Archive for Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Significant strokes: Tidal Waves enjoy first-year success

NIcole Tallent comes up for a breath while competing in the individual medley for the Tongie Tidal Waves on Friday at the Lake and Country Club League Championships at Turner Aquatic Center in Kansas City, Kan. The league finals, in which Tongie combined with Turner to finish fourth in the team standings, were the final meet of the Tidal Waves’ inaugural season.

NIcole Tallent comes up for a breath while competing in the individual medley for the Tongie Tidal Waves on Friday at the Lake and Country Club League Championships at Turner Aquatic Center in Kansas City, Kan. The league finals, in which Tongie combined with Turner to finish fourth in the team standings, were the final meet of the Tidal Waves’ inaugural season.

July 14, 2009

— The new kids in the pool made some waves Friday at Turner Aquatic Center.

In their first season of existence, the Tongie Tidal Waves not only had two swimmers finish first at the Lake and Country Club League Championships, but also combined with the Turner Barracudas to finish fourth in the team standings.

Luke Falk won the 10-and-younger boys butterfly and Asher Huseman was on the winning freestyle relay team in the 12-and-younger boys division.

Because the top 16 swimmers in the league compete in the finals of each race, Tidal Waves coach Janet Falk said those league titles were a big deal.

“That’s the cream of the crop,” the coach said.

Given that Friday marked the close of their inaugural season, Coach Falk said the Tidal Waves were just as excited about their fourth-place finish in the team standings with Turner (because Tongie has 35 members and Turner has 28, the squads combine to compete with other teams, which have rosters of 70-plus).

“We were elated because this is our first year out and, honestly, we weren’t sure how we were going to do,” Falk said, noting that the top three teams in the standings — Lake Quivira, Lake Forest and Bonner Springs — have 70 to 100 swimmers on their teams.

The Tonganoxie team also had a few second-place finishers at the league finals. Gad Huseman and Luke Falk were part of a silver-medal freestyle relay team in the 10-and-younger boys division while 14-and-under girls Sidney Grinter and Rachel Woods swam for a second-place freestyle relay team.

Regardless of times and places, the Tidal Waves felt as though the season was a success. Lee Maughmer, 13, said he likes everything about the team and had fun on Friday.

“I’ve been getting better,” Maughmer said.

This was the first year Sophia Breedlove, 12, had ever competed on a swim team and she is glad to be a Tidal Wave member.

“It’s fun, and you get to meet people,” she said.

There’s a great deal of camaraderie for the swimmers as they practice together and hang out in between races at meets. A lot of the swimmers, such as Abigail Frye, 9, use markers to write things on their arms and backs. Frye had her friend and teammate Aubrey Head pen “Go Tongie Tidal Waves” on her back.

Most of Tongie’s swimmers aren’t new to the sport. Kennedy Morey, 11, and others used to swim for teams in nearby cities, but having a team in town, Morey said, was much better.

“It’s easier to get up in the morning and go to a pool that you actually know about,” she said.

David Falk, 13, also competed for other clubs in the past. He said the Tidal Waves were glad to attend 7 a.m. practices at Tonganoxie Water Park instead of going out of town.

He said the swimmers improved thanks to that work.

“We have fun but they are pretty intense,” David Falk said of practices.

It all added up to what coach Janet Falk called a “phenomenal” debut.

“The kids did an amazing job for their first season,” she said.

With this year behind them, the coach would like to see the Tidal Waves compete independently next season, so they don’t have to team up with another squad. That would mean a much bigger roster. Janet Falk said she would be spreading the word, as will her swimmers. The goal is to double the team’s numbers for next year.

For more information about the Tongie Tidal Waves, contact Janet Falk at (913) 369-5208.

Lake and Country Club League Championships

Friday at Turner Aquatic Center

Team standings

1. Lake Quivira; 2. Lake Forest; 3. Bonner Springs; 4. Tongie/Turner; 5. Piper; 6. Leavenworth

Tongie Tidal Waves results

Girls 6 and younger

Allyson Sparks — third, freestyle relay; fifth, freestyle; sixth, backstroke

Hannah Stieben — third, freestyle relay

Boys 6 and younger

Caden Hellman — third, freestyle relay, freestyle and backstroke

Girls 8 and younger

Meron Hayden, Bethany Head, Maria Stieben — fourth, freestyle relay

Boys 8 and younger

Alex Falk — fourth, freestyle relay; sixth, freestyle and medley

Girls 10 and younger

Abigail Frye — fourth, butterfly; fifth, freestyle; sixth, freestyle relay

Aubrey Head — fourth, freestyle relay; sixth, medley relay

Molly Monahan, Bailey Jackson, Grace Woods — seventh, freestyle relay

Nicole Tallent — fourth, freestyle relay

Ashley Stieben — fourth, freestyle relay; sixth, medley relay

Boys 10 and younger

James Breedlove — third, medley relay; fourth, freestyle relay

Rylan Hellman — third, medley relay; fourth, freestyle relay

Gad Huseman — second, freestyle relay

Zeb Huseman — fourth, freestyle relay

Luke Falk — first, butterfly; second, freestyle relay; third, backstroke, breaststroke and medley relay

Girls 12 and younger

Sophia Breedlove — third, freestyle relay; fifth, medley relay

Bonnie Monahan, Kennedy Morey — eighth, freestyle relay

Boys 12 and younger

Asher Huseman — first, freestyle relay; fifth, freestyle; seventh, butterfly

Girls 14 and younger

Sidney Grinter — second, freestyle relay; fourth, medley relay

Rachel Woods — second, freestyle relay; fourth, medley relay

Boys 14 and younger

David Falk — fourth, breaststroke; fifth, backstroke and medley relay; seventh, butterfly; eighth, medley

Lee Maughmer — sixth, backstroke and freestyle relay

Girls 18 and younger

Lacie Falk — sixth, freestyle relay

Nikki Gee — sixth, medley relay

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