August 13, 2010 > Third Place is gold for the Seals swim team
Third Place is gold for the Seals swim team
Submitted By Tracy Uyeda
East Bay Swim League's Seals took home the third-place trophy at the EBSL Championships on July 31. It was a perfect end to their 6-1 regular 2010 season.
At the championships, swimmers from the 12 EBSL league teams convened at Chabot College for the biggest meet of the year. For most, the day started before sunrise, with swimmers arriving at the pool for early warm ups. It was quite a sight watching 1,000-plus swimmers including Seals, Cudas, Tunas, Crocs, Rays and Gators adorn the pool deck with colorful team suits and complementary caps.
In traditional fashion the Seals coaches also dressed for the occasion. This year, the message "May the force be with you" was apparent. Seals coaches Ray Murphey, Andrew Squires, Chris Mason and Jonathan Green showed up as Star Wars characters - Anakin, Darth Vader, Jaba the Hut and a fearless fighter pilot.
Throughout the meet, Seals swimmers executed by achieving personal bests, setting new team records, earning championship medals and, most impressive of all, offering continued support and encouragement to their teammates. Head coach Ray Murphey recognizes the value.
"This has been an awarding experience for me and the coaches," said Murphey. "We can help swimmers with their strokes, turns and dives, but the one thing the Seals have that cannot be coached is camaraderie."
The end result was spectacular. More than 25 individual Seals swimmers earned championship medals. Overall, the Seals earned a total of 26 medals (7 relay; 19 individual)
In 2008 the Seals placed sixth at championships and held that position again in 2009. This year, the team had high expectations to improve their standing. After the final event, swimmers, coaches, parents and supporters anxiously gathered poolside as the points were tabulated. The results were announced in descending order and the excitement mounted as the Seals waited to hear their placement. A huge roar was heard from the Seals camp when it was announced: "In third place with 3,891 points, the Seals swim team."
The Seals beat the tightly-matched Newark Bluefins by a mere four points.
The Seals accomplished a lot in 2010. At EBSL champs they moved up three places, took home the third-place trophy, and earned 985 more points than last year. In the regular season, they won two more meets and scored 651 more points than 2009. And, for the second time in three years they were awarded the league's Most Improved Team.
"When the Seals decide to improve they do it in dramatic fashion. The Seals have come a long way and these swimmers earned every point at champs," Murphey stated. "They work hard, but more importantly they motivate each other. When these kids get ready for their races they have the support of the entire 162 team members behind them."