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Barracuda Swim Team

Learning Values One Lap At a Time

The YMCA of the Twin Tiers Competitive Swimming Program participates in the Northwestern PA YMCA Swim League. 

2022 - 2023 Season: September - February

Swimmers of ages 6-18 years old participate in our Swim Team. Led by caring coaches, we emphasize individual improvement through stroke technique.  Swimmers compete locally with the opportunity to advance to the district, state, and national level. Please come to our open house on Aug. 31st or Sept 2 between 5pm and 6pm to register for the team and receive season information.  If you are new to the team please bring a swim suit, cap and goggles to swim a couple lengths for our coaches. Swimmers will meet with a coach and be placed in the correct practice level. The competitive swim team program is offered at the Bradford YMCA, and the pre-competitive swim team program is offered at the Olean YMCA.

Competitive Swim Team: [email protected]
Pre-Competitive Swim Team: [email protected]

- Registration Form TBA
- Barracuda Competitive Team Schedule TBA
- Parent Handbook TBA

Swimmers Compete in the following age Categories for both Boys and Girls

  • Midgets:  Age 8 and under
  • Cadets:  Age 9 – 10
  • Preps:  Age 11 – 12
  • Juniors:  Age 13 – 14
  • Seniors:  Age 15 – 18

Practice Groups

In order to provide an effective instructional/competitive swimming practice, swim team members will be organized into three practice groups according to the individual swimmer’s swimming ability. Coaches will assign practice groups for each swimmer. Check bulletin board for assignment.
  • Orange Group – Midget Age Swimmers/ New Swim Team Members/Swim Team members with a lack of overall skill in any of the four competitive swimming strokes – focuses on basic competitive swim skill development and improvement.
  • Yellow Group – All nine and ten year old's, and eleven and up – focuses on refinement of swimming skills, as well as strength and endurance training.
  • Green Group – Ten and up – While swimmers will still work on stroke improvement, this group focuses primarily on strength and endurance training, as well as sprint and distance workouts depending on the individual’s strengths.
  • Silver Group – Advanced – group will focus on increased intensity, endurance workouts to prepare for YMCA National Goals.
* Swimmers will be assigned to Practice Groups during the first week of practice. The Swim Team Coaching Staff may move a swimmer into a different Practice Group during the season based on skill improvement. The Swim Team Coach has the final say on the assignment of swimmers to Practice Groups at all times.

Barracuda Competitive Team Program Fees

$390/season - Family Members
$450/season - All Other Membership Types
Swimmers must have a Y Membership to participate on the Barracuda Swim Team.
Note: All participants are encouraged to purchase a team swim suit.

  • YMCA Locker Rental = $60 per year*
  • Warm-up suits = Approx. $60 per swimmer
  • Goggles = $5 – $10 per pair
  • Invitational Entry Fees = $4 – $7 per event
  • Swim Team Banquet Fee = $5 – $15 per person
  • Travel, Food, Lodging, Championships, District and States = Varies
* Lockers are for day use only unless rented; $5 per month on bank draft. Any locks left on non-rented lockers will be cut off.

NOTE:  Financial assistance is available. Please contact Emily Rhoades at 814-368-6101 ext. 214 or [email protected].

About the Coach

Caren Barnes, Head Coach 2004-present

Caren Barnes is entering into her 17th season as the Head Coach of the Bradford Family YMCA Barracuda Swim Team. Barnes joined the YMCA staff in 2003 as a volunteer coach when she moved from the Philadelphia area with her family. Since then, she has helped the team find great success in both the Northwest Pennsylvania YMCA Swim League and throughout the 3 Districts in Pennsylvania.

During her time here, Caren has helped the Barracuda Team grow into one of the most successful YMCA teams in the Western PA district. The team presently holds 48 records in the NWPA Swim League which it is a member.  She has coached 9 swimmers to multiple state championships who have also established 7 state records. The swimmers have set 20 Western District records. Four swimmers have been recognized by the National YMCA as being in the top 10 in YMCA swimming for their age group the past 3 seasons in multiple events.  She has also gotten the team involved in USA swimming in which they participate in the Niagara LSC.

The Barracuda Team is a member of USA Swimming. In this circuit Caren has coached two swimmers to become Scholastic All-Americans.  Other accolades include Top Female Swimmer in Niagara LSC in 2019 and 2020 and an additional female swimmer in the Top 5. Two Barracuda Swim Team members have qualified for USA National Junior Championships and the USA Summer National Championships.  Caren also trained an Olympic Trial Qualifier. The team has had a National YMCA Short Course Championship in 4 individual events and a repeat champion in 2 of those events.

Prior to her coming to Bradford, Caren coached for 15 years at the Brandywine- Coatesville YMCA where her own children swam. All four children swam for the YMCA and then went off to college and competed. Her two oldest are now swim coaches at the collegiate level.

Caren is a physical therapist at BRMC and uses her knowledge to develop appropriate dryland training for the team.

Team Safety Rules and Regulations

The Bradford Barracuda Swim Team protects every one of our athletes. The team follows all safety rules and regulations provided by USA Swimming. USA Swimming’s top priority continues to be keeping our athletes safe. No form of abuse, including child sexual abuse, has a place in our sport. As a part of our continued commitment to safeguarding our athletes, USA Swimming has enacted enhancements to our Safe Sport policy requirements.
For more information please see USA Swimming's Code of Conduct.  

The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) addresses one-on-one interactions, social media and electronic communications, travel: local and team, locker rooms and changing areas and massages, rubdowns and athletic training modalities. Every USA Swimming club is required to implement the MAAPP in full.

Click here to view the New Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP).
Remember all athletes 18 & over must complete APT Training every year.  Athletes 18 & over must complete all 3 courses AND the survey.  Click here to get for more information and to complete the courses.

For more information on all the USA Swimming SAFESPORT guidelines, please visit the US Center for SAFESPORT website.
Please contact Emily Rhoades with any questions or concerns:  [email protected].

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