Swimming: Locals to compete against the best at Arena Grand Prix | TheUnion.com

Swimming: Locals to compete against the best at Arena Grand Prix

Four local swimmers will dive in against some of the best in the world today as Shane Anderson, Jack Baldoni, Josh Cutter and Jack Herron will compete at this weekend's Arena Grand Prix meet in Santa Clara.

Each year, hundreds of the best swimmers head west and converge in Santa Clara for the popular meet, featuring numerous Olympians, NCAA veterans, club swimmers, high schoolers, and age groupers from all over the world.

"It's going to be a great experience to compete at that higher level," Baldoni said, who will swim the 100-meter butterfly, 100 free and 50 free. "It will help get me ready to compete in college."

Baldoni is a Colfax graduate, who plans to attend Seattle University in the fall. Baldoni placed third in the 100-meter butterfly and fifth in the 50 freestyle at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section meet.

Anderson, Herron and Cutter are all members of the Bear River swim team and helped it to a 2014 Pioneer Valley League title.

Anderson placed third in the 100 freestyle and took sixth in the 200 freestyle at the section meet. Herron was second in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 100 butterfly at the section meet.

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Anderson, Herron and Cutter are also 3/4 of the 200 medley relay team that set a school record.

"I just hope to get a best time, and swimming against such high competition should make me faster," Baldoni said.

Huge names in the swimming world often use the Santa Clara meet for one final dress rehearsal prior to this summer's National Championships.

Many Bay Area swimmers are expected to compete, including Olympic gold medalists Missy Franklin, Elizabeth Pelton, Rachel Bootsma, and Nathan Adrian. Michael Phelps is also expected to continue his comeback tour, and Anthony Ervin aims to take on a loaded men's sprint freestyle field.

"I really want to meet Phelps," Baldoni said. "I've been watching him since I was a kid, and it is really exciting to race against him."

For more on the Arena Grand Prix in Santa Clara visit http://www.usaswimming.org.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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