The Los Banos Tiger Sharks were back in action on Saturday at the Kerman/Atwater Invitational, taking third at Buhach Colony High School.
The third-place finish behind the Hilmar Hammerheads and Atwater Stingrays didn't faze a Tiger Sharks team trying to get back on top of the Merced County Swim League though.
"I'm pretty confident, and I have high hopes they'll do well at championships," Los Banos coach Drew Guintini said. "We haven't swam this year yet with every swimmer, and I think that will be the key to our success is having everyone there."
With the summer season winding to a close, the Tiger Sharks are beginning preparations for the championship meet July 27 and 28 at Dos Palos High, with one last tune-up meet today against Atwater.
"They will swim hundreds at this meet," Guintini said, "so that will give them an opportunity especially for the younger kids to get a time if they don't have a time, or improve time a little bit. It will also give them an opportunity to work on starts and swims."
This is where preparation will come into play, both with conditioning and technique.
"We're going to practice hard the rest of this week, then we'll taper off next week," Guintini said. "That's when we'll work on the technical stuff turns and starts. We will taper a little bit."
LB Skimmers make times
The Los Banos contingent of the Merced Skimmers had several swimmers meet their Junior-Olympic and Far Western Regional times recently.
Christian Wakefield's 34.11-second effort in the 50-meter freestyle and Emily Trejo's 2:46.20 in the 200-meter freestyle earned them both Far Western times at the USA Ellis Aquatics Swim Competition in Tracy.
The regional times are one step better than JO times, which qualify swimmers for the Central California Junior Olympics. Swimmers who have made JO times include Paige Roseman in the 50-meter backstroke (48.02), 100-meter freestyle (126.70), 50-meter butterfly (46.14), 50-meter breaststroke (50.35), 100-meter breaststroke (1:50.83), 50-meter freestyle (38.20) and the relay team; Katie Roseman on the Relay Team; Gabriel Andrade in the 50-meter freestyle (27.56), 100-meter freestyle (1:00.30), 100-meter butterfly (1:10.08) and 100-meter breaststroke (1:23.56); Olivia Andrade in the 50-meter freestyle (31.65), 100-meter freestyle (1:10.79) and 100-meter backstroke (1:22.69); and Patrick Andrade in the 50-meter freestyle (32.75).
"They're doing wonderful. These kids are all reducing their times, and they all cheer each other on," coach Josh Weinberger said. "These are all long-course times. We have one final qualifier for Junior Olympics this weekend, where some more athletes may qualify."
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org