Piranhas Swim Team


The Sage YMCA Piranhas Swim Team embraces the core values of the YMCA: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. Furthermore, the team seeks to provide opportunities for social and emotional development, a physical and recreational outlet, and an atmosphere of good sportsmanship, teamwork and fun for all.

Visit our Team Unify site at www.piranhasswimteam.com

The Piranhas Swim Team is for swimmers of all abilities, from ages 5-21. Our dedicated and experienced coaches will provide each swimmer with the maximum opportunity for development.


NEW to the Piranhas?

All new swimmers must attend a try-out. Coaches will then make group recommendations based on age, ability and availability. Please contact Coach Ed Richardson at 815-526-1665 or erichardson@ymcachicago.org.

Practice Groups: Prerequisites, Descriptions & Times

The swimming season runs roughly the 30 weeks from September through the middle of March.

A summer team runs from April-July.

Stroke Clincs are available in April and August.

The Piranhas swim team offers training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability levels. It is the goal of the Piranhas to offer age specific training for all of our athletes geared towards challenging each individual and developing each individual to the best of their abilities.

Developmental Group

The Developmental group is for novice or beginner swimmers up to 12 years of age. Swimmers age 8 and under must be able to swim both 25 yard freestyle and 25 yard backstroke. Swimmers 9-12 years old must be able to swim both 50 yard freestyle and 50 yard backstroke. This group helps to bridge the gap between ending swim lessons and the introduction to more competitive swimming.  Swimmers will practice 3 times per week for an hour per day and will meet in the family pool.

Age Group

This group is comprised of competitive swimmers age 7 - 12 years of age.  Swimmers who can legally perform all four (4) strokes: Freestyle, Breast Stroke, Butterfly and Backstroke qualify for this group.  This group will be swimming 4 times per week for 1.5 hours per day and will meet in the competition pool.

Intermediate Group

Swimmers in the Intermediate Group are ages 10 and over who are proficient in swimming all four (4) strokes: Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly.  These swimmers have the motivation to decrease times and work hard.  This group is of a competitive nature.  Swimmers must be able to consistently swim 10 X 100 free on 1:30.  Swimmers enrolled in high school are not eligible for this group.  This group will swim 5 days per week for 1.5 hours per day and will meet in the competition pool.

Senior Group

The Senior Group consists of swimmers age 12 and over and all swimmers enrolled in high school.  Any swimmer not enrolled in high school must be able to consistently swim 10 X 100 free on 1:20.  This group will swim 5 days per week for 2 hours per day and will meet in the competition pool.

High School Group

Swimmers currently enrolled in high school AND active members of their high school team may register for this group.  High school swim coaches will be contacted to ensure swimmers are on the roster for their team.  Should a swimmer drop from their high school team, the swimmer will be transferred to the Senior Group and be responsible for any price difference.  This group will follow the same schedule as the Senior Group.


Registration Information

Contact Swim Team Head Coach Ed Richardson, at 815.526.1665 or email at erichardson@ymcachicago.org if any question.

Coaching Staff

Head Coach Ed Richardson

Coach Ed was the head coach for the Palatine girls swim program for 32 years! Not only is he an accomplished swimmer himself, but has coached numerous great swimmers that have gone on to be division, conference and state champions.

His illustrious career includes these team awards:

10 MSL division titles

11 MSL conference titles

10 sectional championships

4-2nd place finishes at state

1-3rd place finish at state

17 top ten finished at state

3rd place at Senior Nationals

Ed has had a state finalist for 27 of his 32 years. His swimmers have won several awards as well. In his tenure, Ed’s has had:

Numerous conference titles

33 individual state champions

82 All State swimmers

80 All American swimmers

9 State record holders

5 National Champions

18 Olympic Trial Qualifiers

Ed has won sectional coach of the year 15 times and has one the National Coaching Achievement Award twice. Recently, he has been inducted into the Illinois Swimming Hall of Fame.

Ed has never coached for any of these accolades. He has done it for the love of the sport, the challenge of the training, and the dedication to his athletes.

Laura Garand Assistant Head Coach