Four soon-to-be high school swimmers broke a national record at the 2006 Long Course Age Group State Championships July 20-23 at Arizona State's Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex.
Emily Christiansen, Traycie Swartz, Haley Krakoski, and Tinsley Andrews, all 14-year-olds from Sun Devil Aquatics, swam the 200-meter freestyle relay in a time of 1:47.86 (1.4 seconds faster than the previous mark for 13-14-year-olds, which stood for nine years).
The same girls also shattered an 8-year-old state record in the 400 freestyle (4:00.10) and finished 1-2-3-4 in the finals of the 50 freestyle, with Swartz winning the gold, Krakoski the silver and Christiansen the bronze.
"It's such a large margin the time will probably stand for a while," said the girls' coach, Greg Winslow. "They have spent the summer showing up at the pool every morning at 5:30 a.m. They then spend the next two to three hours training and practicing for their championship meets."
Sun Devil Aquatics had 10 swimmers qualify for the 2006 U.S. world championship team trials, which run through Sunday in Irving, Calif.
"This meet is a selection meet much like U.S. Olympic trials that will be held in 2008 to decide who will represent the United States at the Pan Pacific games as well as the March 2007 World Swimming Championships," Winslow said.
Former Arizona State swimmer Nick Brunelli leads the pack along with youngsters Swartz, 15-year-old Christine Olson, 16-year-old Whitney Lopus, 14-year-old Traycie Swartz and 13-year-old Katie Olsen.
Four years ago, Olympian Michael Phelps, then 17, won four events, breaking one world record. He is swimming at this year's event. Natalie Coughlin, who won five medals at the Athens Games, will swim four events and three relays. She became the first woman to break the one-minute barrier in the 100 backstroke at the 2002 summer nationals.
‘‘That’s what gives this meet the second-most intensity behind the Olympic trials,’’ Mark Schubert, national team coach and general manager for USA Swimming, told The Associated Press. ‘‘This is the kind of meet where you’re going to see breakouts of new, young athletes.’’
The following week, the five Sun Devil Aquatics teenagers will be joined by five more teammates — Angela Duckworth (15), Krakoski, Emily Barton (16), Nicole McAndrew (17) and Adam Small (16) at the 18-and-under national championships also in Irvine, Calif.
The Scottsdale Aquatic Club, whose home pool is at Cactus Park, just completed its summer season ranked 33rd in the country among more than 2,100 swim clubs. The ranking is from the Toyota Virtual Championships program of USA Swimming, which tabulates the strength and depth of a team under a power-point system.
Of the 401 swimmers who placed in the age group championships, 79 were from SAC, which has 171 families and 242 swimmers in the club. SAC will send seven swimmers to the junior national competition in Irvine.
Ahwatukee Little League's state championship victory Saturday in Kingman and its trip to this week's West regionals in San Bernardino, Calif., made headlines.
But another state tournament just concluded, and Red Mountain National Little League came out the winners in the Junior (ages 13-14) division.
"(It's) the division above the group most people associate with Little League," league president Rick Flowers told the Tribune. "But this is a huge accomplishment for those kids and their families."
The team, which is managed by Lee Elgin and coached by Jon Boren, is composed of Ben Betz, Brady Boren, Ross Dunham, Dylan Elgin, Craig Frum, Cole Gleason, Gus Hines, Thomas Pellerin, Cody Saul, Matt Tady, Kelly Walsh and Brandon Zimmerman.
Red Mountain, which outscored opponents 69-18 on its way to the title, begins its run at the Western Regional tournament in Beaverton, Ore., at 10 a.m. today against Northern California.
The 12-team tournament continues through Aug. 10, with the regional champion advancing to the annual Junior League World Series Aug. 13-19 at Taylor, Mich.
Arizona Power, a 14U fastpitch softball team based in Queen Creek, won the Triple Crown Sports World Series national “B” championship last weekend in Park City, Utah.
Arizona Power went 9-0, with four come-from-behind victories, over the course of the six-day tournament that included teams from California, Utah, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and Arizona. Team members are Alyssa Valenzuela, Alina Castro, Shannon Durfee, Desiree Mejia, Jalaina Brown, Holly Phillips, Brandie DeAnda, Raven Hooks, Jacklin Lewis, Katie Collingsworth, Haley Skousen, Alicia Boyd, Darlene Valles and Katlyn Hammond. They are coached by Luis Mejia. . .
On Friday, the Gilbert National East Little League 10/11 All-Stars won the 2006 Arizona All-Star tournament held in Flagstaff. After going 6-0 in district play, the All-Stars were the only team in the tournament to go undefeated in pool play (6-0).
They then beat Arcadia 8-4 in the semifinals and Arrowhead 8-6 to win the title. The team scored 164 runs and allowed only 34 runs while posting an undefeated 14-0 record in All-Star play. "This team put the ball in play!" team manager Jerry Davis said. "More than anything this group of outstanding young men was a team. We have some of the best players in the state on this squad, but no one player ever put himself above the team. They all had heart and picked each other up when their teammates were down." The state champion players are Ruben Adkins-Rieck, Marcus Celaya, Michael Pete Coughlin, Jack Davis, Travis Goodwin, A.J. Haggarty, Tyler La Flam, Austin Masterson, Ryan Rodriguez, Manuel Tapia, A.J. Taylor and Zach Turpin. Pete Celaya coached the team. . .
Recent ASU graduate Felicia Romero entered her first national USA Bodybuilding and Figure championships and came home a winner. Romero, who operates a personal training business in east Mesa and will enter law school soon, won the figure division for her class (5-foot-2 to 5-3) of 30 competitors at the tournament last weekend in Las Vegas. . .
Julie Yang of Tempe shot 205 to finish second, five shots behind the winner, in the girls 11 division of the 2006 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship played July 27-29 at Pinehurst, N.C. Daffodil Sanchez of Mesa shot 217 to finish fourth in the girls 12 division. Players advanced to the championships through qualifying events at the state level.
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