For the past four years the Turlock Seadogs have dominated the Mid Valley Swim League, earning consecutive championships and cementing themselves as the premier recreation swim team in the area.
But competing against the same five teams is no longer enough for the Seadogs as they will be branching out to compete in the Sacramento Valley Meet of Champions this weekend.
“This will be the first time that our kids have gotten to compete outside of the MVSL since we’ve been in Turlock,” head coach Michaela Solario said “Our kids do so well in our league, we thought it would be good for them to see some outside competition.”
The two-day tournament — the equivalent to a section tournament for recreation teams— will feature young swimmers from across Northern California who either placed top ten in their respective league championships or met qualifying times for specific events. The Seadogs qualified 75 of their 140 swimmers, but due to scheduling conflicts only 18 swimmers will be participating.
“I was pretty impressed with that. That’s more than half of our swimmer qualifying to go to that meet, so that’s a big deal,” Solario said. “We are wanting to do this continually for years to come.”
Turlock’s qualifying swimmers are as follows: Joshua Buck, Olivia Cervantes, Xavier Cisneros, Stella Dorsey, Cesar Flores, Henry Garcia, Jordan Garcia, Maryn Hall, Megan Hall, Kianna Hesse, Matthew Hesse, Madison Ngo, Mia Ngo, Leilani Ortiz, Mackenzie Peterson, Tobin Michael, Dominique Walls and Victoria White.
“I think it’s good just to show that there’s so much more competition out there,” Solario said “Seeing the bigger picture and seeing some of these kids and how much time and effort they put in, and how fast they really are. Just the gravity of the situation— that this it’s something that you can potentially do for the rest of your life. Through high school and through college in you kept at it.”