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Meet Report, July 24, 2021
South Irvine Dolphins at Northpark Riptide (by David Meyer)
The South Irvine Dolphins roamed far from their home at Uni High all the way to Northpark for the first travel meet of the season—and the last dual meet. The heat was intense, and the altitude up North difficult, but the Dolphins continued to show the commitment and improvements that will make for an historic season.
Young Dolphins animated powerful mixed relays, setting a model for the US Olympic team. Cassius Espiritu, Levi Bouhbot, Aksel Varnali, and Katherine Chow won the 5-6 100 Medley Relay, and had time to dry off and watch the 7-8 squad of Guilherme Falleiros Friggi, Kyle Wang, Helena Blanco Tossetto, and Carlo Soriano score an impressive victory in their Medley Relay. These young Dolphins are the leaders and coaches of the future, and it’s a bright future indeed.
Guilherme Falleiros Friggi joined the pantheon of Dolphin heroes by setting a new South Irvine Dolphins World Record in the 7-8 Boys 25 Yard Backstroke, with a time of 17.68. The old record, of 18.18, was set by Nathan Wu in 2015, long before Guilherme was eligible to swim even in exhibition. Old Dolphins, of course, don’t fade away, but continue to set records, and we look forward to Nathan joining Guilherme in swimming for the Dolphins at Champs.
Indeed, young Dolphins grow up to be Dolphin coaches, nurturing the next generation.
Lexi Baik, Carmina Blanco Tossetto, Dylan Elmer, Felipe Friggi Falleiros, Jackson Few, and Aksel Varnali joined the long list of Dolphins who have scored an Irvine Swim League Qualifying Time for championships. Evan Wu posted three qualifying times, including a including a blistering 57.87 in the 100 IM, which he won—as well as earning victories in the 50 Breast and 50 Free.   
Remember, every Dolphin can swim in at least one event at the Championship meet—held in the same pool where US National Championships have been held. A qualifying time allows swimmers to enter additional events to benefit the team. We need everyone!
Impressive time drops continued, even in a community pool not known for Olympic speeds. Brayden Chow dropped 7.47 seconds in the 9-10 50 Free, and Frederic Liu knocked an extraordinary 9.41 seconds off his 25 Yard Backstroke. Rani Madani dropped nearly 8 seconds off his 50 Backstroke, and an eye-popping 25 seconds from his 50 Fly. Sebastian Smith scraped 7.34 seconds from his 50 Fly, while Aksel Varnali dropped 6.81 seconds from his under 6 25 yard Back. And Angela Yu dropped 7.05 seconds from her 50 Free.
Lara Blanco, Joshua Lerner, Kyle Wang, and Jack Nelson scored time improvements in all three of their events.
Dolphins notching two time improvements included Colton Barrett, Carmina Blanco Tossetto, Helena Blanco Tossetto, Sean Finger, Gia Fournier, Pierce Fournier, Mirabella LeVine, Olivia Lee, Matthew Lerner, Frederic Liu, Rani Madani, Awnan O’Byrne, Mimi O’Melveney, Sebastian Smith, Angela Yu, and Chenyue Zhou.
And Dolphins improving in at least one event included Joseph Baek, Grace Baek, Levi Bouhbot, Micah Bouhbot, Brayden Chow, Katherine Chow, Declan Edwards, Dylan Elmer, Felipe Falleirios Friggi, Guilherme Falleiros Friggi, Kareen Gendy, Rafik Gendy, George Hibbard, Lauren Kwan, Benjamin Lee, Joseph Lee, Tyler Morales, Brian Reazee, Julia Shabanie, Taylor Simon, Benjamin Tsai, Derin Vernali, Adam Ward, Benjamin Zitzman, Chase Nelson, and Vincent Nelson.
But there were so many other improvements that the precious Rainbow Ribbons have become ubiquitous.
Dolphin Spirit was present in abundance, demonstrated by Youssef Afifi, Cassius Espiritu, Caitlyn Morales, Aidan O’Byrne, and Riley Simon.
The Riptide presented a tough challenge, and they’ll be at Champs—along with more than 20 other teams. The last stretch of the season is all about preparing for exceptional performances at the end of this incredible recovery season. Making the long drive home in Dolphin caravans, it was hard to miss Dolphin Orange everywhere.
Check out the meet pictures by clicking here.