Team Santa Monica swimmers contributed some strong performances at the 2009 Southern California Swimming Winter Age Group Championships at the Desert Breeze Aquatic Center in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Santa Monica High School freshman Andy Lau, 14, led the way by winning gold medals in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:17.63 and the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.54 seconds.

The 13-14 boys 800-yard freestyle relay team featuring Lau and Santa Monica High freshmen Adrian Tang, Scott Simmer and Steven Turnbull was also victorious on the opening night of the meet.

For the girls team, Payton Perrotta, 13, of El Segundo, contributed top-three finishes in the 200-yard backstroke (second), 500-yard freestyle (second) and 200-yard freestyle (third).

The efforts of Lau, Perrotta and the rest of the 41-swimmer Team Santa Monica contingent placed the team third in the women’s division, seventh in the men’s, and fourth overall in the combined results, coaches said.

Lau and Perrotta both qualified to compete at the 2009 California/Nevada Sectional Meet and 15 other team members qualified to compete as well. The meet featured teams from as far north as Sacramento and as far south as San Diego.

Team Santa Monica is a nonprofit swimming club that serves Santa Monica and its surrounding areas. The team trains daily at the Santa Monica Swim Center and Culver City Plunge.

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