The Othello Barracudas hit the road for two meets last week once again taking some damage due to the lack in numbers for certain age groups, falling to Toppenish Tuesday, June 25, by 581 to 194 and dropping their meet at Grandview the following day 493-292. Head coach Becky Mohs said the team was missing a few swimmers against Toppenish due to a summer football camp and a handful of other swimmers had been busy with other activities, also. Mohs said she understands things like this happen during the summer and hopes those athletes will be ready to go during their next competition. "We were missing some key people and there's just nothing we can do about it unless we can get more kids on the team," she said. Mohs was impressed by her 10 and under boys and girls and said swimmers like Jolee Tomer and Ori Vasquez had great nights. She said Vasquez had a very convincing finish in the 200-meter individual medley with her time of 4:38.94. "The highlight of the night for me was Ori's 200-meter IM," Mohs said. "She placed first by half a lap." Another 10-year-old, Molly Jensen, had a great night, Mohs said. Only one swimmer over 10-years-old placed first in a match and that was Nicole Douglas who took the top spot in the individual medley with her finish of 3:52.43 - three seconds ahead of her Toppenish opponent. After seeing what happens when the team's numbers are lacking, Mohs wants to make sure the Barracudas do what they can to have solid swimmers in each race. "(Numbers) fluctuate through the season as kids go off to camps," she said. "It would sure be nice if we could make one of those meets mandatory." Tatum Sparks reels in four first-place finishes Some strong efforts from Barracudas like Tatum Sparks, Molly Jensen and the highest-placing finish from first-year swimmer Aleah Thien caused some damage against Grandview but weren't enough to get the win June 26. Thien, who's only 5, took second in the backstroke, beating out 8 and 7-year-olds on her way to her best finish in her young career. "She's only 5 years old and she placed second in the backstroke," Mohs said. "That was the highlight of the night and she did awesome. The entire team was cheering her on at the sideline." Mohs said she has the heart for swimming and is able to find her own motivation to do well. "She's a joy to coach," she said. Sparks took first in every event except the backstroke and Mohs said her strong work ethic pays off almost every meet she swims in. "Tatum was our rock star and she was solid," Mohs said. "She is a very self-motivated individual, too, and she's just amazing." Mohs said unfortunately for the Barracudas, Sparks will miss the upcoming regional tournament in Toppenish the weekend of July 13 because of her summer wrestling program but still appreciates what she does for the team. This week, the Barracudas hosted Selah on Tuesday and traveled to Sunnyside the following day, but results for those meets weren't available as of press time. Next week, Othello will have Grandview again Tuesday night and travel to Prosser Thursday night. Mohs said the team's goal of cutting back on disqualifications is going smoothly and her kids are getting better at recognizing and addressing their mistakes.