Our Swim Team offers a fun summer experience! The Parklawn Piranhas Swim Team is a developmental and competitive swim team in the NVSL. We are a member of the Northern Virginia Swimming League and take part in meets in June and July.  The League schedules meets in accordance with team strength, so most events are hotly contested. The swim team’s coaches provide swimmers with the training needed to develop strength, skill and stamina in the water, while allowing them to compete in a nurturing environment. An added benefit is the tremendous bond of friendship that develops, not only among kids of similar ages, but across all age groups, as older swimmers act as positive role models, providing assistance, encouragement and lessons in good sportsmanship to their younger teammates. Our team focuses on:

  • Cultivating a love of swimming
  • Providing a supportive environment where swimmers can do their best and improve their swimming skills
  • Encouraging sportsmanship and teamwork
  • Presenting leadership opportunities
  • Offering team-building experiences through pep rallies and social events

Swim Team registration will open by April 1, 2021 1 and will close when we have reached capacity and no later than Saturday, May 16, 2021. Registration is processed on a first-come, first-served basis and priority is given to returning families. Families are not considered registered until they have completed all of the registration requirements. Completing the registration form alone is not sufficient. These requirements include (1) completing and signing the registration form; (2) paying the swim-team fees; and (3) signing up to staff the snack bar for 3 shifts (4 hours each) during the summer or paying to opt out ($150). Families must complete all of the registration requirements BEFORE their swimmer(s) will be allowed to attend swim-team practice. No exceptions.

The Parklawn Piranhas welcome members who are 18 years old and under to join the swim team. New families who are interested in joining the team must attend our swim assessments. Try-outs will not be scheduled for your individual swimmer; your swimmer needs to attend one of the assessment dates.

Questions? Contact us at

Dan Allee.  Growing up in a military family, Dan moved around the United States many times yet always found his way back to the Piranhas. He began swimming around ten years ago and has not stopped since. Dan swam in the NVSL as a Piranha as well as for club and high school teams. Dan currently is swimming at Randolph College where he competes in the 50, 100, and 200 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly. With over five years of coaching and swim instructor experience, he is excited to bring his leadership experience and knowledge of the body, mind, and sport to the Piranhas. Dan loves meeting swimmers where they are and helping them push themselves to reach their full potential. His favorite part about summer swimming is when everyone works together to improve both as people and swimmers. He cannot wait to further Parklawn’s long tradition of sportsmanship and fast swimming.

John Gullickson.  John grew up in the Mount Vernon area where he swam at Mansion House and the Mount Vernon Yacht Club. Later, he swam at FBST, AAC, Mount Vernon and West Potomac in addition to Club Swim & Water Polo at James Madison University. Also known as Mr. G. in Alexandria, Coach John teaches K-8 PE at St. Mary’s School and is the Varsity Head Swim, Dive and Water Polo Coach at Bishop Ireton High School (in addition to coaching club with the Potomac Marlins). With 30+ seasons of coaching experience, Coach John is looking forward to working with the Piranhas this summer and having a fun, fast and exciting team time!

Armi Mack. Armi has been coaching and/or teaching swimming since 1963. She holds master’s degrees in German and Education and retired from Alexandria City Public Schools after 30 years of teaching high school, middle school, and community college. Armi taught swimming at Competition Swim Clinic from 1983 –2016, where she was a coach, director and administrator. In 1985, as a teacher and parent, Armi lobbied for and started the T.C. Williams Swim and Dive Team, which she coached for the first seven seasons. More recently, Armi has helped start and taught the ACPS 4th grade PE Swim program. She has coached both NVSL and Colonial League summer teams, including Parklawn where she was head coach for the Parklawn Porpoises (now Piranhas) from 1989 –1992. As Assistant Team Rep in 2011, Armi started the Mini-Piranhas Swim Lesson Program. She has also been a member of the NVSL Scholarship Committee since 2017 and loves reading the applications of our many multi-talented NVSL swimmers.  Summer league is her favorite coaching environment, and she enjoys working with the Parklawn swimmers and being part of the team and community.

Kevin Nicholson.  Kevin has coached at Parklawn since 2019.  Kevin also coach with Arlington Aquatic Club year-round and have done so since 2018.  Kevin swam on various teams in suburban Philadelphia and upstate New York and ultimately swam for four years at Division III Gettysburg College.  His favorite strokes were (and still are) breast and IM but he likes coaching every stroke equally.  Kevin believes that the best things about swimming on a team is the fun everyone has while participating and the bonds formed between everyone as they practice and compete together.  Parklawn is an awesome place for this and Kevin is excited to be a part of our team this summer!

Gypsy Roberts.  Gypsy has been coaching for Parklawn for seven years. She began swimming at the age of four at Parklawn and swam competitively for USA Swimming clubs and high schools in the area. She was the Lead Coach for Arlington Aquatic Club (AAC)’s Age Group Prep program and an Assistant Coach for AAC’s Sunday Gators program and continues to coach for AAC. Gypsy loves coaching the summer swim team because everything about summer swimming is fun! It gives kids of all ages and abilities the opportunity to improve and feel team camaraderie. It also builds a sense of community among the kids, parents, volunteers, and supporter.

Our regular summer season is approximately 9 weeks starting after Memorial Day and ending July 24. We celebrate the season with a swim team banquet on Saturday, July 24. Swimmers who advance to NVSL Individual All Stars will practice for one more week and have a meet on Saturday, July 31. Every year, we have swimmers who advance to All Stars!

Evening practices start on Tuesday, June 1 and end on Friday, June 11, Monday through Friday. We anticipate running evening practices between 3:30 and 8:30 pm, depending on registrations and COVID-19 related restrictions.

Starting June 14, we offer morning practices Monday through Friday. We anticipate running morning practices between 7:30 am and 12:30 pm, depending on registrations and COVID-19 related restrictions.  For the 2021 summer season, we will not be offering evening practices after June 11, except for an evening practice on June 15-17 for the swimmers who attend Arlington or Alexandria schools.

We have approximately 5 “A” Meets and 4-5 “B” Meets against other NVSL swim teams:

“A” Meets are held Saturday mornings and “B” Meets are held Monday evenings.

Our team also participates in an NVSL Relay Carnival where swimmers compete in relay races with their team members.

While coaches select who swims at NVSL “A” Meets, Relay Carnival and Divisionals, all of our swimmers can and are encouraged to participate in “B” Meets. Our swimmers select the events that they would like to swim at our “B” Developmental Meets (with recommendations from our coaches), except swimmers are not permitted swim an event in which they placed first or second in the preceding “A” Meet.

Our Piranhas know how to have fun! Every Friday night during the swim season, we host pep rallies at the pool. Past pep rallies included a Water Balloon Fight, Crazy Hair, Pentathlon Pool Games, Laser Tag, Lip Sync/Karaoke, and Cake Bake.

The Parklawn Piranhas Swim Team runs the Parklawn Pool snack bar offering light snacks, drinks and ice cream for all pool members, team members, and guests at the pool. The snack bar is open daily and for swim meets. Proceeds from the snack bar go to support the swim team. Every SWIM TEAM family is responsible for staffing the snack bar for 3 shifts (4 hours each) during the summer or paying to opt out ($150). Other pool members DO NOT have to work at the snack bar.


  •  Swim Team Fee: $125 (one child) / $225 (two children) / $325 (three children) / $425 (four or more children). Dive team fees are separate.

The fee includes a team T-shirt and a swim team cap. Only registered Parklawn Pool members may join the swim team. If you are interested in our Mini-Piranhas developmental team and swim lesson program, please visit our Swim Lessons page. The Mini-Piranhas developmental team and swim lesson program has different fees, depending on the level of instruction and number of sessions enrolled.




PRIVATE GROUP: includes contact info, schedule, and much more, so everyone involved can stay up to date!

Northern Virginia Swimming League