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Clippers prepare to host Verde Valley Invitational
Written by George Werner   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:27

More than 130 swimmers will be competing in nearly 500 individual and relay events Saturday, July 26, as the Verde Valley Invitational celebrates its 33rd year.

Mingus Union High School junior Kimberly Rogers practices for the Cottonwood Clippers by swimming laps in the early morning hours at the Cottonwood Outdoor Public Pool. Rogers will be competing in several events in the 15- to 18-year-old age group Saturday, July 26, at the Verde Valley Invitational.

That should make this year one of the smaller invitationals in its history.

“That’s how it ended up,” said Daniel Nevarez, head coach of the Cottonwood Clippers, the club swimming team hosting the meet at the Cottonwood Outdoor Public Pool, next door to the Recreation Center. “I always want a bigger invite.”

Club teams from Bullhead City, Kingman, Lake Havasu and even as far away as Needles, Calif., were invitational regulars at the meets this decade but could not attend this weekend due to a schedule conflict with a state qualifying meet at the same time.

“I’m always looking for Needles,” Nevarez said. “We want all the teams from around there to come and have great swims.”

And between the four club teams that will be competing — the Clippers, Payson Pikes, Prescott Valley Barracuda and Sedona Swordfish — there will be 132 swimmers competing in 495 individual events and relays.

“Sedona may have a smaller team, but they have some dynamite kids,” Nevarez said. “The other teams are only going to have 15 or 16 kids each, but that’s what we strive for — not just to have fun, but to have good competition [and] see where we stand.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, July 23, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


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