The Central Arkansas Swim League schedule will begin Saturday at Sherwood for the Lonoke Sharkrockets as they compete against the host Sharks and the Saline County Barracudas.


Tara Bennett, Lonoke’s parent representative to the CASL, said Sunday the 2017 Sharkrocket roster numbered 26, up from 19 last summer.


“I know of possibly five more interested,” Bennett said. “It’s not unusual after an Olympic year for us to have a bump.”


June 17 is the deadline to register for the summer program, which concludes with the Meet of Champs on July 22.


Swimmers compete in their age divisions for bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. All platinum, gold and silver swimmers will qualify for the Meet of Champs. At least eight bronze swimmers will qualify in each event.


The Sharkrockets will be led by recent high school graduates Tristan Bennett (Carlisle), Jimmy Evans, Tanner Edwards, Colton Tidwell and Peyton Blackard (Lonoke).


“They’ve been the leaders,” Tara Bennett said. “Tristan’s been on the team 13 years, the boys not quite as long.”


Last year, Bennett earned gold status in freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley. Evans was gold in freestyle and backstroke; Blackard and Edwards in butterfly. Bennett was silver in backstroke and butterfly; Blackard was silver in freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke; Edwards in freestyle, backstroke and IM; and Evans in butterfly and IM. The Sharkrockets’ other gold swimmer was Kanon Williams, in butterfly and IM; he was silver in freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke.


The Sharkrockets started practice at the beginning of May. They work from 7-8:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday and from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday. Coaches are Mackenzie Bennett and Tanner Canamore.


The CASL also includes the Cabot Piranhas, Conway Crocodiles, Lakewood Waves, Maumelle Marlins and Otter Creek Otters.


Besides the Sharkrockets, Bennett said the Lonoke Community Center also offered swimming lessons for children 4 and up as well as a Mommy-and-me class for 1-3-year-olds.


For more information or to register for the Sharkrockets, contact Bennett at 501-416-4438 or the Lonoke Community Center at 501-676-4390.