Gators compete at state swim meet
Carole Goktas knew exactly when she needed to enroll her son Samuel in swimming lessons.
"He said he could swim when he was like (age) three and he just jumped into a pool and we realized maybe he should learn how to swim," said Goktas, whose daughter Alora was swimming for the Canby Swim Club at the time. "It was super dangerous. He just jumped in. We said we better start lessons or he's going to drown. He's always been a swimmer."
At age 5, Samuel Goktas joined the Penguin Club at the Canby Swim Center and then the Canby Gators the following year.
Goktas and Quincy Taliaferro, who also began swimming for the Gators at a young age, both competed in the Oregon Swimming 10-and-under championships in Albany on July 13-14.
Swimming in the girls 10-year-old division, Taliaferro placed second in the 100-meter butterfly.
"I was mad," Taliaferro said. "I wanted to win."
Goktas, who is now 9 years old, also had his best finish in the 100 fly, placing seventh.
Taliaferro took seventh in the 50 fly.
Goktas and Taliaferro both prefer the butterfly to other strokes.
"It's the hardest one and it gives me a challenge," Goktas said.
The Canby Gators have around 55 kids in their program this summer, but Goktas and Taliaffero are the top two younger swimmers.
"They both have really regular attendance. They both work hard and have pretty good attitudes. They competitive and enjoy being here," Gators coach Nathan Templeman said. "Sam is a big strong kid and butterfly will reward that, particularly at a younger age. Quincy has a natural butterfly."
When swimming in the 8-and-under division, Goktas broke nine Canby Swim Club records – 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 50 back, 200 freestyle, 50 breast, 100 individual medley, 500 free, 100 fly and 200 IM.
"I asked him (Samuel Goktas) once are you going to get a record and he said, 'I go out there to win and the records just happen,'" Carole Goktas recalled.
Taliaferro also has the 8-and-under girls 100 fly record.
The 10-and-under championships are the first of three bigger meets the Canby Swim Club is participating in this summer.
Isaac Beck, Jamison Chard, Whyley Pierce, Cameron Miller and Riley Lawler are competing in the 11-and-over championships at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham on July 25-28.
Lawler, Allison Yancey, Kali Mull, Avery Keinonen and Mairen Chard are going to the Western Zone Senior Championships on July 30-Aug. 3 in Clovis, California.
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