Nineteen members of the Vermillion Area Swim Team have qualified and will make the trip to Rapid City this weekend for the South Dakota State Swimming Championships. The three-day event is the last swimming event held by South Dakota Swimming LSC this winter season. This marks the most swimmers VAST will have at the state swim meet in quite some time.
In the eight and under division, VAST will be represented by five swimmers ages seven and eight. Tally Allison, 7, is the youngest VAST swimmer to make the trip and is slated to swim a maximum of seven events. Kayleen Job and Annika Granaas will also be participating.
Granaas, who is just completing her first full season with VAST, will be entered in four events. She swam to automatic qualifications at the South Dakota BC Championships this past weekend in Sioux Falls. For her efforts at that meet, she qualified in the 100-yard freestyle, 100 individual medley, and the 25 backstroke. She also will swim in the 25-yard butterfly. Job has qualified in five events this season and had a great Tri State Championship meet, finishing on the medal stand in third in the girls 25 yard breaststroke.
Joining the three VAST girls in this division are two 8-year-old boys – Gabe Telleria and Charlie Ward. Telleria, who ran away with the Tri State League high point championship in the eight and under boys division last weekend, will swim in seven events. He is currently ranked in the top six in all events. Ward, coming off an amazing performance at the Tri State Championships, will also swim seven events.
Job, Allison, Telleria and Ward will also team up to swim the 100 Medley Relay and the 100 Freestyle Relay at the State Championships.
In the 9-10 division, Hunter Lavin will be the only boy from VAST in this division. Lavin, 9, is swimming four events.
Representing VAST in the girls' 9-10 division are Annika Holdhusen, Megan Muriuki, Isabel Telleria and Anna Van Holland.
Holdhusen shocked all the coaches and herself at the BC championships when she dropped over four seconds in the 50-yard backstroke and automatically qualified to state. She will also join the other three girls for both the 200 medley and 200-yard freestyle relays. She just started swimming with VAST this past September.
Muriuki, Telleria and Van Holland will also swim in the maximum of seven individual events. Telleria was crowed high point champion this past weekend at the Tri State Championships, and Van Holland was runner up.
VAST boasts some of the top swimmers in the state in the girls' 11-12 division. Maddie Lavin, Madisen Martinez, Lexie Malimanek and Abril Telleria will team up to swim both the 200 medley and 200-yard freestyle relays in Rapid City. Lavin, Martinez and Malimanek will also each swim in seven individual events this weekend. Each of these three girls has at least one event where they are seeded first in the state.
Abril Telleria will swim in three after a great weekend at the BC Championships. She won the 100 breaststroke and earned a state qualification time along with it. She will also swim in the 50-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard freestyle.
Anna Hackemer and Kyleigh Moran look to drop time in their events at state in the girls' 13-14 division. Hackemer, 14, will swim in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, while Moran, 13, is swimming six individual events.
Kaitlin Todd, Elly Miiller and Jacob Krier round out the state qualifiers for VAST this weekend. Todd, who is from Ponca, Neb., will swim seven individual events in the girls' 17-18 division. She narrowly missed being invited to the Nebraska High School State Swim Meet held last weekend.
Competing with Todd in the same division is Miiller, who rejoined the team after a 1 ½-year hiatus. She qualified in three events, while only swimming with the team for the last two months.
Krier is going to finish his great season with seven individual events as well. Right now, he ranks in the top 16 in South Dakota in every event he is entered.
All VAST results will be posted to their Web site: www.vastsd.com.
After the state meet, VAST will still be in the water as they await the announcement of accepted entries to the Midwest Regional Swim Meet held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic center. The meet, which will have some of the fastest swimming in the upper Midwest, annually accepts more than 1300 swimmers.