Whitecaps win GASSL crownPublished 8:55pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Relays have always been the strength of any Spence Pake coached team and on Saturday the Washington Whitecaps flexed their relay muscles to edge past Tarboro and capture a victory in the Greenville Area Summer Swim League championship meet.
The victory was one of the most thrilling in Pake’s career as his Whitecaps overcame a 36-point deficit and capped off their late rally by earning three second-place finishes and two first-place finishes in the final five relay events.
“We just stayed strong and believed in what we could do,” Pake said. “We found ourselves down early after the freestyle events and we just battled back from there.
“When we got down to the last few events we were only down eight points after being down 36 and then our relays took over from there.”
The Whitecaps, who fell to Tarboro in the regular season to place second, was able to rack up 384 points on Saturday and took first place in 16 of the meet’s 65 events to capture the championship meet victory. Tarboro, the regular season champs, scored 372 points, while the Windsor Waves Swim Team took third with 232 points.
The meet featured athletes ages five-18-years old and Washington took first in the following events: mixed 6U 100-yard freestyle (Cayden Pake), boys 13/14 100-yard IM (Kevin Andrews), girls 15-18 100-yard IM (Megan Baldwin), boys 6U 25-yard freestyle (Pake), boys 13-14 50-yard freestyle (Justin Clark), girls 15-18 50-yard freestyle (Baldwin), 6U 25-yard backstroke (Pake), boys 9-10 50-yard backstroke (Parker Sheppard), boys 13-14 50-yard backstroke (Andrews), boys 9-10 50-yard breaststroke (Sheppard), boys 13-14 50-yard breaststroke (Andrews), girls 15-18 50-yard breaststroke (Baldwin), boys 15-18 50-yard breaststroke (Eric Lovenberg), boys 13-14 50-yard fly (A.J. Howard), mixed 10U 200-yard medley (Sheppard, Tristan Pake, Campbell Barnes, Mary Scott Sheppard) and the mixed 14U 200-yard medley (Andrews, Justin Clark, Howard, Madison Boahn).
The victory was a great way to cap off a summer’s worth of work and Pake, who received a celebratory push in the pool by the team’s parents upon conclusion of the meet, said that the swimmers were ecstatic after clinching the crown.
“They were so excited,” Pake said. “We had a little celebration in the pool after and everybody was just so excited. It was a long, hot day but a very fun and exciting day.”
Bringing home the GASSL crown was the ultimate way to wrap up a stellar season.
“Overall, it was a great summer. We had a lot of league records that were broken by our swimmers. It was a great season.” Pake said. “Kevin Andrews broke a lot of records for the 13-14-year old group. We broke all the 13-14-year old relay records and in the 6U category we broke the freestyle relay record and Cayden Pake, my son, broke the 6U backstroke record.
“… Every year it’s fun to watch these kids perform and watch them get better throughout the year. It’s priceless. To watch them end the season the way they did and comeback … That was the closest championship meet ever point-wise for a team and to be a part of that, as a coach you can’t ask for anything more.”