Sunday, July 5, 2009

It’s Never Too Early to Prognosticate

…And finally we get to the centerpiece event of this year’s Tattimuck County Parks and Recreation League Championships – the Boys’ 10-and-Under 100-yard Medley Relay. But to assess the players this year, we have to go back two years to the Boys’ 8-and-Under edition because that’s the last time this particular set of swimmers went head to head.

Two years ago, it was the Killer Sharks of the Mango Park Swim Club who took the title, not so much because they were the fastest quartet but because they were the only team that wasn’t disqualified. Led by backstroker Fred “Floater” Zingermann, the team also featured breaststroker Jonathon “Two-Hand Touch” Wing, butterflyer Charley “Wiggle” Wiggins and anchor freestyler Sam “Scooter” Schnipke. And two years ago, they put together a performance that left even their parents stunned and speechless. Insiders say the Mango Park boys are older and more legal than ever, even though they lost Wing to the country-club league when his dad got a promotion at work. According to their coach, Mindy Schwicker, the game plan is to have Rafael Esterhazy, a 7-year-old with a pituitary-gland disorder and hands the size of dinner plates, swim up an age group for the breaststroke leg.

The Killer Sharks likely will be challenged by their annual nemeses – the Waterbugs of the Waterloo Aquatics Racing Team. The Waterbugs – comprised of backstroke specialist Lindeman Farnhauser, breaststroker Chavis Rodriguez and the interchangeable flyer-freestyler twins, Rick and Dick Postlewaite – have always been something of a wild-card team in the league, prone to record-setting swims one week and flagrant DQs the next. Their own coach, Dorfy McDufferman, has described the team thusly: “One half of this relay is medicated and the other half should be.”

Also challenging for the title might be the Sea Stars of the Southwest Swim and Racquet Club. The Sea Stars are a new team in the league this year, having voluntarily moved over from the country-club league. The Southwest Swim and Racquet Club itself went bankrupt in January but the swim team has continued to practice, using the Pfeiffer-Newton family’s backyard 50-meter pool as its home facility. The Pfeiffer-Newtons’ son Tanqueray is the team’s anchor. While some in the league question whether the young man, who is already shaving hair off many different parts of his body, is actually 10 years old, the threat of legal action from his parents has convinced the league to allow him to compete in this age group. Pfeiffer-Newton is joined on the relay by backstroker Kirk Sphincter-Howland, breaststroker Stansbury Thurman-Dobbs and butterflyer Ashley Hinker-Wheaterman.

Despite the fact that both the Waterbugs and the Sea Stars look better on paper, we’re going to have to stick with the Killer Sharks and pick them to win this year’s title. They have proven, time and again, they have the stubbornness to keep their strokes legal and the slow reaction time to prevent false starts.


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