Some of the fastest swimmers in the Central Section -- if not the entire state -- will meet this weekend for the Clovis West Swimming and Diving Invitational.
Approximately 1,500 swimmers and 70 divers -- both varsity and junior varsity competitors -- are registered to compete in the state's largest high school aquatics event.
"I think the kids come here because this is probably the fastest high school pool in California. Many of them will swim their best times," Clovis West coach Steve Baxter said. "If you win an event here, there's a real good shot you can win your event" at the section championships in three weeks at Granite Hills.
Baxter's boys and girls figure to be in the thick of the team title races.
The Golden Eagles' boys are led by Jacob McGough (the top seed in the 200-meter individual medley and the fourth seed in the 100 butterfly) and Omar Dwidar (seeded second in the 200 IM and third in the 100 breast).
Clovis will be a top contender on the boys side, as well, with Chris Dominguez (top seed in the 100 and 200 free), Uaaron Sihan (top seeded in the 50 and 100 free) and Dan Wilson (seeded second in the 200 free and third in the 500 free).
Baxter said Buchanan, Arroyo Grande and Archbishop Mitty and Santa Teresa, both of San Jose, also are bringing strong boys teams.
On the girls side, Clovis West appears to have a leg up on Archbishop Mitty and St. Francis of Sacramento behind Kristin Baxter (top seed in the 200 free and 500 free) and Mariah Tharp (top seed in the 50 free and 100 free). Kristin Baxter will be out to break her meet record in the 500 free of 4:53. The junior swam a 4:49 at the Mission Viejo Invitational three weeks ago and is shooting for a 4:47.
One of the more intriguing girls races is the 200 IM, where Archbishop Mitty's Laurence DeLisle is seeded first ahead of defending Central Section champion Loreen Whitfield of Clovis East, who is top-seeded in the 100 fly.
"Kids are going to have to get up and swim fast to have a shot," Baxter said. "It's a real challenge for the kids, but a lot of fun."