- Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:45
- Published on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:45
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Life in the fast lane of competitive summer swimming is about to heat up. The Eden Estate Eels will feature an entire new staff of coaches this season, along with a 120-member swim team that will feature a huge core of young swimmers.
King George High School alumni, and James Madison University sophomore, Luke Jones will replace longtime Eels head coach, and swimmer, Katie Taylor. Like Taylor, Jones grew up in the Eels swim program, as he developed into a standout swimmer at KGHS. “I’ve been with the team as a swimmer for 13 years, and I’ve coached here for the last two years,” Jones said. “It’s a nice transition from a coach’s assistant to the person in charge. I’m really excited to help everybody to be a better swimmer.”
Jones’ assistants include: Emily Martin (coach’s volunteer), Rachel Webb (assistant), Beth Loudin (assistant), and Emily Pelto (assistant).
The Eels board of directors has also undergone several changes. Pete Lilly has replaced Heath Taylor as the team’s president. Taylor and his wife Nancy have a history of community service that includes over 20 years of service to the Eels swim organization. Nancy will continue working with the KGHS swim program as the team’s data entry technician. Jeff Kraisser will take over scorekeeping and general team information data entry duties.
Last season, the Eels finished second in the Nationals Division, behind division champion, Leeland Station.
Determined to ensure a fun and happy family environment, while focusing on strengthening the proper swim techniques, Lily has placed a premium on each swimmer achieving their personal best. “Every single kid here is going to learn every stroke (backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, butterfly), and they will have qualified times in each of their strokes,” Lily said.
Although the coaching staff will not be stringent in terms of holding each Eel accountable with personal improvements, swimmers will gradually see a clear progression on how their strokes have improved. The Eels coaching personnel are adamant about striking a balance between having a competitive atmosphere, and maintaining a fun environment.
In an effort to place swimmers in a more competitive environment, the team will practice at the King George YMCA two out of the five practices each week.
The Eels will get their first experience with area competition on Wednesday, June 20, at the competitive confines of Lake of the Woods. On the following Wednesday, June 27, they will host National division rival, Spotswood. The Eels are one of three area teams that compete in the Rappahannock Swim League. The league is made up of 24 teams.