The El Dorado Hills Tasmanian Devils overcame their arch-rivals, the Park Terrace Penguins, with a win of 416 – 373, on July 7 at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District swimming pool.
Both Suburban Swim League clubs entered Saturday’s contest with identical 4-0 records.
“It’s going to be nails, man,” said Taz head coach Jason Brown before the epic battle. “We’ve been targeting everything in preparation: technique, dives, turns. We have also really pushed individuals that are competing in close races.”
“Our teams have battled for years and both entered today’s meet undefeated. It’s such a close race that will likely be decided in relays,” added Taz president Brett Jones. “You can look at it as the league championship being decided at today’s meet!”
The score remained neck and neck throughout the entire contest, and cheering fans could be heard from nearby streets as the electric energy permeated surrounding neighborhoods. Onlookers enjoyed an abundance of tight, exciting races in every event, especially events No. 74 through No. 83 — the relays.
“This is a fun rivalry,” said Peter Ferguson, who is in his fourth year as head coach for the Penguins. “We love coming up here to swim Taz. We are the two biggest point scoring teams in the league, and have the fastest kids overall. It’s fun watching the score going back and forth.”
New to Taz this year, 6-year-old Kate Goff was one of the enthusiastic spectators cheering at Saturday’s meet while she wasn’t swimming her own events. Kate loves to swim freestyle and loves to jump off of the high dive during practice on Fun Fridays.
“We are part of the El Dorado Hills community and like being part of the clubs in our own community,” said Mom Nicole Goff. “The coaches have been terrific; they’ve had good patience with Kate which has really helped in building her confidence. She’s even started swimming races against her sister at home. At the Mock Meet, Kate swam the 25 free in roughly 38 seconds, and today she swam it in24.37. Kate will absolutely continue to swim next year.”
As event No. 83, the men’s 15 -18 200 free relay, came to an end and the final score was announced, Taz swimmers pushed Coach Jason into the pool.
“We won. I’m overwhelmed. We’ve been working towards this all year. There were so many great races today and everyone did their best. Thanks to all the swimmers who showed up today and swam their best,” the coach said.
Top scorers of the day for Taz with 15 points each included Kacey Ross, 8; Patrick Sammon, 8; Nicholas Grinnell, 14; Morgan Jones, 15; Trevor Dong, 16; and Josh Verner, 17.
Saturday, July 14, the Tasmanian Devils welcome the Broadstone Barracudas, and the following Saturday will travel to swim against the Loomis Basin Dolphins. The Taz will attempt to secure a perfect regular season by defeating both. El Dorado Hills, Park Terrace and all SSL teams will face off once again in the 47th SSL Championships, July 28-30, at Sierra College in Rocklin.