Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 16, 2010

PASA gets another championship performance at Far Westerns

by Keith Peters

Alex Liang is on spring break this week along with his classmates at Duveneck School in Palo Alto, where he is a fifth-grader. Liang certainly can use a little time off after what he accomplished last weekend at swimming's Far Western Short Course Championships in Morgan Hill.

Liang, 10, won all seven of the events he swam in and helped in an eighth victory in the 200 free relay. He set four Pacific Swimming records, six Far Western meet records, six Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics age-division marks and won the high-point trophy in the boys' 10-under division.

Liang's performance helped PASA win the overall team championship.

Liang won the 50-yard backstroke (29.33), 100 back (1:02.97), 50 fly (28.00), 100 fly (1:01.67), 100 IM (1:05.26), 200 IM (2:20.37) and 100 free (57.40). He also joined with Merryle Wang, Michael An, and Max Ferenczy to win the 200 free relay in 1:54.03. Liang also swam on the third-place 200 medley relay team that clocked 2:10.03.

Joining Liang as a high-point winner was Ally Howe in the girls' 13-14 division. She won the 100 back (55.42), 200 back (2:00.24) and 100 fly (54.67) in addition to taking second in the 100 free (51.04) and second in the 200 fly (2:03.63). She also swam on three winning relays -- the 400 medley (3:58.66), 200 free (1:37.42) and 800 free (7:50.26) with various team members that included Marie Pierre-Delisle, Lindsey Miller, Jayna Winterbrink, Carly Reid and Courtney Batcheller. PASA also took second in the 200 medley relay (1:49.95).

PASA's Curtis Ogren was a standout in the boys' 13-14 division as he won the 100 breast (1:00.12) and 200 breast (2:07.40). He also was second in the 200 back (1:53.17), second in the 200 IM (1:54.29), third in the 200 free (1:43.54), and fourth in the 500 free.

Ogren also swam on five relays, four of which finished first. The 200 medley relay won in 1:41.92, the 400 medley topped everyone in 3:40.90, the 200 free was first in 1:31.54 and the 800 free won in 7:15.03. The 400 free relay was second in 3:19.82. Relay members for all five events included William Lee, Sean Nguyen and Andrew Liang, who also took second in the 50 free in 22.37.

Daichi Matsuda of PASA was another busy swimmer as he won the 100 fly (56.54) and 200 fly (2:01.49) in the boys' 11-12 division. He also took second in the 100 IM (58.52) and second in the 400 IM (4:22.28). Matsuda also swam on the winning 400 medley relay (4:05.23), the first-place 200 medley relay (1:52.30), the winning 200 free relay (1:40.08) and the first-place 400 free relay (3:37.20). Relay members included Winston Wang, Bo Field, Daniel Sing and Benjamin Ho.

Palo Alto High's Jasmine Tosky and Sarah Liang, both members of PASA, swam unattached in a few events, as well. Tosky won the girls' 15-16 100 back (56.29) and the 200 fly (1:58.96) and took second in the 100 breast (1:04.99). Liang competed in the girls' 17-18 division and finished second in the 100 back (57.82) and 200 fly (2:07.36).

Sarah Winters from Menlo-Atherton High competed unattached and won the 17-18 division 1000 free in 10:39.01.

Masters

Jody Smith and Daniela Barnea have something in common. So, too, does Barry Fasbender, John Sulzbach and Pat Keller. Not only are all Masters swimmers, but all have been selected as the 2009 Swimmer of the Year in their respective age division by Pacific Masters Swimming.

All five local swimmers were selected based on their performances in short course, long course, short-course meters and open water events. The honor also was based on the number of points earned for first through third places in the Pacific Masters Swimming top 10, first through 10th in the U.S. Masters Swimming Top 10, USMS records, PMS records and first through third places in open water competitions.

Smith won for the women's 40-44 age division while Barnea did likewise for the women's 65-69 bracket. Both compete for Stanford Masters Swimming, coached by Tim Edmonds.

In the men's awards, Fasbender won in the 70-74 division, Sulzbach took the 75-79 bracket and Keller on in the 90-94 category. Fasbender swims for Stanford Masters, Sulzbach for Menlo Masters and Keller for Rinconada Masters.

All five will be honored on Saturday at the Pacific Masters Short Course Championships in Pleasanton. A total of 15 men and 15 women were named Swimmer of the Year. Out of that group, two athletes (one male, one female) will be named the 2009 Overall Swimmers of the Year on Saturday.

Some 911 swimmers will be competing this weekend in Pleasanton and many of them are coming off performances at last weekend's Bay Area Senior Games at Stanford. Barnea, a Palo Alto resident, was one of those competing. She won gold medals in the 50 breast, 100 breast, 50 fly, 100 fly and 200 IM.

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