Early last week, 8-year-old Yosemite Swim Club member Claire Tuggle had a summer cold and was hoping she would feel better for the July 20 Central Valley Recreational Swim League Finals in Kingsburg. It was the meet she had looked forward to all season, and her times in her three events proved she had a good chance of winning her three events.
She felt more than better last Saturday, not only winning her three events, but breaking all three league final records in the process. She now owns the records in the 25 yard freestyle, 25 yard backstroke and 25 yard butterfly.
Her 14.1 in the 25 freestyle, broke the 1978 record of 14.48. Her 17.32 in the backstroke beat the 1992 record by .56 of a second and she broke the 25 yard butterfly record (16.3 held for 18 years) with a time of 15.81.
"It was pretty cool to break the records but the most fun was swimming against a bunch of other fast swimmers like my friend Abigail from Selma and swimming my personal best times in the three events," Tuggle said.
Tuggle was also a member of the girls 100 yard freestyle relay team with Sydney Rainwater, Anika Mulkey and Lola Beams, placing third (1:07.33) and the 100 medley relay team that placed third (1:24.22). Team members on that team were Melia Kamalani, Beams and Rainwater.
The Yosemite Swim Club took more than 25 swimmers to this years' finals and head coach Jules Tuggle said every swimmer had a good day at the event that featured 22 teams and more than 3,000 swimmers from Madera to Visalia. Three different qualifying meets were held prior to the finals and only the top 24 swimmers in each event advanced to the finals.
"Every individual swimmer and relay team achieved personal best times at the finals," head coach Jules Tuggle said. "It was fun and rewarding to watch and it is a big accomplishment for our swimmers just to make the cut to get to the finals."
Medals are given for the top three swimmers in each event.
Lola Beams 8, received two second place medals in the 25 yard freestyle (15.35) and 25 yard breaststroke (22.09) and a third place medal for her effort in the 25 backstroke (19.02).
In relays, the six and under boys freestyle team of Luca DeBernardi, Josh Davidson, Max Tuggle and Ryan Rainwater, brought home third place medals and the eight and under 100 freestyle relay team of Anika Mulkey, Claire Tuggle, Lola Beams and Sydney Rainwater placed second.
The eight and under 100 medley relay team of Sydney Rainwater, Claire Tuggle, Lola Beams and Melia Kamalani finished in third.
Other Yosemite Swim Club swimmers with top 10 individual finishes included Theo Tuggle 12, Anika Mulkey 6, Collin LaTour 13 and Josh Johnson 10.
The seven/eight boys 100 yard medley relay team of Dominic DeBernardi, Braylen Radford, Sean Glitch and Taylor Greene had the biggest time improvement, taking 14 seconds off their previous best time with a 1:49.67.
"The personal bests is the most exciting part of coaching," Jules Tuggle said. "Swimming gives every participant a chance, through their own effort, to improve and have success. The seven/eight year-old boys relay team exemplifies just that. They are a team of new swimmers that have each worked hard in practice to become more proficient and their hard work paid off."
"We are a team growing in numbers and skill thanks to having a dedicated and talented coaching staff and committed families," said Dr. Karen Lauderbach, Yosemite Swim Club board president. "The Yosemite Swim Club definitely made a splash in the mountains this summer. As the club is a year-round swim team, their fall USA short course season begins Aug. 19."
Interested swimmers can sign-up on line at yosemiteswimclub.org.
Details: Jules Tuggle, (559) 964-7130.