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Gators Honored In End Of Season Ceremony
Feeling accomplished and excited after winning Gator Swim Club Coaches Awards were, from left: Maile Poling, Ashlyn Splettstoesser, Skye Braaten and Bohdan Salzar. Not pictured were Micaiah Richison, Noemi Verduzco, Tyler Mercer, Jackson Hammond, Archer Sanders, Beau Kesterson and Jaahal Richison. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

Oakdale’s youth swim club, the Oakdale Gators recently ended their summer season and on Thursday, July 28 the club held its end of the year awards ceremony. Young swimmers, parents, coaches and fans gathered at Oakdale High School’s Aquatic Center that evening to honor all of the swimmers who hit the pool during the summer.

Coaches Ronald Thompson, Emily Basnight, Bailey Zuk, Rhett Harrison and Nate Van Cleave all were in attendance to hand out awards to the swimmers. Nearly 75 swimmers were awarded for their efforts, and some left with multiple awards including Coaches Award recipients.

Earning individual coaches awards were the following swimmers: Coach Thompson’s award winners were Skye Braaten (Girls 9-10); Tyler Mercer (Boys 9-10) and Jackson Hammond (Boys 11-12). Coach Basnight awarded Beau Kesterson (Boys 7-8) and Jaalah Richison (Girls 7-8), Zuk presented Ashlyn Splettstoesser (Girls 6 and under) with her lone coaches award. Harrison gave out two awards to Archer Sanders (Boys 6 and under) and Maile Poling (Girls 7-8). Van Cleave gave out two awards as well honoring Micaiah Richison (Girls 11-12) and Noemi Verduzco (Girls 9-10) and Bohdan Salzar (Boys six and under).

During the ceremony, the coaches also acknowledged the improvements of the swimmers with their overall time drop for the season. The female six and under group was led by Callie Rath as she dropped her overall time down 52.02 seconds from this season. Jaalah Richison (24.82 25/50 freestyle); Cheyenne Copland (20.83 backstroke) and Ashlyn Splettoesser (4.86 butterfly) all improved on their times for female six and under. Male six and under time drops went to Matthew Seibert (55.69 overall); Archer Sanders (6.71 25/50 freestyle); Lincoln Kim (17.17 backstroke) and Bohdan Salzar (6.05 butterfly). Girls 7-8 Samantha Oliveira (90.44 overall); Peyton Splettstoesser (19.01 25/50 freestyle and 6.52 butterfly) Trinity Thomasser (50.85 50/100 freestyle); Hailey Rogers (18.65 backstroke) Karley Davis (5.26 breaststroke) and Kyra Binstock (21.80 IM). Boys seven and eight Cooper Fox (86.88 overall); Wyatt Gingerich (15.87 25/50 freestyle and 5.12 butterfly); Sam Shrader (18.04 50/100 freestyle); Levi White (8.08 backstroke and 21.38 IM) and Colton Thoni (5.33 Breaststroke). Girls nine to 10, Skye Braaten (133.74 overall); Maddy Hammond (36.60 25/50 freestyle); Elizabeth Boizo (22.88 50/100 freestyle and 38.86 IM); Moriah Olson (14.71 backstroke) and Rylan Splettstoesser (17.98 breaststroke and 23.19 butterfly). Boys nine to ten Tyler Mercer (28.76 overall); Leon Airola (16.75 25/50 freestyle and 16.83 backstroke); Josiah Basnight (8.21 breaststroke); Emory Harned (3.28 butterfly) and Ronan French (6.59 IM). Girls 11-12 Hollis Harned (37.52 overall); Emma Frazer (25.12 25/50 freestyle); Ryann French (17.54 50/100 freestyle); Sovereign Olson (9.46 backstroke); Allison Ruvalcaba (16.37 breaststroke and 18.87 butterfly) and Emily Meyer (10.49 IM). Boys 11-12 Christopher Cancino (97.80 overall); Evan Elizondo (5.51 25/50 freestyle); Dominic Robles (21.04 50/100 freestyle); Jackson Hammond (12.39 backstroke and 18.64 breaststroke) and Douglas Shrader (15.38 butterfly and 9.15 IM). Girls 13 and over Cheyenne Rolley (15.26 overall, 5.16 50/100 freestyle and 10.10 butterfly); and Avery Morton (7.00), while A.J. Presto dominated the boys 13 and over (38.12 overall, 4.60 25/50 freestyle and 33.52 IM).

The Gators swim program continues throughout the fall season with their California Gold Meets. The first will be Saturday, Aug. 13 at OHS. For more details and how to sign up, log on to their website