The best of the Marin Swim League turned out for the All-Star meet at Indian Valley College in Novato on Saturday, June 23.
The Terra Linda Orcas had a very respectable 50 swimmers qualify for the meet, a number that tells you just how strong the Orca program has become in 2012.
As if that weren’t enough, the 15 to 18 boys and girls broke two All-Star records: in the mixed medley relay which was last set in 1996 and the mixed freestyle relay previously set in 1994.
Congratulations to the swimmers: Connor Love, Tai Hallstein, Natalie Wambach and Drew Dilsworth. Right about the time these Orcas are becoming adults they are accomplished and decorated, confident and capable, clearly ready to make a difference in the world.
Of the four swimmers, Hallstein is shining a little brighter than the others. During the All-Star meet she took first place in each of her events: freestyle, butterfly and IM. In a sport where .01 of a second can mean the difference between winning and losing, Hallstein is beating the best of the Marin Swim League by a half second or more. Her dominance is indisputable.
It’s not only the young adult Orcas who are making their mark on the Marin Swim League. Jonah Albers continues to break records almost every weekend he dives into the pool. At the All-Star meet, he broke the 9 to 10 boy butterfly record which was last set in 1998. The phone you hear ringing in the background has an anxious college recruiter on the other end waiting to talk to Albers’ parents, or at least it should.
Next up for the Orcas is a visit to Tamalpias High School in Mill Valley where they will be hosted by the Strawberry Seals on Saturday June 30. The Seals are a very good team, as evidenced by their performances at the All-Star meet. The Seals finished third or better in each of their team relays with the exception of a fourth place in mixed freestyle relay. They also broke records in both 13 to 14 mixed relays, so they will be very hard to beat.
After the Seals, the Orcas have one more home meet against Swim Marin on July 7 and then it’s on to the championships on July 14. My own daughters have been enjoying their daily swimming with the Orcas and the Saturday meets all season. At the All Stars, Skylee swam in both of the mixed relays and took home a medal for a fourth place finish in the medley. Her goggles came off (again) at the start of her breaststroke competition, where she still managed to come in 19th and beat two other swimmers. If the goggles can stay on she’s got a reasonable shot at being in the top 10 at the championships.
My other daughter Sabrina watched from the stands and cheered on her friends on the team. Sabrina is a good swimmer, but she didn’t quite make it to the All Stars this year. I told her it’s not a big deal, sometimes you make it, sometimes you don’t. I don’t think she’s quite found her competitive fire, but then again she’s only 8 years old. It could be years before the competitive flames get stoked. If and when that eventually happens, I’ll just be happy that she’s swimming with the Orcas.