Nathan Larson had success, and is looking to build more in upcoming years.
Alexander Elrod enjoyed his final time competing at the Tokay High swimming pool.
Both of the Seal swimmers won a combined six events at the annual City of Lodi Summer League Championships that were held at Tokay’s pool. The two-day championships ended on Sunday, and the trials were on Saturday.
Larson, competing in the boys’ 13-14 age division, won the 50-yard backstroke at 27.50 seconds.
“I’ve been a backstroker for three years now,” said Larson of competing in the backstroke.
Larson also captured first place in the 50-yard butterfly at 26.54 and the 50-yard breaststroke at 31.49.
“I’ve been swimming those for a while,” said Larson of the butterfly and breaststroke. “I thought that the breaststroke was the most challenging. I’m not much of a breaststroke (swimmer). I haven’t done breaststroke in a while.”
Larson credits his father, Eric, who also coaches him in swimming.
“He’s coached me a lot,” said Nathan Larson of Eric, including the day before Sunday’s finals. “Get my starts down, my turns down. It helped a lot.”
Larson may consider Tokay’s swimming pool his second home. In recent summers he’s competed for the Seals, who hold their dual meets at the pool. He is an incoming freshman at Tokay High when the 2019-20 school year starts Wednesday, July 31. He plans to compete in the Tigers’ boys swimming program next spring.
Elrod, a recent Lodi High graduate who will be attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles this fall, took first place in the boys’ 15-18 age division in the 50-yard freestyle at 23.36 seconds. He also won the 100-yard individual medley at 1 minute, 00.19 seconds and the 50-yard fly at 25.92.
“I felt like the IM was the toughest,” Elrod said. “I was hoping to go under one minute, so I pushed myself a little more in hope of reaching it.”
The keys to top finishes, Elrod pointed out, is what is done before competing in the championships.
“It all starts with showing up for practice as much as I can,” Elrod said. “If you practice hard, then the races themselves are nothing but a chance to show how hard you’ve worked.”
Elrod competed in the Lodi High boys swimming and water polo programs all four years. He has no plans on competing while in college.
“I don’t have any official plans to swim or play water polo, but it’s obviously my favorite way to stay active. So I’ll be looking around for clubs and teams to join.”
Next summer, Elrod plans to return to the Seals – but not competing.
“I’m sure I’ll be back around to help out; either as a coach or volunteer of some sort,” Elrod said. “Seals has been an extension of my everyday life, so it’ll be weird being the one watching instead of participating myself, that’s for sure.”
Other multiple Seal winners were Amanda Herrera, in the girls’ 13-14 division, won the 50-yard freestyle at 27.36 and the 100-yard individual medley at 1:09.82. Rebecca Starr was a star, winning the girls’ 9-10 division of the 25 backstroke at 19.54. Emma Starr captured first place in the 25 breaststroke at 25.99. Matt Nickel won the 50 backstroke at 34.26 and the 25 freestyle at 27.83.
The Piranhas’ Mikaela Schmierer won the 50-yard freestyle at 30.32 in the girls’ 15-18 division and the 50-yard backstroke at 36.66.
In the girls’ 7-8 division, the Seals’ Kinley Schlesinger won the 25-yard backstroke at 24.04 and the 25-yard freestyle at 19.55.
The Tritons’ Branson Boone was first in the 25-yard backstroke for the boys’ 6-and-under division at 33.21. The Piranhas’ Samuel Meyers, in the boys’ 13-14 division, won the 100-yard individual medley at 1:10.68.
Contact Mike Bush at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.