Manta Rays compete at junior champs

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COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Nineteen athletes from Manta Ray Aquatics participated in the 2017 Inland Empire Junior Championship meet in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho recently.

There were many note-worthy swims by the Moses Lake athletes. Calvin Becker (8) earned a second-place finish in his 50 backstroke after dropping 7.5 seconds from his seed time. Aidan Devine (11) excelled in his breaststroke, placing fourth in both the 50 and 100 yard swims, and cutting a combined total of over three seconds between the two events.

His 10-year-old brother, Owen Devine, grabbed a first-place finish in his 100 backstroke with an outstanding time of 1:23.77, and qualified for an additional short course championship meet at the end of the season. He was joined by Melody Lake (10) who made four short course championship qualifying times in her 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Cain Muro (10) and Brittney Richeson (14) also earned spots on the short course championship team with qualification cuts in the 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle, respectively. Tate siblings, Cody (11) and Kyla (8), both had dynamic meets. Cody swam to a fifth-place finish in the finals of the 100 breaststroke, while Kyla swam to six Top eight finishes throughout the course of the weekend.

Annika Burke posted her first ever 200 freestyle time in an impressive 3:05.77. Matthew Cramer (10), after dropping 2.5 seconds, earned a third-place finish in his 100 butterfly on Saturday. Aline Davis (9) demonstrated great improvement in her freestyle events, dropping 8.5 seconds in her 50 yard event and eight seconds in her 100 yard event.

Her sister, Rebekah Davis (11), also showed substantial freestyle improvement with a drop of 2.5 seconds in her 50 yard swim. Teammate Ava McEachran (12) followed in the same pattern with a drop 6.5 seconds in her own 50 freestyle event.

McKinley Fulk (14) had an amazing breakthrough in her 100 butterfly, with a drop of 15 seconds. The Moore brothers, Dylan (9) and Nicholas (12) showcased their skills in the distance freestyle events. Dylan swam to an eighth in the 200 freestyle, while Nicholas swam to fifth place in the 500 freestyle.

Their teammate, Hudson Sager (11), also had a substantial drop of 14 seconds in his 500 freestyle, nearly breaking the eight-minute barrier. Charlie Pray (9) had an astounding drop in his 50 butterfly of over 12 seconds, as well as his 100 freestyle of five seconds.

12 year-old Kade Pack was the highest point scorer for the Manta Rays at Junior Champs. Pack, who cut substantial time in nearly all of his races, racked up seven top eight finishes ,including second place in the 200 individual medley and two third-place finishes in the 50 and 100 breaststroke.

The Manta Rays will be sending nearly 20 athletes, including a few that qualified at Jr. Champs, to the Inland Empire Short Course Championship meet in Moscow, Idaho early next month.

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