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IVDA swimmers make big splash

April 18, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

BRAWLEY — Led by Stevie Wills, the Imperial Valley Desert Aquatics competitive swim program made a gigantic splash at its A/B/C/ Salsa Safari long-course swim meet last weekend at the Brawley Lions Center pool.

Eighteen members of IVDA competed and all came away with top finishes in their divisions. Seven posted qualifying times for the National Junior Olympics in August.

"This is the most Imperial Valley swimmers we've ever qualified for Junior Olympics," said IVDA coach Doug Gertenbach. The most previously was five.

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"And this is only the first long-course meet of the season," he said. "Wow, what a great start.

"I'm tickled pink and the kids are excited, real jazzed," Gertenbach added.

Gertenbach noted there is still time for other IVDA swimmers to qualify for the Junior Olympics and those who already have qualified have time to qualify in other events. He said the IVDA plans to swim in two meets in May, one in June, two in July and one in August.

"I was really pleased with the times our swimmers achieved and look forward to a successful long-course season," he said.

Gertenbach wasn't that surprised that IVDA swimmers did so well.

"They are already in shape having competed over the winter and spring" during the short-course season, he said.

El Centro's Wills, 12, led the IVDA with seven Junior Olympic qualifying times. Competing in the girls 11-12 "A" division, Wills qualified in the 50-meter freestyle (32.46 seconds), 50-meter butterfly (36.51), 50-meter breaststroke (41.38, third place), 100-meter breaststroke (1:31.62), 50-meter backstroke (38.15), 100-meter butterfly (1:20.08) and 200-meter individual medley (2:54, third).

Brawley's Ali Hannon, 9, qualified for the Junior Olympics in two events in the girls 9-10 "A" division. She placed second in the 50 breaststroke (48.68) and 100 breast (1:45.21).

Calexico's Elvia Vazquez, 9, posted her first Junior Olympic qualifying time by winning the girls 9-10 "C" 50 fly (42.47). Seeley's Kacie Rodvil, 10, also recorded her first Junior Olympics qualifying times in the girls 9-10 "B" 50 fly (42.84, second) and 100 fly (1:38.31, first).

Brawley's Julia Hannon, 11, qualified for the Junior Olympics by winning the girls 11-12 "A" 100 breast (1:29.03) and placing second in the 50 breast (41.54). Brawley's Jennifer Cardenas, 16, qualified for the Junior Olympics after placing second in the women's 13 and older 100 fly (1:12.4) and her sister Natalia, 15, qualified by taking third in the same event (1:16.53).

There were several other strong marks posted by IVDA swimmers.

In the girls 9-10 age "B" division, Rodvil won the 200 free (3:05.07).

Rafael Rojas-Reyes of Brawley won the boys 9-10 "B" 100 back (1:43.9) and the 50 back (47.97).

In the girls 11-12 "B" division, Kristi Emanuel of Calipatria won the 50 fly (37.26) the 100 back (1:30.51), the 100 fly (1:26.02), was second in the 200 free (2:41.75) and second in the 200 IM (3:0.8.88) and Julia Hannon won the 50 free (34.81).

In the women's 13 and older "B" division, Katrina Gomez of Imperial won the 200 breast (3:45.98), Erika Valle of Imperial was second in the 100 back (1:26.68) and Natalia Cardenas won the 200 free (2:34.76).

In the girls 6 and under "C" division, Mercedes Gonzales of Brawley won the 50 free (51.91), placed second in the 50 fly (2:05.37) and 50 back (1:04.51) and was third in the 50 breast (1:07.38) and 200 IM (4:58.79).

In the girls 9-10 "C" division, Ali Hannon placed third in the 50 fly (48.15), Rodvil won the 50 back (47.22) and was second in the 50 free (39.15), Elvia Vazquez won the 50 free (39.06) and the 100 free (1:30.97) and placed second in the 50 back (48.26) and 100 back (1:42.32).

In the boys 9-10 "C" division, Rojas-Reyes won the 50 breast (1:00.64), placed second in the 100 free (1:27.74) and was third in the 50 fly (46.55).

In the girls 11-12 "C" division, Alexis Vazquez of Calexico placed third in the 50 breast (55.16), 50 back (45.91) and 100 free (1:24.94).

In the boys 11-12 "C" division, Raul Caro of El Centro placed second in the 50 free (38.0) and 100 breast (1:57.16) and was third in the 50 back (52.39. Dominic Gomez of Imperial placed second in the 50 fly (52.36) and third in the 100 breast (2:03.2).

In the women's 13 and older "C" division, Julianna Caro of El Centro placed second in the 50 free (35.64), 200 IM (3:23.95) and 100 free (1:22.35) and third in the 100 breast (1:48.81) and 100 back (1:34.89). Katrina Gomez was third in the 50 free (36.78), 100 fly (1:45.06) and 100 free (1:27.59). Renee Rojas of Brawley won the 200 IM (3:15.31) and 100 free (1:19.89), placed second in the 200 free (2:51.25) and 100 back (1:31.66) and was third in the 400 free (6:09.66).

In the men's 13 and older "C" division, John Cardenas of Brawley won the 100 back (1:29.32) and 100 free (1:13.47), placed second in the 200 IM (3:01.84) and was third in the 200 free (2:47.06).

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