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August 5, 2011 > East Bay Swim League Championships

East Bay Swim League Championships

By Gary van den Heuvel
Photos By Mike Heightchew

Chabot College played host to the cream of the crop of local youth swimmers - more than 1100 of them - who competed in the East Bay Swim League (EBSL) championships on Saturday, July 30. Among the 12 teams, representing all age groups from under six up to age eighteen, it was head coach Paul Pierce's San Leandro Drowning Darryls who emerged as the league champions, finishing with a total score of 4652.33. It was the Drowning Darryls' thirteenth title in their history, which is the league record. The Mission Valley Barracudas finished second (4260.33 points), followed in third place by the Newark Bluefins (3404.50).

EBSL is a league started over 30 years ago to help develop the love of swimming in the East Bay. The purpose of the EBSL is to provide young swimmers with an opportunity for summer recreational swimming competition, in an atmosphere that fosters sportsmanship, team spirit, cooperation, and respect. It was started in the Hayward area, but has spread to Southern Fremont, Newark, San Leandro, and Castro Valley.

New EBSL records were set in three events. Mission Valley won the boys age 13-14 200-yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:52.6. The Seals Swim Club (Fremont) took down the Male 13-14 50-yard Butterfly (new record time of 25.23), and Newark's Jonathan Mui eclipsed the old mark in the Male 11-12 50-yard Butterfly with a time of 28.36.

The Bluefins celebrated team records by Emily Loaisiga (Female 9-10 25 Fly, time of 15.76), Victoria Gerome (Female 15-18 50 Fly, 28.00), as well as in three different relays. Newark's top performers on the hot, sunny afternoon were Jonathan Mui (134.25 points), Emily Loaisiga (127.5), Isabelle Loaisiga (127.0), Joshua Tsai (122.0), Emmanuel Ngbemeneh (111.0), and Victoria Gerome (110.0).

If the turnout at Chabot is any indication, competitive swimming is booming in this part of the Bay Area. While some kids are working on their batting and fielding, and others are perfecting their technique on their newest video games, there are whole communities of kids who are obsessing over how to beat their personal best in the swimming pool.

14-year-old Christopher Chan of the Newark team, whose specialties are the backstroke and breaststroke, and who competed in the Individual Medley, is a seasoned veteran of competitive swimming; he's been involved in the sport for six years. Despite his talent and love for swimming, Chan is a well-rounded athlete. He also listed baseball and basketball as his other favorite sports.

When asked what sport he would choose - baseball or swimming -- next spring when he is a freshman at Newark Memorial High School, Chan's answer was unexpected, yet not unusual for today's multi-tasking young athlete. After a moment of thought, he said, "I'll probably play golf."

The Internet home of the East Bay Swimming League can be found at ebsl.org. All registration information and league news can be found there.

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