OPELIKA- The competition wasn’t even close. With 16 gold medal winners and numerous other swimmers taking home hardware for their second and third place finishes, the Madison Dolphins swim team won the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA) State Swimming and Dive Meet held at the Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatics Center.
“We won the state title because of our depth in team placements, especially in relay races as teams received points through sixteenth place in each age group,” said Gayle Marbury longtime head coach of the Dolphins. “We don’t win championships on first place finishes. It’s the other great finishes that propel us to the title.”
The Dolphins scored 3,176.5 points compared to the runner-up team which could muster just 1,921 points. The Dolphins led the 21 teams in the competition.
The 11-12-year old boys 200 freestyle relay team set a new State Meet record. The relay was made up of Leland Barbour, Oliver Parkinson, Edison Yang and Jacob Kim.
Heading up the coaching duties for the Dolphins included Marbury and her staff- Kelly Davis, Rebecca King, Logan Black, Sabrina Morgavi, Hannah Krings and Heather McAdams.
The final results included the following individual and relay first place winners: Individual- 9-10 girls, Michaela Mbuko 50 freestyle; 11-12 boys, Edison Yang 50 breaststroke, 100 individual medley, 50 backstroke; 11-12 boys, Leland Barbour 50 butterfly; 11-12 girls, Anaabel Jensen 50 breaststroke, 50 backstroke; 11-12 girls, Maiya Mbuko, 50 freestyle; 13-14 boys, Will Ross, 50 breast stroke; 13-14 girls, Mela Mbuko, 100 freestyle; 15-18 girls, Larissa Dowling, 50 butterfly. Relays- 8-Under girls, medley, Grace Lancaster, Hannah Kuang, Alice Zou, Joanna He; 11-12 boys, medley, Leland Barbour, Edison Yang, Oliver Parkinson, Jacob Kim; 11-12 girls, medley, Annabel Jensen, Samsara Rajbhandari, Bella Minnon, Maiya Mbuko; 13-14 boys, medley, Jordan Cobb, Jayden Cobb, Will Ross, Aiden Cozelos; 8-Under girls, freestyle, Grace Lancaster, Hannah Kuang, Alice Zou, Joanna He; 11-12 boys, 200 freestyle, Leland Barbour, Jacob Kim, Oliver Parkinson, Edison Yang; 11-12 girls, freestyle, Annabel Jensen, Kayla Samad, Ellie Chan, Maiya Mbuko; 13-14 freestyle, Aiden Cozelos, Milo Littenberg, Michael Docherty, Will Ross.
For youngsters looking to join the Dolphins for future swimming activities they are urged to visit the team’s website: www.madisondolphins.org.