102 TNT swimmers competed at the first short course meet following the summer’s long course season, and hosted by TNT Hanford in Central California Swimming. Of the total, 77 swimmers had previously recorded times, and 47 of them maintained a 100% improvement rate at the meet. Congratulations to a perfect performance by: Joemar Abad, Meghan Adams, Edmond Aguinaldo, Precious Aguinaldo, Danielle Albright, Aidan Apgar, John Bailey, Micah Bailey, Ella Bettencourt, Emma Bettencourt, Drew Black, Nathan Boudreaux, William Butts, Riley Carpenter, Paige Coddington, Brayden Coppola, Skylyn Coppola, Peyton Costa, Laney Cox, Layla Flores, Shannell Flores, Nadia Garabedian, Kate Geiger, Julia Goldsmith, Alyssa Gonzalez, Isabella Gornick, Raegan Greiner, Kaylee Hicke, Logan Hildreth, Regan Hildreth, Noah Hoy, Dylan Hunt, Hayden Hunt, Nathan Hunt, Abraham Jacobs, Canyon Johnson, Pearl Johnson, Tanner Kelm, Sydney King, Isabella Klawitter, Jd Koster, Natalee Mares, Mark Marroquin, Thomas Matthews, Landon Mauge, Lauren Maurice, Addison Mccullough, Ayla Morgan, and Amy Murphy.
Two team records were set early in the short course cycle, and both were set by one swimmer, Bryan Wong. His 1:02.16 in the 100 yard breaststroke went under JD Koster’s previous team record in the boys 13-14 age division of 1:02.31 set at the Winter Age Group Championships three years earlier in 2015. Bryan’s time currently stands as the 11th fastest nationally for boys at age 14, and in a reporting cycle that began only last month. His 200 IM winning time of 2:02.10 is an improvement of his own previous team record of 2:02.94 set at Far Westerns last year as a 13-year old. His new record current stands as the 7th fastest nationally, one month into the reporting cycle.
Three of our swimmers remained undefeated at the meet, competing in a number of events that ranged from two to five. Our champions were led by two TNT swimmers who swept five of five events, and included Selma’s William Butts, who at age 12, won the 50 free, 50 breast, 100 fly, 50 back and 100 IM events, and Porterville’s Regan Hildreth who took home the win in the 50 free, 50 breast, 100 fly, 50 back, and 100 IM events for the 8-under division. Emily Dillon entered two events that included the 6-under 25 free and 25 back, and won both of those. Other event champions included: Danielle Albright, Drew Black, Nathan Boudreaux, Layla Flores, Dylan Hunt, JD Koster, Malachi Lewis, Titus Lewis, Kristine Marinos, Alex Roberts, Lance Walker, Zachariah Walker, Alexa Wong, and Bryan Wong.
Twenty five TNT swimmers competed in only newly-recorded short course events. A warm welcome goes to: Mia Buller, Aubrey Cuevas, Emilyn Dillon, Morgan German, Jocelyn Iliff, Isla Jay, Lily Lewis, Malachi Lewis, Titus Lewis, Camilla Mackey, Eleanor Mackey, Thomas Mackey, Kristine Marinos, Katherine Moreyra, Omolara Omololu, Emma Ortega, Logan Rico, Samantha Sanchez, Vincente Sanchez, Fawn Seaman, Alexis Viveros, Stephen Viveros, Lance Walker, Nathaniel Walker, and Zachariah Walker.
A total of 646 athletes representing 24 teams competed at the 2018 Long Course Central California Swimming Junior Olympic Championships hosted by Clovis Swim Club over the last weekend of July, and the 48 TNT swimmers (with 2,401.5 points) managed to edge out the 62 swimmers of Sandpipers of Nevada (with 2,399 points) by a mere 2.5 points for a second place team finish at the meet, making every single point matter. Both teams placed behind the 130 Clovis swimmers that accumulated 5,640.5 points.
Our 27 TNT swimmers who scored in individual events were led by Lemoore’s 10-year old Michelle Murphy who competed in eight total individual events, and was the event champion in seven of the eight, placing 5th in the remaining one. She was the gold-medal recipient in the 200 free (2:31.57), 50 back (36.38), 200 IM (2:52.16), 100 back (1:20.24), 50 free (31.08), 50 fly (34.13), and 100 free (1:07.92). Michelle set three team records at the meet, beginning with the 36.38 in her 50 meter backstroke where her time fell under Drew Black’s previous team record of 37.17 that was set JOs the previous year. Her new records stands as the 69th fastest nationally for girls at age 10. Her next record of 31.08 in the 50 meter freestyle fell under Skylar Ford’s previous record of 31.44 set at the Age Group Invitational in 2012. The 31.08 is currently the 53rd fastest time nationally. Michelle’s final record of 1:07.92 in the 100 free was an improvement of Sienna Abernathy’s previous record of 1:08.83 set at JOs last year. The new record is Michelle’s highest national ranking of all three records at 40th.
The next highest point accumulation from individual events was from 14-year old Bryan Wong who competed in seven events, and won six of those seven, and then placed second in his remaining event. All first place finishes were new team records for Bryan, as he set seven new records, one being in the lead-off of the 400 free relay. Bryan began his record breaking streak with the 8:57.54 in the 800 freestyle, falling under Nathan Rhea’s 9:02.30 in the event from Zones in Hawaii back in 2009, and posting the 67th fastest time in the nation for boys at age 14. His next record of 4:49.13 in the 400 IM once again took him under Nathan Rhea’s previous record of 4:55.72 set at the same Zone meet in Hawaii. This record was the 60th fastest nationally (Bryan had subsequently improved his time at Age Group Zones, and moved up in ranking to 34th). Next in line was his winning time of 2:02.81 in the 200 meter freestyle, which improved his own 2:04.01 record from the Clovis meet earlier in the same month, that time will rank around 139th nationally at the close of the reporting cycle. His 56.87 relay lead-off topped Kyle Grissom’s (currently in his senior year competing for USC) team record of 57.12 set at the Age Group Invitational back in 2012, and sits in the 262nd spot nationally for boys at the same age. Next came his 4:19.95 in the 400 free, and this slid just under his 4:19.96 record set at Sectionals just the previous weekend. That swim stood at the 126th spot nationally. Showing his versatility, Bryan then set a new team record in the 200 IM, posting a 2:16.44, thereby going well under JD Koster’s previous record of 2:20.50 set at JOs in 2015. That swim is in the top-100 nationally, at 83rd. Finally, swimming the 1500 meter freestyle for the first time in his life, Bryan posted a time of 17:15.84, which stood as the 80th fastest time nationally at the time, and broke Nathan Rhea’s previous record of 17:26.24 set at the Clovis Senior Q meet nearly a decade earlier in 2009.
Only five other TNT swimmers swam away with a gold medal in individual events, and one of the four was our next highest point generator - Visalia’s Janessa Bringe. Janessa swam away from the meet with a total of 121 points from individual events, these points included two winning performances. She posted a lifetime best in the 100 fly during the preliminary heats with a 1:08.90, and successfully defended her first place seeding in finals. Her other win also resulted from a lifetime best, but this time in the 400 IM, hitting that best time of 5:26.29 in finals. Her training partner from Visalia, Layla Flores, only entered four events due to the upcoming Age Group Zone meet, and won three of those four events. She posted a lifetime best in the 13-14 100 fly with a 1:08.17 for the win there, and then went on to win the 100 free (1:01.31), and the 100 back (1:09.77) events. Porterville’s 8-year old Regan Hildreth came home with the gold in the 50 breaststroke, posting a time of 51.62. Brett Wong started the meet with a win, that being in the 100 meter freestyle (56.02), while his brother, Bryce Wong, took home his gold on the last day of the meet by winning the 15-over 200 IM (2:21.02).
Our remaining championship (top-8) finalists included: Sienna Abernathy (5th 100 free, 8th 50 free); Drew Black (2nd 100 fly, 4th 50 fly); Nathan Boudreaux (5th 50 breast, 8th 100 breast); Janessa Bringe (2nd 200 free, 2nd 400 free, 2nd 200 fly, 2nd 200 IM, 5th 100 free); William Butts (2nd 50 back, 2nd 50 fly, 2nd 50 breast, 3rd 50 free, 4th 100 breast, 7th 100 free); Ciara Clarke (3rd 50 back, 6th 50 fly); Peyton Costa (2nd 200 breast, 4th 100 free, 8th 100 fly); Layla Flores (2nd 200 free); Raegan Greiner (8th 100 free); Daniel Haley (6th 1500 free, 8th 400 IM); Regan Hildreth (4th 50 free, 5th 50 fly, 5th 50 back); Ashton King (8th 100 back); Genoveve Mcilwaine (8th 200 breast); Michelle Murphy (5th 50 breast); Ava Olson (2nd 100 breast, 3rd 400 IM, 4th 200 fly, 6th 50 breast, 7th 100 fly, 7th 50 fly); Gage Price (7th 100 back); Garrison Price (2nd 400 IM, 2nd 100 breast, 4th 50 free); Sydnee Wilson (5th 100 breast, 7th 50 free); Alexa Wong (3rd 200 IM, 6th 100 fly, 6th 100 back, 8th 50 fly); Brett Wong (2nd 200 free, 2nd 200 fly, 3rd 50 free, 4th 100 fly, 4th 100 breast); Bryan Wong (2nd 100 fly); and Bryce Wong (2nd 100 fly, 4th 400 IM, 7th 200 back, 7th 100 breast).
Consolation finalists include: Sienna Abernathy, Drew Black, William Butts, Aidan Champagne, Carson Clarke, Ciara Clarke, Laney Cox, Raegan Greiner, Daniel Haley, Drew Johnston, Thomas Matthews, Ava Olson, Gage Price, Sydnee Wilson, and Alexa Wong.
Twenty of our swimmers improved 100% of times that had been previously recorded with our team while at the meet. Congratulations on the perfect performance goes to: Sienna Abernathy, Meghan Adams, Aidan Apgar, Audrena Butts, Willilam Butts, Aidan Champagne, Duncan Champagne, Jillian Gaines, Kate Geiger, Nathan Hunt, Drew Johnston, Sydney King, Mark Marroquin, Addison Mccullough, Gage Price, Garrison Price, Josh Wee, Sydnee Wilson, Brett Wong, and Bryan Wong.
Five TNT swimmers competed at the fourth annual Futures Championships held at the Santa Clara International Aquatic Center over the first weekend of August, and two swimmers performed well enough to earn a second swim among one of three heats of nine lanes. The Futures Championships was established as a transitional meet to help athletes stair-step between Sectionals and Junior Nationals. This year JD Koster placed TNT on the scoreboard after posting the sixth fastest 200 meter butterfly time of 2:07.71 at the meet during the preliminary heats. He went on to improve his 200 IM time to a 2:12.97. The only other TNT swimmer to earn a second swim was Garrison Price who made his debut appearance at both Sectionals and Futures this summer, and earned a spot in the C-final of the 100 meter butterfly and swimming a 57.70 to finish 22nd overall. Garrison had a lifetime best in the 200 meter butterfly with a 2:10.57. Danielle Albright had our next highest finish at 41st in the 200 meter breaststroke (2:45.97), Alex Roberts was next with a 45th place finish in the 100 back (1:07.54), and Alonso Escobedo touched 57th in the 100 back (1:03.47).
Following the week when Mallory Korenwinder and Kyle Grissom competed at the Summer Nationals in Irvine last month, a meet used by USA Swimming to select the Pan Pacific Championship team for the United States, Preston Niayesh competed at the same venue, but at USA Swimming Summer Junior Nationals. Preston is one of only a handful of our athletes who qualified for the summer version of Junior Nationals, making his first and second cuts at Sectionals only weeks earlier, and subsequently qualifying for the Winter National competition that will take place in Greensboro, North Carolina at the end of November. Preston joins the ranks of Wesley Coles, Lauren Davis, Samantha Goates, Kyle Grissom, Mallory Korenwinder, Bradley Matsumoto, Chris Nolan, and Kohlton Norys as TNT swimmers who competed at the Summer Junior Nationals in the past.
Preston competed in the 100 meter breaststroke, posting a time of 1:05.60 and finishing 64th, as well as the 200 meter breaststroke where his time of 2:24.87 finished 81st in the event.
The Western Age Group Zone Championship marks the end of each summer’s championship seasons, and this year TNT was represented by eight athletes as they joined other 14-under swimmers throughout Central California Swimming (CCS) to compete against All Star programs from across the western United States converging at the Roseville complex. At 702 points Team CCS finished ninth this year among sixteen teams that scored at the meet, and just behind Hawaii, but ahead of Utah. Bryan Wong led all of Team CCS in point accumulation from individual events, whose 69 points resulted from earning a championship swim in four events, and a consolation swim in the remaining one.
Bryan earned three Silver Medal performances, followed by a sixth place finish, and a 12th place. Each swim Brian competed in resulted in a new team record, the highlight being a CCS Record in the 100 meter breaststroke for the 13-14 age division. His 1:08.81 is now the fastest posted time in the history of Central California Swimming for the age division, and he follows the path laid out by our own Preston Niayesh who set the record before him. His new team and CCS record currently stands as the 31st fastest nationally for boys at age 14. Another 2nd place finish was his 400 IM where his 4:46.32 went under his preexisting record, and currently stands as the 34th ranked time in the nation. His remaining runner-up performance also fell under his previous record, but this time in the 200 meter breaststroke, where his 2:29.47 is his highest national ranking at 29th. His next highest place was 6th in the 200 free, where is time of 2:02.12 ranks 139th nationally, and his 12th place 400 free time, and team record improvement, of 4:19.92 stands as the 124th fastest nationally.
Bryan’s team total was followed by Clovis’s Charlize Phillips with 65 points, and then Clovis’s Ian Belflower at 53 points. The next highest TNT points were generated by Lemoore’s Michelle Murphy who earned a championship swim in three of her events that included a pair of 7th place finishes in the 200 meter freestyle, and the 100 meter freestyle (1:08.46). Her 2:29.11 in the 200 free fell over two seconds under Sienna Abernathy’s 2:31.28 set at JO’s in 2017. Michelle’s new team record currently stands as the 55th fastest in the nation for girls at age 10. Her final championship performance was an 8th place finish in the 50 meter backstroke where she posed a time of 36.79, and she followed this event with a consolation swim, and 10th place finish in the 50 free (31.19).
A total of four TNT swimmers scored at the meet during individual events, and Visalia’s Layla Flores was the only other swimmer to do so in a championship heat. Layla posted a time of 27.88 in the 13-14 50 meter freestyle event to touch 6th there, moving up from the 8th place seeding going into finals. She also had three consolation swims that included a 14th place finish in the 100 fly (1:07.59), a 15th place finish in the 200 free (2:14.24), and a 16th place finish in the 100 back after swimming a 1:08.99 in the preliminary heats.
Our youngest TNT member on the All Star team is Lucas Huckabay who is following very closely in his brother’s footsteps, who also competed (and earned final swims) at the Zone meet held in Roseville, but five years earlier in 2013. Lucas, at age 10, earned three second swims at the meet, his highest bing a 12th place finish in the 50 meter freestyle with a time of 31.26, and then followed that with a 13th place finish in the 200 free after improving his time by nearly nine seconds to a 2:27.96. His remaining final was his 14th place finish in the 100 freestyle where he posted a time of 1:09.17. Lucas joins Bryan as the only two TNT swimmers to improve 100% of their times.
One remaining team record was set, and that was the time of 2:40.70 in the 11-12 girls 200 fly by Drew Black, who went under Ava Olson’s previous record of 2:43.02 set at Ventura this past June. Both girls swam under the team record while competing at Roseville. The event was Drew’s highest place at 18th. Alex Wong’s highest finish was 21st in the 400 IM (5:39.37), Selma’s William Butts had his highest finish at 22nd in the 11-12 50 breaststroke (38.33), and Ava Olson had her highest finish at 24th in the 11-12 girls 200 fly (2:43.02).
Three Visalia TNT swimmers competed at the Senior Zone Championships in Clovis over the last weekend of July, and into August. Janessa Bringe competed in eight events that spanned in distance from the 50 meter freestyle to the 1500 meter freestyle, competing in a total of 3,750 meters of racing across the weekend. She led the team with the highest finish at 34th place in the 1500 meter freestyle where she posted a lifetime best of 18:39.46. Her training partner, Layla Flores, slid the meet in between Sectionals and Age Group Zones to compete in the 50 meter freestyle, where she placed 72nd with a time of 28.44. The final Visalia TNT swimmer was Mackenzie Garza who competed in both the 100 and 50 meter freestyle, her highest finish being 44th in the 50 after posting a time of 28.12.
Eleven TNT swimmers traveled to Santa Clarita over the third weekend of July to compete at the 2018 California – Nevada Sectional Championships hosted by Canyons aquatics, and four of our eleven performed well enough in the preliminary heats to earn a second swim in one of three final heats. Our highest finish came from Preston Niayesh who touched 4th in the 100 meter breaststroke after posting a Winter National cut with a time of 1:05.25, thereby also qualifying for the upcoming Summer Junior National meet as well. Preston’s time betters his previous team record that he set at the Clovis meet two weeks earlier as a 1:06.27, and his current record now stands as the 25th fastest 17 year old male swimmer in the nation. Preston also won the consolation heat of the 200 meter breaststroke with a time of 2:22.89, and once again qualified for both the Winter Nationals and Summer Junior National meets. His swim also broke his preexisting team record that was set at the LA Invitational the previous weekend as a 2:24.41, and his new record now ranks 28th nationally.
Our next highest finish was also a championship final at seventh place, and two swimmers finished there. JK Koster came away with the most second swims, earning one in every event he competed in. His highest place was seventh in his signature event, 200 meter butterfly, where he posted a time of 2:07.51. He improved all three of his remaining events, placing 11th in the 400 IM with a time of 4:42.82, 16th in the 200 IM with a 2:13.53, and 21st in the 100 fly after swimming a time of 57.88 in the preliminary heats. Our other seventh place finish went to our youngest finalist, 15-year old Danielle Albright swimming twice under her lifetime best and posting a 2:42.16 at the meet in the 200 meter breaststroke event. Danielle was a double-finalist as she also touched 24th in the 400 IM after swimming another lifetime best of 5:15.91 in prelims. Another double-finalist was Garrison Price who made his debut appearance at Sectionals, and placed 29th in the 100 fly with a time of 57.06, and then touched 23rd in the 200 meter butterfly with a time of 2:10.90.
Besides Preston, three additional team records were broken at the meet. After tying the team record during a time trial event, Visalia’s Layla Flores led of the 4x100 freestyle relay to post a 1:00.80 for the 100 meter freestyle as an official time, and went under Samantha Goates previous team record of 1:01.16 that was set at the Southern California Swimming AA meet at Santa Maria back in 2003. Layla’s time currently stands as the 177th fastest nationally for girls at age 14. Bryan Wong had the only other record-breaking performance, and he did this twice by breaking his own team record in the 200 meter breaststroke with a time of 2:30.04 going over a second and a half under his previous record set at LA Invite the previous weekend. His new time places him as the 24th fastest 14-year old male swimmer in the event nationally. His other record was the 4:19.96 that he posted in the 400 freestyle, being the first 14-under swimmer in the history of the team to swim under the 4:20 mark. His new record now ranks 85th nationally for boys at the same age.
Our remaining swimmers, and their highest place, include: Mackenzie Garza (107th – 100 free, 1:02.08), Jonas Huckabay (51st – 200 free, 1:59.34), Alex Roberts (30th – 200 back, 2:28.63), and Brett Wong (101st – 100 free, 55.94).