Swimmers focus on larger picture at Los Baños meet

SBSC's Maelyn AdornettoThe Semana Nautica Age Group Swim Meet returned to Los Baños Pool this 4th of July weekend after a year’s absence, during which the historic Santa Barbara landmark put in some work on renovations that would make sure it was stronger in the long run.

Leading up to the junior national championships, Santa Barbara Swim Club head coach John Dussliere is making sure his swimmers are doing the same thing.

“That’s the goal of the weekend, no matter what their  times are, the plans are being competitive and working on different parts of their races, and that will all come through at the end-of-the-season championship meets,” explained Dussliere, who has his swimmers in the midst of heavy training leading up to the USA Swimming Junior National Championships being held August 10-14 in Washington or the SCS Long Course Junior Olympics later this month in Santa Clarita.

The Training Room“This meet is right before we start to rest, so we’re still in hard training,” confirmed 17-year-old Darrell Eacret, who admitted his body feels tired after weeks of two-a-day practices. “So, it’s a good place to get up and race when you’re not feeling well, so you know you can do better (at junior nationals).”

The training is already starting to pay off. Even though Eacret didn’t record some of his best times this weekend, he said he felt strong and that shaving and donning tech suits will certainly bring down his times.

“I have a good aerobic base so I could finish all my races well,” said Eacret, who still placed first in the 200 butterfly and 200 freestyle despite not being at his peak. Eacret added runner-up results in the 400 free, 100 backstroke and  200 backstroke.

The locals weren’t the only ones at the meet of course, facing off against a number of California swim clubs, including Rose Bowl Aquatics, Canyons Aquatics Club, Westchester YMCA, Rattler Swim Club, Coto de Caza Coyotes and Team Santa Monica to name a few.

Senior team member Michelle Dockendorf, 17, was SBSC’s big point-getter for the three-day event, collecting five first-place finishes, two seconds and a third in the nine events that she competed in.

“She’s on a great training run right now where she’s bringing herself back into what she’s capable of,” Dussliere said of Dockendorf.

Karl Boscacci successfully brought down times in his three events, none of which were his strength. Boscacci’s three 4th-place marks came in the 50-freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. Nolan Gardner also whittled down his best times in the 200 IM, the 100 back and breaststroke, and the 400 free.

“It’s a good confidence builder. I didn’t have some of those guys swim their best events because I wanted them to have something really positive over the weekend,” said Dussliere, who seemed in touch with each of his swimmer’s goals and individual needs.

Rayanne Nguyen was one of those that swam a host of events to help work up to junior nationals. Nguyen came through with two firsts in the 100 and 200 butterfly and a second place in the 400 IM. In all, the 18 year old swam in seven events, earning points for SBSC in each.

“I think that there were some improvements made in things that I wouldn’t think about very much but are really important,” noted Nguyen. “So I think that it was good to not focus on just the time but how you approach your race because that is going to matter in a couple of weeks.

“I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder or more often in my life. But I’m really excited to see in a couple of weeks how fast I can go.”

Nguyen’s dedication has not been lost on Dussliere.

“She’s swimming a lot of events and has a lot of intermediate goals. She’s hitting all of them.”

SBSC's Ali PowellSBSC's Ben BrewerThe senior team members are not the only ones hard at work.

Emily Swindle was one of those who came through with some impressive results, collecting six firsts, two seconds and a third in her nine events in the girls’ 13s.

“Emily Swindle. She’s swimming just about every event. She’s coming on. You’re going to know that name (in the future).”

Taylor Klein, 8, could not be defeated in any discipline, winning the 50-meter freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke.  Ali Powell was busy racking up points for SBSC all weekend long, placing in all 10 events she entered.

Maelyn Adornetto, Annaka Avelar, Walker Bell, Dylan Butler, Cuyler Gabriel, Kristina Garcia, Mariah Dodero, Lauren Seigel and Jade Mueller-Galbraith were also very busy, swimming in a team-high ten events each.

“Usually at this time of year, everyone is training really hard and they’re surprising us, they’re really coming through,” admitted Dussliere, happy to be back at Los Baños for the annual meet held in association with Semana Nautica.

“This is the best swim meet that’s been run by the team since I’ve been here.”