It was a dramatic ending to the Mid Valley Swim League Championship Saturday at the Pitman High pool with the Turlock Seadogs skimming through at the end to pull out a 6.5 point victory to claim their fifth consecutive title.
As the day was winding down, the Seadogs were down 80 points before the freestyle races began so head coaches Erich Richter and Michaela Solario gave their team a few words of encouragement.
“We told them every point counts, don’t place where you are seeded, and told them to go out and go for it,” said Solario. “We kept chipping away and eventually got really close.”
About 20 points behind the Ripon Sea Lions and the final event in play, the Seadogs big three knew what needed to be done and that was finish in the top three.
“The boys knew that we needed to finish in that order,” said Solario.
Dom Walls, Zach Glidden and Alex Selee went on to finish consecutively in the top three spots in the 50 freestyle race for the 17 to 18 age group and the Seadogs clinched their fifth straight MVSL title with a score of 1887.5. Ripon followed with a score of 1881 and the Ceres Dolphins took third at 1117.5.
“They came to talk to us before they swam and knew they could pull it off and we told them regardless to swim your best since it was the final meet,” said Solario. “We watched them grow and we knew they would go out and leave it out there. It was a good moment for sure. It’s a fun end to our season for sure.”
However, that does not mark the end of the season as the Meet of Champions is next for the Seadogs who qualified 87 across all age groups out of the 154 total kids on the swim team.
“We have 35 that are actually attending out of 87, which is a huge jump from last year,” said Solario. “I think a lot of our kids are looking for the experience more than anything, so it should be a fun experience to see how big swimming really is compared to our league.”
In Saturday's MVSL final, the Seadogs also saw their share of individual standouts, including a solid list of high-point winners.
Malia Sloan, Meg Hall, Madison Ngo, Ethan Braley, Izzy Romeo, Audrey Morgan, Michael Tobin, Matt Hesse, Josh Buck and Dom Wall were all high-point winners, respectively.
In the six and under division, Sloan took first in three individual events, including the 25 yard free, 25 back and the 25 fly.
In the 9 to 10 age group, Hall took first in four total events, including three individual in the 100 individual medley, 100 free, and 50 fly. She was also part of the first place finish for the 200 medley relay.
In the 11 to 12 age group, Ngo took first in four events, including the 50 breast, 50 back, 100 IM and was part of the 200 medley relay.
In the 11 to 12 group for boys, Braley took first in three individual events including the 100 IM, 50 fly and 50 breast.
Romeo finished in first place in three events in the 13 to 14 age group, including the 100 free, 50 fly and 50 free.
For the boys side of the 13 to 14 group, Tobin was part of five first place results such as the 50 free, 100 free, 50 breast and was part of the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.
Morgan took first in five events in the 15 to 16 age group after topping out in the 50 free, 100 IM, 50 breast and was part of the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.
Hesse managed to capture five first place results in the 15 to 16 age group including a win in the 50 free, 100 IM, 100 back and 200 medley relay and also the 200 free relay.
Buck and Walls captured high-point honors in the 17 to 18 age group.
Buck tallied five first place results, including individual first place results in the 100 back, 100 free, 100 fly and was first alongside Walls, Hesse and Zach Glidden in the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.
“We are preparing for Meet of Champions to compete with top swimmers from all of Recreational swim teams in the area as far as Elk Grove and over to Lemore,” Solario said.
The Meet of Champions will take place Saturday and Sunday at Woodland at a time yet to be announced.