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Dolphin Pride
The water is churning inside Ceres High School's swimming pool.

Parents watch from nearby as the members of the Ceres Dolphins train for the 2012 season.

"We've become a family," said Tracy Bull, sixth-year head coach of the Dolphins. "That means more to me than winning."

Ceres has experienced a major turnaround since 2007.

"The reason we've gotten so competitive is because the kids have been willing to work hard," Bull said. "We try not to cut them any breaks. We push them hard at practice. We've gotten pretty darn good."

The Dolphins' membership consists of 130 boys and girls, aged 5-18.

"I'm a good recruiter," Bull said.

Ceres' regular-season schedule features a mix of dual and tri meets, and invitationals.

The Dolphins, Ripon Sea Lions, Turlock Sea Dogs, Tracy Tritons, Manteca Dolphins, Oakdale Gators and Modesto Sharks will compete at the MVSL Championships on July 14.

"We're going to bring a lot of athletes and compete very well," Bull said.

Ceres' top swimmers are Victor Cruz (17-18 boys), Nick Serratos (17-18 boys), Sammy Ochoa (17-18 boys), Zachary Jones (15-16 boys), Stefan Perry (15-16 boys), Wesley Peterson (13-14 boys), Connor Mills (13-14 boys), Daniel Hagens (11-12 boys), Kaleb Miller (9-10 boys), Jordan Shinn (7-8 boys), Brett Hartley (7-8 boys), Julian Marquez (6&under boys), Maureen Nelson (17-18 girls), Megan Braverman (17-18 girls), Montana Bull (17-18 girls), Payton Mahu (15-16 girls), Catherina Tan (15-16 girls), Jordan Pata (15-16 girls), Yvonne Downs (15-16 girls), Jasmine Connolly (15-16 girls), Julia Pata (13-14 girls), Katrina Castillo (13-14 girls), Amy Holliday (11-12 girls), Ciana Sather (11-12 girls), Kiera Brownlee (11-12 girls), Gurpreet Singh (11-12 girls), Jadyn Shinn (9-10 girls), Edelya Borges (9-10 girls), Camryn Silva (9-10 girls), Emma Silveria (7-8 girls), Victoria Silveria (7-8 girls), Tori Kelley (7-8 girls), Sofia Amaral (7-8 girls), Hailey Rosales (7-8 girls) and Cailin Kelley (6&under girls).

Cruz, Serratos, Jones, Nelson, Mahu, Tan, Kelley, Jordan Shinn, Jadyn Shinn, Julia Pata, Emma Silveria and Victoria Silveria will vie for High-Point age-group titles at the MVSL Championships.

"We're stacked in the older age groups," Tracy said. "That's exciting."

Coach Bull and his swimmer huddle before each competition.

The Dolphins have adopted the mantra, "Swim fast. Have fun."

"The only way to make it fun is being competitive," he said. "You have to work harder when you don't have the depth like other teams. We've got a pretty good reputation for developing young athletes. The level of swimming has gotten better."