Barracudas start summer season with new coach

Published 6:39 pm Friday, May 29, 2015

Heather Battenberg, associate librarian at Bainbridge State College and a former college swimmer at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, is the new head coach of the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA Barracudas swim team.

YMCA aquatics coordinator Jennifer Clements, who serves as the Barracudas assistant coach, says the team is very fortunate to have a swim coach as talented as Battenberg take over as Barracudas head coach and work with the young swimmers.

“Coach Battenberg knows what it takes to be a strong swimmer and she constantly works with our youngsters to improve their times,” Clements said.
Swimmers returning from last year’s team include Sandy Baker, Christie Whitaker and Paige Overman.

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Swim team newcomers include Kara Overman, Mary Claire Killough, Allee Dickson, Carissa White, Katie Campbell, Rendi Harrison, Karli Willis, Ryan Smith and Thad Whitaker.
The Barracudas open their season under coach Battenberg today in Tifton where they will be competing in the Tift area Tidal Wave Invitational Meet. They will travel to Valdosta Saturday, June 6, to compete in the Valdosta YMCA Invitational Meet. During the season, they will be competing in YMCA and Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Meets.

“Tifton has had a strong youth swim program through the years and I am sure they will be very competitive again this summer,” said Clements, who swam on the city of Bainbridge swim team under Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame coach William Widener growing up. “Our team has worked hard under coach Battenberg to get ready.

“Swimming is a great sport that youngsters can practice the year-round while making new friends. Our practices and home meets will be at theeBainbridge Aquatic Center on Potter Street.”