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Heatwave kicks off summer with fourth-place win

Sam Sauerbrei and Alex Hubel excelled in several events as the Boulder City/Henderson Heatwave amateur swim club kicked off its summer season June 19-22 by finishing fourth overall in the combined team scoring in the June Age Group Invitational in Irvine, Calif.

Boulder City/Henderson tallied 1,982 points and was fourth behind Irvine Novaquatics’ 5,639.5 team points in the four-day, 350-event swim meet at the William Woolett Jr. Aquatics Center at Heritage Park.

Sauerbrei led the Heatwave boys team to 737.5 points and fifth place among the 45 boys teams. Novaquatics scored 3,194.5 points.

“The JAG meet was a good test for the team to see where we are at with our training.” Sauerbrei said.

“The team has been working really hard and it was a nontaper meet, but there were some really good swims. I was excited to earn my winter junior national qualifying time in my 200 butterfly.

“Coach Mike (Polk) encouraged me before my swim, and it felt really good to achieve the time.”

Sauerbrei was second (2:07.42) in the 200-meter butterfly, third in the 200 individual medley (2:11.68), fourth in the 400 individual medley (4:46.7) and eighth in the 100 meter butterfly.

Sauerbrei also led the Heatwave to victory in the 200 freestyle relay (1:44.45), to sixth place in the 400 medley relay, and seventh in the 800 freestyle relay.

Hubel led the Heatwave girls to a third-place team finish with 1,244.5 points behind champion Novaquatics, which scored 2.445 points.

The JAG is one of two age-group meets over the long-course pools this summer. It was sanctioned by USA Swimming and Southern California Swimming, of which the Heatwave is a member.

The senior-level swimmers were led by Sam and sister Abby Sauerbrei, Hubel, McKenzie Cummings, Jessica Purdy and Rachel Grothe.

In the girls 15-over age group, Hubel was second in the 100-meter freestyle (58.24 seconds) and fifth in the 50 freestyle. She was fourth (2:07.66) in the 200 freestyle while teammate Mandy Gebhart was 16th.

Gebhart also was sixth (4:42.38) in the 400 freestyle, 11th in the 400 individual medley, 16th in the 100 backstroke, and eighth (2:33.01) in the 200 backstroke.

In the 800 freestyle, Abby Sauerbrei was fifth with a time of 9:39.7 and Cummings was 10th at 9:59.52. Gebhart was sixth in the 1,500 freestyle with a time of 18:29.6, while Sauerbrei was eighth and Cummings was 12th.

Grothe was third (1:03.64) in the 100 butterfly and Hubel was ninth (1:04.31). Grothe was seventh in the 200 butterfly, while Sauerbrei was 10th and Purdy was 15th.

The Heatwave girls dominated the relays.

Grothe, Hubel and Purdy teamed with Abby Richter to place third (1:53.29) in the 200-meter freestyle relay.

Hubel and Grothe were part of the 400 freestyle relay team that won first place in 4:07.34. Sauerbrei, Gebhart and Purdy were on the team that was fourth.`

Jason Lyon was ninth in the 800 freestyle.

There were several young swimmers that did very well, according to Heatwave assistant coach Jan Bunch. She mentioned Lauren Olson, Tana and Tara Higley, Mackenzie Hvinden, Sydney Selinger, Joseph Purdy, Max Vanderford and Martin Thompson.

Olson and Tana Higley were the highest scoring girls, while Joseph Purdy and Vanderford were the highest scorers among the boys.

The Desert Championships July 19-20 is a last-chance qualifier for summer Junior Olympics as well as the last long-course meet of the season for those not qualifying for Junior Olympics.

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