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Seals Place Second Overall at Marin Swim League Championships

  Despite moving the season-ending all-team competition to the week before the July 4 holiday weekend, Saturday’s 2018 Marin Swim League Championship meet was loaded top to bottom with fireworks, none of which were dampened by the crystal blue waters of the College of Marin’s Indian Valley Campus pool. 

   The Sleepy Hollow Swim Team, with its unrivaled depth, topped the leaderboard with 2,406 points for the team win. The Strawberry Seals, who finished the regular MSL dual meet season undefeated and in first place, were the runners-up with 1,797 points. 

   The Seals had the added bonus of having its swimmers finish the meet with the highest percentage of best times, just short of 52 percent, with 186 new best times — no small feat in the MSL’s eight-week season — and to emphasize just what an accomplishment getting a personal best is, the league awarded each swimmer in the meet who achieved at least one best time a commemorative pin.

   The meet began in what has become Champs’ customary and signature conditions: amid sweltering temperatures. By the time the meet began at 7:30 am for the 10-and-under swimmers, the mercury was already nearing 80 degrees. Relays were spirited, and the 8-and-under mixed medley relay got the action started with the Seals (Claire Cochrane, Riggins Scheumann, Samir Meleis and Cruz Gattnar) cruising to an easy victory over second-place Sleepy Hollow. 

   After the relays, the 8-and-under girls moved over to the shallow end of the pool, where Rolling Hills’ Emma Sloan quickly went to work on her three wins in the 25 backstroke, 25 butterfly and 100 individual medley. Sharing triple success in the shallow end of the pool was Sleepy Hollow’s Nolan Anderson, swimming with double casts recently removed from breaking both of his wrists, as he touched first in the 9-10 boys 50 freestyle, 50 breaststroke and 100 I.M.

   One of the most exciting swims of the day came in the 9-10 boys 50 fly. Fourth-seeded Strawberry Seal Declan Murphy, lagging behind in fifth place, closed the gap in the race’s last 20 yards to finish first in the event, one in which he had never swum before the 2018 season. Margeaux Davis, also of the Seals, had a firecracker of a swim in the 9-10 girls 50 free on the other side of the pool, when she clinched victory with a 29.96.

   Two other highlights from the morning session included Seal Claire Cochrane's second-place finish in the 8-and-under 25 backstroke, which secured her a Seals record (18.45), and the 8-and-under free relay (Raymond Cao, Claire Cochrane, Cruz Gattnar and Samir Meleis) which set a new team-mark with a 1:03.14.

   High point winners for the girls 8-and-unders were Rolling Hills’ Emma Sloan in first, Novato Riptide’s KK O’Connell in second, and Hannah Shoup of Lucas Valley and Claire Cochrane of the Seals tied for third. The 8-and-under boys were led by Sleepy Hollow’s James Chatard in first, Scott Valley’s Owen Zech in second, and the Seals’ Samir Meleis in third.

   High point winners for the 9-10 girls age group included a tie for first between Sleepy Hollow teammates Nadya Wachelka and Sanne Kostecki, with the Seals’ Margeaux Davis in second, and Strawberry teammate Amanda Mauzy in third. The 9-10 boys were led by Sleepy Hollow’s Nolan Anderson in first, Strawberry Seals’ Declan Murphy in second, and Lucas Valley’s Cameron Hellar in third.

   As temperatures soared past 100 degrees in the afternoon, competition heated up to match. Meet of the day went to Terra Linda Orcas 15-18 girl Nicolette Jasko, who not only won all three of her events, but set new MSL Championships records in each as well (100 free, 52.63; 50 breast, 29.77; 50 fly, 25.78). 

   There were three other triple winners in the afternoon session, including Seals teammates Caitlin Quill in the 11-12 girls (50 back, 50 breast, 100 IM), and 11-12 boy Marre Gattnar (50 back, 50 breast, 100 IM), who was swimming in his first Championships of his career. Terra Linda’s 13-14 girl Kayla Yu also had three wins (50 free, 50 fly, 100 IM). 

   The afternoon session saw several Championships records crumble, with the Orca’s Kaylu Yu setting the tone early by breaking a 14-year-old record in the 13-14 girls 50 free when she swam a 24.68.

   Other records established over the day included 13-14 boy Merrik Jasko of the Orcas, who tied the 50 breast time (28.74). Max Manwaring-Mueller toppled a record in the 15-18 boys 50 breast that had stood for 37 years, swimming a 27.43, and the final record of the meet came in the 13-14 girls 100 IM, with Kaylu Yu swimming a 1:02.47.

   The Seals also saw more of their team records fall in the afternoon. First to go was the 11-12 200 medley relay, which finished first and set a new team mark. That started an avalanche: Caitlin Quill set team records in all of her individual events, as did Marre Gattnar. The Seals’ 11-12 200 free relay also set a new team record, as did the Seals’ 15-18 200 free relay.

   High point winners for the 11-12 girls were Strawberry’s Caitlin Quill in first, Lucas Valley’s Claire Cassidy in second, and the Orca’s Catherine Fahrner in third. Boys 11-12 high point winners were Strawberry’s Marre Gattnar in first, Strawberry’s Cameron Aryanpour in second, and Lucas Valley’s Garrett Pardo in third.

   The 13-14 girls were led by the Orca’s Kaylu Yu in first, Sleepy Hollow’s Ella Woodhead in second, with a tie for third between Sleepy Hollow teammates Alena Sharp and Natasha Grubb. The 13-14 boys high point winners were Lucas Valley’s Kylar Flynn and the Orcas’s Merrik Jasko in a tie for first, followed by Marinwood’s Jasper Bankhead in second and Sleepy Hollow’s Jacob Dixon in third.

   The meet’s oldest age-group featured high point winners Nicolette Jasko in first, Marinwood’s Olivia Juarez in second and Marinwood’s Taylor Boyle in third. The 15-18 boys were led by Marinwood’s Max Manwaring-Mueller in first, the Orca’s Jonah Albers in second and Sleepy Hollow’s Logan Anderson in third.