Foursome Captures Seven Gold, Three Silver

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By virtue of their showings at the Grand Canyon State Games, a foursome of Payson swim team members has earned statewide honors.

Competing unattached because the team sponsor Town Parks and Recreation Department does not sanction away meets, Brooke Bennett, Shea Hatch, Shelby Bennett and Tina Jackson swam their way to seven gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

All four have been local swim team members since they were in elementary school.

The swim portion of the GC games was contested June 16 at the Arizona State University Activity Center in Tempe. Competing in the 15-18 girls division, Bennett won golds in the 100-meter butterfly, freestyle and backstroke.

In addition to her medal-winning exploits in the pool, the youngster was a state-ranked 800-meter runner on last spring's Lady Longhorn track and field team. She also ran a leg on the Horns' state record setting 4x800 relay team.

Shea Hatch, whose mother Dani coached the Payson swim team from 1993 until 2000, won four medals in the 15-18 girls division. In the 200-meters individual medley and the 50-meters freestyle, she earned first-place finishes. Also, she was second in both the 100 freestyle and backstroke.

Shelby Bennett, younger sister of Brooke Bennett, was first in the 13- to 14-year 100 butterfly and the 50 freestyle. She finished second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 200 individual medley.

Competing in the 13- to 14-year girls, Jackson garnered a third in the 100 backstroke.

In addition to participating in upcoming Town recreational meets to be held at Taylor Pool, the teenagers have their sights set on several other competitions, including the Kingman Dolphin Invitational July 7 and the Verde Valley Invitational in Cottonwood Aug. 4. The four also are considering participating in the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association meet July 28 at ASU.

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