The evening had a total of 29 events broken down by category and age group. The 10-year-old program, coached by Denise Gonzalez and Janay Shelton, had a group of roughly 108 swimmers from ages 4 to 18 competing to push their limits.
The event was located at the Riverbank Community Pool on the corner of Seventh and Stanislaus Street near the downtown area. Families huddled around the pool, watching swimmers exhibit the techniques they had developed since practice began in early June.
The atmosphere was very supportive, and the competition was oriented around finishing the race and personal improvement, rather than winning or setting the fastest time.
Denise Gonzalez stresses that the Patterson Pirates is a recreational program whose philosophy values teaching above measuring results.
“We try to teach the kids that great technique will lead to speed and winning races,” said Gonzalez. “We typically have 50 percent of the team that is new every year, so it’s all about teaching the sport and the stroke, the sport ultimately being to improve your personal best no matter what level. So that makes it easy to not make the actual winning of the race the main focus.”
The Barracudas will host another competition on July 25 against the Pirates swim team with Patterson hosting events on July 18 and Aug. 1 at the Patterson Aquatic Center.
Contact Erick Torres at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.