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Fri, Dec. 06

Local swimmers compete at nationals<BR>

PRESCOTT – Three Prescott-area swimmers took dead aim at the United States Masters National Short Course swim meet held at ASU recently.

And they didn't leave without a flare.

The meet hosted approximately 2,000 swimmers from across the United States representing more than 200 teams.

Plenty of spectators witnessed many swimmers breaking multiple national records, making this one of the fastest pools in the country. Swimmers, including many past Olympians, ranged from 19 to 85 years in age.

Prescott Valley resident Gene Fougner joined with Myra Bair and Brigid Bunch of Prescott to represent central Arizona, swimming a combined total of 11 events most of which required a qualifying time prior to the meet.

In turn, they became part of the more than 200 Arizona Masters statewide team, the final winners of the team competition.

Fougner, 48, suffered a non-swimming related dislocated toe after his first two of five races, but continued to swim his events placing 15th in the nation with a time of 32.65 seconds in the 50-yard backstroke – a new event for him.

He also participated in other breaststroke, freestyle and relay races.

Bunch, 39, came close to placing in all three of her breaststroke events, posting a personal best in most cases.

Her 200-yard breaststroke time was 2:49.33, putting Bunch at No. 13 nationally.

Myra Bair, 58, placed in all three of her competitions with 44.75 seconds in the 50-yard Backstroke and 4:20.79 in the 200 Butterfly.

Her 55+ 200-yard Medley relay took second place in the nation with a time of 2:35.68.

All three swimmers train in classes coaches by Yavapai College's Kimo Miles.

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