October 17, 2011
On July 28-31, the Puma Aquatics swim team went to Fresno to compete in the 2011 Central California Swimming Junior Olympics.
In a field of 28 teams from around California, Puma placed fourth overall with 1012 points. Puma was also the top team from the Central Coast, edging out the Santa Maria Swim Club by only 172 points. The winning team was perennial juggernaut Clovis Swim Club with 3853 points, followed by the Tule Nation Tritons (3191) and the Merced Skimmers (1028).
Gaby Penvenne was one of the top scorers for Puma. The 14-year-old competed in 10 events and placed in the top four in five of them. Her highlight performances were the 50-meter freestyle (28.63), 100 freestyle (1:02.52), and 200 freestyle (2:17.05), all three of which she finished second.
Also scoring points in the 13-14 division was Corryn Haynes. The 14-year-old swam in 10 events, and placed in the top 16 in seven of them. Perhaps her best race was the 200 backstroke, in which she placed third by dropping almost five seconds from her prelim time for a 2:37.13.
Both Haynes and Penvenne were part of five relay teams that swam in the 13-14 division. In the 200 (2:15.12) and 400 (4:56.31) medley relays, they teamed with Lydia Stevens and Madeline Burchfield to earn second place finishes. Penvenne, Haynes, Julia Donath and Grace Oeser also placed second in the 200 freestyle relay (1:59.56).
Another major contributor for Puma was 10-year-old Emily Burchfield. She placed in the top four in seven of her nine events. She was the fastest 50 breaststroker in the 10-and-under division with a time of 41.45. She was also the runner-up in the 100 freestyle (1:13.31) and got third in the 50 freestyle (33.75), 50 backstroke (39.15) and 100 backstroke (1:24.88).
The high scorer for the Puma boys was 10-year-old Kevin Virnig. He swam seven events, and placed in the top 16 in all of them. Virnig’s best race was probably the 50 breaststroke. In prelims he took nearly five seconds off his entry time, and swam his way to a fifth place finish in the finals.
Taylor Page also contributed points on the boys’ side. Most notable were his performances in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, in which he placed seventh and sixth, respectively. In the 100 freestyle he posted a 1:02.31, which was nearly a second faster than his prelims time. His 100 backstroke time was 1:16.05, also almost a second better than his prelim time.
Other notable Puma athletes at the meet included 12-year-olds Paige Leonard (9 events) Elektra Mock (8 events), and Daniel Oliver (6 events), 11-year-old Adelynn Peterson (8 events), and 15-year-old Amanda Oliver (6 events).