Contributed photo/Didi Abbas
The Dalles swim team members Rhett Loughmiller, on left, and Ximena McAllister each participate in the eight-years-old and under 50-yard freestyle event this past weekend at the Bend Invitational. Lydia DiGennaro, Maverick Varland and Maisie Bandel-Ramirez each set ‘B’ times and Kaiya Doty added an ‘A’ time. In all, the swimmers posted 17 top-10 finishes, including a win in the 25-yard freestyle by Cohen Donnell.
Lydia DiGennaro, Maisie Bandel-Ramirez, Maverick Varland, and Kaiya Doty each met ‘B’ time standards, Doty also added a solid ‘A’ time, and The Dalles swim team rattled off 17 top-10 finishes at the three-day Bend Invitational, ending Sunday in Bend.
“We had several swimmers meet their time standards for Oregon swimming, which is an accomplishment,” said head coach Scott McKay. “As a whole, the team continues to make progress and I am particularly encouraged by the progress of our 12-years-and-under swimmers.”
In addition to the solid exploits by TD’s top group, Cohen Donnell, six-and-under, posted the team’s lone win in the 25-yard freestyle with his mark of 25.63 seconds, and he added a 33.94 for third place in the 25-yard backstroke.
Danner Varland had a fifth-place mark in the 25-yard backstroke (42.71 seconds), Ximena McAllister was third in the 25-yard backstroke with her 34.52 and notched a fourth-place rally of 36.26 in the 25-yard freestyle.
Doty (8) had a ‘A’ time of 24.65 to claim eighth place in the 25-yard breastroke, and went for 24.97 to grab 10th place in the 25-yard butterfly. She tallied a 1:59.64 to secure 11th in the 100-yard individual medley and hit for 11th in the 25-yard freestyle (20.62).
Lydia DiGennaro (12) had her best output in the 50-yard freestyle with a fourth-place ‘B’ mark of 29.29, and she was sixth-best in the 100-yard ‘B’ freestyle (1:03.64) and 50-yard ‘B’ butterfly (33.60).
She had an 11th place ‘B’ time of 35.67 in the 50-yard backstroke.
Bandel-Ramirez (12) added a ‘B’ mark of 40.20 in the 50-yard breastroke for ninth place,
Maverick Varland (8) had ‘B’ times of 41.43 in his attempt at the 50-yard freestyle to lock down fifth place, and he went for a 26.46 for eighth place in the 25-yard breastroke.
He added a 25.89 to secure 11th in the 25-yard backstroke.
In the 200-yard medley relay, Logan Baumgarten, Colin Webber, Skyler Coburn and Wesley Parker combined for a fifth-place marker of 3:55.57.
The female 12-and-under 200-yard medley relay group of Shea McAllister, Bandel-Ramirez, DiGennaro and Kennedy Abbas went for an eighth-place final mark of 2:32.29.
Rounding out the top-10 performances, Rhett Loughmiller chalked up ninth in the 50-yard freestyle with his 45.72.
McKay uses a varied approach to his swim team members, since he works with athletes of all ages, male and female, to try to get them to another level.
In the past two years, the expectations have been set.
“A swim team is composed of all levels of swimmer,” McKay said. “There are the early achievers and the late bloomers and everything in between. It’s a pleasure to coach these swimmers with their enthusiasm and joy for the water with the normal challenges that come with being a kid. As a coach, it is rewarding to see them continue to improve and swim faster at each meet as the result of the work they put in at practice.”
Kiera Taylor placed 12th in the 50-yard freestyle (44.80), and Logan Alvarez was 18th in the 50-yard backstroke (52.04) and 19th in the 50-yard breastroke (1:00.25).
Dylan Phetteplace placed 19th in the 50-yard freestyle (46.61), Kendall Webber had a 37.47 for 22nd and Bree Webber was 24th after her 37.60, both in the 50-yard backstroke.
Coburn had a 34.96 for 24th in the 50-yard freestyle, and Marin Alvarez had a final marker of 1:34.39 to place 31st in the 13-and-older 100-yard butterfly.
During the summer, when most kids are sleeping in, the older swimmers get to the pool at 6:30 in the morning to start swim practice, as one of McKay’s goals for his team is for them to reach their potential by having fun, staying committed and taking the time to get faster.
“I can see the potential in the swimmers,” McKay said. “The real challenge is getting the swimmers to believe in themselves and visualize what they can achieve and then putting in the work to achieve those possibilities.”
While the season went by quickly and several swimmers met or surpassed their preseason goals, McKay said that success, as a whole, comes down to all facets of the program working well together toward attainable goals.
The long-time coach feels those goals are being met.
“I can’t say enough about the parents who make the swim team happen,” McKay said. “Besides spending the time to organize the meets, and support the coaches, they get their children to practice early in the morning, and take them to the swim meets.”
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