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August 9, 2005 > Barracudas win title 5th consecutive year

Barracudas win title 5th consecutive year

by Praveena Raman

On Saturday July 30 more than 3,000 people came to see the Sharks, Seals, Barracudas, Gators, Bluefins, Stingrays, Dolphins, Crocodiles, Penguins, Marlins and Drowning Darryls race against each other at Chabot College in Hayward for the East Bay Swim League (EBSL) Championship Meet. The Mission Valley Barracudas won the League Champions for the fifth year in a row with 4,932.50 points.

The meet started at 8:30 a.m. with siblings Mekala and Karthik Raman of the Barracudas singing the National Anthem. As the last notes died away amid a great cheer, the 6 & under Medley Relay started the races while coaches in colorful costumes cheered their swimmers on. Mission Highland Sharks coaches Frank Gygax and Nels Larsen dressed as the Incredibles while Barracuda coach Gene Kendall sported a Mohawk hair style.

On the upper deck each of the 12 teams had their space marked with colorful canopies where swimmers and parents could sit and watch the meets and socialize while playing cards and electronic games. "It is not only families getting together with their kids but even socializing with friends from competing teams," said Jim McConnell whose daughter Annie swims for the Highlands. This camaraderie is also expressed by the coaches, many of whom also teach or coach at the local high schools.

Dr. Scobel, a Fremont pediatrician, whose 14-year-old son Petie won the gold medal for Breast Stroke said that although four of her five children have won many medals in the past, Petie had to work especially hard to win this distinction. "I am thrilled that his hard work has finally paid off. But I hope that more than this, he has learned good sportsmanship and teamwork and is a good team player."

The EBSL is run entirely by the parent volunteers, hundreds of parents are needed to do various tasks from timing & recording to lining and escorting swimmers, security, snack shack, awards and more. Meet directors Peggy Herndon and Jerry Engler, who have been co-directors for the past five years and who were coordinating their last meet said that they couldn't do the job without the volunteers. The meet directors themselves worked hard for many weeks to make sure the meet with 1,200 swimmers ran smoothly and on time.

The meet ended around 5:30 p.m. with the 15-18 boys, Adam Kallabis, David Latour, Morgan Stickney and Colin Koutney, from the Treeview Dolphins winning the gold for the Free Relay. At the end of the day three, old League records were broken and new records set. In the 200 yard Medley Relay the 15-18 Men from the Barracudas, Paul Fracolli, Henry Chen, Michael Wheeler and Billy Purta broke the record held by San Leandro since 2000; in the13-14 50 yard Backstroke Heather Blakley of the Newark Bluefins broke the record that had been held by Caity Engler of San Leandro since 2000, and in the 200 yard Women's Free relay Lisa Bender, Mollie Lyman, HoiFei Mok and Bethany Sexton from San Leandro broke the record held by the Warm Springs Gators since 2001. In the final score Mission Valley led with 4,932.50 points, San Leandro placed second (4,195.50) followed by Warm Springs Aquatics (3,491), Mission Highlands (3,417.50), Glenmoor (3,356.50), Washington Manor (2,997.50), Newark (2,622.50), Treeview (2,506.50), Southgate (2208), Columbia (1934.50), Chabot (1813) and Kennedy (1,767). At the end, parent Russ Wheeler thanked "all the little kids who swam their heart out and contributed to the success of their teams."

If you would like to join one of the swim teams in the EBSL for the 2006 season click here to get the contact information for the various teams. Membership for many of the teams start in March of 2006.

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