From left, Leila Day, coach Michael Fujii and Mateo Rosales. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lee.
From left, Leila Day, coach Michael Fujii and Mateo Rosales. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lee.

San Benito Aquatics President Jennifer Lee announced Hollister swimmer Mateo Rosales, 13, posted a personal record time in the 100 meter freestyle and qualified for the Far Westerns Championship after placing 7th in the Pacific Swimming Summer Junior Olympics. The event was hosted by the San Benito Aquatics at the Baler Aquatic Center on July 8-10 where over 650 swimmers competed each day.

The 2022 Long Course Far Westerns Championship is scheduled for July 28-31 in Concord. According to the website, competitors from Mexico, Canada and across the United States attend the event.

Hollister swimmer Leila Day, 11, also competed in the Junior Olympics that included competitors who are 14 years of age or younger from Northern California and Northern Nevada. Day placed 7th in the 100 meter freestyle and 8th in the 50 meter freestyle.

“We are so proud of SBA swimmers,” Lee said. “With events like this, we can expose our local swimmer’s tougher competition with helps push their own swimming to the next level.”

Lee said there were about 3,000 people at the Baler Aquatic Center each day and believes it may be the largest sporting event in Hollister.

“We are really excited to bring meet of this caliber to our community of Hollister,” Lee said. “The hotels were booked and sold out since February forcing swimmers to lodge in Salinas and Gilroy surrounding areas. Local restaurants were bursting at their seams all weekend!”

Head Coach Mike Fujii, former champion level swimmer with 22 years of experience coaching all levels, from age group swimmers to Olympic trials swimmers, joined SBA over 2 years ago. Lee said with his experience, coming to our community, his goal was to expose swimmers to higher level competition and increase success rate.

“In two very short years, I’ve seen a huge shift in culture and dedication of the swimmers and the parents of the team. The sky is the limit for San Benito Aquatics, we are on our way,” Fujii said.

Lee said, “SBA wants to thank their team of parent volunteers, SBA Board of Directors, Lifeguards and Lesson Instructors, Kristy Bettencourt and Jesse Esqueda from Hollister High School for seamlessly working together to pull off such a large and successful event. This group laughed and cheered each other on all weekend.”