Portage Porpoises, that is. Ricky Del Real, 12, of the Portage Porpoise Swim Club (PPSC) proved porpoises can fly this past weekend by taking firsts in both the 11/12-year-old 50-yard and 100-yard butterfly events at the Indiana Swimming Age Group State Championships in Indianapolis.
Del Real's finals times of 26:41 for the 50 and 58:16 for the 100 were both faster than his times in the preliminaries held earlier in the morning, in which he also finished first.
"Both the 50 and 100 fly were very intense races,” said Kate Mullen, PPSC head coach. There were 3 other swimmers who were vying for the top spot until the very end, and “it was lovely to see Ricky reach in and take it,” Mullen said.
"The 50 fly was his last event, and it was a really nice way for him to end his season, since he’ll be aging up this summer," Mullen said.
Del Real, a student at Willowcreek Middle School, also swam the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, taking 2nd in both with times of 24:39 and 52:60; the 200-yard individual medley, taking 3rd with a time of 2:12:99; and the 200-yard freestyle, placing 9th with a time of 2:03:53. Del Real had state qualifying times in all 11 possible events, but swimmers are restricted to swimming a maximum of 6 individual events over the course of the 3-day meet.
In all, Del Real scored 99 of PPSC's 106 points, helping the team place 35th out of 66 teams from across the state.
Also scoring was Cayla Breault, 10, who came in 10th in the girls' 10 and under 100-yard butterfly. Breault was ranked 17th in the state going in to the meet.
“It was really sweet to see her improve her standing tremendously,” Mullen said.
Ten PPSC swimmers qualified for the state meet this year, including Sam Allen, 11; Erin Burke, 10; Truman Edwards, 11; Gillian Galinsky, 9; Avery Johnston, 10; Julianne Kinasiewicz, 11; Michael Kinasiewicz, 14; Jacob Mendoza, 12.
The Indiana Swimming Age Group State Championship meet is held at the IUPUI natatorium in Indianapolis and is the culmination of a 7-month season that begins in September. PPSC swimmers practice 2 hours a day, 5 days a week at Portage High School. The summer season begins April 2.