The swimming pool at Pacheco High School in Los Banos was the site for the 2022 Merced County Swim League Championship July 23-24.

Six swim teams from the local area participated in the two-day championship meet. The Los Banos Tiger Sharks swim team hosted the tournament, with the Dos Palos Dolphins, Chowchilla Redfins, Kerman Kickers, Hilmar Hammerheads and the Atwater Stingrays all swimming in the event.         

The competition consisted  of morning prelims and then afternoon finals. On Saturday, July 24, the teams swam in the freestyle, individual medley (IM) and backstroke events, including relays.

Sunday events featured the breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle and the relays in those events.       

Saturday’s competition saw Tiger Shark Jedidiah Siemiller capture the boys 6-and-under 25-yard freestyle race.

Dos Palos Dolphin Sydnee Arroyo finished second, and Tiger Shark Cassidy Barcellos finished third behind Chowchilla’s Gabrielle Christianson in the girl’s 13-14-year-old 50-yard freestyle. 

Hilmar’s Luke Cox finished just ahead of Tiger Shark Dereck Rubio in boys 17–18-year-old 50-yard freestyle.                                   

In the boys’ 7–8-year-old 100-yard IM, Tiger Shark Cesar Arce finished in first place, while Los Banos swimmer Evvan Ambriz won both the boys’ 50-yard and 100-yard backstroke events.

Dos Palos’s  Ace O’Banion finished first in the boys 100-yard IM race with his time of 1:13:17.     

At the end of the first day of competition the Chowchilla Redfins (477) held a one-point lead over the Hilmar Hammerheads (476).                                                                                     

On Sunday the competition  continued with these results. Tiger Shark Jedidiah Siemiller claimed the third of four victories in the boys 6-and-under 50-yard freestyle.

Tiger Shark Evvan Ambriz swan to victory in the boys’ 9–10-year-old freestyle race, while Leah Ellison placed first in the girls’ 7–8-year-old breaststroke event.

Dos Palos’ Justin Hurd finished a close second to Dylan Lopez of Chowchilla in the boys’ 13–14-year-old 50-yard- freestyle race.  

Jedidiah Siemiller made it a complete sweep of all four of his events, swimming to victory in the boys 6-year-old-and-under butterfly race.                                                                                   

Evvan Amriz claimed his event for the Tiger Sharks winning the boys’ 9-10-year-old 50-yard butterfly race, and Edgar Vizcarro gave Los Banos a win in the boys’ 13–14-year-old butterfly event.      

The Rubio brothers closed out the day with victories for the Tiger Sharks, when Eirvin won the boys 15-16-year-old 100-yard butterfly race, and older brother and UCLA bound Dereck placed first in the boys’ 17–18-year-old butterfly event.        

Three Tiger Sharks came away with high individual point swimmer awards: Jedidiah Siemiller won the boys’ 6-year-old-and-under trophy, while Leah Ellison was the high individual swimmer in the girls’ 7–8-year-old group. Evvan Ambriz won the honor of high individual in the boys’ 9–10-year-old age group.

The overall first place team competition trophy in the two-day meet was awarded to the Hilmar Hammerheads with a total score of 937 points, followed closely by the Chowchilla Redfins with a score of 914 points.

The Los Banos Tiger sharks finished in third place with a score of 747 points, with the Dos Palos Dolphins in fourth place with their score of 406 total points. Kerman (342 points) finished fifth, and Atwater (308 points) ended up in sixth place.

Michael Martin