The Sun Prairie Piranhas, a swim team for ages 6-18, has now been serving the Sun Prairie community for 50 years. While the team is competitive, the main goal of the program is family and fun. Konrad Plomedahl, coach of the Piranhas and also head coach of the Sun Prairie High School girls swim team and assistant coach for the boys, knows the intentions and reputation of the Piranhas very well. He used to swim for them himself.
“Swimming for the Piranhas instilled a love of swimming in me,” Plomedahl said. “I swam through college, graduated, became a teacher in town, and decided to contribute back to the atmosphere that allowed me to grow in my love for swimming. It’s all about fun and learning, it drove my passion.”
Established in 1971, the Sun Prairie Piranhas have gone by the same moniker since the onset, “Piranhas” being the winner of a “name the team” contest posted by the Sun Prairie Recreation Department. From those humble beginnings, the Piranhas now have grown to necessitate a 10-person board of directors to oversee the countless coaching, fundraising, and volunteering requirements to keep the operation running smoothly.
After having the 2020 season cut due to the COVID-19 virus, the Piranhas are back in the pool this year. A successful summer will culminate with a final meet against Cross Plains on July 24 followed by the “Piranhas Grand Finale” on July 28.
Youth sports have become a bit too serious in the modern age. Every event has the pressure of success and eventual rewards behind it as children years away from college vie for scholarships before they are tall enough to ride roller coasters. The Piranhas provide a constructive learning experience for the youth of Sun Prairie to explore the world of swimming in a healthy environment. The stability of the club is its strength. There are now generations of Piranhas, only further feeding into the feeling of community the club provides.
“That sense of familiarity is really important,” Plomedahl said. “This club has impacted so many lives. It’s an easy philosophy to uphold. Everyone comes together for a positive experience.”