After winning the NorCal Swim League Comstock Conference last year for the first time, the Elk Grove Piranhas were looking to repeat this season. Repeating is exactly what the Piranhas would do.
On July 21, for the second year in a row, the Elk Grove Piranhas youth swim team won the NorCal Swim League Comstock Conference at the University of the Pacific, Chris Kjeldsen Pool in Stockton. The Piranhas won the event by a 137-point margin over second place finishers the Jackson Ranch Barracudas.
“We were all very excited because it was very close between us and the Barracudas all meet,” said Elk Grove Piranhas head coach Brenda Smart.
“They have worked hard all season so to see them achieve their goals and to do so well is phenomenal.”
The Piranhas had 11 swimmers finish within the top three in their respective age groups as a whole. Of those 11 top-three finishers, Aubrey Vaughn (6U Girls), Kiera Chen (11/12 Girls), Isaac Chambers (13/14 Boys) and Daniel Chambers (15-18 Men) finished atop their respective age groups.
“Our swimmers averaged four individual best times which is amazing and incredible to see,” Smart said. “So many of our swimmers really stepped it up at this meet and swam their hearts out for the team.”
In addition to the four first-place winners, the Piranhas had six second place winners in Jack Gutierrez (7/8 boys), Daniel Miller (9/10 boys), Opal Vail (11/12 girls), Andrew Manzo (11/12 boys), Brexton Mansfield (13/14 Boys) and Eric Lau (15-18 men). Pierce LaVine finished third in the 11/12 boys division.
Miller won the 100 IM, Chen won the 100 IM and the 50 backstroke, Isaac Chambers won the 100 IM and the 50 free.
Vaughn won the 25 free and Vaughn also won the 25 backstroke, while Daniel Chambers won the 100 IM and the 50 free on the first day of competition.
Other winners on the first day included Caitlin Santiago in the 13-14 girls 50 backstroke, Mansfield in the 50 backstroke, and Eric Lau won the men’s 15-18 100 backstroke. The Piranha team of Sasha Chernyy, Andrew Manzo, Pierce LaVine and Zachary Hoover won the boys 11-12 200 medley relay, the boys 13-14 200 medley relay team of Nathan Yee, Mansfield, Connor Athey and Isaac Chambers won the championship and the men’s 15-18 200 medley relay team of Charlie Fleming, Daniel Chambers, Lau and Josh Juico also won the championship to round out the first day of competition.
On the second day, Daniel Chambers won the 100 free and the 100 breaststroke, Daniel Miller won the 50 free and the 25 breaststroke, Isaac Chambers won the 100 free and the 50 butterfly and Gutierrez won the 25 breaststroke.
Manzo won the 50 breaststroke, Chen won the 50 butterfly, and Lau won the 50 butterfly.
In the boys 9-10 100 free relay, Evan Fujii-Sisler, Aizkak Chernyy, Zander Hoover and Miller won the championship while the boys 11-12 200 free relay team of Manzo, Hoover, Sasha Chernyy and LaVine won as well.
Adding to the Piranhas’ dominance in the free relays was the girls 11-12 200 free relay team of Anabel Gardea Maldonado, Kaelyn Feng, Chen and Opal Vail and the boys 13-14 200 free relay team of Carsten Lucia, Connor Athey, Mansfield and Isaac Chambers.
The Piranhas rounded out their championship weekend with the winning performance by their men’s 15-18 200 free relay team of George Wiley, Josh Juico, Lau and Chambers.
Although the Piranhas won the meet, they finished second to the Barracudas in the dual-meet championship.
“We were both 3-0 going into the final dual meet of the season, but they beat us by four points,” Smart said of her team’s small defeat.
“That meet showed our swimmers how important every team member is and how every swim and point matters.”
Fresh off a victory at the Comstock Conference, the Piranhas will look to feast at the Sacramento Valley Meet of Champions this upcoming weekend in Roseville at the Roseville Aquatic Complex. The Sacramento Valley Meet of Champions will conclude the Piranhas’ 2019 season. The Piranhas have had five first-place winners in the Meet of Champions in previous seasons.
“We are looking forward to having some great swims by our swimmers,” Smart said.
Once the 2019 recreational swim season ends for the Piranhas, some of the swimmers will continue onto the USA team programs through the Piranhas Aquatic Club as well as continuing to the Piranhas’ Fall and Winter swim clinics. Registration for the Piranhas Aquatic Club is currently open and available at http://www.elkgrovepiranhas.com.