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Canyons hosts Junior Olympics

Posted: July 30, 2008 1:17 a.m.
Updated: September 30, 2008 5:02 a.m.

The Junior Olympics features Southern California swimmers competing at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center through Aug. 2.

One of the meets will be hosted by Canyons Aquatic Club (CAC). Almost 900 athletes from 47 Southern California swim teams will arrive at the Center in hopes of qualifying for the finals.

The final day, Aug. 3, will be a day for relay events.

"On the day of the meet, the older swimmers will compete first, followed by the younger group," said CAC head coach Jay Anderson. "The top swimmers will for stay for the finals later that day."

The largest swim team at the meet is CAC with 87 athletes. Following CAC is Irvine Novaquatics, with 80, and Swim Pasadena, with 67.

"Most of the CAC swimmers from Senior Gold and Senior Blue have earned their times already for the Junior Olympics," said Senior Gold coach Jeff Conwell, "so they will be swimming at the Junior Olympics meet this week."

Senior Gold is the highest level of competitive swimming offered in CAC. Senior Blue is the next highest level, followed by Senior Development.

To prepare for this competition, Riley Mita, one of the youngest Senior Gold swimmers, said that they have been "tapering, which is when you do shorter and less yardage each day to prepare for a meet."

"At the meet, I want to go on to finals," Mita said. "The top elite places will go on to finals, and the top nine to 16 make consolation."

Mita is swimming the 400, 800, 1500-meter free, 100 and 200 backstroke, and the 400 individual medley.
Kearsten Livingstone, a Senior Gold swimmer, who made the team as well will swim the 200 individual medley, 200 free, 100 fly, and 100 backstroke.

"The meet has age divisions, which means that swimmers can only compete against their age group," said coach Jay Anderson. "However, in Junior Nationals, which is a nationwide competition, there are no age divisions,".he added. "That means that a 16-year-old might end up racing against a really fast 12-year-old."

Livingstone, along with a couple other Senior Gold swimmers, will travel to Minnesota for Junior Nationals meet next week. Livingstone made her Junior Nationals times in the 200 fly.

"I'm really excited for these competition," Livingstone said. "I like meets because you get to travel, and I love traveling."

Konrad Antoniuk, one of the Senior Gold swimmers who also made Junior Nationals time for the 200 and 1500 free, said, "We've prepared well [at practice]."

"I feel conditioned for both Junior Olympics and Juniors Nationals," Antoniuk said. "I know I can do it. It's going to be really good."


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