Ex-Sonora swimmers excel in college


Former Sonora High School swimmers Michael Baier, Jason Tufts, Sara Painter and Alicia Wilson have carried on their careers in college.

Baier, a freshman for the University of California at San Diego, swam to seven personal-best times in the Pacific Championships at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach. He swam one minute, 56.62 seconds in the 200 individual medley, 4:08.82 in the 400 IM, 2:10.87 in the 200 breaststroke, 1:43.94 in the 200 freestyle and 1:56.21 in the 200 backstroke, posting NCAA Division II national B qualifying times in each race.

He also was part of a three-freshman, one-sophomore team which posted an A qualifying time in the 800 free relay. Because of that, Baier will be able to swim his other events at the Division II nationals next week in Orlando, Fla.

Baier, who graduated from Sonora last June as a much-decorated swimmer in the Valley Oak League, also had personal bests in the 100 free (47.89) and 100 breast (1:00.12) during the Pacific meet .

Tufts, a sophomore at Division I Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, swam to personal bests in all four of his events in the Big West Conference Championships in Long Beach.

The 2000 Sonora graduate, who teamed with Baier to help Sonora win the VOL championship that year, had a Junior National qualifying time of 52.54 in the 100 back and missed by a hundreth of a second in the 200 back at 1:54.80.

Painter, a sophomore at UC Santa Cruz, had four lifetime bests in the Pacific meet on the Division III level. She clocked 5:37.81 in the 500 free, 2:03.89 in the 200 free, 1:07.02 in the 100 back and 56.95 in the 100 free.

Wilson, a freshman at Division I Fresno State, posted three bests at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in San Antonio, Texas. She finished the 100 free in 56.28, the 200 free in 2:03.60 and the 100 back in 1:06.17. Wilson came close to her best in the 50 free in 26.77.

The Union Democrat
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