Local swim team finishes third out of 11 teams
By Coach Lindsay Barksdale
The Mammoth Lakes Swim Team is finishing up another successful summer season. The Sharks began practice at Whitmore Pool on May 22 and will finish up with a meet in Morgan Hill, Calif. over Labor Day weekend. The Sharks were led again this summer by coaches Lindsay Barksdale and Teryn Falkingham. The team had just over 90 swimmers ranging from 5-17 years old.
There were many memorable moments this season: snow flurries and 40 degree temperatures on the deck around Memorial Weekend; a long course meet in a 50 meter pool in Reno where a wide-eyed young Shark commented “Hey coach, this pool is REALLY long;” dryland workouts at 7:15 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday morning where the competition team got strong enough to hold a 5 minute plank by the end of summer; qualifying both Sydney Knadler and Katrionna Furness for Junior Olympics in Concord, Calif.; and enduring lightning storms at the beginning of August that kept the athletes out of the water and had them doing more dryland exercises and stretching than they thought possible.
In order to test their skills, fitness level and show off their team spirit the Sharks traveled to many away swim meets. The team competed in Carson City at an indoor 50 meter pool; at Idlewild Pool in Reno, a 50 meter outdoor pool; at the Bishop Invitational; at the South Lake Tahoe “Swimming at Altitude Meet,” and enjoyed a long weekend in Minden for the High Country League Championships.
Championships were a great success this season. Individual athletes hit many personal best times, the 8 and under boys 100 Free Relay set a meet record and the Sharks had numerous High Point Awards. First Year Swimmer Cabot Godoy was Runner Up in the 6 and Under Boys. Madeline Lefrancois and Summer Furness went 1-2 respectively in the 6 and Under Girls. The 7 and 8 year old boys category was also dominated by Sharks Dane Westfall and Quentin Lefrancois, who were first and second, respectively. Liam Bassler was Runner up for 9-10 year old boys. Katrionna Furness tied for first with Nikki Jackson from the Douglas Dolphins Swim Team in the Girls 9-10 year old division, and Sydney Knadler continued a strong season placing second in the Girls 15-18 year old category.
This dominant showing from the Mammoth Lakes Swim Team earned the Sharks third place out of 11 teams. The past two years the Sharks have come in fourth place at Championships so their third place finish was highly celebrated by the team. Other than Bishop and Mammoth all the teams in the meet train and compete year round. Our summer swim team is holding its own against large, year-round programs and we keep getting stronger every year.
The Sharks have one more week of practice and then head to Morgan Hill, Calif for a final meet. Morgan Hill is a new pool for most of the Sharks and the team hopes to finish off the season on an even higher note, especially since Morgan Hill is at low elevation and has a nice (hopefully very fast) new pool.
The Sharks would like to thank the Town of Mammoth Lakes and the people of Mammoth Lakes and the surrounding communities for their continued support of youth swimming. Our athletes are happy, healthy and looking forward to another season of swimming to begin spring 2013. We wouldn’t be where we are without the support and enthusiasm of our community. Go Sharks!