The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


February 2, 2013

Valdez gets state cut at Jenks meet

JENKS, Okla. —  Ashley Valdez capped a good day for the Enid swimmers at the Jenks Last Chance Swim Meet Saturday by getting her state qualifying time in the girls’ 200-yard individual medley.

Valdez had a time of two minutes and 35.38 seconds to go under the qualifying standard of 2:36. She had entered the meet with a previous best time of 2:37.69.

“I’m really happy for her,’’ said Shipley, who saw Michael Johnson (50 free), Christy McMeans (50 free) and Jeremy Crise (100 free) get state cuts the day before. “You want to get as many kids as in many events as you can at the state meet.’’

The Enid girls and boys who already had meet state qualifying standards made strong statements in the team’s next-to-last meet before state, Feb. 15-16, at the same Jenks pool.

The Pacers were fourth in the girls division with 225 points, not too far behind second-place Stillwater (249) and third-place Union (229). Jenks won with 476 points.

Sara Nazari, who had been slowed by a back injury much of the season, showed her old form. The junior won the 200 IM with a season-best 2:18 and was second in the 100 back in 1:04.02.

She teamed with Whitney Livesay, Valdez and Hunter McEachern to finish third in both the 200 medley (1:58.68, season best) and 200 (1:49.45) free relays. The medley relay was just off the school record of 1:58.44.

“I don’t know if she’s 100 percent, but she’s at least 90 percent,’’ Shipley said. “She is very focused. She’ll be 100 percent by state.’’

McEachern won the 100 breast in 1:10.96 and was second in the 50 free in 24.86.

“Hunter’s times are coming down like they usually do at the end of the season,’’ Shipley said.

Livesay was fourth in the 200 IM (2:25.7) and seventh in the 100 butterfly (1:07.61). McMeans was seventh in the 50 free (27.86) and Valdez was seventh in 100 breast (1:19.48).

Destiny Turner, Makinzie Fisher, McMeans and Hannah Esquibel were seventh in the 400 free relay in 4:47.33.

Gabe Sanchez led the boys to a eighth-place finish with 54 points. Bartlesville won the meet with 369 points.

Sanchez was fourth in both the 100 free (52.57) and 100 back (1:02.28). He teamed with Jeremy Crise, Charley Laws and Johnson to finish seventh in the 200 medley relay (1:58.64) and 200 free relay (1:46.27).

Shipley estimated Enid swimmers had at least 20 personal best times at the meet.

“Everybody is taking time off,’’ she said. “We’re right where we need to be  two weeks from state. Everything is looking good. We just have to figure out what we want to swim at state.’’

The Pacers and Plainsmen will host Piedmont in a dual Friday at the Denny Price Family YMCA. Senior Night will be observed.

“We want to do our best for the home crowd and then focus on state,’’ Shipley said.

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