Torpedoes eye Western Zones after wins
Nine members of the Truckee-Tahoe Swim Team competed in this year’s Sierra Nevada Long Course Championships held at Johansen Pool in Modesto on July 15, 17 and 18.
This was a regional competition and the last chance for competitors to qualify for the Sierra Nevada Western Zone Team in Grand Junction, Colorado where they will swim against teams from 11 other states. The top five swimmers from each age group are determined by best times in each event on the long course (a 50 meter pool) season will qualify.
The Truckee team took a respectable 10th place in the team competition, despite the fact the Torpedoes did not have any relay teams.
The team was led by Joaquin Goodpaster (12) and Leslie Ajari (11), who each appeared in nine finals, the maximum possible after swimming morning preliminaries.
Goodpaster swam to six first-place finishes in the 50 (29.66) and 100 (1:03.98) meter freestyle, 50 (37.31) and 100 (1:20.54) breaststroke, 100 (1:13.75) butterfly and the 200 (@:39.08) backstroke, and the 50 (33.08) butterfly. Goodpaster won the individual high point award for 11-12 boys.
Ajari placed first in three events – the 400 (4:52.74) freestyle, the 100 (1:22.67) breaststroke, and the 200 (2:35.36) individual medley.
She placed second in her six other swims – the 100 (1:04.37) and 200 (2:20.17) freestyle, 50 (33.(4) and 100 (1:13.87) backstrokes, 50 (38.91) breaststroke and the 100 (1:12.64) butterfly.
Ajari missed the individual high point award in the 11-12 girls by the slimmest of margins, one point. In the last event of the 11-12 girls, the final of the 100 freestyle, Ajari was the top seed from the morning preliminaries, but was edged by eventual high point winner Audrey Sloan (12) of the Sierra Marlins Swim Team of Rocklin.
As a result, Sloan scored nine points and Ajari seven, Sloan scored 70 points overall to 69 for Ajari. Ajari had led 61-60 prior to the 100 freestyle final.
Both Goodpaster and Ajari made the 1999 Western Zone Team for the Sierra Nevada Region August 16-21. Teams from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming compete.
Truckee-Tahoe Swim Team head coach Nancy Rose has been selected as one of the coaches of the zone team and will also make the trip to Grand Junction.
Others making finals at the Long Course Championship Meet included Matthew Gelso (12) who made six, Wes Ajari (15) made five, Kara LaPoint (12) two, and Shannon Lankenau (13) one.
Gelso took fourth in the 100 breaststroke, seventh in the 100 and 200 freestyle and the 200 meter individual medley, and an eighth-place finish in the 50 freestyle. Gelso’s top swim was in the 50 breaststroke, were he swam a 1:38.91.
Wes Ajari’s top swim was in the 100 breaststroke, which he won in a time of 1:13.32. He also finished third in the 50 and 100 freestyle, fourth in the 200 individual medley and sixth in the 100 backstroke.
Lapoint finaled in the 50 and 100 backstroke. Her top swim was in the 100 backstroke final where she finished fourth with a time of 1:18.66. LaPoint finished sixth in the 50 backstroke.
Also swimming well was Kaci LaPoint (15) in a very competitive age group.
Rose said LaPoint swam well, considering a limited amount of practice time in the pool this season. Her best swim came in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:53.71.
Rounding out the Truckee-Tahoe Team was eight and under swimmer Daniel Gelso (8), who finished first in the 50 backstroke, third in the 50 breaststroke and 50 butterfly, fourth in the 100 freestyle, and fifth in the 50 freestyle.
His victory in the 50 backstroke, with a time of 48.18, was his best swim.
This week, the entire Torpedo swim team will be in action. The bulk of the team, 87 swimmers, will participate in the Nevada/California Swim Championships in Reno Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Idlewild Pool, while others that have achieved the necessary qualifying times will compete at the Far Western Long Course Championship Meet in Carson City.
Swimmers from the entire western United States will compete at Far Westerns, which begin Wednesday, July 28, and run through Sunday, Aug. 1.
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