June 8, 2018
After years of playing second fiddle to the Scott Valley Sea Serpents, the Strawberry Seals, for the third year straight, defeated their cross-town rival 374-181 in head-to-head competition last Saturday at the Tamalpais High School Swimming Pool. The pool swam fast as well, with the Seals Best Times Board filling up and spilling over to its other side, and with a total of 15 pool and Seals team records being set or tied.
The first record to fall was the Seals and Tam Pool record in the mixed 11-12 200 medley relay, with Marre Gattnar, Nadine Roose, Cameron Aryanpour and Coco Quill swimming a 2:02.22. Gattnar followed up with another record in the 11-12 boys 50 freestyle, breaking both the Seals and Tam Pool records formerly held by Theo Andrews and set in 2011. Gattnar swam a blistering 24.97, leaving the rest of the swimmers quite literally in his wake.
The backstroke events proved to be strong for the Seals as well, with Claire Cochrane tying Coco Quills 2014 record for the girls 8-and-under 25 back with a 19.41. Coco returned serve in her own 11-12 year old age group moments later by swimming a 30.42 in the 50 back, toppling both the Seals and Tam Pool records. Marre Gattnar wasn’t to be one-upped, and dipped below the 30 second mark in his 50 back to set a new pool record of 29.86.
The records fell fast and furious at that point: Marre Gattnar set a Tam Pool and Seals record in the 11-12 boys 50 breaststroke, Samir Meleis set a Seals team record in the 8-and-under boys 25 butterfly, Coco Quill set a new pool and team marks in the girls 11-12 50 fly and then followed up with new pool and team marks in the 100 individual medley as well.
The speed in the water was presaged by a peppy new cheer introduced to the team by 14-year-old Seals swimmer Serafina Carlucci. Serafina, who has mentioned to the coaches in the past her goal of someday becoming the Secretary of State, commanded the attention of the entire team and had some in the crowd wondering if she should update her goal to becoming the Secretary of State’s Commander in Chief, instead.
“POTUS Serafina has a ring to it,” quipped one.
Dedication to details also helped push the Seals to victory. That was apparent as Maya Rabow pulled double duty as both a coach and a swimmer, and Christine Watridge pulled a double of her own as lifeguard and competitor.
And Samir Meleis, who could have coasted after a big day in the water, didn’t. Racing the anchor leg of the free relay, Samir found himself face-to-face with a Sea Serpent who looked determined to catch him. But Samir kept his head down and finished all the way through the wall while his competitor looked over at him twice in the last seven yards, breaking his body line and losing speed, and resulting in Samir out-touching him for the win.
Personal Record of the Meet hands down went to 11-12 boy Noah Brown, who dropped 18 seconds in his 50 fly for a 1:09.38. And Heat of the Meet was a tie between heats one and two of the 13-14 boys 50 free. Every swimmer from both teams went a best time, going a perfect 20 for 20.
The Strawberry Seals next host the Terra Linda Orcas at the Tam Pool Saturday, June 9.