About the Piranha Aquatics Program:


To provide persons of all ages in the Salem Area and surrounding communities the opportunity to belong to an organization that promotes a healthy, active, lifestyle to all participants.

Mission Statement and Objective

Piranha Aquatics (PA) is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization.  Our youth team is a competitive swim program that participates in USA Swimming governed meets during the Short Course Season (Sept-May).  We offer a guided, developmental youth program that ranges from the introduction of stroke technique to the training of experienced swimmers.  We encourage each swimmer’s development in a fun, positive, and educational environment.

When a youth joins PA, they learn skills that will last a lifetime: sportsmanship, confidence, self-discipline, teamwork, and perseverance, among many others.  Our goal is not only to teach stroke technique and other competitive swimming skills, but to teach our athletes to challenge themselves by accepting risks, enduring failures, gaining mental toughness, and reaching personal and team goals.

Through team membership, our athletes experience individual progress and success, goal setting and goal achievement, nutritional awareness, develop social skills, lasting friendships and lifelong fitness skills.  Our athletes strive to achieve personal and swimming excellence, and we offer each athlete the opportunity to reach their maximum potential.

General Philosophy:  The general philosophy of the team is to create opportunities for athletes of all ages to enjoy the sport of swimming.

Youth Division Mission Statement

  • To bring all members together in effort and purpose to achieve a consistent environment and stable program so that each athlete can reach his/her potential
  • To embrace and acknowledge the accomplishments of each individual
  • To create opportunities for our athletes to enjoy the sport of swimming through instruction, team building and competition
  • To build High School swimming in our rural area.

Team History

Originally “Salem Area Swimming”, Piranha Aquatics was started in 2008 by Head Coach Caroline McDermott.  In the summer of 2008, Coach McDermott coached a small squad of 9 athletes once a week.  For the 2008-2009 season, approximately 30 athletes completed the season in the team’s inaugural year. 

In 2009-2010, the team grew to about 45 swimmers and the team transferred to Lake Erie Swimming LSC.  Swimmers on the team achieved B and BB time standards and had over 1,100 seconds of time improvement.

In 2010-2011, the team changed its name to Piranha Aquatics and grew again to almost 60 swimmers.  This season, the team achieved it’s first “A” time standards.  Combining the Piranhas and High School swimmer’s best times, the team had almost 1,500 seconds of time improvement for the season.

In 2011-2012, the team began its transition from a coach-owned operation to a non-profit, coach-driven, board-run organization.  This season, the team had over 1,500 seconds of time improvement, as well as having a swimmer qualify for Lake Erie Swimming’s Top 10 list. 

In 2012-2013, the team entered its 5th season and continued to build on its success from the previous year.  The team posted a record-setting 3,653 seconds of time improvement, establishing a one-hour of time-dropped challenge for the team.  Swimmers that contributed had their name put in a drawing and two swimmers got to pie Coach Caroline at the team banquet.  Swimmers also continued to see increased success as the team had record-setting numbers of swimmers completing their Pyramid of Success programs as well as increased participation.  Rachel Klem represented Piranhas in their first-ever Zone Team Qualifier, and she placed in the top 8 in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke events.  Klem also qualified for the Quad meet in Indianapolis and was a 3-time LESI champion and medaled in several events at both the Long course and short-course meets.  Coach Caroline was selected as a Zone Coach for Lake Erie Swimming.  Additionally, Piranha Aquatics established a home school program in which homeschool athletes have an opportunity to practice swimming during the day. Additionally, Piranha Aquatics was awarded by USA Swimming with a Level 1 Club Recognition award, for its success in:  Business and Organizational success, Parent and volunteer development, coach development and education, and Athlete Development and performance. 

As we enter the second half of our first decade, Piranha Aquatics continues its transformation into a non-profit, coach-driven, board operated business, which is still directed by Coach Caroline.  We are excited for the transition and the growth this new path will take our program!