Nine TNT swimmers traveled to La Mirada to compete in the 2019 long course senior meet on Monday, January 21st to begin their long course experience for 2019. Preston Niayesh and Garrison Price came away as our only event champions for the meet, Preston winning the 100 meter breaststroke with a time of 1:09.31, and Garrison winning the 100 meter butterfly with a time of 59.32. Garrison was also one of three swimmers to improve a time, and had the largest time improvement, exceeding 15 seconds in the 200 meter backstroke (2:31.39) event. The next largest improvement came in Bryce Wong’s 200 meter butterfly, where he improved over six seconds to a 2:18.76. Alexa Wong had the only other time improvement, and hers was in the 100 fly. Alexa also had our only team record-breaking performance, setting a new team record in the 200 meter butterfly for the 11-12 girls division. Her 2:37.22 is an improvement over Drew Black’s 2:40.70 that was posted at Zones in Roseville this past summer. Alexa can monitor her time nationally as the long course season moves forward – she currently stands as the second fastest 12-year old in the nation.
Danielle Albright finished 3rd in both the 100 breast and 200 breast, while Drew Black’s highest finish was 17th in the 100 fly. JD Koster touched 3rd in the 100 fly, and Ava Olson had a 14th place finish as her highest. Bryan Wong was 2nd in the 100 breast, and Bryce Wong had his highest finish as 5th in the 100 fly.
Thirty-one TNT swimmers competed at the Fresno Senior Trials and Finals meet hosted by the Dolphins over the third weekend of January, and Visalia’s Janessa Bringe along with Bryce Wong were our sole event champions, both winning the 200 yard butterfly event. Janessa had two championship swims, winning the 200 fly in 2:15.13, and then earning the bronze in the 200 IM, with a time of 2:18.36. Bryce’s sole championship swim was his win in the 200 fly, posting a time of 1:56.11 in the event.
Twenty one additional TNT swimmers earned a final swim in one of three heats, and additional championship finalists included Ella Bettencourt who placed 5th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:22.49, and then followed that with a 6th place touch in the 200 breaststroke after posting a time of 2:43.57 in the preliminary heats. Ella also finished 10th in the consolation heat of the 100 free (57.54). Her Visalia training partner, Layla Flores placed 2nd in both the 200 IM (2:12.13), and 200 breaststroke (2:34.55) events. Visalia’s graduating senior, Mackenzie Garza was runner up in the 100 free, posting her lifetime best of 53.17, and then touched fourth in the 200 IM, with another lifetime best of 2:20.90. Selma’s Daniel Haley touched 6th in the 200 free, swimming under the two minute mark twice. He also had two top-16 finishes that included a 12th place in the 200 IM (2:23.99), and a 13th place in the 100 fly (1:03.89), as well as a bonus swim, and 17th place finish, in the 100 free. Dylan Hunt had two championships swim that included a silver medal performance in the 200 breast after posting a time of 2:35.63 in the preliminary heats, and then went on the finish 6th in the 100 breast after posting a time of 1:11.27 in prelims. He had two additional top-16 finishes that included an 11th place in the 50 free (26.86), and 13th place in the 100 back (1:08.72). Dylan had five second swims that included a bonus 21st place finish in the 100 free. Ava Olson had three second swims on day one of the meet that included a championship, 3rd place performance, in the 500 free by improving over 25 seconds in the event to a 5:25.57. She also had a consolation finish of 11th in the 100 free (59.29), and also a bonus 18th place finish in the 100 back. Ava was one of five TNT swimmers to improve 100% of their times. Gage Price competed in one event, and earned a championship swim in the 200 fly, moving from 8th to 5th in finals with a time of 2:19.03. Visalia’s Luke Vanwoudenberg had three second swims, two of those being in the championship heat. His highest finish was 5th in the 100 back where he posted a time of 1:00.68, and he also touched 6th in the 200 IM with a lifetime best of 2:12.96 in the event. Luke also scored in the consolation heat with a 14th place finish in the 100 free (54.76). His training partner in Visalia, Benjamin Wheeler, earned a pair of championships swims, and 7th place finishes, each reflecting significant time improvements. His 2:16.70 in the 200 IM finished 7th, as did his 1:00.90 in the 100 back, both being over seven and five second improvements respectively. Benjamin also touched 15th in the 100 free (55.48) where he improved over three seconds in the event. Alexa Wong was our only other championship finalist, and she did this in the only event she competed in, posting a time of 5:23.71 in the 500 free, touching 2nd, and improving over nine seconds in the event.
Additional consolation finalists included Visalia’s Emma Bettencourt who touched 12th in the 200 IM (2:28.79), and then also swam in the bonus heat in both the 100 free (20th) and 100 back (23rd). Selma’s William Butts competed as a new 13-year old, and finished 14th in the 100 back (1:09.71), while Laney Cox finished 9th in three events that included the 200 breast (2:46.53), 200 free (2:12.06), and 100 breast (1:16.73). She also touched 15th in the 100 free. Visalia’s Kate Geiger came away with a pair of second swims, starting in the consolation heat with a 13th place finish in the 100 back (1:11.46), and then swimming in the bonus heat of the 100 free (23rd). Nathan Hunt had three consolation swims, his highest finish being 11th in the 100 breast (1:16.45), and then following that with a pair of 15th place finishes that included the 100 back (1:09.92), and 50 free (27.91). Visalia’s Kristine Marions also had a pair of finals, her consolation swim being in the 100 back (1:14.99), and then also swimming in the bonus heat of the 200 IM (22nd). Eleven year old Addison Mccullough earned a consolation swim by touching 14th in the 200 breast (2:51.87), and then won the bonus heat of the 200 IM (17th). Amy Murphy swam three consolation finals, her highest place being a pair of 10th places that included the 200 breast (2:47.17), and 100 breast (1:18.59) both being lifetime best times, and then touching 15th in the 100 fly (1:11.26). Visalia’s Vincente Sanchez was our only other consolation finalist, and he did this with an 11th place finish in the 100 back (1:06.96).
Additional bonus swims came from Riley Carpenter who finished 20th in the 100 back, and Isabella Klawitter who touched 17th in the 500 free, 18th in both the 200 IM and 200 free, and 20th in the 100 fly.
Swimmers who improved 100% of their times included: Emma Bettencourt, Isabella Klawitter, Ava Olson, Milo Pennington, and Alexa Wong.
Tule Nation Tritons was a topic of discussion around the pool deck among numerous teams during the early days of the Winter Age Group Championships when TNT was in 4th place among 38 teams competing at the meet. Once all was said and done, at 1,018 points, TNT finished a respectable 6th among the field, with 19 of our 28 swimmers scoring in individual events, two of whom scored in triple digits.
With 128 points, fourteen year old Bryan Wong was the lead scorer, winning four of his six events at the meet, three of which resulted in team records. His first win was in the 200 IM, swimming under the 2-minute mark for the first time with a 1:58.54 and being among 64 fourteen year old boys in the nation to do so. Bryan’s previous record was 2:02.10 set at the Hanford meet in September. Following the short IM was the win in the 400 IM where he once again swam uncontested, with a 4:13.69 finishing four seconds ahead of the next swimmer. His next win was nearly a 2-second drop over his previous record of 2:12.50 from the Kevin Perry meet in the 200 IM, where his 2:10.70 now ranks 43rd nationally. His final win was in the 500 freestyle, where his 4:45.93 missed the meet record by less than two seconds, but was an improvement of his own team record of 4:46.81 from Kevin Perry, and now stands as the 50th fastest nationally for boys at age 14. Bryan set team records in three additional events, and these included the 100 breaststroke, where his 59.76 was enough for a 2nd place finish, and was an improvement of his Kevin Perry time of 1:01.10, and currently ranks 32nd nationally. His 1:48.21 in the 200 freestyle tops his Merced swim of 1:49.68 in October, and is the 153rd fastest nationally. Finally, his 49.66 in the 100 free is a new team record for him, falling under Kyle Grissom’s 50.40 set at the Terrapin meet in the winter of 2012, standing as the 179th fastest nationally.
Drew Black was the only other triple-digit point getter at 119 points from individual events, with her highest place being a 2nd place finish in the 11-12 girls 100 butterfly. While still on the bottom of the age group, her 1:00.13 at finals went under Mallory Korenwinder’s previous team record of 1:02.68 set at Far Westerns in 2011, and with a time that currently stands as the 2nd fastest nationally for girls at age 11 (the top time being posted from the same meet). Her next highest finish was 3rd, and this was in the 50 butterfly, where she posted a time of 27.34, again falling under Mallory’s previous team record of 27.67 set at the same Far Western meet. Drew’s time is currently the 7th fastest posted nationally.
Our third highest point getter was 12-year old Alexa Wong. With 94 points, she finished 2nd in three events that included the 200 IM, 200 fly, and 400 IM, all three which resulted in team records. Her 2:14.61 in the 200 IM went under Danielle Albright’s 2:15.50 set at Far Westerns in 2015, and stands as the 48th fastest nationally for girls at age 12. Her 2nd place finish in the 200 fly resulted from a 2:13.69, and is an improvement of Drew Black’s previous team record of 2:18.63 set at the Tulare meet earlier in the same month. The new record stands as the 19th fastest time nationally for a 12-year old girl. Finally, her 4:42.88 stands as the 16th fastest time in the nation, and slides under Danielle Albright’s previous team record of 4:43.59 set at Far Westerns in 2015.
Bryce Wong was our only other event champion, winning the 200 fly after posting a lifetime best of 1:55.55 in the preliminary heats. He earned three additional championship swims that included the 100 breast (1:01.76), 100 fly (52.58), and 200 IM (2:01.68) events, and also swam a final in the 200 breast. Visalia’s Ella Bettencourt competed on the bottom of the 13-14 age division, yet earned a championship swim in the 50 free by posting a time of 25.72 in the preliminary heats. She also earned second swims in the 200 free, 100 back, and 100 free events. Visalia’s Janessa Bringe had a championship swim by finishing 8th with a lifetime best of 2:14.33 in the 200 fly. She also had second swims in the 100 fly, 200 IM, 400 IM, and 500 freestyle events. Selma’s William Butts had 4 swims in the championship finals, his highest place being three 4th place finishes that included the 50 fly (27.88), 50 back (29.93), and 100 fly (1:07.57). Two other championship swims of his included a 5th place in the 50 breast (32.89), and 8th place in the 100 free (59.90). He also earned seconds swim in the 100 breast, 100 back, and 100 fly events. Visalia’s Layla Flores is another individual competing on the bottom of the age division, yet who earned a championship seeding in finals. She posted a time of 2:10.23 in the 15-18 division of the 200 IM to finish 3rd in the event. She also earned second swims in the 100 breast, 50 free, 100 back and 100 free events. Porterville’s 8-year old Regan Hildreth earned her championship swim with an 8th place finish in the 10-under (yea, she’s 8 in the 10-under division) 50 breaststroke after swimming a time of 40.54 in the preliminary heats. She also earned a second swim in the 100 breast. Another 8-year old phenom who earned a championship final in the 10-under division was Selma’s Logan Huckabay who touched 5th in the 10-under 50 fly with a time of 34.52. He also earned second swims in the 100 free, 100 IM, and 50 free events. His brother, Lucas Huckabay, while competing on the bottom of the 11-12 age division, earned a championship swim in the 200 free after posting a time of 2:09.31 in the preliminary heats. He also earned a final swim in the 50 breast, 100 free, 50 fly, 100 breast and 50 free events. Ava Olson is another of our swimmers competing on the bottom of the age bracket, and she still earned a top-8 finish in two events that included a 6th place finish in the 200 fly after posting a lifetime best of 2:18.64 in the preliminary heats, and then finished 8th in the 100 breast after posting another lifetime best of 1:10.06 in prelims. Sydnee Wilson was another double championship finalist. Her top finish was a 4th place in the 50 breaststroke, improving her time by over a second to a 33.27, and then again improving by over a second in the 50 free to a 26.44 to touch 6th there. Sydnee also earned second swim in the 100 free and 100 breaststroke.
Six additional swimmers earned a final (top-16), scoring, swim, and these include Selma’s Jackson Huckabay who earned consolation swims in the 200 IM and 400 IM, along with his brother, Jonas Huckabay, who earned consolation swims in the 100 breast, 200 free and 100 free events. Hanford’s Thomas Matthews finished in the consolation finals in six events that included the 200 back, 50 fly, 200 fly, 400 IM, 100 back, and 100 fly, while 11-year old Addison Mccullough earned top16 finishes in the 12-under 200 fly and 200 breaststroke events. Also competing at the bottom of the 11-12 division, and scoring, was Lemoore’s Michelle Murphy who finished top-16 in the 200 back and 500 free events. Finally, Gage Price had 4 top-16 performances that included the 100 fly, 100 back, 500 free and 200 back.
Thirteen year old Laney Cox had her highest finish at 21st in the 13-14 200 breaststroke, while 13-year old Drew Johnston touched 18th in the 13-14 100 backstroke. Ashton King came back from college to finish 29th in the 200 back, while Lemoore’s Madalynn Lady finished 23rd as her highest finish in the 200 breast. Kristine Marinos of Visalia had her highest place as 22nd in the 100 back, and Selma’s Mark Marroquin touched 41st as his highest finish, and in the 100 fly. Lemoore’s Amy Murphy had her best place at 35th while on the bottom of the age group, and Visalia’s Vincent Sanchez, also on the bottom of the age group, finished 39th as his highest place. Visalia’s Luke Vanwoudenberg touched 21st in the 200 back as his highest finish.
While our age group swimmers competed at the San Diego-Imperial’s Winter Age Group Championships in Chula Vista, Danielle Albright was our only swimmer to compete at the senior-level Sectional Championships hosted by Southern California Swimming, and held at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa. Danielle competed in four events, and scored in three of those. Her highest finish was a 3rd place in the 100 yard breaststroke where she posted a time of 1:04.49 in the event. She later backed up the championship performance with a 4th place finish in the 200 breaststroke, swimming a time of 2:22.76, improving nearly three full seconds from her preliminary swim. Her other final was the bonus time of 4:44.53 in the 400 IM to touch 20th, moving up from 27th, and improving nearly six seconds from her prelim swim there.
Two of our three Winter Junior National qualifiers are returning to the meet over the first weekend of December, after making their first appearance last winter. Both JD Koster and Preston Niayesh are returning veterans to the meet, and Preston Niayesh came away with a 100% improvement rate, and earned a final swim in the consolation heat of the 100 breaststroke, touching 14th in the event after posting a lifetime best of 55.78 in the preliminary heats. His time is an improvement over his Kevin Perry record set the previous month as 56.68, and the time currently stands as the 38th fastest nationally for 18-year old male swimmers. Preston also improved his team record in the 200 breaststroke, posting the 63rd nationally ranked time of 2:03.23 for 18-year olds, and once again going under his Kevin Perry record of 2:05.40.
Our next highest finisher was JD Koster, who touched 42nd in the 200 fly, posting his lifetime best of 1:50.78 in the event. JD is our only swimmer who qualified in three events for the meet, swimming also the 200 IM (1:56.05), and 100 fly (50.57) events. Garrison Price made his first appearance at a USA Swimming Junior National meet, and his highest finish was 91st in the 200 fly (1:54.15). He also competed in the 100 fly (50.77).
Preston Niayesh made his first appearance at a National meet by traveling to Greensboro, North Carolina to compete at the 2018 Winter National Championships in both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke events over the last weekend of November. The 2018 Winter Nationals is the first opportunity for swimmers across the nation to achieve an Olympic Trial time standard since the posting of the new cuts just months prior. This is the primary reason the meet is conducted long course, opposed to the traditional short course arrangement. Preston finished 35th in the 200 meter breaststroke, swimming a time of 2:25.99, and finished 46th in the 100 breaststroke after swimming a time of 1:06.59 there.
Five of our 61 TNT swimmers who competed at the Dowain Wright Memorial meet hosted by Fresno Dolphins over the November 17-18 weekend outperformed all other swimmers in their respective age and gender division, thereby earning the high point recognition.
Tuning up for the Winter Age Group Championships, Porterville’s Regan Hildreth swept all eight events that she competed in for the 7-8 girls division, winning the 100 free, 50 breast, 50 fly, 200 IM, 100 breasts, 50 free, 100 fly and 50 backstroke events. Regan improved well over 11 seconds in the 200 IM, and was one of only two TNT swimmers to remain undefeated, but the only undefeated swimmer with a full schedule of events.
Porterville’s counterpart, nine year old Nathan Boudreaux took home the high point for the 9-10 boys division, while competing at the bottom of the age division, outscoring the 10-year old runner up by seven points. Nathan was the winner of the 50 breast, and 100 breaststroke events, and came in second for the 50 back and 100 IM. He was a top-8 finisher in all events.
Also tuning up for the Winter Age Group Championships was Selma’s William Butts, who at age 12 was the high point recipient for the 11-12 boys division. William finished top-3 in all eight of his events, taking home the gold in the 50 breast, 50 fly, 100 breast, and 50 backstroke events. At 88%, William maintained one of the highest improvement rates among any of our swimmers who competed at the meet.
William’s counterpart in Selma, Daniel Haley, competed in only six events within the 13-14 division, but finishing among the top 3 in all of his events, managed to outscore all other 13-14 boys who competed at the meet by at least six points to take home the high point for the division. Daniel was the event champion for the 400 IM, and the 500 freestyle events. He place 3rd in all other events.
Visalia’s Layla Flores was the high point recipient for the 13-14 girls division, competing in her last meet as a 14-year old. One of our top age group swimmers who has already made inroads into meets on our senior circuit, Layla won the 100 fly, 400 IM and 200 IM events while at the Fresno meet, then placed 2nd in both the 100 free and 50 free, and finally 3rd in the 500 free – placing top 3 in all events she competed in.