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Intended to be a swimming event, the Verde Valley Invitational turned into a marathon Saturday, Aug. 1, as fans were treated to nearly eight hours of pool time under the glaring sun.

“It was very hot and the meet took much longer than we thought, but the kids stayed hydrated and they gave it their best in the pool,” Sedona Swordfish Head Coach Brandon Hancock said.

Despite the intense 104-degree heat Saturday, over 300 swimmers gathered at the Cottonwood Community Pool in an effort to claim victory for their respective swim teams.

swimming-8-5-09The Swordfish missed out on gold Saturday, scoring 1,713 points to take second place, far behind this year’s Verde Valley Invitational champion Cottonwood Clippers who tallied 3,264 points.

The Kingman Dolphins took third place with 1,372 points, while the Camp Verde Crocodiles were fourth with 1,011 points.

In fifth came the Barracudas from Prescott Valley who scored 598.5 points, while the Payson Pikes were sixth with 509 and the Prescott Pirates were seventh with 123 points.

“Overall I would say this meet went quite well. We had some issues with the computer but that was fixed by our wonderful volunteers. I just want to thank all that participated in this year’s event, especially our volunteers,” Verde Valley Invitational meet manager Rick Heisley said.

For Sedona, the Swordfish dominated the relay events winning six of the 10 under the blazing Cottonwood sun Saturday.

In the mixed 200-yard medley relay [ages 13-14] Sedona took first overall with a 2:10.70 time swam by Katie Millar, Emma Geurts, Jacob Decker and Laura Clark.

The mixed 200-yard medley relay [ages 15-18] result was no different for the Swordfish as they took first with a 1:48.28 time. Evan Decker, Seth Syvertsen, Tyler Gavigan and Michael Wiseman were responsible for the victory.

Mary Brown, Molly Wiseman, Sydney Robinson and Jessica Wiseman teamed up to take first in the mixed 100-yard freestyle relay [ages 9-10] with a 1:08.12 time, beating out their rival in the Clippers by more than three seconds.

Christopher Gibson, Benny Guadarrama, Sierra Robinson and Tristan Decker took first in the mixed 200-yard freestyle relay [ages 11-12] with a 2:11 time while Clark, Millar, Geurts and Jacob Decker were first in the mixed 200-yard freestyle relay [ages 13-14] at 2:00.92.

Lastly, Sedona took first in the 200-yard freestyle relay [ages 15-18] with a 1:38.29 time as Syvertsen, Evan Decker, Michael Wiseman and Gavigan beat out the Clippers by two seconds.

“Our relay teams were strong Saturday. Everyone did their part,” Hancock said.

Other top finishes include Sierra Robinson who won the 200-yard individual medley [ages 11-12] with a 3:07.29 time. Robinson also claimed first in the 50-yard freestyle event [ages 11-12] with a 31.74 time.

Kendall Peterson won the 25-yard freestyle event [ages 8 & under] with a 18.59 time while also finishing first in the 50-yard freestyle event [ages 8 & under] with a 41.63 time.

Of course the Decker boys were at it again Saturday, taking home top finishes in numerous events.

Jacob Decker finished first in the 200-yard individual medley [ages 13-14] with a 2:16.21 time. He finished first in the 50-yard butterfly event [ages 13-14] as well with a 25.88 time.

Evan Decker claimed first place in the 200-yard individual medley [ages 15-18] with a 2:12.73 time and was first in the 50-yard backstroke [ages 15-18] with a 28.11 time.

As for Tristan Decker, he finished first in the 50-yard freestyle [ages 11-12] with a 29.06 time and first in the 50-yard butterfly event [ages 11-12] with a 32-flat time.

We certainly don’t want to forget Laura Clark who took home two gold medals in the 50-yard backstroke [ages 13-14] with a 33.79 time and the 50-yard butterfly [ages 13-14] with a 32.24 time.

Overall, the Swordfish took home gold in 21 different events, one of the top marks out of the seven teams in attendance at the Verde Valley Invitational on Saturday.

“We couldn’t be happier with our performance. We finished in second but had about half the kids some of the other teams did, especially Cottonwood, so we’ll take it,” Hancock said.

The Verde Valley Invitational was the last swim meet for the Swordfish this summer.


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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