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Gators Ready For Championship Swim Meet Saturday
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Nate Van Cleave did well in the recent Manteca dual meet with a second place finish in the boys 11-12 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 43.18. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader

It has been a dry, hot, yet somehow short season for the Oakdale Swim Team and its season will come to a head during the league championships at Pitman High on Saturday, July 25 in Turlock.

Oakdale closed out the regular season with a tough loss to the Manteca Dolphins 1129 to 823, but a host of disqualifications and nearly 60 fewer swimmers made up the bulk of the more than 300-point differential.

The Gators will be looking to close out the season with a strong showing in Turlock, hopefully pushing some of the teams with more depth to the limits in the season championship finale.

Oakdale will be fighting for more than just a league title, having several individual age division titles up for grabs in the season’s final meet. First place finishers for the season will undoubtedly be decided in the finale at Pitman High.

The Gators were able to get another strong showing from standout 7-8 year old girls division leader Tori Galloway in the road meet at Manteca. Galloway earned 21-of-21 points in her division, taking the first place honors with relative ease.

Emily Bennett (9-10 year-old), Shelby Stender (11-12 year-old) and Justin Yee (11-12 year-old) all stole the show in their respective divisions, winning all 21-of-21 points for first place finishers.

Katie Vanderburg put together an impressive meet as well, winning 21-of-21 points in the 13-14 year-old division for girls, while teammate Adam Lahey finished with 19-of-21 points on the boys side, also good for first place.

Oakdale’s dominance was most evident in the 13-14 year old boys division, where the Gators swam to first, second, fourth and fifth place finishes in the division, nearly earning a clean sweep.

Whitney Pope was fabulous at Sierra High in Manteca, winning the 15-16 year-old division by snatching 21-of-21 points for a first place crown, while teammate Braden Lee also finished with a first place meet.

Ronnie Thompson did well enough to outlast the competition, earning 14-of-21 points for first place in the 17-18 year-old boys division.

The Gators saw vast improvements from Jacob Debow (25-yard breaststroke), Sabrinna Gonzales (100-IM), Jaiden Grivette (25-yard back), Adrian Rojas (improved in three events), Sophia Schwandt (improved in two events) and Xena Thompson, who improved in three events including a nine second improvement in the 50-yard free.

Oakdale will look to finish out the season on a high note when the team travels Turlock July 25 for the league championship meet.