It’s the final season competing in the Central California Conference for Pitman and Turlock High varsity boys swimming, and with only two league dual meets left, both coaches are confident that they will close out stronger than they started.
After four league dual meets, the Pitman Pride are 1-3. They had a tough start due to limited numbers on the roster while their crosstown foe, the Turlock Bulldogs are perfect at 4-0, sitting at the top of the CCC and looking to take the throne when the season comes to a close.
“The boys beat Golden Valley then lost the rest, but we only have eight kids,” said Pitman head coach Erica Crain. “We are doing okay. Depth not there, but they are all juniors, so we will have everyone back next year and we will be alright. The eight are rock solid and there when they need to be, they are doing well.”
“Honestly going into it you want to do well, but when we got past Merced, that was kind of the light that made us know we can do it since Merced is one of our toughest competitors,” said Turlock head coach Sonja Raynes. “We have a few more numbers than Merced, but still made it tougher.”
In that match back on March 29, Turlock was able to edge out the Bears in a close battle that came down to the wire.
The ‘Dogs managed to edge out the Bears with a six-point victory that kept their winning streak alive.
Pitman lost their opening CCC dual meet but then bounced back in the next one to topple Golden Valley.
Since then, they have lost two straight heading into Friday’s penultimate matchup against El Capitan.
However, it hasn’t come without some positives.
“They want to win individually and do the best they can as a team and those eight have been together for three years, they get along,” said Crain. “They want to make Sections and do well, they want to do well as a team in general but they cheer for each other and are always looking out for each other; those eight are like family.”
The Pride swim team consists of Nolan Lok, Brady Gutierrez, Sean Bernard, Joe Carlsen, Andree Shields, Ethan Woodroof, Matt Silva and Frank Aliaga.
Lok has qualified for Sections in the 100 fly and 100 back.
Sophomore Bernard qualified in the 500 free and 200 free.
The Turlock Bulldogs squad has been led by Brandon Dhanowa, Matt Hesse and freshman Michael Tobin.
“Our freshman phenom is Michael Tobin, who comes from us from year-round swimming,” said Raynes. “Every individual event he has swam in, he has made Section qualifying times at varsity…”
Tobin stands at 6-foot-3 and zipped through the 100-breastroke and clocked in a time of 1:01.
Turlock also has two divers: returner Andrew Caldera and newcomer Lance King.
“They have been helping to add points to meets as well. I have 17 varsity guys. I just pulled one up from JV for the last meet, Jackson Thomas,” said Raynes. “Also, our unsung guy is Phil Delgadillo, he has been swimming butterfly in the medley relay.”
So far, all three of the Turlock boys relay teams have qualified for Sections, according to Raynes.
Pitman will next travel to El Capitan to take on the Gauchos at 3 p.m. Friday.
Turlock will host Buhach Colony for their penultimate league dual-meet at 3 p.m. Friday.