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Shimizu, Wigzell spark Vaqueros to third in Pasadena Invitational

All the Vaqueros show their support for Hana Wigzell after she finishes one of her five races.
All the Vaqueros show their support for Hana Wigzell after she finishes one of her five races.

Kelee Shimizu captured the 200 freestyle and had four other top-6 finishes, leading SBCC to third place in the 19th annual Pasadena Invitational swimming & diving meet.

Shimizu clocked 1:59.25 in the 200 free, beating top-seeded Amber Theders of Orange Coast by 1.19 seconds. She was third in the 1650 free (18:50.77), fourth in the 500 free (5:27.59), fifth in the 100 fly (1:02.28) and sixth in the 100 free (55.70).

Orange Coast, the defending state champion, won the three-day, 17-team meet with 854.5 points. Diablo Valley took second, edging the Vaqueros by just eight points (521.5 to 513.5). Sierra was fourth with 462 points.

The Vaqueros had three of the top eight point scorers. Shimizu was second with 78 points, just 3 behind the leader, Carmen Ung of Pasadena. Hana Wigzell was fifth with 70 and Sarah Parson tied for seventh with 68.

"I was really proud of our girls this past weekend," said coach Chuckie Roth. "They all competed in several events, often times with minimal rest between each race. Our positivity and team camaraderie were the best on the deck. We had some great swims, however I think all our athletes learned about themselves and became better racers. That is the goal of the meet – to get better at racing."

Wigzell, a freshman from Sandy, Oregon, had a fine all-around meet, posting a fifth (400 IM), sixth (100 back), seventh (200 back), eighth (200 free) and ninth (100 free). Parson was fourth in the 100 free (55.36), fifth in the 200 breast (2:34.09), seventh in the 50 free (27.23) and eighth in the 100 breast (1:11.12). Parson, Wigzell and Lily Riley finished seventh, eighth and ninth in the 200 free that Shimizu won.

The 800 free relay of Haunani Bautista, Wigzell, Parson and Shimizu took second in 8:16.63. The Vaqueros grabbed third in three relays – the 200 free, 200 medley and the meet-closing 400 free relay.

"Hana had a breakout weekend and a breakout attitude," said Roth. "She swam more than anyone and did it with confidence and determination. I was happy with her times, but more impressed with her ability to race and compete. She came here to play water polo and now she is swimming the 400 IM, 200 fly and 200 back … some very hard races. She races to represent her team and the team dynamic that has been set in place over the years.

"There was improvement across the board and all kids had some breakout moments. Paige Awtrey had some great swims and a very valuable 50 fly. Shimizu and Parson placed highly in all events. Emma Fraser showed heart and determination and Haunani Bautista had a great outing, swimming a 57.2 in the 100 free for her best of the season."

Roth was most impressed with the support his team showed for their teammates.

"When I watched the 400 IM, and 200 back, I looked over as we had a few girls in the water and every other team member was cheering," he recalled. "I looked at our team area and it was empty. Every team member gets up to support others. It made it fun, rewarding, and brought our team together. I think we are ready to swim the best in two weeks."

The Vaqueros will go after their fifth straight conference title in the WSC Championships on April 18-20, hosted by College of the Canyons at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

SBCC is 44-4 overall this year and 17-0 in conference with 105 straight WSC wins.

          
                Emma Fraser in 200 backstroke