A successful summer season for Team Santa Monica is drawing to a close this week as many of the team’s top-qualifying swimmers compete at championship events.
Andi Murez, 15, Zak Murez, 18, and Robbie Shilton, 17, qualified for USA Swimming’s Junior National Championships, which is taking place through Friday, August 10 in Indianapolis. USA Swimming is the sanctioning body of the United States Olympic team.
Liliana Casso, 12, is one of 80 swimmers that represented Southern California during the week of August 6-10 at the North American Challenge Cup, which pits teams from the U.S. against teams from Canada and Mexico. The challenge is being held at McDonald’s Swim Stadium on the University of Southern California campus.
Junior Olympics, a championship composed of the top qualifying swimmers from Southern California Swimming, finished Sunday, August 5. Team Santa Monica sent 36 team members, and finished in the top 10.
Nine swimmers participated in the USA Swimming Western Zone Sectional Championships July 18-22 in Clovis, CA, earning a 6th place finish in the small teams division. The entrants were Isabel Casso, 14, Tessa Franke, 14, Bailey Muchin, 13, Andi Murez, 15, Devin Brady, 24, Derrick Kao, 17, Zak Murez, 18, Robbie Shilton, 17, Zach Statler, 17, and George Sun, 15.
Eight Team Santa Monica swimmers had standout performances at the California Junior Lifeguard Championships in Santa Barbara July 21. The swimmers were part of the Los Angeles County Junior Lifeguard All-Star Team that had won their spots in a countywide competition.
Placing in the top three of their age group categories were Colette Gulick, 14, Marisa Purcell, 14, Liliana Casso, 12, Nick DeVito, 11, Tristan Marsh, 11, and Meriel Mitsakos, 11. Jenny Johnson, 11, and Alexander Landau, 11, finished in the top eight.
The championships were sponsored by the California Surf Lifesaving Association, a nonprofit organization chartered to promote beach safety awareness and professional open-water lifesaving standards.