Fast kicking led to outstanding performances at the Tuolumne County Aquatic Masters 2nd annual Holiday Kick-Off at Sonora Sports and Fitness Center.
Sixteen swimmers challenged themselves on Dec. 13 to kick as fast as they could for 400 yards, which is 16 laps.
The swimmers had the option of using each of the four kicks, including free, back, breast and fly. Keeping their hands on the kick board was required except at the turns.
Casey Slater, 42, led the team for the second year in a row. She broke her previous time by one second to finish in 6:13.06.
For the men, 71-year-old Dick Todd also finished first for the second year in a row in 7:06.08.
The two youngest participants, Jon Tillay, 27, and Angie Pack, 28, both finished in second place overall. Tillay kicked in at 7:37.51 followed by Pack in just under eight minutes at 7:58.90.
Jane Lucich, 51, put on a surge during the last 50 yards to drop five seconds (9:34.70) under her best from last year. She was awarded the outstanding kicker of the event based on her effort and drop in time.
Taking the challenge along with Todd in the 70-79 age division were Karl Kleman, 73, in 9:03.06 and first year swimmer, Bob Wilson, 70, in 10:15.63.
In the 60-69 group, Jon Mahanna, 66, and Ruth Garretson, 68, kicked close together for the entire distance. They finished seven seconds apart with Mahanna placing first for men in 9:19.31 and Garretson (9:26.13) was first for women.
Finishing second in the division were Sheryl Parola, 65, in 9:39.25, just 13 seconds behind Garretson. Gary Johnson, 62, was second in 12:56.77.
The Lucich wife-husband duo dominated the 50-59 division. Jane and Jim Lucich, 54, both placed first. Jim narrowly missed breaking nine minutes with a time of 9:00.81. Jenny Van Blaricom, 54, was second behind Jane in 11:56.53.
Kicking in after Slater in the 40-49 division, were Patti Philpott, 43, in 8:25.44 followed closely by Darci Scanlin, 47, in 8:41.11.
The 400-yard kick event is offered as a postal event by the Menlo Masters. Swimmers can submit their overall times and be ranked amongst other competitors in five-year age divisions. Results will be announced in January.
The TCAM group is in winter training for its annual mile and one hour swims which will be held in January.