USA Swimming held the IM Xtreme Games in Mesa, Arizona at the Kino Aquatic Center Nov. 17-19.
To qualify, swimmers in the Western Region of the USA (10 States from New Mexico to Alaska) had to achieve an IMX score of 1500 points or more in the preceding 18 months. An IMX score is obtained when a swimmer swims each of the IMX events. The events vary for each age group but in general include a 100 or 200 of each stroke (Butterfly, Backstroke and Breaststroke), the 200 Individual Medley (IM) (+ 400 IM for 13 and over), and the 500 Freestyle (200 Free for 10 and Under). A score is assigned based on the time for each event and age of the swimmer. The scores from each event are then added together to obtain the IMX Score (similar to the Decathlon in Track). It is a big achievement to complete all the IMX events and a milestone moment for any swimmer who achieves an IMX score of 1500 and qualifies for the IMX Meet.
Eight Sea Lions swimmers qualified and competed in the demanding 3-day event. All eight Sea Lions swimmers achieved top 16 overall finishes in their respective ages and were awarded plaques.
Riley Stewart became IMX Champion in the 13 year old Boys Division. He won with 4217 points, edging out another Arizona swimmer by a razor thin 6 points. Riley had a spectacular weekend, swimming personal best times in all six events, and winning the 200 Breaststroke (2:18.75) and 200 IM (2:07.49). Riley finished a close 2nd in the 400 IM (4:33.54), 500 Free (5:03.11), 200 Back (2:08.81) and finished 5th in the 200 Butterfly (2:15.74). In what was over 18 minutes of races over three days, the 6 point margin of victory is equivalent to a fraction of a second in any one of the 6 races.
Evan Apuron became runner up in the 14 year old Boys Division. Evan finished with 3688 points for second place. Evan also had personal best times in all 6 events he swam. Evan had five 2nd place finishes in the 400 IM (4:26.75), 200 Breaststroke (2:18.47), 200 Butterfly (2:04.71), 200 IM (2:03.99), 200 Backstroke (2:06.89) and a 4th place finish in the 500 Freestyle (5:06.37).
AJ Lopez finished in 16th place in the 14 year old Boys Division. Swimming in his first IMX Meet he swam all personal best times and achieved a score of 2181.
Tabitha Kellam finished in 11th place with a score of 3382 in the 14 year old Girls Division. Swimming in her fourth IMX meet, Tabitha was extremely happy to crack into the top 16 and bring home a plaque for the first time. Tabitha had personal best times in all 6 events she swam.
Darien Apuron finished in 9th place with a score of 2272 in the 16 year old Girls Division. Swimming in her fourth IMX meet, this was the second time Darien finished in the top 16.
Ethan Kellam finished in 12th place in the 11 year old Boys Division. This was Ethan’s third IMX meet and his third top 16 finish. Ethan had personal best times in 4 out of his 5 events at the meet.
Mason Stewart finished in 16th place in the 12 year old Boys Division. This was Mason’s third IMX meet and his third top 16 finish.
Johnny Smallhouse finished 9th in the 10 year old Boys Division. This was Johnny’s second IMX Meet and his second top 16 finish.
It was great accomplishment for a team from a small community to have 8 swimmers swim at this meet and even a bigger accomplishment to have all 8 swimmers finish in the top 16 in their respective divisions. The Sea Lions Swim Team had a team score of 19,774 (a team best) and that put them in 12th place in the final team standings.
The San Manuel Sea Lions Swim Team practices in Oro Valley during November – March while the water is too cold to hold practice in San Manuel or Mammoth. Anyone interested in more information on the Sea Lions can contact Alex Gort (896-2190) or check the team website, sealionsswimteam.com.