Sea Lions bring home trophies from Prescott meet

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The winning Girls Relay team includes: Raquel Ortiz 13, Tabitha Kellam 10, Gianna Sweeney 12 and Darien Apuron 12. Jeanine Apuron | Submitted


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High Point Winners were: Gianna Sweeney 3rd (11/12 yr old), Tabitha Kellam 1st (9/10 yr old), Evan Apuron 1st (9/10 yr old) and Riley Stewart 3rd (9/10 yr old. Not pictured is Rocky Andrade 3rd (8 under). Jeanine Apuron | Submitted

Over the weekend of Jan. 10-12, the Sea Lions Swim Team competed at the Prescott Plunge Swim Meet at the indoor pool at Yavapai Community College. The meet featured 12 teams, most from Northern Arizona and the Sea Lions finished in second place overall with 577 points. Only the Sunwest Swim Team from Glendale was able to outscore the Sea Lions. Coach Alex Gort commented that finishing ahead of teams from Sedona, Flagstaff, and Prescott was a good achievement for a team from a community our size and bringing home our first USA swimming trophy was a proud moment. In addition to the team score, individual swimmers received trophies for high point scoring based on the number of points they earned in each individual event. Tabitha Kellam (10) won the 9-10 girls High Point trophy with a total of 88 points. Evan Apuron (10) won the 9-10 boys High Point trophy with a total of 86 points. Rocky Andrade (8), Riley Stewart (10), and Gianna Sweeney (12) each finished third in their respective age groups with 44, 58, and 62 points taking home third place High Point trophies.

Kellam and Apuron won a total of 15 individual events at the meet between them. Sweeney won the 200 and 500 Freestyle, Andrade won the 25 Fly and 25 Free, and Mason Stewart (8) won the 25 Backstroke. As is usually the case at swim meets, the most exciting races are the relays. The rules of this meet allowed for mixed relays (two boys and two girls) and that was the perfect recipe for the Sea Lions team. The Sea Lions won a thrilling 9-12 year old Mixed 200 Free Relay with team of Sweeney, Evan Apuron, Riley Stewart, and Darien Apuron. In the other ages where relays were competed, (8 and Under, and 13 and over), the Sea Lions found themselves near the front of the pack every time.

At any USA swimming sanctioned swim meet swimmers can qualify to swim in championship meets. Three swimmers achieved new State Championship qualifying times at the meet. Tabitha Kellam qualified in the 100-yard Butterfly and the 100-yard Individual Medley (IM). Riley Stewart qualified in the 100-yard IM, and Gianna Sweeney qualified in the 50-yard Butterfly. Evan Apuron qualified for the Western Zone Championship Meet (13 Western States) in the 50-yard Freestyle.

The Sea Lions practice in the Oro Valley pool during the winter months and in the San Manuel Pool in the warmer months. Anyone wanting more information about the Sea Lions Swim Team can contact Alex Gort at 896-2190.

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