The Los Banos contingent of the Merced Skimmers swim team had its ups and downs at the Central California Junior Olympics last weekend.
Emily Trejo medaled in six of her eight individual events – winning the 50-meter breaststroke at 42.65 seconds – and qualified for the Far Western Junior Olympics in that event, the 50-meter butterfly (fifth place, 37.02 seconds), the 200-meter freestyle (fifth place, 2:39.47), the 50-meter freestyle (second place, 32.29), the 200-meter individual medley (ninth place, 3:05.79) and the 100-meter freestyle (fourth place, 1:12.97).
“Although she swam well, she struggled with losing her goggles during her starts on Saturday,” Skimmers Los Banos coach Josh Weinberger said via email. “She missed a second gold medal because a relay was moved up which sapped her energy right before the 50 free. On the final day, she almost missed her event. She ran to the wrong side of the course. After realizing her mistake, she ran through the coaches tents and jumped some chairs to make it to her block at the last second.”
Christian Wakefield’s best individual performance of his eight individual events was 10th-place finishes in the 100-meter backstroke (1:24.85) and the 100-meter butterfly (1:32.51), but he was part of the fifth-place 400-meter medley-relay team, swimming the butterfly leg of the event in 1:30.67.
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“He swam fast, but found himself running out of steam toward the end of the events. I believe it was possibly due to the fact that we practice at night and the events were during the morning,” Weinberger said. “One exciting event got Christian’s heart racing. He was listed as an alternate for the 200-meter IM Finals. Approximately 2 minutes before the start of the heat, the clerk of the course came to me looking for him because they had a late scratch and a spot opened up.
“I rushed over to him yelling, ‘Get ready, let’s go, you’re in!’ Confused and flustered, he grabbed his goggles and cap. We rushed to the block, got him ready, and he was racing seconds later. It was good for a laugh and a bit of excitement in the Skimmers’ tent.”
Luke Young took part in three relays, placing 11th in the 200-meter medley relay (swimming the breaststroke leg in 1:53.11) and the 200-meter freestyle relay (swimming the anchor leg in 35.83). Kaitlynn Henley was a last-minute addition to several 10-and-under relay teams, helping her team to a ninth-place finish in the 200-meter medley relay (swimming the freestyle leg in 35.83) and an 11th-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle relay (swimming the second leg in 52.71).