The Bee's Spring All-Stars: Girls Swimmers of the Year Mary Brooks of Clovis West, Mallory Korenwinder of Tulare Western

The Fresno BeeJuly 1, 2014 

Mary Brooks just closed one of the most decorated aquatics careers ever in the Central Section.

Mallory Korenwinder appears headed toward making her own mark on section history.

The Clovis West High senior and Tulare Western sophomore made the biggest impacts at the Central Section Division I and II Swimming and Diving Championships. They are The Bee's Co-Girls Swimmers of the Year.

Brooks, headed to UC Irvine on a water polo scholarship, placed first in four events at the D-I finals, bringing her four-year career total to 13 gold medals.

Korenwinder, who aspires to be an NCAA Division I swimmer, set D-II standards in two events and served notice that the section's overall records are within her reach over the next two seasons.

"Mallory is an amazing swimmer," Clovis West coach Adam Reid said. "And Mary, look at her. She's a phenomenal aquatics athlete. She obviously has her water polo résumé and is going to play in college, but she could have been a D-I scholarship athlete in swimming if she wanted to. She's that good, a true competitor."

An eight-time All-Bee selection between swimming and water polo, Brooks won the 50 free for the fourth time in a consideration All-American 23.72 seconds and the 100 free for the second time in 51.76.

She also was the anchor of the Golden Eagles' section record-breaking 200 free (1:36.89) and 400 free (3:30.22) relays in times that were 86th and tied for 70th, respectively, nationally in high school this season.

"I was really happy with my performance," said Brooks, who is a two-time Bee Player of the Year in water polo, where she holds Clovis West career records in goals (415), steals (319), ejections drawn (295) and assists (181). "I mostly swam to race and not as much as for times. I had awesome competition that pushed me to go harder."

Brooks finished her swimming career with 16 gold or silver section medals, including six individual titles. She was the Bee's Co-Swimmer of the Year with teammate McKenna Fife in 2012.

Not bad for a national-class water polo player who only swam competitively during the high school season. Brooks will play for the U.S. Youth National team in a tournament this week in Riverside, and is one of 15 players in the running for 13 spots on the Youth National team that will compete in the World Championships in Spain this summer.

Then it's off to join former U.S. Olympic water polo player and Fresno native Dan Klatt, the coach at UC Irvine, leaving competitive swimming behind for good.

"I'm going to miss it," Brooks said. "It's been a great four years of high school swimming. But I'm excited to get going full-time in water polo."

Korenwinder, a two-time Bee All-Star, won D-II gold in the 200 individual medley in a consideration All-American 2:05.11 and the 100 breast in an All-American 1:03.16 that was the 49th fastest time nationally this season.

She is close to overall section-record times in both events, as Korenwinder is 0.10 seconds behind Clovis West's Shellene Catalano's 2:05.11 in the 200 IM set in 2002, and 0.79 seconds behind Frontier's Jorie Caneta's 1:02.37 in the 100 breast set in 2013. Korenwinder made improvements of 0.78 seconds in the 200 IM and 0.82 seconds in the 100 breast from her freshman season.

"I'm really excited to be able to swim faster than last year," Korenwinder said. "Now I want to get better. I want to keep achieving things and keep going further."

Korenwinder does not play water polo or any other sport, preferring to concentrate on swimming year round. She hopes it pays off in a Division I scholarship.

"I'm a focused swimmer. Dedication and discipline is necessary," Korenwinder said. "To get where you want to go, you have to put in a lot of training, not just in the pool but outside it, too. When I first started with club, a lot of the senior swimmers were going to colleges and my coaches talked about the experience of swimming in college. That's something I've always wanted to do."

Korenwinder also likely would have been a contender to win the 100 fly had she swam that event at the D-II finals. Her winning time of 57.32 at the East Yosemite League championships would have trailed only Kingsburg's Emily Goodbar (57.19) among D-I and D-II finalists.

"Because of her versatility in different strokes, I definitely think she can be at the Division I level in a challenging program," Tulare Western coach Dave Hodge said. "And I think she can go there and make a difference.

"You can't put a cap on where you think she's going to be because she'll go out and beat it."

 Co-Swimmers of the Year: Mary Brooks

Grade: Senior

School: Clovis West

Qualifications: Pushed her four-year career total to 13 Central Section gold medals by winning the 50 free in a consideration All-American 23.72 seconds, the 100 free in 51.76, and the 200 free and 400 free relays in Central Section-record and All-American times of 1:36.89 and 3:30.22 at the Division I finals. Was the 2012 Co-Swimmer of the Year, a two-time water polo Player of the Year and an eight-time Bee All-Star overall between swimming and water polo. Headed to UC Irvine to play water polo.

Co-Swimmer of the Year: Mallory Korenwinder

Grade: Sophomore

School: Tulare Western

Qualifications: Established Central Section Division II records — and closed in on the overall marks — by winning the 100 breast in an All-American 1:03.16 (49th fastest nationally this season) and the 200 individual medley in a consideration 2:05.11. Both times were the fastest in the section finals this season when combined with those from D-I. Her 100 breast time sits 0.79 seconds behind the section record, while her 200 IM time is 0.10 off. Two-time All-Bee selection was also a member of D-II second-place 200 medley (1:56.86) and 400 free (3:50.67) relays.


The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6103, or @NickG_FB on Twitter.

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