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Swimmer of the Year

Jorie Caneta

Frontier * senior

Three-time Swimmer of the Year, bound for Arizona State, won a fourth Central Section championship in the 100-yard breaststroke, and this time she won another title in a marquee individual event, the 200 individual medley.

Diver of the Year

Lauren Clarksean

Bakersfield * senior

The Indiana-bound Clarksean improved her position at the Central Section championships for the third straight year, finishing second with a score of 410.70.

First team

Sara Baldridge

Highland * senior

Baldridge was fourth in the 100 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke at Division II section championships. She was the area's second-best breaststroker behind Caneta.

Tatum Collatz

Stockdale * junior

Her third-place finish in the 100 backstroke was the highest by any local D-I swimmer not named Caneta. Collatz, a two-time first-teamer, easily the area's best backstroker (1:00.72) and one of its best sprinters (second-best local time in the 50 freestyle).

Sara Klang

Garces * senior

Freestyle specialist was among the area's three fastest in the 100 free and 200 free. She reached the B final in 100 and 200 at the D-I section finals and finished as the top local in both events.

Claryce Lazerson

Bakersfield Christian * senior

A fourth-place finish in the 200 IM at the D-II section finals and a fifth in the 100 butterfly were the highlights, but she also helped the Eagles place top three in two relays. Owned area's second-best IM time behind Caneta.

Symantha Lazerson

Bakersfield Christian * sophomore

Another two-time first-team selection, the younger Lazerson had the area's fastest time in the 50 freestyle (25.40) and 200 freestyle (2:00.33). She was fourth in the 200 and second in the 50 at the D-II section finals.

Elizabeth McMurray

Liberty * junior

The versatile and valuable Patriot had a top-10 local time in seven different events, plus she swam anchor on powerful Liberty's best time in all three relays. She has the area's second-best backstroke time (1:07.26).

Audrey Willoughby

Liberty * senior

The area's top butterfly swimmer, Willoughby finished fourth in the D-I finals in the event. Two-time first-teamer also was a distance specialist; she finished sixth in D-I in the 500 freestyle.

Megan Zaletel

Liberty * sophomore

Like McMurray and Willoughby, Zaletel swam on two relays that finished sixth in the section and helped the Patriots power to their first team title in the Southwest Yosemite League. She had top-three times locally in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke.

Second team

Lauren Arias, soph, Highland

Allison Gonzalez, soph, Garces

Kathryn Johnston, sr, Centennial

Angela Kendrick, sr, Centennial

Bailey Pike, fr, Highland

Kendall Rudie, jr, Garces

Jenna Washburn, fr, Centennial

Honorable mention

Bakersfield: Cassidy Grimsley, Emma Young

Bakersfield Christian: Victoria Adee, Delaney Goltry, Amy Petris, Liz Steele

Centennial: Kori Banducci, Annie Bardet, Vivian Do, Kat Hargis, Paola Izquierdo, Bree Smith

Frontier: Taylor Ash, Paige Howard, Kaitlin Lang, Hannah Woodward

Garces: Nico Apperti, Lauren Burson, Katerina Gardella, Blaire Williams

Highland: Brittany Lumsden, Darian Roeber, Sydney Schroeder

Independence: Meredith Miller

Liberty: Makayla Bussman, Ally Forshee, Katelyn Matejka, Nicquelette Rimer, Bailey Slayton, Abby Tjepkema, Heidei Zierenberg

Stockdale: Lindsey Paulson

Wasco: Alexis Gallardo, Cara Hudson

Coach of the Year

Marc Urmston, Liberty

Liberty coach Marc Urmston knew he had talented senior Audrey Willoughby to build his girls swimming team around this season.

But it was a group of new faces that pushed the Patriots beyond other Kern County programs.

"We had seven freshman girls come in, which was a surprise," Urmston said. "There are some great coaches out there, and when you've been around long enough, you know who has what.

"But I don't think anybody expected these freshmen to come in and help like this."

Urmston led the Patriots to a sixth-place finish in the Central Section Division I Championships, behind four Clovis-area schools and Sanger. Urmstron is the BVarsity Girls Swimming Coach of the Year.

Willoughby set individual school records in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle and in the 100 butterfly. She was also on the two freestyle relay teams that set Liberty school records this season.

Urmston said the goal was to surpass Centennial, the dominant girls program in the county in recent years.

Traveling to and winning dual meets at Visalia-Redwood, Porterville-Monache and Clovis North, plus success at the Dick Graves and Tulare Western Invitationals set the tone.

"This year I had the girls," Urmston said. "Being Coach of the Year is humbling. But the girls did all the work."

-- Jeff Evans