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Published August 1st, 2012
Lafayette Swim Conference's First Championship
Rebecca Eckland
Olivia Williams finished the 6-and-under 25-yard butterfly in 23.47 seconds. Photo Kevin Nguyen

Last weekend, you saw the sights and sounds of any swim meet: the smell of chlorine, the flicker of a swimmer's body through the water, and excited cries as athletes neared record-breaking finishes. But this swim meet was unlike any other. Five Lafayette teams--Sun Valley Swim Team, Springbrook, Rancho Colorados, Lafayette Moraga Youth Association (LMYA) and Oakwood Swim Team-- competed together in the first-annual Lafayette Swim Conference (LSC) Championship meet at the Steve Heaston Aquatic Center.
A new innovation of the LSC is its methods of scoring. In addition to traditional scoring methods, LSC has added new categories. Teams are now ranked according to improved or "pop" times and points per swimmer. There is also a "spirit award" which was granted to Sun Valley Swim Team for the unrelenting enthusiasm of its athletes and coaches.
Springbrook took the LSC Team Ranking crown, earning 5,310.5 points. Rancho Colorados was the runner-up.
Springbrook also won the most improved times, with 70 percent of their performances earning personal records for their athletes. Rancho Colorados finished a close second with 67 percent.
Outstanding awards were awarded to Rancho Colorados Boys 6 & Under 100 Medley Relay featuring Sammy Lee, Paul Kuhner, Jon Mendelssohn and Jacob Boseli as well as LMYA's Girls 11-12 Medley Relay team of Goldie Zhu, Becca Buck, Sydney Smith and Sophia Cavalli.
The first day of the LSC opened with a parade around the pool, not unlike the Olympic opening ceremony, which began the Conference with two emphases: community and excellence. To celebrate, the coaching staff of Sun Valley Swim team was dressed in monochrome full-body suits to represent, as athlete-parent Leah MacKay explained, the color of the Olympic rings.
MacKay commented that the newly formed league has been exciting. "Everyone has had 'pop' [personal best] times," MacKay said. "The younger kids and older ones-- they swim together and support each other."
The founding of the LSC has brought what is already a strong swimming community even closer. Sun Valley swim coach Warren Wallace said that his athletes have more fun competing against those they know from school.
When LMYA's Becca Buck, age 12, broke the record for the 50 yard breaststroke, she bettered a record from 2000 set by Lauren Beaudreau who is now a coach at Springbrook.
"That just shows that swimmers stick around," said Jon Wheeler, meet director at Rancho Colorados.
The last event of the LSC was the 200 Free Relay for Boys 15-18. The previous record was set in 1982. Luke Inserra, Ryan Connolly, Jake Seroy and Nick Inserra of Springbrook bettered the record by seconds.
The quartet has been swimming together since they were five. "We all started together. We wanted to go out with a bang," said Luke.
LSC Championship Meet

Combined Team Scores

1. Springbrook Swim Team..... 5,310.50 points
2. Rancho Colorados Swim Team.... 2,938.50 points
3. Sun Valley Rays Swim Team.... 2,936.5 points
4. LMYA... 2,725.5 points
5. Oakwood AC.... 622

Top Finishers:

Olivia Williams (6 & Under): Sun Valley Rays.... 72 points
Joey Bettencourt (6 & Under): Springbrook....72 points

Caitlin Smith (age 8) LYMA... 72
Jack Wood (age 8) Springbrook...72

Jewel Roemer (age 10) Sun Valley Rays Swim Team.... 72
Jack Larsen (age 10) Springbrook...69
Murphy Baker (age 10) Rancho Colorados Swim Team... 69

Becca Buck (age 12) LMYA... 72
Jacob Parker (age 12) Rancho Colorados ... 69

Jane Wood (age 14) Springbrook... 69
Eric Strand (age 14) Sun Valley Rays... 69
Brady Aiello (age 14) Springbrook...69

Meghan Hill (age 17) Springbrook ... 67
Ryan Connolly (age 18) Springbrook...69

Improved/Pop Times:

Springbrook: 70%
Rancho Colorados: 67%
LMYA: 64%
Sun Valley Rays: 61%
Oakwood: 60%

2012 Lafayette Swim Conference Individual & Relay record Breakers. Photos Kevin Nguyen

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