BULLHEAD CITY — The Sandsharks easily defeated the Barracudas at the Needles Aquatic Center during the teams’ season opener on June 1.
The Barracudas returned the favor by easily knocking off the Sandsharks 360-234 at the Bullhead City Municipal Swimming Pool on Saturday morning.
“The difference between this point in the season and the first meet is how hard the kids have worked in practice to not only fix their technique, but to increase their power, strength and endurance,” said Bullhead City Barracudas head coach Ed Catalfamo by email.
“My coaches work them very hard. They are very dedicated and give great feedback to the kids to help improve their stroke and swim skills.
“Our parents are also very dedicated they make sure the kids are there every morning — ready to go. The parents also help out at the meets by timing, staging and (peforming the) other duties necessary to host a successful meet.
“It is so great seeing everyone come together to make this team so successful.”
BHC’s Kingzten Bristol, 11-12 boys class, broke three longstanding Barracudas’ team records, besting Jay C. Quitmeyer’s 2005 records in the 25-meter butterfly, the 25 backstroke and the 25 freestyle events.
“Kingzten is very powerful — combined with a beautiful stoke,” Catalfamo said. “We are working to perfect his turns so he doesn’t have to play catch-up after the wall. “When he masters this skill he will be a major force to reckon with at any race distance.”
While Bristol and Needles’ Lincoln Jones tied at 14 points each to lead their class in scoring, BHC 6-under girls Teagan Dover — along with Needles’ Kade Odell, 15-18 boys — led all swimmers in scoring with 20 points.
“Dover and 6-under boys swimmer Nicolai Klier led the way for us today,” Catalfamo said. “Dover winning all four of her races and Klier winning three races and taking a close second in the 25 breaststroke.
“I am just amazed on how far the two of them have come in such a short period of time.
“Dover has really become proficient in all of her strokes in just her second year. Her superior technical ability is what is carrying her to the top of then podium each week.
“Klier is a pistol. He could barely make it across the pool at the beginning of the year, so it is extremely exciting to watch how fast he is catching on.”
Klier led his age group with 18 points.
The Barracuda boys beat their Needles counterparts 159-93.
The Barracudas’ 7-8 boys group swept the top three places in every race, which helped the Bullhead City boys win by such a comfortable margin.
“This group is exciting to watch and is very competitive,” said the 22-year Barracudas’ head coach. “In fact, most races in this group we took first place through sixth place.
“This group is led by Jack Mangum, Anthony Medina, Joel Vissers and Cylis Klier.”
Vissers and Mangum each tallied 14 points to lead their class, as Medina chipped in with six points to place third and Brayden Pletcher — from Needles — and Julius Darus added one point apiece to tie for fourth in the 7-8 boys class.
Emily Hamilton came in first place in the 11-12 girls class with 14 points.
“Hamilton also did very well today,” Catalfamo said. “She to is working hard on her turns so she doesn’t give up any distance.
“She is a great kid to have on the team and is always happy and humble. I look forward to her continued growth in the pool, and we are going to work on speeding up her stroke count a bit.”
A not-so-old-familar face — 9-10 boys Cash Keller — has returned to the Barracudas, and it has not taken him long to return to form.
Keller recorded 14 points to win his class.
“It is nice having Cash Keller back in the pool after a two-year break,” Catalfamo said. “It’s like he never left; he is working hard in practice and getting his endurance, form and fluidity back and is back to showing his dominance.
“I am very happy to have Cash back in the pool. He is a great kid and always wants to do his best.”
COACH PRAISES OTHER BARRACUDAS: Lily Salari, 9-10 girls, took first place in the backstroke; Brittyn Romero, 7-8 girls, came in second in the breaststroke; and Peightyn Romero, 9-10 girls, placed second in the breaststroke. Adan Mitchell, 13-14 boys, came in third in the backstroke, second in the breaststroke and in third in the freestyle; Marissa Brisco, 11-12 girls, came in first in the freestyle and second in the backstroke; and Paxten Bristol, Haley Leslie, Gracen Dover and Esmerelda Castro are leaders in the 11-12 girls group, Catalfamo said.