Sea Lions host USA Swimming sanctioned meet

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Winners of the Beast Awards are, from left, Rocky Andrade, Tabitha Kellam, Darian Apuron, Gianna Sweeney, Jayden Smith and Evan Apuron.
Jeanine Apuron | Sea Lions

Over the weekend of Aug. 23-24, swimmers from throughout Arizona came to compete in the San Manuel Beast Swim Meet. The long course meter (50 Meter Pool) meet was hosted by the Sea Lions Swim Team. The meet was a USA Swimming sanctioned meet in which any swimmer that is registered with USA Swimming could compete. There were no qualifying times and entrants who completed the three Beast Events (the 200 Meter Butterfly, the 400 Meter Individual Medley, and the 1500 Meter Freestyle) received special awards. The majority of the swimmers attending the meet were from the Tucson area, however swimmers came from as far north as Sedona and as far west as San Diego to participate in the meet.

Team scores were not kept at the meet, but the 22 Sea Lions Swimmers won more races than any other team. Sea Lions won 29 races, Flying Fish (Oro Valley) 25, Pusch Ridge (Oro Valley)17, Tucson Jewish Community Center 8, Verde Valley High Performance (Sedona) 8, and Swim Neptune (Phoenix) 4.

Riley Stewart (10) won all 10 races he swam over the weekend. Evan Apruon (11) won six races, while Darien Apruon (13) and Gianna Sweeney (13) won four races each. Rocky Andrade (9) and Tabitha Kellam (11) , both won two races , and Nate Fister (11) won one race.

Only six individuals completed all three Beast Events and all were Sea Lions swimmers. Rocky Andrade, Tabitha Kellam, Evan Apuron, Jayden Smith, Darien Apuron, and Gianna Sweeny all completed the toughest events in swimming earned a ‘Beast Certificate’.

Several Sea Lions swimmers participated in their first USA Swimming sanctioned meet. Nevaeh Derrick (9), Genevieve Estrada (10), Hannah Smallhouse (10), Johnny Smallhouse (7), Anya Zovko (6), and Emerik Zovko (9) all did well in competition and swam some great times.

The Sea Lions Swim Team hosted the swim meet, but it was only possible with help from the San Manuel High School Swim Team and numerous volunteers from throughout the community. Visiting teams were pleased by the small town hospitality and look forward to coming to future meets in San Manuel.

San Manuel Sea Lions Swim Team practices in San Manuel April though October and in Oro Valley from November to March. Anyone interested in full meet results or more information on the Sea Lions can contact Alex Gort at 896-2190 or check the team website,

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There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.

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