By PATTI SCOTT-BAIER

Special to The Union Democrat

Tuolumne County Aquatic Masters swimmers sprinted into the new season by competing at the annual Valentine’s meet on Feb. 2. The meet was held at the University of San Francisco indoor aquatic center.

Over 300 swimmers competed at the fast paced meet which offered only 50 and 100 yard races.

The five local swimmers raced to 20 top 10 finishes in their respective age divisions.

Karen Kessel, 60 set two personal bests while Jeff Johanson, 64 had one best plus swam the 100 IM for the first time. Kessel placed in the top five in all of her swims.

Eighty-two year old, Toni Wivell, scored in the top three in each of her four swims. She finished first in the 100 back.

Matt Gass, 61 and Susan Loyd, 59 had strong swims with placings in the top ten. Gass finished first in the 100 fly.

The team continues to train through out the winter for team challenge events and upcoming meets in Santa Clara, Palo Alto and Oakdale.

22497190