Aquazots win at Sectionals


Aquazot Senior Groups 2&3 did a great job at the Summer Gold Sectionals in Santa Clarita (July 21st through the 26th). Not only did the team win the meet with a staggering 584 point lead over the rest of the field, Megan Rankin walked away with the High Point Award, and Coach Brian Pajer won the award for Coach of the Meet! Numerous personal bests were posted, with many being new National, Junior National, and Junior National bonus cuts.

On Wednesday night, Megan Rankin got the team off to a good start by winning the 1500m free (16:47.36) and posting a personal best which qualifies her for Nationals. Kendall Brown grabbed 6th place (17:25.82), just missing the Junior cut, but getting her Junior bonus. Molly Jubas posted a best time as well (17:42.73), with a best time in her 800m free split (9:20.86). Her overall time was just off a Junior National bonus.

Thursday saw the same kind of fighting spirit by the Aquazot swimmers. For the girls, Megan Rankin took 2nd in the 200m fly (2:16.19). Aya Fujimura took 9th place, winning the consolation final (2:18.84), just 4 100ths off her best. In the B consolation, Kendall Brown earned a personal best (2:21.17), a Junior National bonus. In the 200m breast, Casey Mims had a beautiful swim, dropping a total of 4 seconds from her previous best and winning the event (2:31.77). Brooke Wanser won the consolation heat and earned her first National cut (2:36.81). Andrea Reigel dropped two seconds in the 200m back for the win (2:18.96), and a brand new National time. Stephanie Schlobohm won the B consolation, garnering a Junior National bonus (2:22.13), AND dropping a total of 7 seconds within the course of a day! 14-year-old backstroker Ellen Naruse posted a best time (2:28.59). Dayae Choi got 15th in the 100m free (59.18).

On the men’s side, Corey Okubo took 5th in the 200m fly with a best time (2:05.80). Chris Wong won the B consolation (2:08.64), and Mackenzie Perry posted a best time (2:09.57). In prelims, Jared Namba had a great swim (2:10.34), dropping 4 seconds, and just missing a second swim. Justin Chen also posted a personal best (2:20.13). In the 200m breast, Cameron Price got his first Summer Junior and took 8th place (2:24.92). Michael Schiffer went a best time (2:28.92). Logan Redondo captured bronze in the 200m back and a U.S. Open cut (2:08.19). Josh Smith got 13th (2:11.28) and Corey Okubo grabbed 14th with a best time (2:11.64).

On Friday, Megan Rankin took 3rd place in the 200m free (2:05.01). Andrea Reigel took 14th place in the Consolation final (2:07.69). In the B Consolation, Dayae Choi got 18th with her best time (2:07.90). 13-year-old Daniela Georges went a personal best (2:11.92). In the final of the 400m IM, Megan Rankin took 6th (5:00.45) while Casey Mims took 7th (5:01.67), a new Summer Junior. Kendall Brown not only grabbed her first Junior National time (4:59.94), she also broke 5:00 for the first time in this highly anticipated race. In the 800 free relays, AquaZot’s "A" relay (Reigel, Choi, Dang, Rankin) came in 1st with a great last leg by Rankin. AquaZot’s "B" relay (Schlobohm, Evans, Jones, Furgatch) also had an excellent race, winning their heat and coming in 5th, with an especially fast leadoff by Schlobohm.

In the men’s 200m free, Chris Wong got 13th (1:56.69), and Logan Redondo got 19th with a best time (1:56.90). Cameron Price grabbed his Juniors bonus time in prelims (4:41.96), and ended up placing 14th, with Corey Okubo coming in 11th (4:38.49), and Ryan Kikuchi 16th. Michael Schiffer went a best time in prelims, but was disqualified. The boy’s "A" relay for the 800 free relay (C. Wong, Redondo, Kikuchi, Hauss) ended up taking 2nd place.

By Saturday, all the swimmers were sore and tired, but they rose to the occasion. In the girl’s 200m IM, Casey Mims went a Junior National in prelims (2:23.04), and took 8th in finals. Brooke Wanser got the Junior National bonus (2:23.72), and got 16th in finals. Andrea Reigel won the Consolation Final (2:21.85). Dayae Choi took 16th in the 50m free (27.50). Megan Rankin won the 400m free (4:18.11), and Molly Jubas dropped 7 seconds (4:33.27). The women’s 400m free "A" relay (Rankin, Choi, Reigel, Schlobohm) took 5th, and the "B" relay (Dang, Evans, Jones, Fujimura) took 19th.

Chris Wong took 18th (2:11.33), and Jared Namba posted a best time in prelims (2:12.81), a Junior National bonus, and got 24th at finals. Cameron Price went a best time in prelims (2:13.40). as did Michael Schiffer (2:14.98). Logan Redondo took 7th place in the men’s 400m free (4:07.48), and Michael Hauss took 22nd. 13-14 year olds Ken Takahashi (4:25.25) and Paul Sigler (4:27.19) went best times in prelims. The men’s 400m free "A" relay (C. Wong, Hauss, Smith, Redondo) took 11th place.

On the last day of full team competition, AZOT swimmers stepped it up. Megan Rankin won the 800m free (8:50.75). Kendall Brown came in 12th with a best time (9:14.01), and Silken Jones was right on her heels (9:14.60) to come in 13th place. Ellen Naruse went a personal best (9:26.74). Andrea Reigel took the bronze in the 100m back, just off of her National time standard (1:04.96). Stephanie Schlobohm had an excellent race, going her first Junior National time (1:05.32), and taking 5th place. Samantha Taylor took 14th (1:07.35), and Maggie Hofstadter took 24th (1:08.49). After a false start that left her wet and cold, Casey Mims was able to refocus on the 100m breast, raging to the wall in a best time (1:11.51) and taking the bronze. For the 100m fly, Brynne Wong made it back to finals seeded 24th, but came out 19th, posting a new best time and Junior National bonus cut (1:04.51). The women’s 400 IM "A" relay (Reigel, Mims, Rankin, Choi) won the event, and the "B" relay (Schlobohm, Wanser, Wong, Dang) came in 5th.

For the men, Josh Smith took 14th (1:00.49) in the 100m back. In the 1500m free, Logan Redondo placed 16th (16:37.34), and Michael Hauss placed 22nd (16:49.97). In the 100m breast, Cameron Price (1:09.69) and Michael Schiffer (1:10.83) both went best times. Mackenzie Perry (57.66) and Chris Wong (58.17) placed 21st and 24th, respectively in the 100m fly. The "A" team for the 400 IM relay (Smith, Price, Perry, Hauss) came in 11th, and the "B" relay (Redondo, Schiffer, Wong, DesCombes) came in 18th.

Finishing off Sectionals, ten AZOT swimmers participated in the 5K Open Water event at Castaic Lake on Monday morning. Those not swimming the 5K did a lake warm-up and then cheered their teammates on from the hillside above the race course. Casey Duckworth finished first for the girls with a time of 1:04.11.66, with Kendall Brown, Ellen Naruse and Molly Jubas finishing in the top twenty. Our only male swimmer, Logan Redondo took 8th for the boys with a 1:00.15.60. Complete 5K results may be found at

Over all, it was an excellent meet, despite the arid conditions and long hours. AZOT swimmers showed everyone that they were a force to be reckoned with! Many, many thanks to chaperones Mrs. Chen, and Mrs. Schlobohm for feeding and taking care of the largest group of athletes ever attending an AZOT championship meet!

Way to go, AZOT!!!!!