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Neptunite head coach headed to the Air Force

If you’ve ever been to a swim meet or water polo game in Porterville, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ve seen Mikayla Balangue somewhere in the crowd. 

She’s hard to miss with vibrant red curls and an engaging smile. You see her everywhere, going from team to team, saying hi to coaches and players before a wave to the officials as well.

The Porterville Hurricanes defeated the Porterville Neptunites 551-506 in Tuesday’s swim meet at Granite Hills High School. 

Dedicated and exceptional: Porterville’s Trevor Riley claimed four medals at Valley

To create a backdrop for a discussion on how talented an athlete is, or how meaningful a meet or game was, one first needs pressure and competition.

Pressure conveys what’s at stake while competition outlines the difficulty. And when it comes to Trevor Riley, he had both on hand to frame how special his breakout season was.

The Porterville High School junior qualified for four events in the CIF Central Section Championship meet, but was the only local swimmer to make it to the final rounds in all four.

En route to being named The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Boys Swimmer of the Year, Riley medaled in all four -— two individual and two relay events — for the area’s best boys finish at Valley.

‘A class of her own’: Porterville’s Rosemary Chapman won a Valley title and broke the PHS girls 100 butterfly record 

The senior has dominated aquatic sports at Porterville High School for the past three years and this season was no different.

Chapman broke the girls program’s oldest record in the 100-yard butterfly, was the only individual girls swimmer to advance to the CIF Central Section final rounds from the area and also helped the Panthers win the Division II Valley 400 freestyle relay title.

For the third, and final, year in a row, Chapman is The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Girls Swimmer of the Year.

Panthers win Div. II girls 400 free relay

After dropping nearly seven seconds off their 400-yard freestyle relay time Friday, Porterville High School girls dropped three more seconds to swim a time of 3 minutes, 49.07 seconds and place first in CIF Central Section Division II competition at the Valley swim meet Saturday at Clovis West High School in Fresno.

“Oh that came out of nowhere, that just blew me away,” PHS girls coach Richard Taylor said. “The girls got so excited. We dropped almost seven seconds yesterday and today they dropped another three seconds, which I was not expecting. They almost got the record. They’re a little over half a second off. Which was a super fast record we had with Matlyn Morris, who was a Valley Champion in the 100 free. So that was just tremendous swims by all of them. I’m just so excited for them.”