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Vashon Seals swim strong at first meet of season
By KAREN HEDLUND
For The Beachcomber
The Vashon Seals Swim Team was off the blocks with a strong performance at the first meet of their fall season. The Oct. 16 and 17 swim meet was hosted by the Tacoma Metro Ducks at Mt. Tahoma High School. The team, consisting of 40 swimmers ranging in age from 8 to 16, achieved 165 personal best times, including 45 new times (first-time swims in events).
It was the first meet for four swimmers: 8-year-old Maggie Battisti, 10-year-old Titus Battisti, 9-year-old Sue Bell and 10-year-old Maijah Sanson-Frey. Coach Randy Turner said the new swimmers did well under the guidance of returning swimmers.
“It’s fun to watch the more experienced kids take the newer ones under their wing, making sure they had their caps and goggles and felt at ease before their race,” he said.
Turner recognized several swimmers for their personal time improvements. Max Gross-Shader, in the 10 and under division, is off to a great start for the season with seven new best times and eight for eight in achieving gold time standards. Gross-Shader raced to a time of 2:46.66 in the 200-yard freestyle event for a 6.87 second reduction in time.
Jeremiah Bogaard swam to a first place finish in the 8 and under 100-yard IM (individual medley) with the time of 1:36.80. Liesl Bogaard and Iris Sackman, both 10 and under, had seven for seven new best times and five new best times, respectively.
Iris Sackman was awarded the October "Brucey Award" for dropping the most overall time, 44.27 seconds, from her events.
The girls 13 and over standout was Hannah Cunningham with four new best times and two new gold standard times of 1:15.21 in the 100-yard fly and 2:43.68 in the 200-yard IM. Emily Milbrath, age 11, also performed well with six new best times.
Will MacDonald, in the 13 and over division, was eight for eight in new best times and knocked off just under 30 seconds from his 500-yard freestyle event. MacDonald swam to two new gold time standards in the 200-yard breast stroke and 200-yard freestyle with times of 2:52.65 and 2:15.13, respectively.
Sage Everett, age 16, had six new best times. His new best time for the 100-yard freestyle was 57.45 seconds.
Other swimmers with new gold time standards included Diego Gray-Wishik in the 50-yard free (as a relay lead-off) with a time of 33.71 seconds, Lauren Houston in the 100-yard breast stroke with a time of 1:26.14 and Connor van Egmond in the 50-yard back stroke with a time of 42.18 seconds.
Zoe Sackman, an older swimmer, served as coach’s assistant the whole weekend. She helped lead the younger Seals and swam eight events herself, with two new personal bests.
The Seals have had a busy November schedule. The team participated in the third annual Honu Gathering at Tacoma’s Mt. Tahoma High School on Nov. 6 and the Q Meet at the King County Aquatic Center on Nov. 14.
The swimmers possessing gold time standards in events will attend the Age Group Invitational held at Hazen High School in Renton on Saturday and Sunday.