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Gila Ridge boys, girls beat Yuma High
Two swimmers used Thursday's meet to get ever closer to their goals of qualifying for state.
Gila Ridge's Jessika Martinez and Yuma High's Trae Land made big improvements as their schools faced off at Marcus Pool.
Martinez shaved 76 seconds off her time in the girls 500-yard freestyle event. Martinez said that she was happy to see that her hard work is paying off.
“It feels pretty good,” she said. “It's good to know that after every practice I'm getting better and better.”
Yuma was short on swimmers for the meet, leaving Martinez to race solely against her fellow Hawks.
“I just wanted to beat my teammates,” she said. “I know that sounds bad, but to me when I compare myself to someone else it helps me and improves me. It makes me go faster and want to beat them.”
Gila Ridge swept the meet with the girls team winning 132-27 and the boys winning 139-11. It's the second victory in a row for the Hawks who also won at Lake Havasu on Tuesday.
For the Criminals, Land was just more than a second short of a state qualifying race in the boys 50 freestyle event. Land came in second, just behind the Hawks Chace Williams.
“Hopefully I can drop some time,” he said. “Hopefully by the end of the season I should be able to make the time.”
Martinez has the same goal. Gila Ridge coach Heather LaVin said that Martinez is definitely showing her competitive spirit as of late.
“It was just awesome,” LaVin said. “(Martinez is) just really feeling some momentum with her swimming right now.”
“Today was about mixing it up for my swimmers,” LaVin said. “I put them in a lot of events they hadn't competed in. I wanted to get some times on stuff that we hadn't actually gotten a time on competitively.”
Yuma coach Jon Rochelle said he was still impressed of his teams performance regardless of the outcome.
“It was an amazing meet,” Rochelle said. “I was really proud of my kids. My kids have come so far. They're great kids, they swim so hard.”
Rochelle said that he was impressed with the way some of the junior varsity swimmers swam during the meet.
“Everyone really stepped up,” Rochelle said. “Oscar (Corduba), Carlos (Vargas) and Alex (Moreno) all stepped up to a varsity race which they'd never done before.”
The Criminals were down to just 12 swimmers from their usual team of 20 due to a mixture of illness and grades. Land said that didn't stop the Criminals from giving it their all.
“It still worked,” Land said. “We swam hard and tried hard and that's all we could really do. I had a good meet, everyone was having fun and that's all that really matters.”
Haylee Dahl, Weston Lines and Williams all had two first-place finishes a piece for Gila Ridge.
Dahl won the girls 200 freestyle as well as the 100 breaststroke. Lines won the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly, while Williams took the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke.
Erin Redmond can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6880.