By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ceres Dolphins sponsor Saturday clinic in Modesto
World champion Karlee Bispo returns to her alma mater
Placeholder Image

The Ceres Dolphins recreational swim club will be sponsoring a clinic this Saturday at Modesto's Downey High School.

National Team members Karlee Bispo and B.J. Johnson will be special guests.

"I've done a couple clinics before but nothing local," Bispo said. "I'm really excited. We're going to interact with the kids. We're going to tell our stories and share our experiences. We're normal people just like them. Things haven't come easy for us."

Bispo, 24, starred at Downey prior to becoming a 28-time All-American at the University of Texas.

Karlee had a perfect 108-0 record at the prep level.

Bispo helped lead the United States to a gold medal in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the Fina World Championships in Spain last August.

Johnson, a 2009 Stanford University grad, placed 12th in the 200 breaststroke at Worlds. He was second in the 200 breast and fourth in the 100 breast at the 2013 U.S. National Championships.

"They're both professional swimmers," said Frank Bispo, Karlee's father and a Ceres Dolphin parent. "They're at the top of their sport. They train together in Palo Alto at Stanford."

"We've accomplished a lot of things," Karlee said. "But it's not just about winning medals and ribbons. We attended great universities because of swimming."

Bispo competed for the Modesto Pirate Aquatics swim club under Corine Meyer-Riley's guidance when she was younger.

"I met Josh Davis when I was 13 at a clinic," Karlee said. "He went to the University of Texas and he was an Olympian. I've actually helped out at some of his clinics. I've had great role models in my life."

Kaydence Bispo, Karlee's youngest sister, started competing for the Dolphins last summer.

Kaydence was the 6&under High-Point overall champion at the 2013 MVSL Championships.

Frank's two other daugthers, Kassy and Kerra, are also swimmers.

Kassy graduated from Brigham Young University. Kerra's a sophomore at BYU.

"We heard lots of good things about the Ceres program and coach Tracy Bull," Frank Bispo said when asked why he signed up Kaydence for the Dolphins. "We wanted to start her slow with recreational swimming."

The Dolphins clinic will be staged at Downey's 12-lane pool facility, from 2-5 p.m.

The first session is for swimmers, ages 8-12.

The second session is for swimmers, ages 13-18.

Space is limited.

Cost is $50 per swimmer.

On-site registration will be offered.

"The whole goal is to motivate kids through swimming," Frank Bispo said. "It's a good cause. We're donating all proceeds to the Dolphins. They're trying to raise money to pay for a timing system and scoreboard."

"Our kids have an opportunity to meet a world champion," coach Bull said. "Karlee's got a gold medal. She's come to our practices before to watch her little sister."

"It's always great to come home," Karlee Bispo said. "We're doing this for free so Ceres can raise money for its team."

For more information about the Ceres clinic, contact Deanna Ricks at 968-2079.