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Cedar Meet a Huge Success for SWAMIs
SWAMIs Attend First Travel Meet in Team's History
 
CEDAR CITY, UT -- Over Memorial Day weekend, seventeen SWAMIs descended on the quaint town of Cedar City, Utah for the SUSA Memorial Day Meet Cedar Meet hosted by Southern Utah Swim Association. The long course invitational was held at the beautiful and spacious J.L. Sorenson PE Building located on the campus of Southern Utah University. This is noteworthy because it was the first travel meet outside of the Wasatch Front for the three-and-a-half year old SWAMI program.
 
The SWAMIs, ranging in ages 7 to 17, competed in this two day meet, swimming an array of different distances and strokes. For some, this was their first long course (50 meter) meet of the season--or ever!
 
"The program is definitely coming along," head coach Matt Finnigan noted. "This was a great meet just for the sake that our kids could swim in new environs... and to have some fun as well. We're really proud of them not to mention how pleased we were in the way they represented this program and carried themselves. We've come a long way as a program."
 
In the water, the SWAMis performed exceptionally well, with the swimmers collectively registering a better than 90% rate compared to previous personal best times. The SWAMI fan base was well represented as well, with many parents coming along for the trip to cheer on every swimmer clad in a green and gold cap. 
 
The travel meet was made possible by a grant from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. The meet fees and lodging costs for each swimmer were covered by this gift. All 17 SWAMI athletes who attended the meet receive some amount of financial assistance from Race Swami annually, given their family's economic status. 
 
Here is the recap for the seventeen SWAMIs who attended:
 
SARAH ANDERSON (13 & 14 Girls) Jr Swami
Sarah swam a host of new events including the 400 Freestyle and 200 Back. She continues to show vast improvement with new found strength and athleticism. Sarah is only .02 from her first State time--- in the 50 Free for 13-14 Girls! Bound to get it in the next meet.... She is working hard and has been a demon in wanting to improve all the little things in her races--dives, turns, etc. can't wait to see what she will accomplish!
 
MADELANE BALBUENA (10 & Under Girls) - RS2 w/ David
Drove down to Cedar City with her father Waldo, and swam in the 200 Mixed Free Relay along with a spirited 200 Free and 50 Back before heading back to SLC that same evening so she could attend her First Communion on Saturday morning. Madelane continues to show much improvement having only swam a few months competitively. She's doing great things!!
 
JESUS CORONA (11-12 Boys) - Jr Swami
Jesus continues to impress with logging best time after best time in everything he races, even though he attends every meet Swami enters. Swam the 400 free and 200 back for the first time in his career and did great! Also is within 9 tenths of his first State QT in the 50 Free. (And he still has another year left in 11-12s!) Took an astounding 14 seconds off his previous best in the 100 Back. 
 
AISHA FRANCO (10 & Un Girls) - RS2 w/ David
Aisha had some huge swims including racing in her first 200 Freestyle event. She has shown vast improvement in her 50s and 100s, illustrated by taking more than 25 seconds off her 100 Free compared to last summer! She also had a terrific 50 Fly and is registering some mighty nice times as a 9 year old!
 
NATASHA FRANCO (11-12 Girls) Jr Swami
Natasha swam in her first meet as an 11 year old and so too, swam some new events, including the 400 Free and 200 back, the latter of which she came within 3 seconds of her first 11-12 Girls State QT! Like her sister Aisha, Natasha also had some double digit time drops compared to last summer's LC times- 22 seconds off in the 100 Free, 16 seconds off in the 50 Breast and 13 seconds off in the 50 Free.
 
ANGIE FREGOSO (11-12 Girls) Jr Swami
Angie has picked up right where she left off after Short Course State Championships last March--achieving three state QTs in her first meet in 11-12 Girls. She got a clean sweep, achieving QTs in 50 Breast, 100 Breast and 200 Breast. In the 200 BR it was the first time she ever swam that event--short course or long course. Angie went 9 seconds under the state QT!
 
MARIA FREGOSO (13-14 Girls) Jr Swami
Maria swam some new races including the 200 Back, 200 IM and 100 Fly, all of which were great races! In comparing them to converted short course times from earlier this season, they would have been best times. Maria took more than 6 seconds off her 100 Back and 5 seconds off her 100 Free... In fact, all but the 50 Freestyle were best times and Maria now has several Beehive QTs. Shaping up to be a great summer for this Swami!
 
MIGUEL FREGOSO (10 & Under Boys) RS 1 w/ Will
Our youngest Swami on the road trip did not disappoint! In only the second meet of his career, Mickey represented the Fleur di Lis with flying colors... He swam the first 100 Free of his life, as well as winning his heat in the 50 Free with a spirited race. Mickey also had an awesome 50 Back and shows much promise in the breast like his older sister Angie. Keep an eye on this kid... he's going to be great!
 
MAGGIE FOX (10 & Under Girls) RS1 w/ Bret & Theresa
Maggie Fox is another name to keep an eye on! This 8 year old showed a lot of pop and versatility in swimming 5 races total--3 50s and 2 100s. She's got a great looking freestyle for a relatively new swimmer and shows a lot of promise. This was her first long course meet and registered solid times in all that she swam. 
 
BENJAMIN HULLEBERG (11-12 Boys) Jr Swami
Ben had a great meet and brought spirited energy to the relays as well as to all his races. He registered best times in every event, taking more than 13 seconds off his 100 Free. So too, Ben won every heat he swam in save one race! This kid is on FIRE! and is sure to have a terrific summer season as he continues to show much improvement in all he engages in.
 
PEYTON LEDBETTER (11-12 Girls) Jr Swami
Peyton had another great meet despite having had to deal with some shoulder soreness. She turned in best times in a number of her events and swam the 400 Free for the first time this season, doing great in the process (state QT). She also ended up winning the 50 and 100 Fly and swam the 200 Back in a best time. Look out for this gal at the State Meet as she has a great chance in winning some of those races!
 
TARYN LEDBETTER (10 & Under Girls) RS 1 w/ Bret & Theresa
8 yr old gunner Taryn swam in the first long course meet of her career and showed valor in swimming some fine races! The 100 Breast resonates for this coach as she just kept plugging away at it, seemingly becoming more comfortable with the race as it drew on. Taryn also continues to show promise in the backstroke races and her freestyle has made huge improvements! Once things click with this girl, look out!
 
DANIELA THOMPSON (11-12 Girls) Jr Swami
Daniela seems to go about her business quietly and methodically, but always comes away with awesome results. She took more than 28 seconds off her previous best in the 200 Free, 7 seconds in the 100 Free, 6 seconds in the 50 Breast, and another 6 seconds in the 50 Fly. She also swam the 100 Fly for the first time and had a great first-ever race in the 100 back as well. This was Daniela's first meet in the 11-12 division and the future obviously look bright as she hones in on State QT aspirations.
 
LORENA THOMPSON (10 & Under Girls) RS 2 w/ David
Lorena had a HUGE meet, coming close to achieving her first state QTs in the 50 and 100 fly, respectively. She also had huge drops in the 50 Breast (11 seconds), 100 Free (7 seconds) and 50 Fly (14 seconds!). With still another year to spend in the 10 & Under division, Lorena is sure to be a contender at the top in the coming months. 
 
LARISSAH VANDERPLAS (13-14 Girls) Jr Swami
Larissah is showing huge strides at the meets as she continues to be one of our most improved attendance-goers at practice. She swam a wealth of new races---400 Free and 200 Back--and took chunks of time off the usual races, showing us just how far she's come in this sport. Backstroke seems to be her stroke, but everything else is smoothing itself out, and the distance stuff is looking very promising for the future! 
 
MARCELA VASQUEZ (Senior Girls) Sr Swami
Marcela had a great meet, especially considering the fact she just came out of the high school water polo season. She competed (and successfully completed!) the 400 IM for the first time in her swimming career, registering a great time that came awfully close to a State QT. Marcela also swam some terrific 200 races-- free and breast (the later of which she took 3 seconds off). This should be a great summer for Marcela as she leads the crew into our summer training season!
 
JOB VELAZQUEZ (15-16 Boys) Jr Swami
Job has come a long way in his two years of swimming, having mastered all the strokes. Now he's simply getting faster! Job swam the 200 IM and 200 Breast for the first time in his swimming career. He took 21 seconds off his 200 Free from last summer, and another 5 seconds off inn his 100 Free from his best converted yards time. Job also took 5 seconds off his 100 breast, which looks to be one of his best races. We look forward to seeing what he'll do this summer with continued improvement!