Good Sports: Fresno Dolphins Swim Coach helps young athletes

July 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
With every dive, kick and stroke, the Fresno Dolphins continue to make strides in the pool.

First these strides came locally, then nationally, and soon, strides are to come internationally.

"You are where you are today. You're trying to get better personally, so we always talk about personal best times more than we talk about anything else," said Rick Klatt.

Under the direction of former elite swimmer and current head coach Rick Klatt, the Dolphins have embraced swimmers of all abilities from elementary school through college.

"I broke two school records for Sunnyside so it's helped me. And then at school I've maintained a 4.0 GPA, so it helps me with school. You can stay on top of swimming and school," said Sunnyside Senior Swimmer Leilani Gutierrez.

Dedication and teamwork are hallmarks of the club. Each family is responsible for volunteering and fundraising throughout the year.

"Wherever you are today we're trying to help you get better the next day. And that takes some real focus and commitment on the part of families," Klatt said.

The swimmers are responsible for putting in the work to improve their times.

"With all that support behind you, it really helps you further on in your swim career," said University of the Pacific Swimmer Hanaya Brasali

And the results are starting to pour in. Just last month current Clovis West and Dolphin Standout Justin Wright won the won the 200 meter Butterfly at a national event in Santa Clara beating a former Olympian in the process.

"My goal for all my kids is have a college swimming experience. I want every child that possibly can to get through their high school years and keep getting better," said Klatt.

The swimmers are quick to credit coach Klatt for being instrumental to their improvement.

"He would always keep me motivated, made sure I stayed focused and knew my goals, so I wouldn't not work hard during practice." added Brasali.

But the humble Klatt is just as quick to deflect it.

"I'm so proud of the young people that we have on this team. I've just had wonderful students all along, never have had a problem. They just all come together and teach each other to do the right thing. It's really a wonderful sport." said Klatt.

And it shows, the Fresno Dolphins have established themselves as a force and look set to continue making waves in the future.


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