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Swimming: Locals leave mark

Santa Clarita Master Club posts successful day at regional meet

Posted: April 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Mario Marshall, a Santa Clarita Masters Club team member and Olympic hopeful, wins the 100-yard butterfly at the Southern Pacific Master Swimming Regional Championship meet on Saturday at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

The Santa Clarita Masters Swimming club finished a successful first day of the Southern Pacific Masters Swimming Short Course Yard Regional Championship Meet at its home Santa Clarita Aquatic Center in third place among the 40 swim clubs present.

Saturday marked the first time the event, which moves locations from year to year, has been held in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The day featured a wide array of swimmers, both in skill and age, with many swimmers clocking impressive times in 18 day-one events.

Maurine Kornfield, the lone swimmer competing in the 90-94 age bracket, competed in five events for Mission Viejo Nadaores Masters on day one, swimming the 500-yard freestyle (10:59.52), 200-yard free (4:12.18), 50-yard backstroke (1:04.65) and 100-yard individual medley (2:53.38).

Her scores helped push the 13-swimmer team to fifth on the day.

Mario Marshall, who is hoping to qualify for the Olympic Trials this summer, swam in the 30-34 age group and placed first in both the 200-yard freestlye and 100-yard freestyle on Saturday.

Marshall won the 200 free in 1:44,48, and the 100-yard butterfly in 50.42.

“He’s so close, he’s just right there but every 100th of a second means everything,” said SCMC head coach Laurie Bossard. “It’s going to be kind of touch and go. He’s training with us and also with Canyons Aquatics (Club). He’s a very, very dedicated swimmer.”

While short course yard times do not qualify for Olympic Trials, Marshall is hoping to qualify in the next few weeks.

“Today’s meet was definitely a good meet for me because I was able to keep my competition level up,” he said. “It’s a good training meet for me.

“Not only do I have confidence that I will go 51.49 (the time needed to qualify in the 100 freestyle), but I will go under 50,” said Marshall, who credited his wife Samantha and daughter Faith for his success.

Twenty-eight swimmers, including Marshall, ranging from the 18-24 age bracket to the 75-79 bracket, took part in the meet for SCMC.

One of the most impressive swimmers on the day was Leda Whitmer, who picked up 20 points for SCMC with a first-place 1,650-yard free time of 37:02.56 in the 60-64 women’s age bracket.

“She did the mile, first time she’s ever swam for us,” Bossard said. “She’s a triathlete but swimming is not her strong suit and she did very well. Far better than our expectations.”

Tryggvi Helgason scored the most points for SCMC on day one, with 60 points in seven events, including wins in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:24.78), 100-yard butterfly (58.31) and 100-yard IM (59.96).

Tracey Bailey, swimming in the female 45-49 age bracket, led the women on her team with 52 points in four events, including a first place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 3:12.46.

Jonathan Edge found success in the distance races of the 45-49 age bracket, winning the 500 free in 5:11.81, 200 free in 1:56.91 and coming in second in the 1,650 free in 18:27.07.

Marci Edge took first in the women’s 45-49 1,650 (24:51.21), Jeff Miladin won the 200 breaststroke (2:55.54) and Erika Tolson was first in the 18-24 women’s 1,650 (23:50.54).

Curren Bates took first place in the 18-24 men’s bracket with a 56.91 in the 100 individual medley.

In the relays, SCMC won the 400 free 18 and over men’s relay with its team of Bates, Marshall, Bryan Kitchener and Christopher Stroh. The four men finished in 3:15.45.

The local club also won the 18 and over men’s 200 medley relay in 1:40.12 with the same four swimmers.

Of the 40 clubs present, SCMC sent the third most swimmers, behind Rose Bowl Masters (51) and Ojai Masters (47), which finished first and second, respectively on the day.

Day two is today at Santa Clarita Aquatic Center with the first event scheduled for 8:30 a.m.



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