The Crawfish Aquatics Swim Team, based out of Baton Rouge, was the decisive victor in the Louisiana Long Course Swim Championships held Thursday-Sunday at the LSU Natatorium in Baton Rouge.
With Crawfish nearly doubling its nearest opponent in team points, the battle for the next few places in the meet became the most important match to follow.
Crawfish won the meet with a total of 6,276.5 points. Host Tiger Aquatics was second with 3,537.5.
Of the New Orleans-area teams, the NuWave Swim Club led with a third-place finish and 2,304.5 points. Slidell-based Hurricane Swim Club was fourth with 1,582.
The championship is open to swimmers ages 10-and-older, with the bulk of the competition coming from high school-aged swimmers and some collegiates.
Though his team trailed throughout the meet, Thomas Vanderbrook of the Crescent City Swim Club put forth a tremendous effort at the state meet. He won the 100 breast on Sunday, and that followed wins in the 100 free, 50 free and the 200 IM earlier in the week. Vanderbrook was named the 15-16-year-old swimmer of the meet. CCSC also won the Sportsmanship Award.
“This team is like my family,” Vanderbrook said. “They all did a great job, and I’m very happy to be a part of what we did the past few days.”
Mike Falati, the head coach of the Crescent City Swim Club (which finished ninth in the state meet) said the rivalry to be tops among metro-area squads is friendly but important.
“It’s a friendly rivalry, for sure, but it’s a good one,” Falati said. “We all want to be as close to the top as we can.”
Hurricane Swim Club coach Chris Prator agreed. His St. Tammany Parish-based squad had only one-third of the entries that Crawfish had in the meet, he estimated, but competed well against similarly sized squads from the state.
“The reality is that we probably wouldn’t finish first,” Prator said. “But our goal was to finish in the top five. We did. I couldn’t be more pleased with what our team did in this meet.”
Kara Kopsco, who swims for TAQ but who was raised in St. Tammany, was named the Female Swimmer of the Meet. Colin Bone of Crawfish Aquatics was the Male Swimmer of the Meet.
Kopsco set an Olympic Trial cut in the 100 and 200 fly; as did Bone in the 100 free.
Logan Rysemus of TAQ set an OQ time in the 100 back and 100 fly; and TAQ’s Jake Markham did so in the 200 free.