Swim Cat trio reaches sections

The Union Democrat Sports Department /

The Sonora Wildcats swim program had three athletes qualify for individual events in the Sac-Joaquin Section Swimming Trials that will be heldon Thursdayand Friday, May 15-16, at Tokay High School in Lodi.

At the Valley Oak League Championshipson Saturdayin Lathrop, Wildcats Sammie Slater, Seth Farwell and Dalton Hansten posted qualifying times to advance to the section meet.

Slater, a freshman, qualified for two girls' events.

Farwell advanced in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. Hansten will move on in the 100 breaststroke.

"He dropped almost three seconds to qualify," said Wildcat head coach John-Jay Verhuel of Hansten. "He has been working so hard all year. It was really great to see."

The girls relay team of Celia Cotrone, Tess Houghton, Katie Ferris and Makena Forster along with the boys squad of Matt Scanlin, Evan Rusch, Damien Carabello and Pierce Tolbert will also move on to Trials. The girls will compete in one relay event and the boys take part in four.

Houghton set a personal best in the 500 freestyle by more than five seconds, finishing in at 5:56.99 to crack the six-minute mark for the first time.

Cotrone improved in the 50 freestyle by dropping over one second.

"The younger girls swam great," Verhuel said. "They dropped a bunch of time."

For the boys, Trevor Mills, Robby Van Noord, Scanlin and Rusch all registered strong swims.

Mills recorded a personal best in the 200 individual medley and 500 free.

For Van Noord, he dropped 18 seconds in the 500 free.

"That's a lot, even for a 20 lap race," Verhuel said. "Robby has been working all season, so I wasn't surprised by his success."

Although, Scanlin and Rusch missed out on qualifying for section individually, their leadership has provided direction for the younger members of the team.

"Both Matt and Evan are great kids that have really helped everyone swim fast all season," Verhuel said. "They are great leaders."

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