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Ghiglieri, Sapienza hit PRs at nationals

AUSTIN, Texas — Aaron Ghiglieri and Breanna Sapienza each swam personal-best times in preliminary heats at the 2011 Speedo Short Course Junior National Championships Thursday but failed to advance to the finals.

Sarah Reierson is also competing for the Superior Stingray Swimming contingent.

Ghiglieri, 18, and Sapienza, 16, each swam the 50-yard freestyle. Ghiglieri was timed in 20.95 seconds and tied for 29th place out of 73 swimmers. Sapienza's time was 23.80, tying her for 31st place among 97 competitors.

Reierson, 17, competing in the 200 individual medley, was timed in 2:10.74. She placed 125th of 132.

The top 24 in each event advanced to the finals Thursday evening.

Ghiglieri and Sapienza, both Cascade Christian swimmers, are also each in the 100 free and the 100 and 200 butterfly, while Reierson, of South Medford, has qualified for the 100 and 200 backstroke as well.

The meet continues through Saturday.

There are more than 800 swimmers ages 18 and under competing. All had to meet qualifying standards.

"It's so fantastic for swimming in our area to have these three local standouts competing at this level," said Superior coach Robin Brickenden.

A long course (meters) meet will be held Sunday here, and all three will compete.

Sapienza has qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 100-meter butterfly, and Ghiglieri will take another stab at it in the same event on Sunday.

"It sure would be fantastic to see him get the trials cut now," said Brickenden. "He gave it five great attempts this summer and just missed, so to knock it out this early in the process would be great."

Last month, the three Superior athletes were recognized by Oregon Swimming for achieving top-five times in their age groups the previous year. Ghiglieri and Sapienza each did it eight times and Reierson seven.

Other Stingray swimmers to so honored were Zoey Dodson, 8, in nine events; Olivia Dow, 11, in four events; and Joseph Hunter, 12, in one event.

Ghiglieri also was nominated as male athlete of the year.