The Union Democrat Sports Department

Ashley Nersesian led three other Tuolumne County Aquatics teammates at the Sierra Nevada Junior Olympics on Mar. 2-4.

The Junior Olympics, a qualifying meet, require a certain time standard to participate. Over 400 swimmers, ages 8-14, competed in the meet held at Folsom Aquatic Complex in Folsom.

Nersesian, 12, swam in six events, and obtained a personal record in five of those swims. She placed in the Top 10 in her 11-12 age group, qualifying her for the finals in all of her events.

Nersesian's most impressive races came in the finals of her 400

individual medley (5:13.98) and 500 Freestyle (5:48.66), where she

improved by over five seconds from her preliminary races earlier in the


She also competed in the 1650 freestyle (19:57.62), where she had

her highest place amongst her age group, finishing third. In her 200

freestyle (2:11.93) and 100 butterfly (1:08.75), she dropped tenths of

a second to better her times in both swims.

Samantha Slater, Kelsey Burr, and Leah Jensvold also had impressive meets.

Slater, 13, swam to personal best times in the majority of her

events, building on an already notable season in the 13-14 age group.

She attained new personal bests in the 100 butterfly (1:08.54), 200 IM

(2:28.74) and 400 IM (5:24.36). Her 200 IM was the highlight of the

meet - a four-second time drop and a new "A" time standard.

Burr, 10, kicked off the meet with an exciting 200 freestyle

(2:50.45). She swam a perfect race, going out long and strong and

coming back fast for a seven second improvement. Her swim set the

momentum for the rest of the team during the weekend. She also competed

in the 100 IM (1:32.48) and 50 backstroke (45.14).

Jensvold, 10, competing for the first time for TCA, swam three

extraordinary races. She finished high in her 9-10 age group, narrowly

missing finals swims in her 50 breaststroke (43.81) and 100

breaststroke (1:35.01), finishing 13th. In her 100 IM, she raced to a

four second improvement and a 25th place finish.

TCA is kicking off a busy spring schedule with upcoming meets in Merced.