The Barracudas swim team picked up their first win of the season Tuesday, July 9, at home, taking down Grandview by a score of 423-264. It was only the beginning to a busy week for the team as they traveled to Prosser later in the week and also fielded 17 swimmers in the AAU Regional Tournament at Toppenish over the weekend. The team lost to Prosser but put in a strong effort at Toppenish to score 376 points as a team - good enough for a sixth-place finish. Head coach Becky Mohs said the team had a great night at home to earn their first win and the kids were very happy to reach one of their goals. To top it all off, plenty of first year swimmers had a big impact on the outcome. "Our newer swimmers have their strokes down and they're starting to make points for us," she said. Young swimmers like 6-year-old Lilia Parrish and 7-year-old Elia Velazquez each earned their first top finishes of the year to contribute points for their team. Parrish took first in the 25-yard butterfly finishing in 37.52 while Velazquez finished first in the 25-yard breaststroke with a time of 42.38. Younger swimmers also made an impact in relay races. "Our younger relays all took first," Mohs said. Mohs said she hopes a win like this will boost the confidence of her team, especially considering the fact a number of veteran Barracudas weren't present that night. "We pulled this off without some key scorers so that gave some confidence to these swimmers who are starting to earn points for us now," she said.
Prosser challenges Barracudas The Barracudas couldn't pull off another win on the road at Prosser Thursday, July 11, as Prosser brought a boatload of tough swimmers to the meet. Othello couldn't only muster 29 swimmers to compete and Prosser's sheer strength in numbers led to a 627-172 win over Othello. Prosser swimmers also earned plenty of points in the relays. "A lot of that was due to their relays," Mohs said. "They have the depth to field stronger teams." One of the bright spots for the Barracudas was the effort 13-year-old Joey Taff put into all her races. She placed first in four events, including a 38.46 finish in the 50-yard backstroke - almost four full seconds ahead of Prosser's nearest competitor. Thirteen-year-old Hunter Sparks had a good night, also, Mohs said. He claimed the first place ribbon in the 50-yard butterfly, edging out his opponent by almost two-tenths of a second for a finish of 31.24. He also took second in the breaststroke and freestyle events.
Barracudas have stronger performance at regionals As the head coach, Mohs is always looking for improvements and that's exactly what she saw during the Saturday and Sunday AAU Regional Tournament at Toppenish. "The highlight of this was that the kids - all of them - improved their times in every single event," Mohs said. Aiden Thien, Sparks and Shaya Parris all narrowly missed out on earning the high point mark set by individual swimmers. They combined for eight first-place finishes with 9-year-old Thien earning four of those on his own. "We had three narrowly missed high points awards," Mohs said. "We took many firsts." Mohs said the team has also made great progress in cleaning up their techniques, only picking up three disqualifications at Prosser and four at the regionals. She's proud of the way the swimmers have shown improvement and happy with the timing with the season winding down in the next few weeks. "I'm incredibly proud of the swimmers who are besting their times in every event," she said. "They're really figuring out their strokes and they're really understanding the importance of doing it right over doing it fast ... we peaked at the right point in the season." This week, the Barracudas hosted Toppenish Tuesday night, but results weren't available as of press time. Beyond that, the team only has two more regular season meets, including their final home meet Wednesday, July 24. The weekend after that, the team will participate in the Mid Valley Swim League Championships at Selah.