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Air quality concerns halt swim meet
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The members of the Ceres Dolphins recreational youth swim club were supposed to compete in the Sea Dogs Invitational last Saturday at Turlock High School.

The Mid-Valley Swim League board postponed the meet due to poor air quality that resulted from multiple wildfires throughout California. Wind transported smoke into San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued a health cautionary statement earlier in the week.

Air quality monitors showed readings that were at "unhealthy" on Friday and "unhealthy for sensitive groups" on Saturday.

"It was the right decision given the information that we had," Dolphins head coach Tracy Bull said. "In hindsight, we could have had the meet without a problem. It ended up being a beautiful day because the coastal airs came in."

Team president Dave Johnson passed on the disappointing news to coaches, parents and swimmers during Friday's practice.

"A lot of people were upset when we found out," Bull said. "There were a few tears. The kids love invitationals more than dual meets because they're going against everybody."

The Sea Dogs Invitational has been rescheduled for July 12 at Turlock High School. A host of tri meets were supposed to be held on the same day but were canceled to accommodate the schedule change.

"We expect to do very well," Bull said.

Despite concerns raised by experts, the 38th Annual George Costa All-Star Baseball Tournament got underway on Friday.

Pool play games were also held on Saturday and Sunday.

"We had no problems whatsoever," president Lance Goblirsch said. "The whole thing was keeping the kids hydrated. We ran it real cautiously."

Ceres Youth Baseball officials spent two months preparing for tournament.

Baseball commissioner Bill Campbell contacted coaches via phone and e-mail Thursday night to inform them of the status of the event.

No teams withdrew as postponement wasn't an option.

"It would have had to be completely canceled," Goblirsch said.