September 10, 2015 - Piranha Aquatics swimmer Rachel Klem once again puts Youngstown on the map for swimming. The 12-year old is the fastest swimmer in Lake Erie Swimming in both the 100-meter and 200-meter Long Course breaststroke events.
Lake Erie Swimming is a geographical area called an “LSC” (Local Swim Committee) and consists of USA Swimming affiliated teams from across Northeast Ohio including greater Youngstown, Cleveland and the Sandusky areas.
“At the end of each season, Lake Erie Swimming publishes a top-10 list for the LSC in each event by age group,” head Coach Caroline McDermott explains. “Rachel has consistently been in the top 10 for the past 4 years in several events.” She is also currently ranked 4th in the 50-meter breaststroke.
Klem, entering 7th grade at Crestview, was also a member of the 2015 Lake Erie Zone team this past August. Her times place her in the top 93% or higher compared to all swimmers her age across the nation. This August she competed at the Central Zone meet in Minneapolis, where she finished 8th in the 100-meter breaststroke, 11th in the 200-meter breaststroke. She was also on the 200 Medley Relay squad and the 400 Medley Relay Squad that placed 10th and 5th, respectively. The meet included the top swimmers from Iowa, Lake Erie Swimming, Minnesota, Midwest Swimming, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
“She’s just a typical, everyday kid,” said McDermott. “She comes into practice, works hard, and does her best. That’s all we ask out of all our athletes.” McDermott explained that the Piranha Aquatics program works with all levels of athletes and not just elite competitive swimmers.
“We want people to know we have a place for all,” said McDermott. “We just don’t have fast swimmers. That’s the best thing about our sport. Everyone starts somewhere and at Piranhas we have a place for your child. No one sits the bench here.”
The Piranha Aquatics swim team is entering its 8th year in the Salem area and will be expanding to the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown this fall. The program features a competition team, a recreation team (swimmers can come as little as once a week), a High School training group for OHSAA athletes whose schools don't have teams and free programming for persons on the Autism Spectrum. The new season starts September 14th and registration is accepted ongoing throughout the year. Information can be obtained by visiting www.PiranhaAquatics.com or calling Coach Caroline at 330-548-SWIM.