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The numbers tell a different story, but the Sedona Swordfish will end its summer swim season Saturday, July 26, at one of the smaller Verde Valley Invitationals in its 33-year history.

Emma Warner, left, a top 16 finalist at State in two events, leads teammates Emily Aitken, Andrew Tate, Yvesche Schlee and Skyler LeeEason, from left, in diving practice at the Sedona Community Pool in preparation for the Verde Valley Invitational that will take place Saturday, July 26, at the outdoor pool by the Recreation Center in Cottonwood.
From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cottonwood Outdoor Public Pool, 132 swimmers will be competing in nearly 500 individual and relay events.

Although Swordfish head coach A. Jay Bronson estimated that over 200 students have taken swimming lessons at the Sedona Community Pool since the Swordfish contracted with the city to take over instruction May 26, only 25 will be swimming at the Invitational for the Swordfish, with another 88 coming from the recreational club team hosting the invitational, the Cottonwood Clippers.

“The opposite side of that coin is we have 20 [students] we hope join us in the fall because they’ve improved so much in swim over the summer,” Bronson said. “We have six new high school-age kids that haven’t swam before move up to swim lessons already and another six or seven who have had swim lessons by the end of the summer move up to the team.”

Each of the 25 Swordfish has already chosen which of the maximum number of events — four — they will swim at the invitational. Bronson looks for seven of his Swordfish to compete for high-point trophies in their respective age groups, including Emma Warner, a finalist in the girls 11- to 12-year-old 50-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley — along with four other events — Saturday, July 19, at the Long Course State Championships at Arizona State University.

“Her breaststroke is phenomenal: She’ll probably get first place there and in the IM,” said Bronson, who also expects 11-year-old Andrew Tate to score major points for the boys, particularly in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events and 50-yard breaststroke.

For the full story, please see the Friday, July 25, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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