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Clippers cut time at home

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The Cottonwood Clippers swim team hosted its annual meet of the summer, the Verde Valley Invitational, on Saturday, July 22, at the Cottonwood Aquatics Center.

Eleven Clippers finished in the top three of their respective age group, and 20 were in the top five. Head coach Gretchen Wesbrock was happy about more than just the time drops the swimmers had, which she said were seen in every age group.

Alistair Wasden competes in the 25-yard breaststroke. Wasden, an 8-year-old, took second in the event behind teammate Cameron Walker.
“With the younger kids, getting them to do the strokes correctly,” Wesbrock said. “They see it’s not just about speed.”

It is the second summer that Wesbrock, the high school age coach, and husband Jon, who coaches the age group swimmers, are in charge of the program. But this summer has seen much more improvement than the last.

About 90 Clippers swimmers competed at the Saturday meet, and in general there has been more dedication.

“More have stuck with the season, they’ve trained the entire time,” Wesbrock said.
“There’s been a drastic improvement in stroke [technique] this summer compared to last summer.”

Moving forward Wesbrock said that the team wants to expand its age minimum from 7 to 5 years old, but given that those interested should already have taken swimming lessons.

The final meet of the summer will be on Saturday, July 29, in Payson against the Payson Pikes.

36th Annual Verde Valley Invitational Results

Top Three Individual Finishers
Age Group
Name, Age, Overall place, Point total

Six and Under Girls
Gracie Wesbrock, 6, First, 36
Rylie Ellis, 6, Third, 26

Seven to Eight Boys

Cameron Walker, 8, Third, 27

Nine to 10 Girls

Kenzie Fangman, 10, Tied-Third, 23

11 to 12 Boys
Evan Doerkson, 12, Second, 25
13 to 14 Girls
Zoey Arwine, 14, Tied-First, 32
13 to 14 Boys

Landon Trezise, 13, Second, 28

15 to 18 Girls
Emma Warner, 15, Tied-Second, 30
Rylie Burke, 16, Tied-Second, 30
15 to 18 Boys
Fletch Fangman, 16, Second, 19

Dallin Gordon, 16, Third, 26

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