New Swim Family

What is the Manhattan Marlins Swim Team?

The Manhattan Marlins Swim Team is a USA Swimming club that was founded over fifty years ago by a group of swim parents interested in competitive swimming. Their goal was to promote the sport of competitive swimming within the Manhattan area. In so doing, our founders thought, the health, fun, & fitness that competitive swimming brings to a community would be a benefit to all. The Manhattan Marlins encourage all swimmers to embrace the culture of success and achievement while striving to reach their full potentials as competitive swimmers.

To this end, the Manhattan Marlins Swim Team provides a year-round competitive swimming program offering opportunities for all swimmers to experience success both on an individual basis, as well as within a team environment. 

 The Manhattan Marlins conducts its business primarily in cooperation with the City of Manhattan, Ft. Riley Military base, Kansas State University and UFM. It is also the goal of the Marlins to foster and maintain strong relations with the local business communities and all school districts within the area.  

We achieve our through our commitment to the mission of USA Swimming, our hard work, our passion for competitive swimming, and our pride in our community and our team.

Who can join the Manhattan Marlins? Beginners Welcome!

All swimmers are welcome: from beginning level swimmers to the truly elite. A professional coaching staff ensures that each swimmer receives the instruction and training necessary to advance and excel in the sport. From the basic fundamentals of learning the four strokes to arduous training to tapering for Championship meet and developing winning race strategies, all Marlins swimmers are coached to reach their full potential. So no matter what your child’s current level of ability level is, you can rest assured that if your swimmer can swim at all, they will have a place within the Marlins program.


The Manhattan Marlins website is the most amazing tool. It is your link to all things Marlins - and the entire swimming world - all in one place! From the Home Page, everything you will ever need is at your fingertips.

In the upper left corner are tabs for the Coaches & Members. To the left is an icon for USA Swimming & Missouri Valley Swimming. Both serve as links to those organizations.

The Main Tool Bar across the top of the page gives access to everything you can imagine. The Links tab has just that: links to all sorts of businesses, organizations & functions that serve all aspects of a swimmer's needs. The New Swim Family tab is just that - a place to find useful information, especially if you are new to the sport and the Marlins. The Practice Groups tabs defines our Practice Groups, and the Practice Times tab lists where & when the Marlins practice. Our Events tab is your ticket to all Team Functions, especially swim meets. This is where you sign-up for & read about our Marlins swim meets, as well as other team functions. Be certain to consult the Performance Reports folder in the Events tab! All sorts of interesting post-meet awards & data is kept there.

The Register Now! tab on the left is where you join the Marlins. But the most important tab of all is the Team News tab. This is where the Head Coach & Team Administrators post timely & vital information about matters that affect you! Practice changes, new swim meets, team apparel orders, team trip news, etc., it's all posted here. So if you are not checking the Team News daily, you are out of touch with the Marlins!

What does it cost?

To join the Manhattan Marlins, participate in team activities & register with USA Swimming does incur some cost. Currently, the annual registration to join USA Swimming stands @ $74. That membership affords the opportunity for that swimmer to compete in any USA Swimming swim meet whatsoever in which that swimmer is eligible to compete. USA Swimming membership also provides the insurance coverage for all members at USA Swimming events.

The costs associated with the Manhattan Marlins are dues, meet entry fees & an Annual Fundraising assessment. Most swim families pay the dues monthly on a CC automatically. An Itemized monthly bill & statement is emailed. The meet entry fees, usually around $5 per swim, are also itemized there. Currently. the Marlins monthly dues are based upon Practice Group Placement in the following amounts:

Red Group: $90/mo.

White Group: $110/mo.

Blue Group: $120/mo.

Platinum Group: $130/mo.

Our Seasonal Fundraising is currently set @ $250 per Swimmer per Season. Families may raise this amount independently, in our Fundraising events (most choose our annual Swim-a-thon), or simply pay that amount to avoid the time & effort Fundraising normally entails.

Is the Manhattan Marlins is right for me?

First, peruse our website at There you will a wealth of information about our sport, team and program. Second, talk to a current Marlins coach, swimmer or swim parent. Members currently involved in the program are a very useful and informative resource to find out more about the team. Third, contact Karen Graves at [email protected] or 785-410-3825. You can also inquire about our FREE trial week, which is a great way to see if competitive swimming is something your child is interested in pursuing.

What are the Practice Groups?

The Manhattan Marlins offers 4 different Practice Groups (Red, White, Blue & Platinum) for our swimmers. They are designed to deliver efficient instruction in the sport and an orderly environment for training. It is the goal of the Manhattan Marlins to offer ability specific instruction and training for all of our swimmers. Group descriptions and related information can be found on the website under the Practice Groups tab, as well as their practice times and locations under the Practice Times tab. All new swimmers are required to be evaluated by the coaching staff for proper group placement.

Where are practices offered?

Practices are offered at a variety of locations throughout the year. All Marlins swimmers are encouraged to take advantage of all our training sites. Currently practices are NOT offered at Ahearn Natatorium on the Kansas State University campus. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, pool space has been hard to find. WE are working on options for Fall 2020. Sometime in late May, the Manhattan location switches to the outdoor City Park Pool.

 What gear will I need?

In order to practice effectively with the Manhattan Marlins, swimmers will need the use of certain items. Of course, a well-constructed practice suit, cap (for girls, required) & goggles are a must. Fins, paddles (White Group & up), kickboard & pull-buoy are also necessary. And a mesh bag to store the items in is also recommended. Under the Links tab of our website, you will find several vendors who sell quality swim apparel & gear. is probably the most consistent at offering the best prices on items suitable to our needs. The Sporti brand, in particular, offers the best value. The Sporti Power Paddles, Pull-buoy, Floating Swim Fins & Kickboard are always a fine choice.

Our team competition swim suit is basic black, with no other markings or colors. This offers the swimmer the maximum opportunity to obtain suits on both ends of the price spectrum: cheap & expensive. Marlins are free to wear any appropriate suit to swim practice.

A few words of caution: don't skimp on goggles. The cheapest of them are always the first to be thrown out. Once obtained, adjust the goggles to fit @ home for immediate use @ swim practice. Also, avoid both the adjustable and the shorter fins. The former take too long to put on & take off @ practice, and the shorter ones don't provide enough propulsion for our purposes.

Do I need to give up other sports if I swim with the Marlins?

The Manhattan Marlins recognize that young children may wish to participate in a variety of sports and other activities. Most people are under the impression that if you swim year round that you do not have enough time to participate in other sports and activities. This is not necessarily the case. Over the many years of USA Swimming, thousands and thousands of competitive swimmers have engaged in other sports. And although it is true that the very top elite swimmers normally focus on just competitive swimming exclusively, many of our Marlins swimmers choose instead to maintain a balance in their list of activities. So your athlete need not turn away from the Manhattan Marlins if other activities share your swimmer's time and interest.


Once your swimmer has completed a try-out, which can be done at any scheduled Marlins practice at any of our locations, it is time to register. The process is a fairly simple one. Select the Register Now tab and follow the prompts. Please provide as much information as possible. Complete everything. The more information we have the better our entire organization can serve you. Be certain to enter your cell number in the SMS box. That will assure that you receive timely announcements, in particular practice cancellations due to weather.

Once completed, you will soon receive a log-in email from our Admin. That will conclude the process. The log-in data is your key to accessing all of our website, including your account with the team. Save that log-in for repeated use. 

What about swim meets?

Swim meets are the focus of USA Swimming. Swimmers practice hard to enjoy the fun, excitement, comradery and achievement that competition brings. The Manhattan Marlins is a USA Swimming club, and competitive swimming is the sport. So swim meets figure greatly into the Marlins program. It's what we swim for! Swim meets are the reward!

Our Marlins Swim Meet Schedule is posted under the Events tab of our team website. That is also where parents may enter their swimmer in a meet. In most months, at least 2 meets are posted for competition. The meets vary in all sorts of ways. Travel, eligibility and duration represent the normal differences. The website will identify which meets are appropriate for which Marlins swimmers. All Marlins swimmers are encouraged to compete. So feel free to ask the coaches about which meets are right for you!

All that being said, there are no minimum meet attendance requirements to swim with the Marlins. (There are also no minimum practice requirements as well.) Marlins swimmers are simply encouraged to swim as much as possible.

 How do I sign my child up for a swim meet?

It all happens under the Events tab on our website. Log-in and select the meet you are interested in You may then click on the Attend button to Declare your swimmer(s) for the meet by clicking on their name and selecting “Yes, please sign [child's name] up for this event” or “No, thanks, [child's name] will not attend this event”. There is also a Comment Box where you can communicate with the Head Coach. Be certain to mention here what days you plan to attend.  
Once the deadline has passed, if space is available, athletes may be entered into the meet at meet management and coach discretion. Deck entries are an administrative challenge, so they are extremely discouraged and a last resort. Please make every reasonable effort to enter the meet by the deadline in order to secure a spot in the meet. Also, once the deadline is passed, athletes can NOT de-commit from the meet and will be liable for charges regardless of participation. Any circumstances that results in scratches from a committed meet will result in meet fees. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to: illness, change in plans, or commitment error.

Where can I find more specific information about each swim meet?

On the Meet Event Page, there will be a Forms & Documents section at the bottom of the page. If you click on the Meet Information or Meet Invitation link, this document will contain all the specific information as to where and when the meet will take place, as well as exactly how the meet will be run. It is a good idea to read over this document before each meet. Please note that there is nothing for you to fill out or return in the Meet Invitation, it is purely for your informational purposes. Meet entries and billing are both done electronically.

In the Performance Reports folder of the Events tab you will find all of our Marlins post-meet reports. Be certain to keep pace with your swimmer and the rest of our team!

Are parents allowed on deck at a swim meet?

For safety and security reasons, swim meets do not usually allow parents on the pool deck. Parents may ask the coaches questions before or after the session, but not when the coach is on deck.

In addition, parents should refrain from directly speaking with the meet officials about questions or concerns specific to their child. These issues need to be communicated to a Marlins coach at an appropriate time. Your coach will, if necessary, address issues with the officials. Swim officials can expel swimmers and parents from meets if they feel they are being challenged or harassed.

 What is the difference between Short Course (SC) and Long Course (LC)?

Very simply, short course takes place in a 25 yard or meter pool whereas long course takes place in a 50 meter pool. Short Course is normally noted as SCY for Short Course Yards or SCM for Short Course Meters. Long Course is sometimes noted as LCM for Long Course Meters. Short Course season normally runs from September to March. Long Course runs from April to August. 

How do I sign up to volunteer for home swim meets?

Volunteer Opportunities are available online for all of our Marlins hosted meets by clicking on the Job Signup button on the Meet Event Page. This is the only way you can sign up for specific volunteer opportunities and sessions that you want to work. Some jobs require you to be certified, such as officiating. rate heat sheets for each session.