Luke Benzilla and Teia Salvino
Paseo Aquatics proved up to the task at the recent NOVA Grand Challenge that took place at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center Pool in Irvine.
Paseo’s Teia Salvino and Luke Bezanilla are now among the Nation’s Best in the 11-12 age-group. They both walked away from this meet ranked in the top 10.
Salvino took second place in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 27.50, which ranks her No. 2 in the nation. She was also second place in the 50-meter butterfly with a time of 29.63, which now ranked her No. 4 in the nation.
Salvino’s butterfly time broke the Santa Clarita Valley record previously held by Jennifer Parmenter of Canyon Aquatics (30:15), a record that stood almost 25 years.
“I started the meet sick so I felt like I got stronger each day,” said Salvino, who will be a seventh-grader at Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia in the fall. “My teammates have been pushing me to swim faster, and my goal over the summer is to be ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 50 free. I know I can do it because the girl who beat me just barely touched me out.”
Bezanilla had a swim meet to remember. He took second place in the 50-meter freestyle (27.73) and 100-meter breaststroke (1:15.67). According to Paseo Silver Group Coach Daiki Sato, what’s amazing about Bezanilla’s 100-meter time was that he started the day ranked 78th in the nation, and ended the day ranked 5th while dropping an astonishing 6.3 seconds in one afternoon.
“The 100 breastroke is my favorite stroke and I was just really mad that I hadn’t been beating the kid who I should have been beating,” said Bezanilla, an eighth-grader to-be at Arroyo Seco Middle School. “My hard work is paying off and pushing myself in my sets and racing the older kids has helped me improve my times.”
The Paseo Silver Group has now had three swimmers ranked in the top 10 in the nation within the last year, according to Sato.
Other than just the swimming, Salvino and Bezanilla made the most of their time at the swim meet interacting with Olympians such as SCV natives Abbey Weitzel and Anthony Ervin, as well as Ryan Murphy.
If you would like to do a story on these two amazing swimmers, and the Paseo Aquatics Club, email Stevep@bzapr.com or call 310.408.4555.