Los Banos Invite set for PHS pool

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comApril 6, 2013 

Hundreds of high school swimmers and divers will descend upon the Pacheco High pool this Saturday for the third-annual Los Banos Swimming and Diving Invitational.

The meet will include seven teams -- Los Banos, Pacheco, Merced, Hilmar, Patterson, Chowchilla and Dos Palos -- along with 10 to 12 diving teams. Unlike many meets, the swimming and diving portions are separate, with swimmers who are also divers asked to choose between the two.

"Since not many diving meets around, (diving coach Rick Foell) is trying to put together a championship-style meet," LBHS swim coach Drew Guintini said. "This one's more like a meet they would experience at the section meet. They want them to do all 11 dives. It's more of an intense, structured meet."

On the swimming side, Merced has won the first two editions of the Invitational, with LB placing second both years.

"Merced's a pretty good team. Just based off of numbers, they have a really good team," Guintini said. "It would take a substantial effort to beat them. But one good thing about it is I want to have good races. A quality team like that helps our swimmers, and it's fun to compete against them. They have 93 kids or something ridiculous like that."

Having Merced come to Los Banos reminds Guintini of the days when LB was in the Central California Conference with the Merced schools.

"When we were in the CCC we raced against them all the time, and it was always fun to race against them," he said.

The main goal of the meet is to get swimmers race-time experience, and maybe get a few more to hit their section-qualifying times, either for varsity or frosh-soph.

"We want to see some of the kids that don't get to swim individual races at league dual meets because of space, and get other swimmers that are trying for sections to get times," Guintini said. "In-race experience is the key to the day."

The seven-team field is down one from last year's eight teams.

"We're trying to get some more teams," Guintini said. "Every year we gain one or two teams, or one will back out."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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