Despite being one of the smallest swim clubs in size, Valencia-based Paseo Aquatics managed to finish in the top 15 out of 90 other clubs at the Southern California Swim 14 and Under Short Course Junior Olympic Championships last weekend at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.
Twenty-two Paseo Aquatics swimmers represented the Valencia club at one of the premier swim meets on the competitive Southern California calendar. Paseo was led by Teia Salvino, who had a fantastic weekend as she finished Top 5 in total points for the 11-12 girls.
Salvino also broke Paseo records in the 50-yard butterfly with a 26.64, 100-yard butterfly with a 59.85 and the 100-yard individual medley with a scorching time of 1:02.21. She also finished second in the finals of the 50-yard freestyle with a 24.50.
“Paseo Aquatics is a team made up of under 175 swimmers and we proved that coaching supersedes numbers when it comes to building success,” said Paseo Aquatics Head Coach Chris Dahowski. “Some of the other 90 clubs had teams as big as 600 to 1,100 swimmers in their program.”
Dahowski added: “The meet this year dropped their qualifying time standards five percent faster than last years’ cuts but Paseo Aquatics was still able to qualify 22 swimmers while these larger clubs are bringing 60-100 swimmers. So coming in 15th was a huge accomplishment and nothing short of a miracle unfolded in front of our eyes.”
Another highlight according to Paseo assistant coach Daiki Sato was the 11-12 boys relay team, which put on quite a show. Headlined by Adam Meldrum, Luke Bezanilla, Nolan Hill and fearless anchor Daniel Jo, the quartet won the 200 and 400 free relays with times of 1:40.43 and 3:42.47, respectively, shattering the previous Paseo Aquatics record.
“When athletes go to practice because they are invested in their teammates and their teammates are invested into them, something magical is bound to rise up,” Dahowski said. ”However, this doesn’t just happen. It starts with the coaches providing the athletes with the tools to be successful.”
Swimmers representing Paseo Aquatics included Daniel Jo, Luke Bezanilla, Alyssa Hamilton, Riley Botton, Andy Park, Bryant Lee, Viktoria Paragas, Dean Bezanilla, Teia Salvino, Nolan Hill, Adam Meldrum, Sydney Zancanaro, Colin Gebhardt, Matthew Chan, Heather Ostic, Audrey Chen, Ariel Kellum, Amelia Tisdale, Anika Sta. Maria, Helena Salvino, Cameron Snowden and Sadhbh O’Dwyer.
Above photo: From left to right, Boys’ 11-12 Paseo Aquatics Relay team: Nolan Hill, Luke Bezanilla, Coach Daiki Sato, Adam Meldrum and Daniel Jo. Courtesy Paseo Aquatics.