Print Crocodiles back in the water
Written by Brian Bergner   
Friday, 05 August 2011 08:00

Jeremiah Wilmot, 17, competes for the Camp Verde Swim Team in the 50-yard freestyle event at the Verde Valley Invitational on Saturday, July 30.After a one-year absence from competition, the Camp Verde Swim Team was back in full force Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30, for the annual Verde Valley Invitational.

Crocodiles Head Coach Merika Bach was excited and pleased to see her kids back in the pool again, doing what they love.

“We’re happy to have swimmers again, and to see them improve over the summer has been awesome,” Back said.

Although it was only their third meet of the summer, the Crocodiles had several top finishes worth noting.

John Castillo had a few top three finishes at the Cottonwood Community Pool over the weekend for Camp Verde, making him the most impressive swimmer for the Crocodiles at the invitational.

In the 100-yard freestyle swim, Castillo took first overall with a 1:07.72 time while taking second in the 50-yard butterfly event with a 34.39 time. He took third in the 50-yard breaststroke event as well with a 39.17 time.

“He rocked it,” Back said. “John [Castillo] took second place in high points in his age group.”

Other top performances for the Crocodiles included Sadie Atwell who took fifth overall in the 25-yard freestyle event with an 18.51 time.

Madison Burkholder was sixth in the 25-yard breaststroke event with a 30.34 time and teammate Kennedy Nasch was seventh in the same event with a 30.75 time.

Nasch and Burkholder teamed up with Claire Peterson and Jade Bach to finish fourth overall in the 100-yard freestyle relay event with a 1:43 time.

In the 50-yard butterfly event, Cody Sant took sixth overall with a 50.97 time while also taking seventh in the 50-yard freestyle with a 33.37 time.

In the 25-yard breaststroke, Justin Ritzentchaler took fifth overall with a 28.91 time.

“It was good to see these kids swim great. We haven’t had much practice time, so they did well,” Merika Bach said.

The Crocodiles practice about one hour a night during the week in the summer. Camp Verde began its summer season June 1.

Camp Verde competed in two other events — the Payson Invitational and the Prescott Valley Invitational at Mountain Valley Splash.

“The Verde Valley Invitational was our last event of the summer, but we’ll get going again next year for sure,” Bach said.