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Ellis Aquatics gears up for Summer Junior Olympics

posted Jul 18, 2012, 12:01 PM by Pat Windschitl   [ updated Jul 18, 2012, 12:03 PM ]

The Ellis Aquatics Swim Club is gearing up for the Adam Szmidt Memorial Pacific Swimming Junior Olympics Championships  in Concord California this weekend.

The swim club will be sending 18 athletes to compete over the three day weekend, topping the teams old record of 8 competitors at the Winter Junior Olympics last December. The meet is a sign of the team's progression over its two years since it was founded in Tracy. The strong showing at this week's Junior Olympics demonstrates that the team is a destination for serious swimmers.

Swimmers qualify for Junior Olympics by meeting time standards at USA Swimming events, including about a half-dozen meets the club has attended in the Bay Area since the March Junior Olympics. Competition starts Friday, July 20, and continues through the finals this weekend.

Abigail Figueroa, Brianna Do, Caitlin O'Neill, Jenika Tanjuakio and Jill Lucero will be representing the team in the 10 and under girls division. Figueroa is racing the 50m and 100m Breaststroke and the 200m Individual Medley (IM). Do will be competing in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke, and the 200m IM. O'Neill will be swimming the 50m, 100m, 200m, and 400m Freestyle events, as well as 50m and 100m Breaststroke, and the 200m IM. Tanjuakio and Lucero will be racing with their teammates in the 200m Medley Relay and the 200m Freestyle Relay.

In the 11-12 year old division Kamryn Lucero, Keiana Fountaine, Alex Colina, and Briana Carino will be competing. Lucero and Fountaine will be racing together in the 50m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle events. Fountaine will also be competing in the 50m and 100m Butterfly and Lucero will be swimming the 100m and 200m Freestyle and the 200m IM. Carino and Colina will be racing in the 200m Freestyle and 200m Medley Relays. This will be Colina's first Junior Olympic meet.

“It's always exciting to see so many young swimmers qualified,” said Coach Pat Windschitl. “Be sure to watch for their names in the next couple of years. I know they will all be shattering records by the time they enter high school”.

Nathan Hu is competing in the 13-14 division in the 100 and 200m Breaststroke and the 100m Freestyle. This is his first Junior Olympic meet.

Rachel Holmstrom, Amanda Christensen, Cassidy Waters, and Michaela Loomis will be competing in the women's 15-18 200m Freestyle and 200m Medley Relays. While Daniel Van Nikerk, Miguel Munoz, Ian Cox, and Bradley McCain will be competing in the men's 15-18 200m Freestyle and 200m Medley Relays.

McCain will also be racing in the 50m, 100m, 200m, 500m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle events, as well as in the 100m and 200m Backstroke. Cox will be racing the 50m Free, as well as the 100m and 200m Backstroke and Breaststrokes.

“This will be the first time we've brought relays to this meet,” said Coach Clay Basepayne. “It's a great experience for our High School swimmers as they all go to different high schools and this will be their first relay experience as a team”.

Swimmers Caitlin O'Neill and Bradley McCain were also recently selected by Pacific and USA Swimming to represent the Pacific region at the upcoming Western Zone Championship Meet. Western Zones is one of the largest age-group swim meets in the USA with 15 competing states and will be held in Grand Junction Colorado August 7-11th.

O'Neill will be the team's first 10 and under to travel to the meet and McCain is the team's first male swimmer selected to attend. Many Olympians have competed at the Western Zone Championships as age-group swimmers including Janet Evans, Summer Sanders, Amanda Beard, Jason Lezak, and Aaron Peirsol.

With more than 150 members from ages 4-19, Ellis Aquatics is Tracy's largest USA Swimming competition team. Affiliated with Pacific Swimming and USA Swimming, Ellis Aquatics trains at the Pinkie Philips Memorial Pool at Merrill F. West High School. For more information visit EllisAquatics.net.  

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