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Seadogs win invite for third straight year
From left to right, Meg Hall, Luke Reis, CJ Cossey and Frank Aliaga of the Seadogs stand tall with the team and individual trophies on Thursday during their Lap-A-Palooza fundraiser at Turlock High. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

The third time was the charm for the Seadogs, Actually, so was the first and second.

The Turlock Seadogs summer swimming program won the Seadogs Invitational for the third consecutive year this past Saturday by over 300 points.

Five teams were present at Pitman High’s pool with hundreds of young swimmers from the Central Valley ranging from the age of 6 to 18 but at the end of the day it was the Seadogs who, led by six high point winners, would be crowned victors in their home meet.

“We went in and didn’t expect to see the numbers we did especially with it being a home meet. We know we would do the best we could and if it happened it did and if it didn’t then something to work on for next year, but the outcome was in our favor,” said Seadogs coach Michaela Solario who coaches mainly the younger girls.

“We try to go into every meet and we believe that all of our kids have to do the best to win and three-peating that is big for us since we have never done that before, I think it’s the first year that any kind of three-peat has happened so were looking now ahead for the next meet and championships that what are goals are right now,” said Seadogs boys coach Erich Richter.

With not all swimmers present for the Seadogs, it looked as if it would be a tight outcome, but luckily the swimmers who were competing provided a huge spark and loaded up the point total for the Turlock home team.

“It is hard to say one person stood out because I think everyone should have been there to see the team take multiple high points due to top three finishes and that’s huge for points,” Richter said. “A lot of our age groups are stacked from first to fifth and all competing with each other and these five all switch back and forth in positions. It’s great watching all these kids just compete every weekend.”

To say it was a team win with great effort from everyone would be an understatement. The Seadogs competed in 102 events and managed to finish in the top three in 72 of them.

“We can really list off all the kids on the team because they all provide something for the whole team,” said Solario. “A lot of our swimmers are coming out there and drastically improving on their time every weekend and as much as it’s an individual sport it’s also a team and we look for those points so those are victories we celebrate too the kids improving times and working hard.”

Among those point contributors Jordan Garcia, Meg Hall, Frank Aliaga, Izzy Romeo, Allan Quinn and Luke Reis each received high-point honors in their respective age group and division to help lead the way.

Garcia would have one of the best days after he managed to be a part of five first place results in the 7-8 age group for the boys while on the girls 7-8 group Meg Hall managed to take first in the 50 free, 25 fly and the 25 free.

“We have big numbers coming in, we have huge point getters and that has been beneficial to the team and training purposes,” said Solario.

In the boys age group from 11-12, the Seadogs captured top three results in every event.

Aliaga would tally up three first place finishes in the 11-12 age group for the boys after finishing first in the 100 individual medley, the 50 fly and the 50 free.

“Many of our 11-12 boys had a great time, Ethan, Stash Perry and Michael Tobin and Noah Cossey and Tanner Clayton they all took top 4 in all their events respectively,” Richter said.

Before the Seadogs prepare for their upcoming event against Tracy in Manteca they hosted their annual Lap-A-Palooza fundraiser at the Turlock High pool on Thursday with a barbecue and raffle going on along with the kids swimming laps to win prizes and raise money for the club.

“It is our fundraiser and the only one we do, and basically the kids come down and have an hour time frame to swim as many laps as they can,” said Solario.