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Woodbridge Tritons at South Irvine Dolphins

Meet #1 Woodbridge Tritons at South Irvine Dolphins

When the Dolphins welcomed the Woodbridge Tritons to our University High home, we knew we were in for tough competition.  The Dolphins’ heroic performance in the Irvine Swim League Championships last summer earned the team a promotion to Division I, the fastest and toughest competitive division in the league. On Saturday, the pod proved it was up to the challenge.

Nathan Wu, who hadn’t set any Dolphins world records since last summer, broke into the 15-18 age group with a new South Irvine Dolphin world record in the 50 yard breaststroke, setting the new mark of 27.88—a sharp challenge to future Dolphin breaststrokers. Nathan has already set more than a few of the Dolphins’ world records, and when you scan the record board, you’ll also see the names of other coaches, including Coach Mirabella, Coach Annika, Coach Jean, and Coach Ashley. But the season is very young, and we expect to see more records fall, and new names appear on the record board and in the Dolphin archives. 

There were many other great swims. At practice on Monday, the swimmers can pick up their ribbons, which include the date, event, and time for each event. Although it’s a short and intense season, the Dolphins are accustomed to hosting impressive time improvements over the course of the season. Swimmers receive a coveted rainbow ribbon as reward for each time improvement. Right now, swimmers are looking to improve from their initial performance in time trials, but everyone can continue to improve.

The other marker to watch for is “ISLQ,” which stands for Irvine Swim League Qualifying Time. Every ISL swimmer can pick one event to swim in the Championship meet, but those with qualifying times can swim up to three individual events. The times are tough, and Dolphins will be chasing them. To stay in Division I, we’re going to have to continue to place swimmers in the Championships. 

The signs from our first meet point to another exceptional Dolphin season. The young Dolphins opened the meet with a strong statement, claiming victory in the 5-6 Medley Relay. Congratulations to Felipe, Shane, Bryce, and Noah! Inspired, Levi, Stella, Brij, and Carlo followed by winning the 7-8 Medley Relay, leaving the Tritons deep in their wake. The 13-14 Dolphins squad in the same event (Edward, Bear, Holden, and Amie) followed with another impressive victory. Another squad of exceptional 5-6 year old swimmers (Mason, Reese, Kate, and Katherine) scored an impressive victory in the 100 Free Relay toward the end of the meet, and a swift 11-12 year old squad (Kyle, Olive, Gia, and Elle), motored to an impressive win their 200 Free Relay.

The relays always showcase the exceptional Dolphin skill and spirit. The swimmers have learned to time their starts by carefully watching their teammates, demonstrating technical precision. Even more impressive is the way in which Dolphins support their teammates through powerful cheers that turbocharge the swimmers in the water.

Many Dolphins earned the rainbow ribbon with large time drops. Fans were treated to some exceptional performances. Brayden Chow dropped nearly 15 seconds off his 100 yard individual medley (IM); Felipe Falleiros Friggi carved nearly 9 seconds from his 25 butterfly; Olivia Lee sliced more than 8 seconds from her 50 freestyle; Claire Liu lopped more than 13 seconds from her 25 Backstroke, after dropping nearly 15 seconds from her 25 yard Fly. And Stella Singer knocked 7.09 seconds from her 25 Free.

Of course, as swimmers get faster, time improvements are harder to get and often smaller. But the Dolphins kept grabbing improvements and notching ISL qualifying times (QT).

Riley Simon (3 QT) and Levi Bouhbot (3QT) led the way with three time improvements.

Swimmers with two time improvements included Bryce Alpert, Aidan Antonio, Kynsley Espiritu (3 QT), Claire Liu, Tyler Morales (QT), Kennedy Smith (2 QT), Haley Soukesian, and Mateo Tirado.

Swimmers with one time improvement included Micah Bouhbot, Brayden Chow, Katharine Chow (2 QT), Kyle Chuang (3 QT), Rachel Chung, Cassius Espiritu, Felipe Falleiros Friggi (2 QT), Guilherme Falleiros Friggi (3 QT), Kareem Gendy, Rafik Gendy (QT), Amy Jia, Benjamin Lee (3 QT), Olivia Lee, Noah Mobasseri (QT), Mason Nguyen (QT), Aidan O’Byrne, Yoonjae Oh, Brian Rezaee (3 QT), Stella Singer, Kaitlyn Wallin, and Reese Yasinski (QT). 

And the Dolphin Spirit was present in abundance, demonstrated by Hailey Alpert (QT), Colton Barrett, Brij Bhargava, Carmina Blanco Tossetto (2 QT), Helena Blanco Tossetto, Emma Blanco, Lara Blanco (2 QT), , Shane Chung, Antoinette Clancy, Madeline Clancy, Desmond Dorish, Dylan Elmer (QT), Halle Ewing (3 QT), Sean Finger, Ilia Ghorbani (2 QT), Ethan Goltz, Mirabella LeVine (2 QT), Edward Lee (QT), Handerson Lee (3 QT), Dominic Liu, Jean Meyer (3 QT), Bryce Morales, Marcus Nguyen, Annike Nie (3 QT), Arlan O’Byrne, Awnan O’Byrne, Chiara Rignot (2 QT), Chase Robben, Jacob Shabanie (3 QT), Julia Shabanie (2 QT), Mark Shabanie (QT), Noah Shmurak (QT), Taylor Simoon (2 QT), Sebastian Smith, Carlo Soriano, Marco Pablo Tirado (3 QT), Niccolo Troccoli (3 QT), Nicolas Tsai (QT), Lia Uchida, Eric Wang (3 QT), Kyle Wang (3 QT), Zane Wilson, Nathan Wu (3 QT), Linkan Yasinski, Zhixing Yu, Benjamin Zitzman, and Elle Zitzman.

The season is off to a great start. The near future will be filled with good snacks, good swag (from the Dolphin Dollar store), great friends, and Fast Times at Uni High.