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Oakdale Gators Close Season
Fourth Place Finish At Mid Valley Championships
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Ethan Richison gave it a good, solid effort in the 9-10 boys 50 yard butterfly event Saturday, July 25 at the Mid Valley Swim League championships. He finished with a time of 59.16. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader
The Oakdale Swim Team took to the pool for the final time this season and brought the competitive schedule to a close with a fourth place finish during the Championship Meet in Turlock on July 25.
Blistering temperatures set the tone for the team’s performance, with the near triple digits seeming to sap some energy from the number-challenged squad, as the Gators closed out the season with 547 points behind championship winner Ripon (1215 points), Tracy Tritons (778.5) and the Hughson Sea Dogs (743.5) in the final meet of the season.
Extended swimming programs will be the next stop for some of the Gators, while others will be making their introductions to other sports, including a talented Oakdale High water polo program.
As usual, the Gators had several bright spots in the championship meet, earning a host of first place finishes, including 7-8-year-old standout Tori Galloway and 9-10-year-old champion Emily Bennett.
Both Bennett and Galloway earned first place honors with 27 and 25 points, respectively, in their particular division. 
Shelby Stender closed out her season with an impressive finish, earning 27 points and a first place finish, while teammate Bianca Varela snagged 22 points, good for a second place finish.
Justin Yee and Savannah Stender both earned 23 points in their season ending third place finish, Savannah broke a pair of Gator team records along the way, knocking off Meg Absher’s top mark in two events in the championship finale.
The Gators saw improvements in several individual events, led by Jarod Amor taking nearly seven seconds off of his 100-free time and a second and a half in the 50-free event.
CC Cytanovich took 5.73 seconds off of her best breaststroke time, while Jaiden Grivette pulled nearly six seconds of her butterfly in the 6-under girls division.
Lucas Hardy, Kendall Houck and Maya Lyda all closed out the season with improved times, while standouts Payton Bohannon, Star Draper, Sienna Gonzales, Eli Manzana, Ronnie Thompson, Chad Williams and Summer Thompson saw improved times in each event they swam.
The squad will meet up for their awards night Aug. 6 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Oakdale’s Royse Memorial Pool.