The Los Banos Tiger Sharks opened the summer club swim season Saturday in Kerman, defeating the Kerman Kickers and Dos Palos Dolphins in a tri-meet.
The Tiger Sharks racked up 691 points to Kerman’s 623.5 and Dos Palos’ 579.5.
Young swimmer Brooklyn Gallagher led the charge, winning all four of her events in the 7- to 8-year-old division, taking the 25-yard freestyle in 15.79 seconds, the 25-yard backstroke in 21.13 seconds, the 25-yard breaststroke in 23.15 seconds and the 100-yard individual medley in 1:40.25.
“They swam really well, the first meet there will always be some new things, new swimmers will miss some races, but all in all, I was pretty happy with it for the first meet,” Los Banos coach Drew Guintini said. “Our kids swam some good times.”
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Jared Benitez dominated the boys 15-to-18 division, winning the 100-yard backstroke (1:03.72), the 100-yard butterfly (1:02.99) and the 100-yard individual medley (1:03.78), and Sammy Ceja earned a pair of wins (31.90 in the 6-and-under 25-yard backstroke and 35.16 in the 25-yard breaststroke) and a second place in the 25-yard freestyle. Irene Duke earned a pair of wins (1:07.39 in the 15-to-18 100-yard butterfly and 1:11.61 in the 100-yard individual medley) and a second (1:03.20 in the 100-yard freestyle), freezing Elissa Martinez out of a second victory – Martinez won the 100-yard breaststroke (1:20.44) and was second in the IM (1:12.25).
The Tiger Sharks are setting out this year with the goal of getting the Merced County Swim League championship back after Hilmar took it two years ago to end a nearly two decades-long streak by Los Banos.
“For myself ... I want to have it back, just from having all the way back when I was swimming, and it would be great to get it going again and start a new streak,” Guintini said. “I’d love to have it back, but it won’t be easy. Hilmar and Kerman have good teams, and you throw in other teams like Los Palos that have a lot of swimmers, and it’s pretty competitive, which is a good thing.”