swim League.
Braun said the Piranhas did well, coming in third place behind two larger teams that had about 90 kids in their programs.
Children and teenagers try out for the Piranhas each year but most kids make the team because it has three groups based on ability. Braun said some children come to the program not knowing how to swim and by the end of the summer they have become fairly good swimmers. Team members pay $145 for the season and that includes a swim cap and t-shirt.
Braun had five assistants on her coaching staff this year.
Next year, another former Razorback swimmer will head up the program. Braun said Madison Strathman will be head coach in 2020.
General News on 08/07/2019
Print Headline: PG Piranhas Close Out Sixth Year