Sea Lions win against Coolidge at home meet

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Mikael Corona, 6, competes in Saturday’s meet against Coolidge. (Jeanine Apuron photo)

The San Manuel Sea Lions swim team hosted the Coolidge Dolphins at the San Manuel Swimming Pool on Saturday, winning the meet with 1,019 points to Coolidge’s 640 points.

Going into the meet, the coaches were concerned that this may be the meet that puts the Sea Lions Central Arizona Swimming League six year winning streak in jeopardy. However, the Sea Lions Swimmers showed a willingness to swim the tough events that put the meet out of reach early.

San Manuel swimmers took an early lead in the grueling Individual Medley events followed by evenly matched Medley Relays. However, the Butterfly events helped balloon the lead to over 100 points.

Head Coach Alex Gort commented that team depth was the key to winning the meet. “Many swimmers competed in tough events to earn points for the team,” he said.

(points are awarded for the top six places).

Two Sea Lion team records were broken on Saturday. Darien Apuron, 12, broke her own team record in the 11- and 12-year-old Girls 50-yard Backstroke, to hold off 12-year-old teammate Gianna Sweeney by a fraction of a second.

Will Newman, 13, broke the 100-yard Backstoke record with a time of 1:07.64. The previous record was held by Parker Gray since 2010.

Five swimmers swam the maximum number of allowed events and had personal best times in each: Mikael Corona (6), Desiree Galarza (8), Alicia Galarza (10), Jessi Rice (12) and Will Newman (13).

Six-year-old Mikael Corona, nine-year-old Evan Apuron and 13-year-old Will Newman won every race in their age group.

The following swimmers had first place finishes on Saturday:

Mikael Corona, 6, (Fly, Back, Breast, Free); Malayah Renteria, 7, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Nevaeh Derrick, 7, ( Fly, Medley Relay, Free Relay); Ethan Kellam, 7, (IM, Breast, Free); Ashlee Parker, 8, (Back, Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay); Tabitha Kellam, 9, (IM, Fly, Back, Breast, Free, 100 Free, Free Relay); Rianna Estrada, 9, (Free Relay); Genevieve Estrada, 9, (Free Relay); Evan Apuron, 9, (IM, Fly, Back, Breast, Free, 50 Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay); Hunter Hill, 9, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Brian Mulholland, 9, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Alicia Galarza, 10, (Free Relay); Nate Fister, 10, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Kayla Parker, 11,(Medley Relay, Free Relay); Darien Apuron, 12, (Back, Medley Relay, Free Relay); Gianna Sweeney, 12, (IM, Fly, Breast, 100 Free, Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay); Gillian Cole, 12, (Medley Relay); Jessi Rice, 12, (Free Relay); Will Newman, 13, (IM, Fly, Back, Breast, 100 Free, Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay); Michael Garcia, 14, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Christian Ramirez, 14, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Colbey Stratton, 14, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Fernanda Vasquez, 15, (Medley Relay); Michael Sanchez, 15, (Fly, Back); Armanda Noriega, 15, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Taylor Woods, 15, (Medley Relay, Free Relay); Timothy Mulholland, 16, (100 Free, Breast, Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay); Megan Garcia, 16, (Medley Relay); Jazelle Sanchez, 16, (Fly, Medley Relay); Amara Apuron, 17, (Fly, Back 100 Free, Breast, Free, Medley Relay); John Bribiescas, 17, (IM, Medley Relay).

This was the first swim meet for three swimmers on the team. Andres Valenzuela (11), Christian Ramirez (14), and Alisha Smith (15) all had top-three finishes during the meet and were valuable contributors to the team results.

Alicia Galarza was named Sea Lion Beast of the Week. She swam all the events at the meet and achieved best times in all with major time drops. Her beastly moment came when she swam the anchor leg of the 9- and 10-year-old Girls Freestyle Relay closing a huge deficit to pull ahead for the win in the final yards of the race.

The Sea Lions will travel to compete against the Parkside Piranhas at the Anthem Merrill Ranch Pool in Florence on Saturday, June 22.

There is still time to join the team. For more information, contact Jeanine Apuron @ 385-9854 or stop by the San Manuel Pool between 4:30 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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A very close 100 breaststroke race between Timothy Mulholland (16), Armando Noriega (15), and John Bribriescas (17). (Maya Gort photo)


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Taylor Woods, 15, swims the 200 IM. (Maya Gort photo)


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Alisha Smith, 15, competes in Saturday’s meet against Coolidge. (Jeanine Apuron photo)

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