Members of the Palm Springs Piranhas swim club placed second at the USA Swimming Speedo California/Nevada Sectional Championships in Santa Clarita last weekend and two swimmers have qualified for the Junior Nationals.
The Piranhas competed in the small team division and placed second, just six points behind the San Luis Obispo Swim Club. Overall, the Piranhas were 19th among all teams.
Palm Springs High School senior Kat Wickham (left), the 2013 CIF Div. II Champion in the 200 free, finished second in that same event, qualifying for the Junior Nationals. Wickham also placed 4th in the 800 free and 6th in the 1500 free then later swam the anchor leg of three Piranha Relays that finished in the top 25.
Both Travis and Wickham were named Desert Sun swimmers of the year with Wickham winning the CIF 200 and placing 4th in the 500. Travis was CIF runnerup in the backstroke and 4th in the fly. Both were members of the CIF championship relay (with all-Desert Sun teammates Alexa Wasserman and Sophie MacEwan).
Alexa Wasserman, also an Indians’ senior who competes for the Piranhas, earned a spot in the sectional finals of the 400 IM and improved her personal best time by more than 14 seconds. Xavier Prep junior Shelby Andrade was also an important part of the Piranhas success on three relays and swimming bests in the 50 free and 200 butterfly.
UC San Diego senior, Nick Korth, who competes for the Piranhas, won the senior division 100 breaststroke.
“No doubt we stood out at this meet as one of the most improved teams,” said Piranhas coach Jeff Conwell. “The amount of time being dropped by our swimmers was remarkable and put the Piranhas on the radar of several college coaches looking for recruits. I spoke with 12 different colleges now looking at members of our team.
“We started the year with no Junior National qualifiers and finished the year with two. Faith and Kat have come a long way quickly to get here and I think it’s just a matter of time before others follow their lead.”
Next up for the Piranhas will be the Junior Olympics July 24-28, the US Open Championships July 29-Aug 2nd, and Junior Nationals Aug 5-9.