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The 2009 version of the Sedona Mile was a rousing success Saturday, July 25, with all 41 Sedona Swordfish team members completing the daunting task in front of a surprisingly packed Sedona Community Pool crowd.

“All the kids were excited. Plenty of kids came up to me later with an excited look on their face and a sense of accomplishment,” Swordfish Head Coach Brandon Hancock said.

In an effort to raise money for the Swordfish, swimmers jumped in the pool and set their sights on swimming for an entire mile. Reportedly, over $2,000 has been raised.

mile-swim-sports-7-31-5With 33 laps, or 66 lengths and exactly 1,650 yards to cover, Sedona swimmers gave it their all in the water Saturday, pushing themselves to the limit.

Many swimmers had no problem with the mile length while others might have given up if it weren’t for teammates, coaches and their fans cheering them on.

“This is a hard event to complete but we’re there for all of them every step of the way,” Swordfish assistant coach Erin Estes said.

The heat of the day didn’t affect those in the water as a little sunscreen took care of all the worried mothers out there.

Each of the five age levels were split into gender as well with a few swimmers having excellent times Saturday.

Standouts at the event included 17-year-old Tyler Gaviigan who finished first in his age level with a 19:10 time.

Sixteen-year-old Sedona Swordfish standout Evan Decker was right behind him in second place with a 19:20 time.

In the girls 1,650-yard freestyle swim [ages 15-18], Samantha Syvertsen finished first overall with a 24:10 time.

In the 13-14 age level, 13-year-old Laura Clark finished her mile in 23:20.74 for the girls and 14-year-old Jacob Decker was first for the boys at 20:57.51.

“All of these kids did well; I was glad to see some of them finish so fast,” Hancock said.

As for the 11-12 age level, 11-year-old Sierra Robinson finished as top swimmer with a 27:07 time for the girls while 12-year-old teammate Tristan Decker finished first with a 23:23.48 time.

Other standouts for the 11-12 age level mile swim included 11-year-old Valerie Luyckx who was second with her 36-flat time, and 12-year-old Christopher Gibson finished second as well with a 28:19 time.

Only 9-year-old Mary Brown finished in the 9-10 age level for girls with a 42:22 time while Jessica Wiseman swam a 52:11 but did not place.

In the 8 & Under event, 8-year-old Jake Brown was the only boy to compete at this age level and finished with a 54:18 time.

As for the girls in the same age level, Jenna Rodarte completed her task in 54:05 for first place while 7-year-old Ellie Seip was second with a 1:04.33.

“For those that get near one hour to complete the mile swim, you have to remember that is a very long time to be in the pool. So those kids did a great job,” Estes said.

With the Sedona Mile out of the way, Swordfish can now look forward to the biggest meet of the season at the Verde Valley Invitational in Cottonwood on Saturday, Aug. 1.

Teams from Prescott, Kingman, Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Payson will compete in one of the biggest youth swim meets in Northern Arizona.

“I’m sure all the kids are looking forward to competing. We’ll be there to give it our best,” Hancock said.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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