Registration is now open for O’Neal School’s new USA Swimming year-round swim club – The O’Neal Pelagics.

Open to all youth in the community, there are three levels of year-round competitive swimming offered. Registration will close on August 30th and the club will begin practice on September 4th.

An assessment can be made prior to or after registration and enrollment will be determined by skill level, not age. All practices will take place at the Taws Aquatics Center on O’Neal’s campus, 3300 Airport Road, Southern Pines.

Those interested are invited to attend one of the Parent Night Drop In & Fun Swims hosted by O’Neal on August 27th and 28th, 6:00-7:30pm at the Taws Aquatics Center.

Pelagics Head Coach is O’Neal Aquatics Programs Director Ashley Long.  According to USA Swimming, Ashley was the youngest female head coach in the nation of two teams at the age of 19. She is the first intern of the Bolles School Sharks under Jon Sakovich and has remained under his mentorship over the course of her coaching career.

Ashley was the age group lead coach for the Marlins of Raleigh where she produced two age group champs qualifiers and both continued to sectionals. One of which ranked 10th in the state of North Carolina for the 100 Breast Stroke at the age of 9.

Director of O’Neal Aquatics Jen Schmitz will not only be the O’Neal Falcons varsity swim team coach, but she is also the head age group coach for the Pelagics. Jen is also the swim instructor for O’Neal’s physical education curriculum.

She swam for Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota where she earned a degree in physical education with a minor in coaching. She has more than 25 years of swimming instruction and coaching experience. 

A “pelagic” describes any type of life that exists in the open sea that doesn’t depend on the ocean bottom or the shore to live. Its own speed, agility and intelligence dictate its survival. Fish found in the “pelagic zone” are billfish, mahi mahi, wahoo, ocean sharks, tuna, rays and more.

Much like the open sea, O’Neal provides an environment that allows youth in the community who share the passion of swimming to be inspired and encouraged to reach goals in and out of the pool. Building upon the School’s history of success, the provision of knowledge and enjoyment of the sport of swimming to area youth is essential.

To learn more about The O’Neal Pelagics, its practice, competition, fee schedule and more, please visit O’Neal’s website – Feel free to contact Ashley Long: [email protected] or Jen Schmitz: [email protected].



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