VAST turns on the heat in Sioux Falls

Nineteen Vermilion Area Swim Team members made the hour trip to Sioux Falls July 6-8 for the annual Snowfox Independence Invitational hosted by the Sioux Falls Snowfox swim team. The team had an outstanding showing, even with the record heat on Friday.

12 and under division

Qualifying to her first ever South Dakota State Championship was nine-year-old Toria Andre. She made the automatic qualification time in the girls' 9-10 50 and 100-meter backstrokes. In doing so, she dropped just over six seconds in the 50 back off of her personal best and 17 seconds off of her

personal best in the 100 backstroke.

But Andre was done there. Her improvements on the weekend included dropping a whopping 42.34 seconds in the 100-meter breaststroke and nearly making the state cut in that event as well.

"Toria was unable to swim two weeks ago in Yankton and came out there and really wanted to do well," said Coach Mike Moran. "She obviously did that and the entire coaching staff are very proud of her making her first state championship."

Eight-year-old Gabe Telleria once again was back to his winning ways. Telleria only competed in six events, one shy of the maximum for the meet, and swam to a third place high point award for the meet. He placed first in the boys 8 and under 200-meter freestyle and the 100-meter breaststroke. He also added two second-place and two third-place finishes as well.

His sister Isabel Telleria kept on dropping time as well. Isabel notched a win in the girls' 9-10 50-meter backstroke and also added a second place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke. She finished third in the 200 yard freestyle, dropping 6.86 seconds off of her personal best as well.

Yovani Topete, age 10, also added great swims all weekend. He touched the wall in third place in the boys' 9-10 200-meter freestyle, second place in the 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter freestyle, and in the 100-meter freestyle.

13 and older division

All swimmers 13 and older swam in the preliminary rounds in the morning and tried to qualify to the top 16 in the evening. However, this meet, they allowed 12-year-olds to swim up to this harder division. Three VAST swimmers made the big jump with great results.

Araceli Topete of Sioux City added even more events to her program at the Central Zone meet later this summer. She grabbed fourth place in the 13-14 girls 200-yard backstroke and made a AAA national level time. Topete also finished fourth place in the 100-meter freestyle and sixth place in the 50-meter freestyle. She is now qualified to the Zones meet in four events.

Maddie Lavin had a grueling event list for the weekend and came out of Sioux Falls with great results. The twelve year old also competed in the girls' 13-14 division and finished in fifth place in the 400-meter individual medley, seventh place in both the 100-meter butterfly and third place in the 200-meter butterfly.

Her time in the 200 butterfly of 2:44.29 tied the exact mark needed for the AAA national time, and thus is qualified for the Zone meet in that event too.

Madisen Martinez added a fifth place in the girls 13-14 100 meter breaststroke on Sunday. Martinez who is still 12, also touched the wall in seventh place in the 200-meter breaststroke on Saturday.

Two swimmers from VAST dropped significant amounts of time in the distance event – the 400 meter freestyle. Anna Hackemer lowered her personal best in the event by 19 seconds. She also finished 16th in the girls' 13-14 200-meter backstroke on Sunday evening.

Kyleigh Moran also dropped her personal best in the 400-meter freestyle. She took off 14 seconds in the event. She also placed 12th in the 200-meter breaststroke on Saturday and 14th in the 100-meter breaststroke on Sunday.

Lexie Malimanek also lowered many of her personal bests, including shaving off four seconds in both the 100-meter breaststroke and the 200-meter IM. She placed as high as 10th in the 200-meter backstroke in the girls' 13-14 division.

VAST had one male swimmer in the 13 and older division – Jacob Krier. He finished in 10th place in the 50-meter freestyle and the 200-meter backstroke. Krier is now ranked in the top eight in the state in the boys' 15-16 category.

The swimmers are still working hard to get to the state meet in Rapid City later this month. On Friday, 18 swimmers from VAST will make the trip to Brookings for their final tune up before the state meet.

For full results from all meets and information on how to join the team, visit the Vermillion Area Swim Team Web site: www.vastsd.com <http://www.vastsd.com/> .

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