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September 26, 2022

Records fall en masse at Far Western swim meet: Area swimmers show up well at top-level event

For area swim clubs, the Far Western Short Course Championship
swim meet was a time to prepare for future competitions and gauge
where they stand compared to some of the best swimmers from the
western United States and Canada. The four-day event, held at the
Morgan Hill Aquatics Center, produced 304 new Pacific Reportable
Times and 76 new National Reportable Times, showing just how fast
the highly regarded meet was.
For area swim clubs, the Far Western Short Course Championship swim meet was a time to prepare for future competitions and gauge where they stand compared to some of the best swimmers from the western United States and Canada.

The four-day event, held at the Morgan Hill Aquatics Center, produced 304 new Pacific Reportable Times and 76 new National Reportable Times, showing just how fast the highly regarded meet was.

While no one from Morgan Hill, Gilroy or Hollister took any titles, nearly all of them produced personal best times and set team records in the process.

The Morgan Hill Makos sent the most swimmers, with six. Of them, four went to finals and five set new team records.

“We are 80 percent of our life time best in times,” said Makos organizer John Rick. “This was their home pool, so they were comfortable swimming here.”

On Sunday, the Makos’ Mike Wu placed the highest of all Makos swimmers with a fourth in the 200 freestyle.

Rick’s son, Steven, took ninth place overall in the 400 individual medley after a come-from-behind finish that set a team record. Out of the blocks, the younger Rick struggled with his butterfly, falling as far back as fourth in his heat. He gained ground on his back and breast strokes, pulling into a close second. In the final 100 yards, he pushed into a convincing first and won by about a second.

Morgan Hill finished 68th of more than 100 teams scheduled to compete.

The San Benito Aquatics team sent four swimmers who all “did fairly well,” according to Christine Schafer.

David Smith, 17, made it to the finals in the 100 backstroke and the 100 fly. In both he shaved two seconds off his times and took fifth place.

Blaine Curtice, 15, swam in four events, but in the 400 IM he knocked two seconds off his best time.

Both Smith and Curtice will be competing the Central Coast Section swimming finals and Schafer said the meet was a good way to gauge where they stood.

“It showed them what they need to work on so they can refine their skills,” Schafer said. “It’s a meet of high caliber, (and) they were competing against kids who pushed them to their limits.”

Shelli Reed, 13, was scheduled for seven events, but came down with the flu and scratched Saturday.

Demi Gatrell, 12, competed in the 50 and 100 breaststroke, setting personal bests in both events.

“She finished 11th of 48 kids, which is was phenomenal. She was on today,” Schafer said.

The Gilroy Gators only sent one swimmer, Santiago Maciel, to the swim meet. Maciel also used the event as training for CCS.

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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