Snelders and Keller named to Alaska State Swim Team

By Tony Gorman

Two members of the Valdez Torpedoes Swim Club are going from swimming in the Alaska cold to swimming in the California sunshine.  Gretchen Snelders and Grace Keller’s performances from the Alaska Junior Olympics, two weeks ago, have earned spots on the Alaska State Team.

“It a big deal,” Valdez Torpedoes coach Leo Overduyn said.  “We’re lucky that we have two recipients from a small community the size of Valdez.  It’s a great honor for the kids.” 

Swimmers are selected for based on their performances in every event they competed.  The top 30 swimmers in the state are selected for the team with four from each age group.  Snelders is in the 10 & under group.  Keller is in the 11 & 12 age group.

The team will compete against teams in the Western Zone.  The zone includes Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.

Overduyn, who has previously coached the Utah State Team at the event, knows how big of an opportunity his swimmers have.  “It’s an outstanding opportunity for them to swim,” Overduyn said.  “They get to see the big picture of that. “

If the swimmers do well, they have the possibility of qualifying for the U.S. Junior National Championships.  The Western Zone Championships takes place August 7th-10th in Roseville, California.

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