Velez 100-free winner against West Valley

YAKIMA - Pedro Velez garnered the lone first place finish against the West Valley Rams this past Saturday, claiming victory in the 100-yard freestyle.

The rest of the prep swim meet went the Rams' way, though, as West Valley won 9-of-10 events to top Sunnyside, 129-22. For the Grizzly swimmers, it was their fifth dual meet defeat in as many competitions this season.

In winning the 100-freestyle, Velez bested the runner-up, Kyle Johnson of West Valley, by 1.6 seconds with his clocking of 59.78. Velez's time easily was under the District qualifying time of 1:03.39.

Velez, too, set a District meet qualifying time in the 100-yard backstroke. He clocked a runner-up finish of 1:19.05, which was slightly more than six-tenth's of a second under the District qualifying standard. West Valley's Greg Merrell won the 100-backstroke in a time of 1:08.31.

In the third event Velez competed in Saturday, the 50-free, he placed third with a clocking of 26.47 seconds. Max McGuire of West Valley won the race in a time of 23.47 seconds.

Sunnyside Coach Salvador Rodriguez is pleased with the efforts Velez is making this season.

"Velez seems to accomplish his goals at meets and in school," said Rodriguez. "He is a great athlete."

Sunnyside's George Montero, like Velez, competed in three events against the Rams. Montero's best performances came in the 100-yard breaststroke and 500-yard freestyle. He placed second in both races. In the 100-breast, Montero clocked a 1:30.82, compared to the winning time of 1:10.59 set by West Valley's Sean Bornfeld. Montero set a District meet qualifying time in the 500-free with his clocking of 6:53.76. The Rams' Chris Fortier barely clipped Montero in the long distance race, clocking a 6:52.80. Montero also managed a fifth place finish for Sunnyside in the 50-free, swimming the dash in 28.92 seconds.

"Montero swam seven seconds faster than his previous time in the 500-free," said Rodriguez. "Mission accomplished."

The Grizzlies' next scheduled competition is Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Yakima's Lions Pool against the Davis Pirates.

. Bob Story,can be contacted at

(509) 837-4500, or e-mail him



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