Young Swimmers from 13 States Compete in Roseville

ROSEVILLE -- Hundreds of swimmers are competing in the Western Zone Championships, which kicked off Wednesday in Roseville.

The competitors came from everywhere from Wyoming to just a day's drive down Interstate 5.

"It's really fun in San Diego," Team San Diego swimmer Meilene Hanaki said. "It's all outdoors and you get a really good goggle tan every day."

These athletes really are the best of the west. It takes a lot of time and dedication just to even get here.

"They just have to continue to train, go to meets, get best times, and they have to score in the top 8 in their division in their gender for their local swim committee to make that all star selection team," meet coordinator Denna Culpepper said.

Even after they qualify, for many of these 9 to 14-year-olds, it was quite the journey to get to the Roseville Aquatics Complex.

"It's going to be a great experience," Team Wyoming swimmer Jonathan Kulow said. "I've never been to California before, so it's going to be really fun."

Some of them say they might need to adjust to our weather.

"I've been swimming against these people since I was really little. And it's really hot down here," swimmer Leslie Spear said.

Spear is on Team Alaska. Others have a different view of the weather.

"In California, it's going to be super cold in the morning, like 50-60 degrees," Team Hawaii swimmer LT Stancil said.

Whatever obstacles they face, these athletes are here to compete their hardest, with pride for their home town.

Meanwhile, the four-day event is expected to bring $1 million to Placer County's economy. There are 3,000 hotel beds in the county, and 2,000 are being used for the event.

The Western Zone Championships will return in 2018.