Several East Valley-based teams have been winding up their seasons at statewide and national championships the past few weeks with mixed success. At the pool, Scottsdale Aquatic Club dominated the 2007 Arizona Long Course Age Group State Championship swim meet held July 19-22 at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center at Arizona State.
“We are the elite club in Arizona,” head coach Jerry Olszewski said of his squad which has won the long course and short course state titles every year since 1988.
In this year’s show of dominance for the 14-and-younger swimmers, Scottsdale Aquatic Club racked up 4,739 points, easily outdistancing Brophy East Swim Team (2,491.5) and host Sun Devil Aquatics (2,087) in the 29-team competition.
The girls team totals were just as unbalanced with SAC outdistancing Sun Devil Aquatics 2,513.5 to 1,359. Brophy East was third (1,025.50). In the boys division, things again were no closer with SAC coming out ahead (2,225.5) and Brophy again the runner-up (1,466). Third place went to Rio Salado Swim Club (1,227).
“I think our program is very consistent,” Olszewski said when asked to what he credits the continued success. “We have been able to sustain a systematic and scientific program for our youngest swimmers (ages 7-9), to see that they develop correctly.
“Our goals for our senior swimmers to train them to compete at the national level.”
There is no arguing their success and 13 was their lucky number.
Celina Li (7), Cody Vitez (7), Alexander Brouwer (6), Erica Stock (6), Thomas Wahlers (6), Ally Loper (3), Josh Olszewski (4), Belen Enguidanos (3), Annika Jonsson (3), Hunter Thompson (3), Kacey Milligan (3), Hayden Walker (2) and Megan Cox (2) were all multiple first-place winners for Scottsdale Aquatic Club, which boasts about 240 members.
Several other East Valley clubs had multiple golden swimmers including Alex Schultz, who racked up six victories for Rio Salado Swim Club.
Mesa’s Mark Rowley, a 55-year-old bone cancer survivor who lost his leg in 1977, will be part of a five-person team which will participate in the 20th annual Swim Across the Sound to help 18,000 cancer survivors in New England.
The 15.6-mile swim starts Saturday at Port Jefferson on Long Island, N.Y., and ends on the other side of Long Island Sound at Bridgeport, Conn.
Rowley, a former varsity swimmer on the Mesa Westwood High School team, currently serves as dive master on the Maricopa County Sheriff Divers Posse. He is also a member of the Arizona Masters Swim Team and has completed the 10-mile rough water swim in Seal Beach, Calif., for 18 years in a row. Rowley is a member of Team Hanger Inspire Swimmers (Hanger Prosthetics) for the third straight year.
“We are the only physically challenged group to compete,” Rowley said.
In 2005 the swimmers exceeded their goal of $6,000. Last year they upped the stakes to $10,000 and once again went above and beyond. So this year the ante is $20,000. Overall in 2006, approximately 160 swimmers raised $250,000.
“We are all from the same family and we should all pull together. And it is nice to be able to help people,” Rowley replied when asked why people from Arizona should donate to support a New England cause.
“It’s like Sept. 11 (2001). We all cried together (when that happened).”
The team is ready and now it’s just a matter of garnering a little support from the Southwest. To donate visit www.active.com/donate/sas2007/teamhanger2007. To get more information about the swim visit www.swimacrossthesound.org.
Six East Valley youth were among 232 players selected to participate in the adidas Elite Soccer Program, a special camp for some of the country’s best soccer players, last month in Pomona, Calif.
Tony Cascio, a midfielder from Gilbert, Temistocies Molinar Jr., a center/forward from Chandler, and Mashi Shibuya, a midfielder from Scottsdale, were selected for the boys camp. Bianca Doller, a center/forward from Tempe, Ellen Parker, a midfielder from Paradise Valley, and Melanie Johnston, a midfielder from Mesa, were invited to attend the girls session.
Major League Soccer and college coaches conducted the camp which included workshops, games and drills. The camp was billed as a way for children to be seen for college scholarships or professional contracts.
LITTLE LEAGUE ROUNDUP
After going 5-1 in pool play, the McDowell Mountain Little League’s 9-10-year-old All-Stars came up short in their bid to win the state championship, suffering a 3-2 loss to Goodyear Little League in Saturday’s title game at Gilbert’s McQueen Park. On the way to the title game, McDowell Mountain beat District 13 (Chandler), District 9 (Kingman), District 12 (Pantano Tucson), District 7 (Four Peaks Mesa) and District 3 (North Phoenix Diamondbacks).
Tee time: The Chandler-Gilbert Community College athletic department is hosting the 10th annual Coyote Golf Tournament fundraiser Aug. 18 at the Toka Sticks Golf Course in Mesa to benefit CGCC student-athletes with scholarships. The tournament begins at 7:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. Registration is $75 per person or $300 per team. Price includes lunch, range balls and a CGCC polo shirt. Hole sponsorship is also available for a $100 contribution. Lunch and an awards ceremony will follow at 12:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for closest to the pin, longest drive and longest putt. Call (480) 732-7073 or (480) 732-7177.
Punt, Pass & Kick time: Chandler youth (ages 6-15) will have an opportunity to showcase their athletic skill from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 25 at the Punt, Pass and Kick competition at Snedigar Sportsplex (4500 S. Alma School Road). Cost is free. Each participant will be allowed one punt, one pass and one place kick. Scores for all three skills are added together for the total feet and inches. Participants must register for the competition by Aug. 17. Registration forms are available at the Chandler Community Center (125 East Commonwealth Avenue), Snedigar Sportsplex and all the Chandler library branches. You can also download a form online at www.chandleraz.gov/youth-sports.
Batter up: Chandler Youth Baseball will be holding its final registration session for the fall season from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Chandler Community Center. Visit www.cybb.org for more information.
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