A trio of Los Banos swimmers with the Merced Skimmers swim team is competing at the Central California Swimming Long Course Junior Olympics this weekend at Clovis West High School in Fresno.
Emily Trejo qualified for the meet in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, 100-meter breaststroke, 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley. Christian Wakefield qualified in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley.
In addition, Luke Young will compete in several relays for the team. Coach Josh Weinberger, who heads up the Los Banos contingent of the Skimmers, said before the meet that Young’s relay events weren’t determined yet, but would most likely be the 200-meter freestyle relay and the 200-meter medley relay.
“We’ve got a decent sized team here (in Los Banos) this year, around 30 or 40 kids,” Weinberger said. “And I use them as an example for those kids to look up to.”
The Junior Olympics meet began on Thursday and runs through Sunday, and attracts all 17 of the USA Swim clubs in central California – from Bakersfield to Merced.
“For the age-groupers, it’s a real big one,” Weinberger said. “It’s the culmination of their entire summer.”
Next on the calender will be the Western Age Group Zones from Aug. 6 to 9, which Trejo has qualified for. Weinberger said he didn’t have any swimmers that have qualified for the Far Westerns in Concord from July 31 to Aug. 3, but it’s still possible to get those times at this weekend’s event.
“It just depends. Every event has it’s own qualifying time,” he said. “Depending on how much work they’ve done to get their Junior Olympic times, it may just be another little nudge or it may be a big jump.”