A trio of Los Banos swimmers earned medals at the Central California Long Course Junior Olympics swim meet, under the Merced/Los Banos Skimmers.
Emily Trejo, swimming in the 10-and-under girls age group, and Christian Wakefield, in the 10-and-under boys group, each earned five medals, which are given to the top eight in each event, while Paige Roseman earned a pair of medals as a member of relay teams.
Trejo was third in the 200-meter freestyle relay, fourth in the 200-meter medley relay, sixth in the 50-meter freestyle (34.61 seconds), seventh in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:41.91) and eighth in the 50-meter breaststroke (46.52). She came just 8 points away from earning the high-point position in her age, with the difference possibly being a disqualification in one event — and coach Josh Weinberger isn't even sure what caused it.
“It’s really strict. You can’t make a mistake,” Weinberger said. “If your feet are just a little bit off in a dolphin kick, they’ll get you for a flutter kick. It’s such stiff competition, they have to make sure they’re competing fairly.”
Wakefield placed sixth in the 100-meter backstroke (1:25.78), seventh in the 50-meter backstroke (41.86), eighth in the 50-meter freestyle (34.05), eighth in the 100-meter butterfly (1:32.51) and was a member of the eighth-place 200-meter medley relay team. Roseman was on the same relay teams as Trejo.
Other Los Banos swimmers included Gabriel Andrade, Olivia Andrade and Patrick Andrade, all in the 13-and-older category, and Katie Roseman in the 11-12-year-old group. “They all did spectacular,” Weinberger said. “They made me proud with all their hard work — with everything they've done for Los Banos.”
None of the older LB swimmers medaled — though a couple came close, with Gabriel Andrade placing 11th in the 100-meter freestyle (1:00.24) and Katie Roseman placing 11th in the 400-meter medley relay.
“But they all dropped time,” Weinberger said. “The competition gets a little bit stiffer as you get older. Kids get stronger and bigger.”
Wakefield's sixth-place backstroke almost didn't happen — he tied with another swimmer for eighth place in the preliminaries. The top eight went to the final, while places nine through 16 went to the consolation finals. Wakefield won the swim-off to grab the eighth spot, then improved his time in the finals to move up two spots.
Swimmers qualified for the CC Junior Olympics by making certain times for each event during the summer season. The meet consisted of around 700 swimmers, all of whom made at least one of those times.
“It’s hard — maybe only about a third of the kids on our team were able to make those times,” Weinberger said.
Trejo and Wakefield will swim today and Saturday at the Far Western Regional Championships, which requires stricter qualifying times.