Coastal Carolina Aquatic Association summer swim season starts Tuesday

Swimmers in one heat dive over the swimmers who have just finished the previous heat in an 'over the top' start proceedure to keep things moving in the Coastal Carolina Aquatic Association's annual swim meet at the Jewish Community Center pool on Monday July 18, 2011. (Wade Spees/postandcourier.com)

The 2012 Coastal Carolina Aquatic Association season gets under way Tuesday and the major storyline is about which team is not the defending overall champion.

In last year’s CCAA championship meet, Coosaw Creek ended a 22-year reign by Snee Farm as the overall champion.

“The last team other than Snee Farm to hold that title was the team on the Charleston Naval Base,” said Chris Accetta, president of CCAA. “Last year, (Coosaw Creek) dropped the hammer and their kids swam their hearts out. It’s a big deal. It’s not a given Snee Farm is going to win.”

Coosaw Creek finished 205 points ahead of Snee Farm in the championship meet held at the Jewish Community Center. Daniel Island finished third, followed by Parkshore and Shadowmoss.

“The team that has been hunted for a long time is getting a chance to hunt somebody again,” said CCAA vice president Erik Kreutner, whose brother, Jason, coaches Snee Farm.

“I think it’s good for everybody, including Snee Farm. You can only motivate yourself to defend for so long before you put too much pressure on the team,” said Kreutner. “It’s good for (Snee Farm) because they can motivate the kids to go after something. And for the rest of the league, it shows there’s a lot of balance out there.”

The six-week season can be grueling, with young swimmers practicing daily and competing two days each week. They will swim thousands of laps and might log as many as 50 miles during practice over the summer. Kreutner said the short season forces teams to practice more often.

Approximately 2,500 youth ranging up to 18 years of age (through high school) will begin competing in twice-weekly dual meets beginning Tuesday. Official competition begins at age 7, but there are exhibition events for boys and girls 6 and under. Accetta said teams range in size from as few as 30 swimmers to teams with more than 220.

The league (swimccaa.com) this year will consist of 22 teams (the Naval Weapons Station is not fielding a team this year) competing in three divisions, determined by their finishes in the championship meet. The CCAA championship meet will be held July 15-17 at the Jewish Community Center.