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South Irvine Dolphins at Westpark Marlins

Meet #4 South Irvine Dolphins at Westpark Marlins

At the second stop of the Dolphins’ historic road trip, we saw the much-anticipated contest between speedy fish and speedy marine mammals. The Dolphins acquitted themselves honorably in the fin-ish confrontation, swimming with vigor and poise. In addition to the swimming, it’s worth celebrating the exemplary sportsmanship Dolphins demonstrated, extending a friendly fin to their competitors after a tight finish. The Dolphin coaching core also deserves kudos for preparing the team and moving the meet along.

It was a tough day for time improvements. After competing at Uni High, and then at Woollett, this was the Dolphins’ first meet in a community pool. As the day went on and the sun came out, Dolphins had to battle fatigue and ennui to continue their exemplary performances. Despite it all, there were many exceptional swims and exciting races.

The meet opened with the youngest Dolphins staging an impressive win in the 6 and under 100 yard Medley Relay. Reese, Noah, Mason, and Katherine made their coaches proud, and showed why we have every reason to be very optimistic about the Dolphin future. Dolphin Medley Relay teams also claimed victory in the 9-10 (Guilherme, Gia, Elle, and Linkan) and 11-12 (Beckham, Carmina, Kyle, and Kynsley) divisions. Later in the meet, when the sun was high, Dolphins staged jaw-dropping performances in the fast freestyle events. Reese Yasinski prevailed in a supertight race to the wall in the 6 and under 25 Free, and then Elle Zitzman posted an impressive time improvement and a qualifying time in the 9-10 50 Free. Carmina Blanco Tossetto and Micah Boubot took the top slots in the 11-12 50 Free. And, just as attention might be slipping, Holden LeVine stunned the crowd by swimming Butterfly in the 13-14 50 Free race—and winning.

Across the age groups, Dolphins stepped up to the challenge and swam hard. There were some extremely impressive time drops: Bryce Alpert cut more than 6 seconds from his 25 Breaststroke, and Emma Blanco also dropped more than 6 seconds from her 25 Breaststroke. Matthew Lerner clipped nearly six seconds off his 50 Freestyle. Claire Liu came prepared to swim, demonstrating the kind of performances that keep the Dolphins in the headlines. Claire dropped more than 7 seconds from her 25 Back, and more than 6 seconds from her 25 Free. Bryce Morales sliced 7.48 seconds from his 25 Butterfly, while Chase Robben knocked 7.75 seconds from his 50 Backstroke.

A few Dolphins dropped time in all three of their individual races. Congratulations to Katherine Chow, Tyler Morales, Jacob Shabanie, Mateo Tirado, and Aksel Varnali.

Dolphins with two time improvements included: Jacob Ahoobim, Hailey Alpert (with two qualifying times!), Colton Barrett, Micah Bouhbot, Dylan Elmer, Felipe Falleiros Friggi, Beckham Few, Rafik Gendy, Benjamin Lee, Joseph Lee, Joshua Lerner, Claire Liu, Dominic Liu, Bryce Morales, Bryan Rezaee, Julia Shabanie, Mark Shabanie, Stella Singer, Carlo Soriano, Nicolas Tsai, and Reese Yasinski.

An even larger number of Dolphins improved in one of their races. Congratulations to Bryce Alpert, Brij Bhargava, Emma Blanco, Levi Bouhbot, Ava Chandanani, Kyle Chuang, Shane Chung, Antoinette Clancy, Desmond Dorish, Declan Edwards, Cassius Espiritu, Kynsley Espiritu, Gia Fournier, Pierce Fournier, Ethan Goltz, Ryan Lee, Matthew Lerner, Jean Meyer, Noah Mobasseri, Mason Nguyen, Aidan O’Byrne, Arlan O’Byrne, Yoonjae Oh, Chase Robben, Taylor Simon, and Kaitlyn Wallin.

And Dolphin Spirit was present in abundance. Congratulations to Kendra Alpert, Aidan Antonio, Carmina Blanco Tossetto, Helena Blanco Tossetto, Brayden Chow, Rachel Chung, Madeline Clancy, Kareem Gendy, Holden LeVine, Mirabella LeVine, Noah Lee, Marcus Nguyen, Olivia Nguyen, Annika Nie, Awnan O’Byrne, Alyssa Parsi, Noah Shmurak, Riley Simon, Benjamin Tsai, Zane Wilson, Linkan Yaskinski, Angela Yu, and Elle Zitzman.

We are now further along the road to Champs on August 13. Dolphin swimmers have only the Pentathalon and the final dual meet, at College Park, to post new qualifying times. But remember, every Dolphin gets to swim in at least one event at Championships, whether they’ve already posted a qualifying time or not. The coaches will be working to develop the team’s technique and tenacity to prepare for the capstone to this amazing season.