ROCKLIN — The El Dorado Hills Tasmanian Devils swim team claimed second place last weekend at the Suburban Swim League Championships Meet at Sierra College, falling to archrival Park Terrace by a mere 53 points.
The Penguins’ 1,108-point tally won it. The Taz scored 1,055 while the third-place Granite Bay Gators had 886; the Sierra Sharks were fourth with 797 points; the Folsom Sea Otters checked in with 773; the Loomis Basin Dolphins scored 675 points; Broadstone’s Barracudas had 641; and last-place College Greens managed 403.
Aside from its second-place finish, El Dorado Hills also received the prestigious SSL “President’s Award” for best points per splash ratio. The Taz’ regular season record was 7-0.
At the close of Saturday’s events, El Dorado Hills trailed the Penguins just 683 -663 and the battle for first place was on as predicted.
“Wow, it’s really tight, too close to call right now. Taz is swimming hard. I’m really proud of all the swimmers and their efforts. I’ve seen great teamwork, great team support which has made all the difference,” Taz coach Jason Brown said midway through the weekend. “The 7-8 girls and boys teams are doing really well, and the 11-12 boys are scoring big points. Nicholas Grinnell broke three SSL records, not club records, league records!”
Grinnell, 12, set league records in the 11-12 50-yard freestyle (25:53), 50 backstroke (29:17) and 50 butterfly (28:18).
“It’s unbelievable,” said Grinnell whose been a swimmer for the Taz since the age of 4. “When I’m swimming, it doesn’t feel like I’m going as fast as you need to in order to break a record.”
As the teams battled on, plenty more records were shattered by Taz swimmers. Heading into her last Champs weekend, Annie Harriman, 18, hoped to establish at least one new record and her hard work paid off. Her signature backstroke earned her a time of 1:02:03, a new league record.
Morgan Jones, 14, Oak Ridge High’s Freshman Female Athlete of the Year for water polo, basketball, and swimming, broke her own league record set for the girls 13-14 100-yard freestyle (55.31).
Also breaking from the pack was 8-year-old Patrick Sammon who set a new league record (14:91) for the 25 fly.
In addition to record-setting events, remarkable come-from-behind stories emerged as the heart of the team was exposed, such as how 8-year-old Kacey Ross, the last leg of the girls 7-8 100-yard medley relay, made up enough time to bring her 4th-seed team into a second place finish; or 8-year-old Kelly Simkin who started the swim season with a broken arm, swam the first two swim meets in a cast and was seeded third in the 25 breaststroke finals.
Going forward, many Taz will participate in the Meet of Champions, August 4-5, in Woodland that brings together the top recreational/summer league swimmers from the greater Sacramento Valley Area. Eligibility for that meet is based on qualifying times.
Visit the El Dorado Hills Tasmanian Devils website edhtaz.org for details on off-season swim clinics as well as team registration information.
Note: Individual stats and information from the Sierra Sharks was unavailable at press time.