YOUTH SWIMMING: Northern Sierra Aquatics sends four to All-Star dual |

YOUTH SWIMMING: Northern Sierra Aquatics sends four to All-Star dual

Sierra Nevada Swimming LSC All-Star members from left: Kyla Spin, coach Allie Anderson, Tyler Nattrass, Mia Axelman and Emily Starnes.
Submitted photo |

Local youth swimmers Mia Axelman, Emily Starnes, Tyler Nattrass and Kyla Spin from the Northern Sierra Aquatics program were recently tabbed as All Stars and represented Sierra Nevada Swimming LSC at a dual meet against San Diego Imperial LSC in San Diego.

“This is a prime meet as far as experience,” said Northern Sierra Aquatics coach Allie Anderson, who also made the trip to San Diego and coached 11-12 year olds for Sierra Nevada Swimming LSC. “For a lot of the kids it’s the first time they have traveled on a plane without their parents to go to a meet. It’s a competitive meet and they have to step up and be part of a team.”

As a team the Sierra Nevada Swimming LSC lost the dual, but the local swimmers set several personal records and got an experience they won’t soon forget.

“The learning experience was great and I liked hanging out with the girls and having a good time,” said 10-year-old Axelman.

Axelman scored the greatest number of points for her team out of the four Northern Sierra Aquatics swimmers and also set four personal records at the meet. Axelman took second place in the 50-yard freestyle event with a time of 28.46 seconds, placed third in the 100 freestyle (1:02.83), fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:18.04), and tallied fifth place finishes in the 500 freestyle, 50 backstroke and 50 butterfly. Axelman also a member of three first place relay teams (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, and 400 freestyle relay).

Axelman said she hopes to keep improving her times as she builds toward competing in her first Far Western Championship Swim Meet.

Starnes, 10, earned a first place medal as a member of the 200 medley relay time, and set personal records in the 100 individual medley (1:15.62; fourth place) and the 500 freestyle (6:29.86; eighth place).

“When you set best times you get really excited and happy. The team is really happy for you too,” Starnes said.

Starnes also earned third place in the 50 backstroke (34.52), fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:14.54), seventh in the 200 individual medley (2:44.68), and eighth in the 50 free (30.61).

Nattrass is the third 10-year-old from Northern Sierra Aquatics to make the trip and once he got past the nerves welling inside of him prior to the meet, he set five personal records.

“I was a little nervous,” he said. “It was one of the biggest meets I’ve ever been to.”

Nattrass set new personal records in the 50 backstroke (34.40; third place), 100 freestyle (1:04.16; fourth place), 100 individual medley (1:15.97; fifth place), the 200 freestyle (2:20.96; fifth place), and the 100 backstroke (1:17.06; fifth place). Nattrass also took sixth place in the in the 50 freestyle event and was on relay teams that placed second twice and third once.

“I just love swimming,” said Nattrass. “It’s my favorite thing to do.”

Spin, 14, had her best finish in the 200 butterfly, taking fifth place with a time of 2:26.74. She placed sixth in the 100 butterfly and the 100 breast stroke. Spin earned seventh place finishes in the 200 breast stroke, 200 individual medley and the 400 individual medley.

“I really liked going against all the fast kids,” Spin said. “I like to watch their technique and add it to mine. I feel like I get better.”

Sierra Nevada Swimming LSC includes Northern California and Western Nevada territories, boasts around 3,000 swimmers and includes 28 year-round swim teams including Northern Sierra Aquatics.

To learn more about Northern Sierra Aquatics visit

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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