Bryan Wong was one of over 100 TNT swimmers who competed at the Visalia TNT Fall Meet over the second weekend of October, and he puts on the first of what is surely to be only the beginning of an upcoming series of team record-breaking performances within this new training and competition cycle entering the short course season. Bryan swam the 200 yard breaststroke event for the very first time, and clocked a time of 2:38.02 in the event to take home the win, and slid under Preston Niayesh’s team record of 2:38.06 that was set at Far Westerns three years ago. Bryan’s time currently stands as the 37th fastest nationally for boys at age 12. The new national reporting cycle began at the beginning of last month, and there are currently 250 times posted nationally for this gender and age.
Our team maintained an improvement rate of 48%, and Bryan also maintained one of the highest improvement rates by improving five of his six events. Sixteen TNT swimmers improved 100% of their times as they perform in the early phase of this next short course season, and they include: Megan Bairstow (improving 2 of her 2 events), Isabel Burrough (4 of 4), Jacob Chambers (2 of 2), Tomas Contreras (6 of 6), Gabrielia Costamagna (1 of 1), Sarah Do-Reynoso (2 of 2), Colin Duffy (2 of 2), Jillian Duffy (1 of 1), Xavier Gutierrez (5 of 5), Jackson Huckabay (2 of 2), Jonas Huckabay (2 of 2), Marlene Mansour (1 of 1), Levi Porter (2 of 2), Ivan Rodriguez (2 of 2), Josh Wee (5 of 5), and Benjamin Wheeler (3 of 3).
A few of our swimmer remained uncontested in the few events that they competed in. Alonso Escobedo was undefeated in both the 15-over 200 back (2:01.90), and 200 IM (2:02.42) events, while Selma’s Logan Huckabay won each of his four events in the 6-under division, including the 25 free (19.56), 50 breast (1:08.01), 50 fly (59.08), and 100 IM (2:00.53) events. JD Koster came in on Sunday to win his three events that included the 200 breast (2:16.23), 200 fly (2:06.98), and 400 IM (4:25.50) for the 15-over division, while Alex Roberts also came in on Sunday where she won the 13-14 100 back (1:02.79) and 400 IM (5:00.42) events. Visalia’s Tyson Phillips took home the gold in the 7-8 50 free (42.30), 25 breast (28.79), and 50 back (50.34) events. Other event champions included: Libby Adriaansen (winning two events), Nathan Boudreaux (2 events), Janessa Bringe (2), Ciara Clarke (1), Layla Flores (6), Mackenzie Garza (4), Lauren Geiger (1), Diego Gutierrez (1), Toby Jones (1), Rylee Lord (3), Mia Nelsen (1), Karuna Perry (1), Gage Price (3), Garrison Price (1), Micah Ruiz (3), Katherine Sullivan (1), Jake Surratt (3), Jacob Wheeler (1), Alexa Wong (2), Bryan Wong (6), and Bryce Wong (7).
The Ironman World Championships took place on Saturday, October 8th, and while our swimmers were competing at the Visalia meet, two current and past TNT athletes were among over 2,000 who competed at the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The competition involves a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run, all as one 140.6 mile event. Our own Missy LeStrange clocked an overall time of 12 hours, 56 minutes and 13 second to finish 3rd in her division that consisted of 35 contestants, splitting 1 hour 8 minutes and 30 seconds for the swim 6h 24m 38s for the bike, and 5h 11m 21s for the run. Her swim time was the fastest in the field by three seconds over Brazil’s Marise Nunes who finished 8th overall with a time of 14h6m5s.
AJ Reid competed in the 18-24 division, and finished 20th in his field of 38 athletes. AJ’s time was 11:02:17, and he was the 4th fastest American to finish in the division. AJ swam 57:57, and then followed that with a bike split of 5:30.57, and finally the run of 4:22.33. This was AJ’s firs Ironman World Championships.
Twenty-four TNT swimmers competed at the Clovis Fall Classic on September 24th and maintained a 50% overall team improvement rate. This improvement rate was led by six swimmers who improved 100% of their times over the one-day meet. Tegan Hunt had the highest number of swims, improving 3 of 3 events, followed by her training partner, Addison McCullough who improved two of her two events. Xavier Gutierrez of Porterville, along with Alex Roberts, each improved both of their two events that had previously been recorded with the team. Both John Bailey and Laney Cox of Porterville each improved the one event which was previously recorded. Ten of our 24 swimmers swam a combined total of 18 new events at the meet, setting the foundation for their future. Our next highest improvement rates came from Visalia’s Layla Flores , Hanford’s Nathan Hunt , and Caroline Mendyk, all 75% of their times.
Five of our swimmers came away as event champions in their respective events. Danielle Albright won both the 200 butterfly (2:24.08), and the 400 IM (5:00.08) events for the 13-14 girls division, while Visalia’s Layla Flores took home the gold in both the 11-12 girls 200 breaststroke (2:40.59) and 200 freestyle (2:12.15) events. Alex Roberts doubled up wins in the 13-14 girls 100 free (57.75), and 100 back (1:01.35) events, while Porterville’s Fynn Stadtherr went uncontested in both the 7-8 25 breaststroke (24.13), and 25 butterfly (22.89) events. Fifteen year old Preston Niayesh was our only other event champion, as he won the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.63.
One hundred nineteen TNT swimmers were among the total 193 who competed at the Raisin Age Group Invitational at Selma High School over the third weekend of September, marking the second short course swim meet of the new season, and three swimmers came away winning all events they competed in.
Visalia’s 12-year old, Layla Flores, competed in eight events, and came away unchallenged in all eight. Layla is our premier 100 meter backstroker who established herself as the fastest long course swimmer in the event for the history of the team when she competed in Utah this last summer where she set the team record for the 11-12 age division. She continues to prove herself as not only the fastest on the team, but the fastest at the meet, and not only in backstroke, but also establishing herself as a well-rounded athlete by winning all eight events.
Selma’s eight-year old Lucas Huckabay also competed in eight total events, two of them for the very first time (100 back & 200 IM), and one of those in the 10-under division (200 IM), and he still managed gold-medal performances in all events. Lucas also improved over 13 seconds in the 200 freestyle, swimming a time of 2:31.07 as an 8-year old. He is one of the few 8-under swimmers fast enough to post times on our TNT All-Time Top 100 lists for the 10-under division.
Our final sweeping performance came from 10-year old Alexa Wong who also competed in a full slate of events, and established her dominance, winning all eight. She also improved 7 of her 8 swims, the largest being over 11 seconds in the 200 IM, marking what could be a pivotal, or break-through, meet for her. Alexa has a summer birthday (June), and she is already posting times that rank among the top 10 for the team, sitting within three to four seconds from some of our team records.
Ten-year old Nicholas Vassylenko came away winning seven of his eight events, and earned a second place in his remaining one, and Nicholas was one of 25 swimmers to improve 100% of their times; his largest improvement being over 11 seconds in the 100 IM. Bryan Wong came home with the next highest number of wins, swimming to a first place finish in five of his eight, and improving over 42 seconds in the 200 IM. Other event champions included: Sienna Abernathy (winning the 100 back), Danielle Albright (100 & 200 breast), Alonso Escobedo (200 back), Noah Haworth (100 fly), Logan Huckabay (50 fly), Tanner Kelm (50 breast & 200 free), JD Koster (200 fly), Cody Nash (100 & 200 breast), Jade Perez (100 back), and Sydnee Wilson (50 breast & 100 fly).
The top 8 swimmers scored in each event, and besides those who were event champions, these included: Eric Amador, Maguire Barteau, Ella Bettencourt, Drew Black, Nathan Boudreaux, Dylan Burr, Jonna-Lee Bush, Devon Cardoza, Duncan Champagne, Ciara Clarke, Ciena Clarke, Morgan Coddington, Dante Corasco, Jasmine Corpuz, Elias Dean, Colin Duffy, Jillian Duffy, Gabriela Durtra, Nadia Garabedian, Mackenzie Garza, Lauren Geiger, Noah Gutierrez, Daniel Haley, Caolinn Hardy, Noah Haworth, Jackson Huckabay, Jonas Huckabay, Sydney King, Isabella Klawitter, Carlos Lopez, Rylee Lord, Makayla McGuire, Michael Mendoza, Bella Navarretti, Sophie Nelsen, Preston Niayesh, Ava Olson, Tyson Phillips, Joshua Ramirez, Megan Ridenour, Alex Roberts, Ivan Rodriguez, Micah Ruiz, Delbert Salvadalena, Satoshi Shinkawa, Clara Shinn, Ethan Unruh, Addia Watson, Chesney Watson, and Jacob Wheeler.
Congratulations also go to the following swimmers who improved 100% of their times: Edmond Aguinaldo, Precious Aguinaldo, Ella Betencourt, Ella Bettencourt (yes - two different swimmers), Connor Bruton, Devon Cardoza, Ciara Clarke, Elias Dean, Lorelei Dean, Colin Duffy, Kate Geiger, Toby Jones, Genoveve Mcilwaine, Jaden O’Bosky, Edward Miguel Ong, Taylor Phillips, Tyson Phillips, Parker Princewill, Ivan Rodriguez, Edward Rodriquez, Luke Vanwoudenberg, Maryn Vanwoudenberg, Nicholas Vassylenko, Matthew Wheeler, and Bryan Wong.
A total of 178 swimmers competed at the Hanford meet held at the Tulare Western pool on the second weekend of September, marking the first short course meet following this past summer’s long course season. Of these, 107 were TNT swimmers, and of the 107 TNT swimmers 41 swam in a club swim meet for their very first time, establishing baseline times that will mark the beginning of their move toward Junior Olympics, Winter and June Age Group Championships, Far Westerns, Western Zones, and well beyond. Congratulations to the following 41 swimmers for taking their first step to achieving their future dreams:
A total of 59 additional swimmers competed who had previously recorded times with the team, and well over half of them improved 100% of their times, leading the team to a 76% improvement rate. The following 34 swimmers had a perfect meet starting off the short course season as they move into the winter championship meets:
Although having competed for TNT sometime in the past, the following seven swimmers expanded their repertoire by competing in events that they had never experienced in the past. These included:
One month ago, five TNT swimmers competed at the 2016 Western Zone Age Group Championships held in Salt Lake City, Utah with CCS Head Zone Coach, Joclyn Thiessen while representing Team CCS, the All Star team that represents Central California Swimming. Our five include Visalia's Janessa Bringe (13-14), Peyton Costa (11-12), Visalia's Layla Flores (11-12), Ava Olson (10-under), and Alexa Wong (10-under).
Layla Flores was our first finalist, swimming to the championship finals in the 100 meter backstroke on day 1, and improved nearly three seconds to a 1:11.61 in the preliminary heats, swimming well under Samantha Goates team record of 1:12.24 set at the Senior Q meet in 2002. Samantha Goates is among our all-time top performers, becoming nationally ranked, competing for LSU at the D1 NCAA Championships. On day 1, Janessa Bringe earned a scoring top-16 finish swimming 10:21.83 in the time based 800 meter freestyle, and finishing 15th in the event.
Day 2 was Thursday; Alexa Wong swam to a consolation final in the 100 meter freestyle after swimming 1:13.13 in the preliminary heats on that day, and also qualified for the consolation heat in the 200 IM. Peyton Costa also made the consolation heat, swimming a 2:36.03 in the preliminary heats, and then winning the consolation heat with a time of 2:33.48.
On day 3, Ava Olson advances to the consolation final of the 100 meter breaststroke, improving her time by nearly two seconds to a 1:34.80, and finishing 15th in that final heat. Layla Flores sat in the 1st alternate position of the same event after swimming her best time of 1:24.28, and then went on to place 10th in the 50 meter backstroke improving her preliminary swim to a 33.54, after swimming her fastest time of 33.82 in the prelims.
Day 4 resulted in Layla Flores not only being the only TNT swimmer to improve 100% of her times, the only TNT swimmer to advance to a championship top-8 final heat, but also earned the most second swims for any TNT swimmer as she competed in the 11-12 200 meter breaststroke event, and improved her time by over two seconds to a 3:01.74, and finished 15th in the event. Layla was joined as a finalist for the day by Ava Olson, competing in her first Zone meet, and second final event, where her time of 1:20.21 was enough for a 14th place finish there, and an improvement from her preliminary swim.