Brian Abdo has been around the Montpelier Community Association swim team nearly his entire life.
He was a swimmer for 10 years with the summer team and is getting ready for his eighth season as the head coach for the south Laurel team, which is in the Prince-Mont Swim League.
"It looks like we have 100 and some swimmers," Abdo said. "We have a lot of little kids, which is great for the future of our team. There are a lot of new kids in the neighborhood. I am excited to see what they can do."
The Marlins held their first full morning practice on June 12 in preparation for their season opener, which will be Saturday, June 17 against Division C rival Russett, just across the county line in Anne Arundel County.
In other opening meets in the Prince-Mont Swim League involving local teams, West Arundel will be at West Laurel in Division D; Laurel City will host Oxon Hill in Division F; and Greenview, of Laurel, will be at Whitehall Pool and Tennis in Bowie in Division A.
"We get to go against Russett again," Abdo said. "They won it all [last year] and we came in second essentially in terms of points and regular-season record. It will be fun to swim against them. They are also hosting divisionals this year."
One of the key swimmers for Montpelier is Carolyn Sutton, a Laurel High graduate who will compete in the 15-18 age group. She just finished her freshman season on the team at Division III St. Mary's, of Maryland, where she was second in the 200 and 400 medley relays to gain all-Capital Athletic Conference status.
She was also fifth in the 400 free relay in 3:44.75; sixth in the 100 backstroke in 1:01.29; ninth in the 200 back in 2:12.28 and 11th in the 100 fly in 1:02.55.
Abdo is assisted by former Montpelier standouts Dylan Buehler and Naomi Mills.
So where will most of the points come from this year?
"It is going to be interesting," Abdo said. "I think it is going to be different this year; I think it will be more on the women's side than the men's side this year. "We saw that some with the girls 11-12 and 15-18 age group last year. That is something that Montpelier has lacked, is strength in numbers."
West Arundel is led once again by John Venit, the veteran coach who is also the commissioner of the Prince-Mont Swim League. Venit is also the long-time swimming coach at Laurel High.
"We have about 95 swimmers this year, about the same as last year," Venit said. "We are just looking to have a good season."
West Arundel moved down to Division D after being at the Division C level last year.
"It should give us a little edge," Venit said.
West Arundel will have to make up for the loss of 15-18 girls swimmer Andrea Sturgis, who just concluded her sophomore year at Division III York College.
The Archbishop Spalding High graduate was third in the 400 and 800 free relay as a freshman in the CAC Championships. This past season she was York teammates with Laurel resident Alex Bowman, also a graduate of Spalding; and Eanna Hehir-Keys, a Laurel resident who attended Reservoir High in Howard County and competed in the summers at Laurel City.
Susie Keys, the mother of Eanna, is once again the coach this summer for the team at Laurel City.
Among the top 15-18 swimmers this summer for Russett are Meade graduates Tavon Thompson, Chris Marx and Simone Desouza and North County High graduate Catherine Ault.
Other top 15-18 swimmers for Russett are Evan Marx, Jenna Cartron, Sabrina Speake and Anthony Kazzi.