On Sunday, Sept. 23, the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center Rays, a special needs swim team, placed first against the Malibu Sharks in the annual fall swim meet held at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.
Over 80 swimmers from ages 6 to 17 competed in the meet that included multiple heats in the 25-, 50- and 100-yard freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke.
Local swimmer Anthony Khalil, a seventh-grader at LCHS 7/8, set a personal best at the meet. Anthony placed first in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 57:23, second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 55:70 and third in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:00.34.
“In the past year, Anthony’s shown great improvement in his swimming abilities,” said Kandis Pulliam, head coach of the Rays. “His times have dropped, and we credit it to his hard work, determination and enthusiasm. Anthony’s enthusiasm is contagious and I know our team greatly benefits from it!”
The Rays is comprised of 60-plus members from 6 to 17 years of age and is the most comprehensive program of its kind in the San Gabriel Valley. It provides a supportive and therapeutic environment for children and young teens with developmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, attention deficit disorder, cerebral palsy, motor planning problems, weight issues, lack of coordination and more, to develop their competitive swimming abilities, social and physical health.
Rays meet for practice several times a week and include some land-based exercise as well as opportunities to learn swim strokes including freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke.