OTHELLO — The Othello Barracudas summer swim team competed in a meet against the Selah Dolphins at Othello Pool yesterday. The Barracudas last swim meet was against the Prosser Piranhas on June 13, with the Barracudas having won their first two meets this summer.
Competition ages ranged from 8-years-old and under all the way up to 17-18 divisions. Selah took the overall victory in the meet, with a combined score of 372-329 for Othello.
Othello won the men’s division 190-147, while Selah claimed the women’s division 225-139.
For the Barracudas, Lillia Parrish took first in both the 50-meter fly division, 50-meter breast stroke, and 200-meter individual medley in the 11-12 age group. In the boy’s 11-12 group, Parker Freeman claimed both the 50-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley.
Othello’s Joel Gentry and Selah’s Kameron Palmer received the night’s sportsmanship awards.
Natilee Ruiz is in her first year as the head coach for the Barracudas. Ruiz was a six-time state champion swimmer for Othello High School before attending San Diego State University.
Ruiz said she was really proud of her team’s performance against what is expected to be the most competitive team in the Mid-Valley Swim League.
“I’m gonna be super ecstatic telling the kids how great they did tomorrow morning because we only lost by 42 points with the best team,” Ruiz said. “So we did awesome tonight.”
Ruiz said she’s excited to come back and be a part of the swim team she joined herself when she was eight-years-old. The first-year coach said swimming made her life hectic at times growing up, and she wants to ensure that both sides of the sport are instilled in her swimmers.
“The fact that I’m here, starting where I started, I’m trying to instill the fun and competitiveness in these kids from a young age and make sure that they don’t forget that we’re still here to have fun,” Ruiz said. “I hope I’m giving back to the community that gave so much to me.”
Moving toward next week’s home swim meet against Grandview, Ruiz said she will look to work on finishes with her team after working on starts and turns over previous practices.