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Dolphin swimmer with cerebral palsy an inspiration
Roberts-Park recipient of Connor award
Brooke Roberts-Park, pictured with coaches Ryan Calou, Kerra Bispo and Jon Olanolan, was presented the Connor Award at the Ceres Dolphins year-end banquet last month at Ceres High School. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Brooke Roberts-Park became the seventh recipient of the "Connor" Award during the Ceres Dolphins recreational swim club's year-end banquet at Ceres High this past month.

Former Dolphin Connor Saavedra passed away unexpectedly in July of 2010 while vacationing in Oklahoma.

Connor was just seven years old.

"We're keeping his memory alive," Ceres coach Jon Olanolan said.

Roberts-Park had an ear-to-ear smile when she was presented the trophy.

She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at an early age.

"I knew they were giving her something," said Laura Park, Brooke's grandmother. "But I didn't know what it was. She was pretty happy."

"She was pretty excited to be one of the kids that got a trophy," Olanolan added. "She really enjoys swimming."

Roberts-Park competed in the 9-10 girls division this past season.

Brooke took 12th in the 50 breast, 26th in the 50 back and 38th in the 50 free during Ceres' MVSL dual meet versus the Turlock Sea Dogs.

She placed 15th in the 50 breast, 26th in the 50 back and 28th in the 50 free against Manteca.

Roberts-Park finished 25th in the 50 breast, 31st in the 50 back and 46th in the 50 free against Manteca and Ripon.

"Because of her disability, she always finishes last," Park said. "She still has a happy attitude. She's out there trying and doing her best."

Brooke joined the Ceres recreational swim club in 2015.
Mother Amanda Park and sister Bailey Roberts competed for the Dolphins for seven and two years, respectively.

"She's accomplishing something," Laura Park said. "I'm glad she's out there. We just try to keep her active. She's progressing. She doesn't need to wear leg braces anymore."

Colin Ramos (17-18 boys), Daniel Hagens (15-16 boys), Ciana Sather (15-16 girls), Gary Dodd (13-14 boys), Aryanna Jimenez (13-14 girls), Evan Lumpkin (11-12 boys), Victoria Silveria (11-12 girls), Iain McCarthy (9-10 boys), Madeline Staley (9-10 girls), Zachary Esparza (7-8 boys), Leilani Olanolan (7-8 girls), Emiliano Rios (6&under boys) and Audrina Kelley (6&under girls) were presented High-Point awards at the July 24 banquet.

Ramos and Co. dominated their respective age groups on the team.

"They're talented," Jon Olanolan said. "They got good technique. They practice hard."

The Dolphins wrapped up the 2016 campaign with a third-place finish at the MVSL Championships.