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Exceeding Expectations

January 18, 2009


Four years ago, nine of the Exceeding Expectations kids swam as many laps as they could in an hour to raise money for the program and to try to win a trip to the 2005 Competitor Magazine Endurance Sports Awards banquet at Sea World in San Diego. 

The Exceeding Expectations Swimathon has since become our premier annual fundraising event. What makes it special is that it's the kids themselves who have to step up and call friends of the program (who have already offered to participate), introduce themselves, explain what the Swimathon is all about and ask for support in the form of at least a quarter a lap.

This year's event was different: Because of the extraordinary outpouring of support following the theft of our trailer last summer, Cherie decided not to hit up our friends for more money. Instead, the kids just competed for the trip to San Diego. The winners would be the top two boys, top two girls and the fifth fastest boy or girl. You can see the winners in the last photo, and also find out why the fastest of all won't be on the trip.

In addition to those great friends of the kids, we had wonderful support from Loma Linda University's  Drayson Center, which for the fifth year allowed us free use of their beautiful aquatic facility, and our splendid volunteers.



The Coach, Jacque, Vianey and Kylie Donia 
get ready to ensure accurate lap counts.


Putting on the wetsuits was the most entertaining part of the day. 
It took almost as long as the race.


Brian tries to get jiggy with Dorian's new 'do.


Miguel and Isi's dad, Meli, gets ready to mix it up with the kids.


Last-minute briefing for swimmers and volunteers.


Visualizing their race...


Isi and Brian test the water.


Vianey and Marlene prefer to take it on faith.


And they're off!



Impromptu one-on-one competitions 
kept some of the racers motivated.  


Security was top shelf: 
Veteran EE-er Edgar Orozco came up from Camp Pendleton and 
brought two of his Marine Corps buds, Dario and Vince.


Food-and-drink breaks were mandatory at 15-minute intervals.


At the conclusion, results were gathered 
as the swimmers toweled off and tried to compare lap counts.


A surprise: #1 finisher Josh Rodriguez tells Cherie he wants 
to give up his spot. He's already been to the ESA banquet 
three times and thinks someone else should get a shot. 


Getting ready to announce the winners.


The tension is almost unbearable.


And here they are, tired but happy:
Jaime, Damien, Vianey, Stephanie and Robert, 
who got his slot thanks to teammate Josh's generosity.

All five are headed for the ESA awards banquet 
at Sea World in San Diego on January 31!



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