The Team Santa Monica swimming squad finished in fifth place at the Pacific Committee Spring Short Course Championships at Rose Bowl Aquatics in Pasadena the weekend of March 17th and 18th.

Forty-nine swimmers six to 15 years old from Team Santa Monica competed against 20 other teams at the Short Course Championships.

“I am very proud of the spirit our swimmers displayed this weekend,” coach Jon Carroll said. “For many of our swimmers, this was their second weekend in a row of competition. Our younger swimmers were exuberant and showed great improvement in swimming to new personal records.”

Team Santa Monica member Orion Young, 14, placed in the top three in each of his seven events, capturing victories in the 200-meter individual medley (2:13), 50-meter freestyle (24.87) and 200-meter breast stroke (2:26).

Head age-group coach Alexandra Tungland said Young’s stroke is “really efficient in the water.”

“His swims always look like they don’t require much effort, which is a rare talent to have,” Tungland said. “Orion could get up and swim any race and walk away in the top three. He’s just talented like that.”

J.P. Mortenson, eight, and sister, Nina, ten, who joined Team Santa Monica in the fall, captured a three gold medals at the competition.

The team also had success in the longer-distance swimming events, as Liliana Castro, 11, Bailey Munchin, 13 and Jonathan Lait, 14, captured victories in the mile event with times of 18:31, 18:30 and 18:09 respectively.

“We have built up a great deal of momentum as a team over the course of this fall and winter,” Carroll said. “I look forward to keeping the ball rolling in our drive to become one of the premier teams in Southern California swimming.”

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