Manuela Jojoa-Portilla and Alex Smith each won individual state championships. Jojoa-Portilla, 16, won the 15-18 girls 1,650 yard-freestyle with a time of 18:19.45 on Thursday, while Alex Smith, 14, won the girls 13-14 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:13.05 on Friday.
In the 1,650-yard freestyle race, Jojoa-Portilla was steady as she kept her pace through out the race. She trailed early on but ended up winning the race by a little under five seconds as she beat out Mississippi Makos Swim Team’s Sarah Murphy, who finished second with a time of 18:24.10.
“Manuela swam a very smart race,” DAC head coach Dan’l Murray said by phone Saturday morning. “A lot of girls went out very fast early in the race, and she stuck to her game plan and it ended up paying off in the end. She caught a lot of the girls that were out in front about two-third of the way through the race. She had complete control of the race from that point on. Great race from her and expecting some big things from her for the rest of the weekend.”
In the 100-yard breaststroke, the race was a lot tighter as Smith edged out Shockwave Aquatics’ Mary Catherine Ray (1:13.35) for the top spot by .32 seconds.
“Alex Smith has been working on this since day one,” Murray said. “She’s put together one of the best races she’s ever had. She still has room for improvement and her best swimming is yet to come.”
After the first two days of the swim meet, DAC was in eighth with 370 points.
In the girls division for DAC, Shelby Cox took second in the girls 13-14 100-yard butter fly (1:02.92) and second in the 400-yard individual medley (4:56.14), while Emily Mansour placed third in the 15 and over 200-yard freestyle (1:57.70).
In the boys division for DAC, Patrick Lane took second in the 15 and over 200-yard freestyle (1:44.41) and second in the 100-yard butterfly (53.01).
“Overall, the team is doing real well,” Murray added. “I’m very pleased with all of our performances up to today.”
Saturday’s results weren’t available by press time. The meet is set to conclude today.