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Aquatics finish strong

Manteca swimmers celebrate another successful LC season

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Aquatics finish strong

James Thompson practices his freestyle stroke.


POSTED August 13, 2009 1:05 a.m.
The long course swim season came to a close on a high note for the Manteca Aquatics swim team at the beginning of the month, as seven Aquatics swimmers competed at the Junior Olympics event and four more went on to compete at the Far Western Championships.

Ella Green, who competes in the 13 to 14-year-old division, showed well at Far Westerns, turning in a 29.11-second finish in the 50 Free. At the Junior Olympics, Green’s Far Western qualifying time in the event (28.93) was also good enough for a qualification at the Speedo Summer Sectionals in Clovis.

The Long Course Far Western Championships, which were held at Independence High in San Jose, July 29 through Aug. 2, were also the site of several other highlights for the Aquatics.

Bradley McCain (13-14) turned in a 28.37-second finish in the 50 free, and finished the 100 Free in 1:00.05, while Ben Alfter (15-16) finished the 100 Breast in 1:15.6, and the 200 Breast in 2:49.81, his best time of the season.

James Thompson (13-14) also had a big day, turning in three blazing times, a 27.53 in the 50 Free, a 58.50 in the 100 Free, and a 2:06.93 in the 200 Free.

“I was very impressed with our long course season,” Aquatics head coach Clay Basepayne said. “I was very happy about it, we had some surprising swims. James Thompson and his 200 free at Far Westerns, Ella Green and her 50 free at J.O.’s to qualify for sectionals, we didn’t really see that coming. I was very impressed with that.”

Zach Holmstrom (17-18) didn’t compete at Far Westerns because of a family vacation, but at the Junior Olympic event held a week earlier at the Adam Szmidt Memorial Pacific Swimming Center in Concord, Holmstrom finished with a 2:59.61 in the 200 Breast and 2:38.44 in the 200 IM. Holmstrom qualified for the Far Westerns in two events.

Reuven Denton, who swims in the 10-and-under division, also qualified for Far Westerns in the 50 and 100 Freestyle events, but was unable to compete.

“I had a lot of strong swims from my older swimmers,” Basepayne said. “Ben in particular, he came back strong and swam his best time at Far Westerns in the 200 Breast. It was awesome and we really appreciated it.”

Now that the long course season has come to a close, the Aquatics are swimming alongside the Manteca Dolphins swim program during the extended season.

This year the Manteca swim programs have had the largest turnout for the extended season ever, with more than 90 swimmers taking part.

Basepayne says he enjoys sharing the Sierra High chlorine with the Dolphins and believes that in the long run it will only serve to make both Manteca swim programs stronger.

“I think it’s good, I’m a fan of it,” Basepayne said. “In our sport, this is our time to open up year-round, highly competitive swimming to the levels below us and give all the other kids a taste of what the next level is like. I really encourage it, I’m a big supporter of it, and I try to make everyone feel that it’s something they can do.”
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