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Roseville complex welcomes 562 youth swimmers for Western Zone

Coughlin, Franklin, the Anderson sisters and other Olympians from 13 states competed in ‘Best of the West’ meet
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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The parking lot at the Roseville Aquatics Complex was full of cars and RVs on Wednesday, and it will be again Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They included license plates from Nevada, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico and other states.

Inside the complex, waiting for their names to be called, are 562 swimmers from 13 states and 16 Local Swim Committees competing in the age-group Western Zone Championships.

This is about as big as the swimming stage gets at this level. Local Olympians Alyssa and Haley Anderson of Granite Bay and Chloe Sutton of Roseville competed in the Western Zone. Natalie Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic medalist, 2012 Olympian Scott Weltz of San Jose and Missy Franklin, who last week set a record by winning six gold medals at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, completed in the Western Zone.

“We call it ‘Best in the West.’ It’s the cream of the crop from their LSCs,” said Denna Culpepper, Antelope resident, general chair for Sierra Nevada Swimming and co-meet director. “Missy Franklin still holds records from this meet. Scott Weltz still has records that people are hoping to break. Natalie Coughlin competed for many years.”

Sierra Nevada Swimming, which spans from Stockton north to the Oregon border and east to Tahoe and Truckee, won the bid to host this Western Zone two years ago in Jacksonville, Fla., according to Culpepper. The result for the local economy is $1.5 million, including more than 2,000 hotel nights.

Competition began Wednesday and included California Capital Aquatics swimmers Daniel Ilin and Sierra Buell, who will be freshmen at Antelope and Woodcreek high schools. Ilin placed fifth in the boys 13/14 1,500-meter freestyle in 17 minutes, 27.36 seconds. Buell was seventh in the girls 13/14 1,500 freestyle in 18:49.27.

Thursday’s early schedule includes preliminaries in the 200 freestyle, 50 and 100 butterfly, 50 and 100 breaststroke, 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley in age groups from 10U to 13/14. Oakmont freshman Alex Cordova is scheduled to swim in the girls 13/14 400 IM prelims. The finals in those events begin at 4 p.m. and include the 200 freestyle relay.

Granite Oaks seventh-grader Morgan Votava is scheduled to compete in the girls 11/12 100 freestyle Friday and the 200 breaststroke Saturday.

“They’ve been working all year long to be able to come to this meet,” Culpepper said.

Friday’s schedule includes prelims and finals in the 100 and 400 freestyle, 100 and 200 breaststroke, 100 and 500 backstroke, 200 butterfly and 200 medley relay. The meet concludes Saturday with the 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 100 and 200 butterfly, 100 and 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 800 freestyle and 400 medley relay.

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.

 

WESTERN ZONE CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

When/Where: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at the Roseville Aquatics Complex.

Admission: Free.

Information: www.westernzoneswimming.org.