LA MIRADA — Swimmer Annika Ostrem led the way for Tehachapi during the 2014 Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation Swimming Championship on Aug. 16 at the La Mirada Aquatics Center in La Mirada.
The 14-year-old helped lift the Kern County All-Stars to a first place overall finish, after claiming a first place finish in the 100-yard IM (1:10:38), and a pair of third place finishes in the 50-yard back (34.29) and the 50-yard free with a time of 28.57.
Led by Wasco High swim coach Joaquin Castillo, the Kern County All-Stars was just one of 31 teams from the 10 counties making up southern California, which competed in the 62-event competition, and was made up of 60 swimmers from various swim clubs throughout Kern county, including the Tehachapi Barracudas and the Bear Valley Grizzlies.
According to Castillo, it had been at least six years since Kern County has participated as a group in the SMCAF Championship, but it was as if it hadn't missed a beat.
As a team, Kern County scored 1,272 points, a staggering 488 points better than second place Los Angeles County East.
Both the boys and girls dominated the meet from start to finish, with the boys division claiming a first place title, scoring 870 points and the girls division beating second place El Monte by an eye-popping 396 points.
Among the other swimmers from Tehachapi that placed well, were, Bear Valley's Victoria Ritchie who walked away with second place finishes in the 100-yard free (1:08:52) and the 50-yard fly with a time of 39.00.
Meanwhile, the Tehachapi Barracudas' were led by 16-year-old Emma Knowlton who placed first in the 50-yard fly with a time of 34.38, and fourth in 50-yard back with a time of 35.89
Her sister, 13-year-old Gracie Knowlton took sixth in the 50-yard butterfly (35.54) and seventh in the 50-yard back (40.93), while nine-year-old Carter Yeomans finished second in the 50-yard back (38.36) and third in 100-yard IM with a time of 1:27.32.
Other Bear Valley swimmers that performed well were sisters Alaina Riggs and Jessica Riggs.
Alaina finished first in the 9-10 girls100 IM (1:31:67) and fifth in the 50-yard fly (41.08), while the elder sibling turned in a strong second place performance during the 13-14 girls 50-yard breast (37.11) and an impressive fourth place finish in the 100-yard free (1:04:09)
Swimming their best for the Grizzlies' and recording top 10 finishes, were Victoria McJunkin, who took fifth in the 13-14 girls 50-yard fly(35.42), and ninth in the 50-yard breast (42.24).
Ella Moomey (BVS), seventh in the 11-12 girls 50-yard fly (34.96), and 10th in the 50-yard free (31.35), and sibling Reilly Moomey, who took sixth in the 13-14 girls 50-yard fly (38.29) fourth in the 50-yard back(39.81).
Finally, the Grizzlies Jackson Ritchie walked away with an eighth-place finish in the 9-10 boys 50-yard fly (58.26) as well as ninth in the 50-yard back with a time of 52.20.
"This year marked the first of a new group of outstanding Kern County swimmers that came together to compete as one," Castillo said."They dominated and will continue this new tradition in the 2015 swim season."