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CHS swimmers set personal records at WAC finals
• Brar medals in three different races
Jessie Blevins
Ceres High’s Jessie Blevins placed fourth in both the 200 free and 500 free at the WAC Championships last week. - photo by Dale Butler

Nine members of Ceres High’s swim program advanced to the finals of the Western Athletic Conference Championships last week in Modesto.

“All of the kids that competed did great,” head coach Angelique Huerta Alvarado said. “There were PRs (personal records) the first and second days. The was pretty cool to see.”

The top three individuals in each event were awarded medals at the WAC Finals, staged April 19-20 at Johansen.

Zhaira Brar, Jessie Blevins, Amber Hopwood, Layla Abraham, Alana Inahara, Haley Gaskill and Makynzie Hale led Ceres High’s girls team.

Brar placed second in the 100 free and third in the breast.

The sophomore set personal records in both events.

“She’s got a lot of talent,” said Huerta Alvarado. “She has fun whenever she’s swimming. She separates the stress from her goals. I’m really excited to see how she improves over the years.”

Ceres High’s 4x400 free relay team of Brar, Blevins, Hopwood and Abraham placed third.

“I expected them to medal again this year,” Huerta Alvarado said. “I’m glad they did. All four of those swimmers are hard workers and encourage each other in the pool. I’m really proud of them.”

Blevins just missed out on medaling in two events as she placed fourth in both the 200 free and 500 free.

The sophomore set personal records in both events.

“She’s a great athlete,” saidAlvarado. “Her skill and endurance are improving. She works really hard. She wants to get better times. She wants us coaches to push her past her limits.”

Hopwood, a senior, placed fifth in the 100 breast.

Inahara, a junior, placed ninth in the 100 breast.

Gaskill, a senior, placed 15th in the 500 free and 16th in the 200 free.

Hale, a senior, placed 13th in the 100 fly.

Abraham, a sophomore, placed 12th in the 100 back.

Ceres High’s girls posted a score of 156 while finishing sixth overall in the team standings at the WAC Championships.

Jesus Valdovinos and Jose Carranza led Ceres High’s boys team.

Valdovinos, a senior, placed ninth in the 100 breast and 14th in the 100 free.

He set personal records in both events.

“I’m really glad I had the opportunity to coach him. He was always enthusiastic. He was a very hard worker.”

Carranza placed 11th in the 200 free and 16th in the 50 free.

The sophomore set personal records in both events.

“I’m really glad we had him on the team. He did great this year.”

The shorthanded Bulldogs totaled 19 points while finishing last in the team standings.

Hopwood, Gaskill, Hale and Valdovinos will be lost to graduation.

Brar, Blevins, Abraham, Inahara and Carranza could return to the team next spring.

“I’m excited to have them come back. Hopefully, we’ll see them qualify for sections. That would be really exciting.”