Swimming is said to have some of the fittest athletes the sports world. Their muscle helps them glide through the water with amazing speed and crispness. The Valley has had strong swimmers for years and this year was no different.
Below are the finalists for the All Valley Boys and Girls Swimmers of the Year. Winners will be announced June 13 at the All Valley Sports Awards Banquet, co-presented by DHR Health and Lone Star National Bank. Finalists are listed in alphabetical order.
Nico Alvarez, Brownsville Veterans Memorial, Junior: A diver who placed seventh at the UIL Class 5A state meet in February in Austin, one of the top finishes by a Valley athlete at the state meet this school year.
Luis Osuna, Los Fresnos, Senior: State qualifier, District 32-6A champion, broke Weslaco ISD pool record at District with a time of 49.10 in the 100-yard freestyle. Osuna placed 19th at state in the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.86 seconds.
Issac Velasquez, PSJA Southwest, freshman: Velasquez was the highest finisher at the UIL state swim meet. He finished 10th in the prelims of the 500-yard freestyle and finished 14th overall. He also won the gold at regionals in the 500 freestyle.
Stacia Benitez, McAllen Memorial, Senior: Swam at state for her fourth straight. She qualified in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke, along with both the 200-medley relay and 400-freestyle relay. She was named swimmer of the meet at the Region VIII-6A swimming finals.
Sofi Salvo, McAllen Memorial, Sophomore: Salvo was part of two relays, won the 100-yard freestyle and was part of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay at the Region VIII-6A swim and dive championships. She also finished third in the 50-yard freestyle.
Amber Warner, Harlingen High, Junior: Warner, a diver, won the Region VIII-6A Meet with a score of 365.40 and placed 17th at the UIL state meet in February in Austin.
The banquet, hosted by RGVSports.com and AIM Media Texas in conjunction with the RGV Sports Hall of Fame, will see 33 awards presented to athletes, coaches and teams across all 12 UIL sports. The prestigious Tom Landry Award of Excellence will honor a student athlete for outstanding achievements.
Dallas Cowboys great Randy White, a Super Bowl MVP and NFL Hall of Famer, will be the guest speaker.
The banquet, which will run approximately 6 to 8 p.m., returns to Mario’s for a second consecutive year. The venue has a seating capacity of more than 500 people.
Tickets are on sale for $40 per person. For sponsorship opportunities, call Marcia Kitten at (956) 683-4463 email firstname.lastname@example.org.