TOPPENISH - Despite not picking up a single point in the boys 14&U and 16&U events, the Sunnyside Sharks turned in a strong runner-up performance at this past weekend's Mid-Valley Summer Swim League Championship Meet.
The perennially strong Selah Dolphins bested the seven-team field, tallying 631 points to come away with top honors.
The Sharks, attempting to defend the Mid-Valley League crown they claimed in 2003, scored 516 points at the season finale. The Tarpons of Toppenish hosted this year's championships.
Wapato edged the Prosser Piranhas for third place honors, as the Whales accumulated 449 points to the 443 garnered by the fourth place finishing Piranhas. The Grandview Neptunes squeaked out fifth place honors over the host Tarpons. Grandview tallied a 249 team score, compared to Toppenish's count of 236. The Naches Barracudas brought up the rear with 175 points.
One of only two teams to top the 500-point mark at the season ending championships, Sunnyside received stellar performances from the foursome of Brittany Broersma, Toni Castillo, Kathleen Dolan and Katie Knee. Each of the four girls claimed high point titles in their respective age divisions.
Broersma, a girls 8&U competitor, swam to victory in both the 50-meter backstroke and freestyle events. In the 50-butterfly and breaststroke races, she nabbed second place finishes.
Broersma's chief rivals were Alexis Medelez of Toppenish and teammate Sydnee Hernandez. In the 50-back, Broersma clipped Medelez easily, winning in a time of 50.66 seconds compared to Medelez's time of 54.14. Hernandez was third in the backstroke, eight-tenth's of a second behind Medelez with a clocking of 54.94 seconds. In the 50-freestyle, Sunnyside delivered a one-two punch with Broersma and Hernandez placing first and second, respectively. Broersma's winning time of 42.77 seconds was 1.9 seconds faster than that of Hernandez.
In the two races the 7-year-old Broersma settled for runner-up finishes, she was three and a half seconds behind Medelez in the 50-'fly, but was only seven-tenth's of a second back of Prosser's Gabby Villareal in the 50-breaststroke.
The 8-year-old Hernandez, besides placing second in the 50-free and third in the 50-back, claimed a third place finish in the 50-butterfly and was sixth in the 50-breaststroke.
Castillo won three of the five girls 10&U events and placed second in the 50-backstroke enroute to notching her high point title.
In winning the 200-meter individual medley, Castillo was 4.38 seconds faster than her nearest competitor-former Sunnysider McKenzie Gant, now a member of the Prosser swim team. It was Gant who bested Castillo in the 50-backstroke. In the 50-butterfly, Castillo was never really pressed in the length of the pool sprint. She hit the finishing wall a full two and a quarter seconds ahead of the runner-up Gant. Castillo, 10, also won handily in the 50-freestyle, clocking in 2.49 seconds faster than second place finishing Nicole Kim of Selah.
The 12-year-old Dolan perhaps turned in the most heady performance of all the Sharks this past weekend. A girls 12&U competitor, she won four of the five individual races and placed second in the other in capturing the high point crown for her age division.
Throughout the weekend, Dolan battled Grandview's Kinzi Poteet for supremacy. The Neptune provided Dolan with the stiffest challenges in the 50-meter backstroke and freestyle races. Dolan edged Poteet by just eight one-hundredth's of a second in the 50-back, and by just over three-tenth's of a second in the 50-free. The standout Sunnyside swimmer increased her margins of victory to 1.01 seconds over Prosser's Breanna Beierle in the 50-breaststroke, and to 1.84 seconds over Poteet in the 50-butterfly.
In the stamina-required 200-meter individual medley, Dolan showed her mettle by blowing away the competition. She clocked a 3:05.17. That was more than 16 seconds faster than the runner-up, Poteet, and more than 28 seconds faster than Sami Schab of Selah, the last girl to finish in the finals race. Dolan's 200-IM time was even more impressive, considering it was more than 18 seconds faster than the winning boys 12&U time, and was only four and a half seconds slower than the winning girls 16&U clocking.
Knee, 14, won the final high point age division title for the Sharks with just one individual race victory to her credit this past weekend. She clipped Felicia Gonzales of Wapato in the 50-meter 'fly, posting a time of 34.65 seconds to Gonzales' clocking of 35.04 seconds.
Sunnyside's girls 14&U stalwart competitor did nail down two runner-up finishes, though, in the 50-freestyle and 200-IM. Knee clocked a 3:01.77 in the individual medley, three and a half seconds back of Selah's Elizabeth Kim. In the 50-free, Kim edged Knee by just under half a second. Knee also garnered a third place finish in the 50-breaststroke (42.77), behind Diana Smith of Prosser (41.91) and Amanda Juarez of Wapato (42.38).
Knee picked up bonus points in her quest for high point age division honors by swimming on the winning girls 14&U 200-meter freestyle relay squad. She teamed with Kasi Guillen, Megan Tyler and Kaitlyn Broersma to clock a 2:22.98, which was 1.61 seconds quicker than the runner-up squad from Prosser.
All told, the Sharks notched three relay victories at last weekend's championships. The other two came in the boys 12&U age division. The foursome of Jacob Hollander, Brad Luff, Edgar Vargas and Omar Vergara won the 12&U 200-medley relay, finishing almost a second ahead of the second place Grandview squad. In the boys 12&U freestyle relay, it was Hollander, Vargas, Vergara and Aaron Henry teaming for a Sunnyside victory. They nipped a Selah team by just under six-tenth's of a second for top honors.
In the individual races, gold medal type performances for Sunnyside weren't limited to just the Sharks' four high point age division winners.
Tad Tyhuis, 7, got off to a rocky start at the championship meet, but finished strong by winning both the 50-meter backstroke and freestyle races. The boys 8&U Sunnyside swimmer delivered a knockout blow in the freestyle, winning by more than 2.6 seconds over the second place finisher, Selah's Wyatt Thomas. In the 50-back, Tyhuis was even more impressive. He clocked a time of 50.98 seconds, far ahead of the second place time of 55.03 seconds set by Grandview's Bryce Carpenter.
9-year-old Giovanni Rodriguez of Sunnyside, a boys 10&U competitor, displayed his breaststroke talents by edging Selah's Bryce Newland in the 50-meter sprint for top honors. Rodriguez clocked a 54.53-second time, compared to Newland's time of 54.85 seconds.
Girls 10&U swimmer Marisa Broersma also scored a 50-meter breaststroke victory for the Sharks (52.15). She was a full half a second faster than the runner-up, Kelsey Clifton of Selah. Broersma's teammate, Jordain Saenz, garnered a sixth place finish in that event. Broersma, too, recorded three sixth place finishes in the 50-backstroke and freestyle races and in the 200-IM.
The one other win claimed by a Shark this past weekend was brought home by boys 18&U swimmer Kasey Hursh. Like Rodriguez and Broersma, Hursh, 17, scored his victory in the 50-breast. He easily outswam the second place finisher, Brandon Ambrose of Wapato, finishing in a time of 35.94 seconds. Ambrose clocked a 37.43. Hursh also had fourth place finishes in the 50-meter 'fly, free and back finals, and in the 200-IM.
Four of the Sharks-Laura Matson, Tim Stiteler, Hollander and Kaleb Hursh-each placed in the top eight in four separate individual events.
Matson's best effort came in the 200-IM. The girls 18&U athlete placed second with a clocking of 3:09.60. Jori McGuire of Naches won the race in a time of 2:49.17. Matson also had a third place finish in the 50-butterfly, was fourth in the 50-back and placed seventh in the 50-free.
Stiteler, a boys 10&U swimmer, turned in his best performance in the 50-meter freestyle. The only swimmer to best him in that event was Selah's Bryce Newland (38.06). Stiteler clocked a second best 41.65. Stiteler also had fifth place efforts in the 50-butterfly and 200-IM, was sixth in the 50-back and placed eighth in the 50-breaststroke.
Hollander, besides being on both winning boys 12&U relay squads, scored a third place finish in the 200-IM, was fifth in the 50-free, and placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 50-meter backstroke and breaststroke races.
Kaleb Hursh, 18, managed three seventh place finishes for the Sharks in the 'fly, freestyle and IM, and placed eighth in the 50-backstroke.
Other noticeable efforts turned in by Sunnyside swim team members in the individual events this past weekend included:
• (Girls 8&U) Mikaela Maltos-7th in 50-fly; Lyndsee Anderson-7th in 50-breast.
• (Girls 12&U) Josslyn Ahumada-4th in 50-breast.
• (Girls 14&U) Kaitlyn Broersma-7th in 50-breast, 7th in 50-back and 8th in 50-free; Megan Tyler-8th in 200-IM.
• (Girls 16&U) Rachelle Durfey-2nd in 50-free, 3rd in 50-breast and 4th in 50-fly; Hannah Glockner-6th in 50-breast; Cami Funk-7th in 50-breast; Crystal Moore-8th in 50-breast and 8th in 200-IM.
• (Girls 18&U) Emily Kresse-4th in 50-fly and 6th in 200-IM; Anna Henry-5th in 200-IM, 8th in 50-breast and 8th in 50-back; Rebecca Razey-6th in 50-breast, 6th in 50-free and 8th in 200-IM.
• (Boys 8&U) Austin Garza-6th in 50-back and 7th in 50-free.
• (Boys 10&U) Cristian Vargas-2nd in 200-IM, 3rd in 50-free and 7th in 50-back.
• (Boys 12&U) Brad Luff-3rd in 50-fly and 4th in 200-IM; Aaron Henry-4th in 50-breast and 8th in 50-fly; Mathew Bermudez-5th in 50-fly.
. Bob Story,can be contacted at
(509) 837-4500, or e-mail him