BY ESTEBAN RAMIREZ Special to The Californian
It was a good start to the Central California Junior Olympics Swimming Championships for local swimmers as three of the four first-place winners were from Bakersfield.
The event, featuring 48 teams, was hosted by the Bakersfield Aquatics Club at Bakersfield College, and the first day consisted of both the 1,650 freestyle for the girls and boys.
Roadrunners Aquatics had two swimmers competing and one finished in first, while the Bakersfield Aquatics Club had six swimmers that competed and two that finished in first.
Kassidy Lemminn finished in first place for the Roadrunners Aquatic Club in the girls 13-14 age group with a time of 17:27.01, and in the 15-18 age group Audrey Willoughby finished in sixth with 18:31.78.
For Bakersfield Aquatics Club, Bailey Pike was the only girl who swam in the 1,650 freestyle and she finished in eighth place in the 13-14 age group in 19:27.42.
Aiden Pike, Bailey's older brother, led the way for the boys placing first in the 15-18 age group with a 16:46.26.
BAC had three other swimmers in that same group. Sean Banks finished seventh place with 17:58.11, Kevin Verdejo finished in 10th with 18:38.45 and Andrew Martinez was right behind finishing in 11thh place with 19:02.60. In the 13-14 age group, Wyatt Suburu, who was the lone BAC swimmer, finished first with a 17:45.67.
Aiden, who is currently a senior at Highland and a two-time Valley champ in the 100 commented on his performance.
"I think I did pretty good because I got my best time," said Aiden. "I did feel I should've taken off in the middle a little faster, but I felt I had a pretty solid beginning and end."
The meet resumes at 9 a.m. today.