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Oakdale Aquatics Runners-Up In Sonora
8-17 OAK Swim1
Oakdales Alissa Burford speeds to the finish for a Far Western Invitational qualifying time in the 100-meter breaststroke during a meet in Sonora recently. - photo by Photo Contributed

A wave of personal bests, ‘A’ time standards, Junior Olympic qualifications and even Far Western nods were awarded to swimmers of the Oakdale Aquatics Club during the U.S.A. Swim Tuolumne Aquatics meet in Sonora from Aug. 5 to 7.

After the ripples settled, Oakdale had come up with an impressive second place team finish among all competing programs.

“This was due to the combination of our year round swimmers and also our fall season swimmers who have continued on from our Oakdale Gators Team,” Oakdale assistant coach Brian Fogarty said. “We currently have over 50 swimmers practicing with us. (It is) very exciting to see our program expanding so rapidly.”

Soren Dickens collected rights to attend the Far Western Invitational with big swims, and also nabbed the highest achievement standard possible in Pacific Swimming standards by recording a ‘Pacific Reportable Time’ with a 1 minute, 1.66 second 100 breaststroke.

The time would have landed Dickens, an Oakdale High freshman, fourth overall in the Sac-Joaquin Section frosh/soph finals last spring and 11th overall among the best varsity swimmers in the section. And Dickens is still several months away from his first prep swim meet.

Alissa Burford also received Far Western qualification after big swims in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events (1.14.08 and 2.43.15 respectively).

CeCe Hurst, Summer Thompson, Nate Van Cleave, Ryan Jones and Will Cavanaugh also nabbed Junior Olympic standards with explosive swims.

Kassidy Houck, Haley Rivera, Caden Nord, Scarlett Green, Jackson Metcalfe, Clare McKeon, Dustin Vandenbosch, Bianca Varela, Rhett Harrison, Emily Basnight, and Erickson Dickens also nabbed ‘A’ time standards during the highly successful meet.

Head coach Russ Van Cleave and assistant coaches Ronny Thompson, Kate Kjeldgaard and Brian Fogarty were on hand to coach swimmers through the races.