By Contributor Ron Spink
Lead photo: Heroic coaching and swimming results defined the Tsunami victory – both at the meet, and at the Friday evening, super-powered Pep Rally.
On Saturday, the two top-ranked teams in PWSL put each of their undefeated records on the line in a battle for sole leadership of the Blue Division standings. In what was to be the closest match in the history of the competition between the two clubs, the Piedmont Tsunamis were able to keep their perfect season alive in front of a home crowd as they defeated the Sudley Seahorses by a score of 2648.5 v 2643.5. The five point differential replaces the tightest previous margin between the teams which occurred only two years ago, when Piedmont was on the receiving side of a seven point defeat in regular season play. The Tsunami victory extends their win streak to 11 meets in total, dating back to last year’s unbeaten season.
The suspenseful contest was balanced throughout the day, starting with early morning relays that had the Tsunami squad at a mere 15 point advantage entering into the individual swims. That surplus was diminished after the freestyle exchanges – necessitating a Piedmont rally of more than 40 points during the later events to retake the lead. The Tsunamis entered the final races with only a narrow five point cushion, and would require an even split (or better) on relay swims to retain the win. The Free Relays were a give-and-take throughout, when the game winning save was arguably delivered by the Boys 13-14 group. In thrilling fashion, the efforts of Alex Crown, Justin Lee, Alex Huang and Davin Phe combined to break their seed time and deliver a .24 second upset that maintained the final relay balance, and assured the team success.
The morning was highlighted for Piedmont with their greatest record-breaking performance tally of the season, delivering a total of nine new “best swims”. Notably, Camille Spink contributed to Tsunami records in all five of her combined and individual events on the day. On the personal front, Spink beat her own PWSL League record in the Girls 13-14 50M Free with a new time of 26.34. She also set the new team bar in the 50M Fly at 28.95, and in the 100M IM at 1:05.46. Girls 13-14 teammate Emma Hannam also delivered a new record in the 50M Breast, besting her own time from last year by .42 seconds to come in at 35.18.
From the Tsunami boys, Christian Mulroe took down the 9-10 25M Fly by almost a quarter of a second to clock an impressive 16.76. Finally, Eric Liao brought the Boys 15-18 50M Back score to under 28 seconds for the first time ever, coming in at a remarkable 27.94 for the event.
Three more records were fetched in the combined events, two of them coming from the same squad of 13-14 Girls. Opening the day, Spink, Hannam, McKenna Curry and Hayley Hubert accomplished a new best team time of 2:12.06 – an improvement of 1.15 seconds and good for top weekly accolades in the league. Later, the same grouping would scorch the 200 Free Relay mark to establish a new Piedmont best of 1:57.08, a paring of almost two seconds versus prior efforts. Also from the Tsunami girls, the 9-10 combination of Sedonah Traister, Sammi King, Kaylee Dominguez and Alyssa Sagle continue to impress by striking for the second time in three weeks in the 100M Free Relay – this time coming in at a noteworthy 1:04.87 overall and also placing league top marks.
Piedmont first place performances for individual swimmers were numerous on the day, and Tsunami relay times combined for seven top county times as well. Personal Blue Ribbon swims and top overall league times (in parenthesis below) were brought in by: Declan Bengtson, Sammi King, Charlotte Hannam, Davin Phe, Camille Spink (3), Jessica Lee, Sedonah Traister (1), Eric Liao (1), Katherine Diatchenko (1), Brooks Schires, Sophia Malinowski, Alyssa Sagle (1), Maddie Richardson, Alex Crown, Boris Coleman (1), and Emma Hannam (1).
The victory finds Piedmont entering week six as the only undefeated team in PWSL. On Saturday, the 5-0 Tsunamis will take their win streak and Tent City back on the road – this time facing the Kingsbrooke Sea Lions on the march towards their final Blue Division showdown, coming only two short weeks away.