CONCORD, CA (July 14, 2021) — Early on, swimming was considered a relatively safe sport to participate in during the peak times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last summer’s recreation and competitive swimming seasons were nonetheless canceled, so hearing the starting buzzer going off and crowds cheering at pools throughout the area again are welcome sounds of summer.
That return to normalcy was tempered by the cancellation for the second year in a row of the Far Western Championships scheduled at Concord Community Pool. The host Terrapins Swim Club has arranged for a seven-team Summer’s End Invitational in the Concord pool July 28-Aug. 1 when Far Westerns were scheduled. The Terrapins expect 600-800 swimmers will take part in the USA Swimming meet.
The 54th Concord Swimming Championships will not be at its usual home of Concord Community Pool. The July 23-25 meet next weekend featuring 10 teams will be held at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek.
There should be about 1000 swimmers from 10 teams at City Meet including perennial champion Dana Hills plus Forest Hills, Forest Park, Gehringer Park, Oakhurst Country Club, Pleasant Hill Dolfins, host Springwood, Vista Diablo, Walnut Country and Ygnacio Wood. DHST will be seeking it 28th Concord City Meet championship since the Otters won their first A Division title in 1992.
The meet schedule at Northgate includes the individual medley on Friday evening, July 23, with butterfly, freestyle and medley relays on Saturday. The meet concludes Sunday with breaststroke, backstroke and free relay.
The weekend after City Meet the 60th Contra Costa County Swim Championships return to Acalanes High in Lafayette in the summer recreation season finale. Dana Hills has finished in the top five nine straight times at County while Forest Park won the most recent B Division County title in 2019.
Devil Mountain Pentathlon welcomed 11 teams
The 26th Devil Mountain Pentathlon titled Staycation 2021 hosted by Dana Hills Swim Team last month in Clayton was the first large meet in the area in nearly two years. Sun Valley Rays of Lafayette edged Springwood Sprinters 43-41 in the team scoring.
The host Otters are not included in the team scoring because Dana Hills always has the largest number of swimmers entered at their home pool. In the unique Pentathlon format, each boy and girl swims five races in a day with their cumulative time accounting for individual placings.
Local swimmers taking 1st or 2nd in A Division:
Girls: 6 & under- 2. Talie Barbano (DH); 7-8 – 1. Ava Cottam (DH), 2. Cole Branich (DH); 9-10 – 2. Alexa Malsom (SP); 11-12- 1. Maddie Bautista (DH), 2. Harper Lanpher (DH); 13-14- 1. Maya Canada (SP), Gianna Kougios (DH); 15-18- 1. Paige Landstrom (DH).
Boys: 6 & under- 2. Bennett Malkovich (YW); 7-8- 2. Preston Forney (DH); 9-10- 1. Ian Meyer (DH), 2. JJ Westbrook (DH); 11-12- 1. Preston Marks (DH); 13-14 1. Marcus Manuel (YW).
Terrapin relays smash 3 Pacific Swimming records
The Terrapins recently swam in a three-team championship meet with the Pleasanton Seahawks and Livermore Aquacowboys that featured races in the 25-yard short course pool Friday and Saturday and then switched to a long course 50-meter format on Sunday. The local USA Swimming team had an outstanding meet but none better than the TERA 13-14 boys.
Aden Li, Mason Wendler, Diego Castaneda, Davidka Skov and Donovan Swann combined to break three long-standing Pacific Swimming relay records. The TERA 13-14 boys broke the Pacific record in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:15.27 for the quartet of Wendler, Castaneda, Li and Skov. Swann replaced Li in the 200 free relay and the team finished in a record time of 1:28.77. Finally, the 200-yard medley relay of Li, Wendler, Castaneda and Swann clocked 1:38.53 for a third Pacific record.
The 13-14 Terrapin boys also posted many individual best times as Castaneda and Wendler hit seven best times, Christian Ceja six, Li and Dominick Maffei four, Swann and Skov three, and Finn Cleary two personal bests.
A trio of TERA breastrokers also hit major breakthrough swims by hitting first-ever CA/NV Section championship times in the 200-yard breast, which qualified them for the Summer Section meet in Roseville. Sofie Curran (16), Haylee Wong and first-year competitive swimmer Brooke Koller (14) posted Section times.
Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.