The Marlins Swim Team sent 60 eligible swimmers to the Merced County 2013 Tri Recreational Swim League Championship Meet held at Dos Palos High School on July 27 and 28, with 27 swimmers, almost half of the team, qualify as top 10 finalists.
Nearly 800 swimmers from nine competitive recreational swim teams from throughout the Central Valley, competed in the meet. All the teams are associated with high school CIF swimming and USA year round swimming organizations. All Marlins swimmers had to be in the top 3% of the swimmers in the league in order to qualify for the championship meet.
Although the league is defined as a summer recreational league, many of its finalists achieve year-round Junior Olympic swim standards.
"It is so remarkable that we had 14 swimmers make one or more short course Junior Olympic time standards even though they are only able to swim two and a half months out of the year," said Tammy Kudela, head coach. "Imagine what they could do if they had more pool time."
Two Marlins swimmers, Coury Jones, 10, and Triana Garrett, 16, achieved the coveted "High Point" award at this championship meet.
Jones had an outstanding meet, placing first in three events (100 yard individual medley, 1:23.12; 50 yard backstroke, 38.92; and 100 freestyle, 1:10.11. In addition to the three fist place finishes, Jones placed second in the 50 butterfly with a time of 36.78.
Garrett placed first in the individual medley (1:09.81), first in the 100 butterfly (1:09.17) and got seconds in the 50 freestyle (27.17) and the 100 freestyle (1:00.3).
Jones' efforts this season broke every Marlin's team record except the 50 breaststroke held by Jenna Coffman and Garrett's efforts broke the Marlin's team record for the 50 backstroke (32.74), 50 butterfly (30.63) and 500 freestyle (6:21.46).
"These kids did so well at this meet despite the fact that they were up against teams like Los Banos, Dos Palos, and Kerman which are one and a half or two times our size," Kudela said. "We are so proud of them. Their hard work really paid off. The closest team to us in size was Chowchilla with 61 swimmers and we beat them by almost 100 points."
Kudela contributes the success of the team to her coaching staff Terri LeQuia, Lisa Coffman, Dawniele Oliphant and DJ Zelazo the administrative staff of Michelle Jones, Katherine Ogilvie, and Clayton Garrett.
"All of our coaches have many years of training and experience with the sport of swimming and typically the swimmer to coach ratio on the team is only about 15 to 1," Kudela said. "We also have amazingly supportive parents so when you put these key factors together, the kids can and do improve quickly. And that's exactly what we saw happen last weekend."
Kudela recognized the support the team has received from many Mountain Area communities from El Portal to Yosemite Lakes Park.
"We are also very appreciative of Yosemite High School and the Baker Swim Complex staff for their contributions to our team's successful season," Kudela said. Details: Tammy Kudela, (559) 213-3304.
Marlins CorrespondentTop 10 Marlins finalists at championship meet
Owen Arnold, 5 (25 backstroke, 9th, 50 freestyle, 8th); Xavier Dacanay, 4, (25 breaststroke, 9th); Owen Ogilvie, 5 (25 freestyle, 5th, 25 backstroke, 7th, 50 free 3rd, and 25 butterfly, 8th); Conor Oliphant, 6, (50 freestyle, 9th, 25 breaststroke, 3rd); Ty Bond, 8, (100 IM, 7th, 50 freestyle, 10th, 25 breaststroke, 10th); Caleb Zelazo, 7 (25 freestyle, 7th, 100 IM, 8th).
Jonah Dacany, 9, (50 breaststroke, 8th), Chad Coffman, 13, (100 IM, 3rd, 100 backstroke, 3rd, 100 freestyle, 4th, and 100 breaststroke, 3rd); Daniel Gilger, 13, ( 100 backstroke, 7th); Russell Zelazo, 13, (50 freestyle, 10th, 100 freestyle, 9th, 100 butterfly, 8th); Chance Bendz, 15, (50 freestyle, 6th, 100 backstroke, 7th, 100 freestyle, 3rd).
Van Cummings, 15, (50 freestyle, 7th, 100 IM, 6th, 100 freestyle, 6th, and 100 breaststroke, 8th); Walker Phillips, 5, 100 backstroke, 8th); Felina Ogilvie, 8, 25 freestyle, 8th, 100 IM, 3rd, 25 breaststroke, 2nd, 50 freestyle, 7th); Mackenzie Arnold, 10, 50 breaststroke, 9th); Claire Lewis, 10, (50 backstroke, 10th, 100 freestyle, 8th, 50 butterfly, 10th), Cora Lowery, 9, (50 freestyle, 9th, 100 freestyle, 10th, 50 breaststroke, 10th).
Parker Jones, 11, (100 IM, 7th, 50 backstroke, 4th, 100 freestyle, 6th, 50 butterfly, 5th); Audrey Ogilvie, 12, (100 IM, 8th, 50 breaststroke, 5th, 50 butterfly, 10th); Trinity Zelazo, 11, (50 breaststroke, 3rd); Jenna Coffman, 15, (100 breaststroke, 9th, 100 butterfly, 9th); Sara Vind, 15 (100 butterfly, 10th); Taylor Wade, 15, (100 backstroke, 9th,); Kylie Johnson, 18, (50 freestyle, 5th, 100 IM, 5th, 100 breaststroke, 2nd, 100 butterfly, 4th); Karley LeQuia, 19, 100 IM, 3rd, 100 backstroke, 3rd, 100 freestyle, 4th, 100 butterfly, 3rd).