Hungry Piranhas race through DSSL

Jul. 07, 2013 @ 09:32 PM

CHAPEL HILL – Cue the “Jaws” music.

Lose the big shark, though.

This is about some hungry Piranhas from Parkwood.

“We don’t rip people’s lips off like real piranhas do,” Parkwood swimmer Nina Hall said.

Hall and Parkwood Piranha Zoe Bright were in the water with the 8-and-under swimmers on Friday at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Koury Natatorium during the Durham Summer Swim League Championships.

Parkwood on Saturday won its 11th consecutive DSSL postseason title, helped by performances such as Myles Sims’ recording-breaking 50-yard breaststroke (31.35).

Sims, 12, also turned in first-place swims in the 50 freestyle (25.77) and the 50 butterfly (29.27).

More information about the DSSL is at

Parkwood coach Gretchen Van De Carr days before the championships said that the Woodcroft Whirlwinds posed a threat to the Piranhas’ decade-long supremacy. DSSL president Gary Hollon also mentioned that the Duke Faculty Club Aqua Devils could get past Parkwood. Neither of those scenarios occurred, with Woodcroft and Duke Faculty finishing second and third, respectively, behind Parkwood.

Van De Carr, who has led Parkwood for two decades, suggested that some team next year would have to pry the Piranhas’ grip from the pinnacle.

“I’m not (just) going to let them have it,” Van De Carr said.

There are 16 teams in the DSSL, including the Hope Valley Country Club Hurricanes and the Croasdaile Crocodiles, which won DSSL championships in Divisions II and III, respectively. The divisions are based on team sizes.

The Piranhas swim in Division I, and over the weekend they looked nice enough nibbling snacks by the pool.

But when it was time to take care of business in the water, Parkwood was no joke.

“We take our competition seriously, but we don’t rip people’s heads off,” Bright said. “Anybody can be a Piranha if they try, and they have to show true Piranha spirit.”