Published August 18th, 2010
Loud and Proud OMPA Championship Swim Meet Brings Fast Swimmers and Supportive Fans
By Lou Fancher
Moraga Country Club's Ava Isola (age 10) swims in the OMPA Championship Meet Photo Doug Kohen

Like reveille, car horns in Moraga on an early August afternoon signaled the start of the Orinda/Moraga Pool Association's (OMPA) annual championship swim meet.
This year, nine recreational swim teams sent more than 1,800 swimmers to the Soda Aquatic Center at Campolindo High School. Represented by hundreds of amphibious SUV's bearing "Go!" slogans, practice at Soda on August 5th featured beeping competitions and high-spirited hollering.
Friday, the mood was more concentrated, but just as notable for sound. From the Sleepy Hollow Swim Club's bleacher-beating feet to the ka-boom of records crashing, opening events caused a ruckus.
Orinda Country Club's Maddie Murphy knocked out an early record, swimming a 1:02.53 in the Girls 100 Yard Individual Medley. Minutes later, Sierra Robbins, swimming the IM for Meadow Swim and Tennis Club, shot through the water in 1:01.50.
Katie Bilotti's 2009 record of 1:01.80, set last year at OMPA, took a tumble. Saturday's events started with a whistle and a brief whimper, when the computer system shut down. "There was a glitch in the timing software," explained Brian Wentzel, a member of OMPA's Board of Directors. With fast teamwork from staff and volunteers, (not to mention the speed of the day's young swimmers) the meet was back on schedule by 1:10 p.m.
Moraga Country Club's Mark McCurdy obviously wasn't bothered by the delay. Winning the gold and earning the jaw-dropping honor of beating Charlie Wiser's 2003 record time of 13.75 for the Boys 7-8 25 Yard Freestyle, McCurdy clocked in at 13.48.
"I felt pretty good," he said, after the race. Jess McCurdy, his mother, said, "He's determined. He's always been a super-focused kid." Asked if he had set his sights on winning that event, they both nodded. "We had that goal in front of us," Jess said. Her son, already thinking about his upcoming breaststroke, said, "I want to get a 19:00-at least!"
Maddie Murphy's name popped to the top a second time as she touched in at 24:98 in the 50 Free. "Her core is stronger from playing water polo," said Matt, her father. He plays water polo, but leaves the coaching to the coaches, saying, "I give her encouragement, more than anything else."
It was a day for repeats when Sierra Robins set a new league record, winning the 50 Free in 24.30.
At the close of day two, the boys stepped up with Meadow's Nathan Langer, Aleck Ryner, Nicholas Deaver and Tennyson May smashing their own 2009 OMPA record with a 1:35.07 in the 200 Medley relay.
Sunday, the final day of OMPA, Moraga Ranch's Ryan Lenahan wasted no time stroking past a 20 year-old record with a 14.79 in the Boys 25 Fly. Maddie Murphy racked up another medal with a new meet record of 26.90 in the finals of the 50 Fly.
Alison Stevens pulled in with a first place time of 28.47 in the 50 Back and Brody Crouch pushed aside a record from 1984, swimming 17.64 in the 25 Fly.
Two boys' teams from Meadow broke records in the final event, the 200 Free Relay: 1:46.12 for Alexander Zamanian, Carter Chan, Jackson Summers and Nima Anjedani; 1:35.07 for Outstanding Relay team Langer, Deaver, Ryner and May. The 15/18 Girls Moraga Country Club Outstanding Relay team of Dana Holt, Sam Flower, Alexandra Toohey, and Madeleine Smith splashed in at 1:40.26
A total of eight individual and 15 meet records were broken this year. Maddie Murphy dominated as the Outstanding Swimmer-Girls, and Mark McCurdy used his grit to win Outstanding Swimmer-Boys.
After all the cheering was done, the most profound echoes of OMPA came from this year's swimmers: "I changed my stroke so it's wider, and faster," Megan Colpo said, demonstrating eagerly. "I like free best," said Sierra Robbins, "It's you, the water, and that's it." With the wisdom of a great coach-in-the-making, Tyler Bartis said, "I like being a coach-in-training: it's simplifying what you know into what they understand."

Maddie Murphy (OCC),right, is hugged by second place Madison Tagg (OPP) after winning the 50m Freestyle. Photo Doug Kohen
Sierra Robbins (Mead), gold cap, finishes first in the 50m Freestyle by 0.12 seconds, just ahead of Dana Holt (MCC). Photo Doug Kohen
Nathan Langer (Mead), left, won the 100m Freestyle. He is congratulated by Ryan Higgins (OCC) who took third place. Photo Doug Kohen
Tennyson May (Mead) getting ready for his 50m freestyle win

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