Although 17 of our 19 TNT swimmers who competed at the Fresno Senior meet over the third weekend of January earned a final swim in one of three heats, only one TNT swimmer came away as an event champion, and it was in the only event where TNT had a 1-2 finish. Danielle Albright came away as the event champion in the 200 breaststroke, followed by a second place finish from Katherine Mendyk in the event. Danielle had four final swims at the meet that included the 200 breast (1st- 2:34.15), 200 IM (5th- 2:18.56), 100 breast (3rd – 1:09.75), and 50 free (9th – 26.87), while Katherine Mendyk maintained the busiest schedule of any TNT swimmer, earning a final swim in all six events that she competed in. Her finals included the 200 breast (2nd – 2:37.37), 200 IM (11th – 2:23.78), 100 free (13th – 1:00.00), 200 free (7th – 2:07.63), 100 breast (6th – 1:16.02), and 50 free (12th – 27.36).
Other top-24 finishers in finals included Libby Adriaansen (100 back – 23rd, 200 breast – 7th); Layla Flores (100 back – 9th, 200 breast 4th); Jillian Gaines (100 breast – 17th, 100 fly – 17th); Mackenzie Garza (100 back – 7th, 100 free – 2nd); Lauren Geiger (100 back – 4th, 100 free – 9th); Diego Gutierrez (100 back – 8th, 100 free – 8th, 200 free – 8th, 100 breast – 7th, 50 free – 11th); Isaac Gutierrez (100 back – 9th, 100 free – 12th, 200 free – 14th, 100 breast – 9th, 50 free – 11th); Xavier Gutierrez (100 back – 17th, 100 breast – 11th, 50 free – 20th); Preston Niayesh (100 breast – 3rd, 100 fly – 3rd); Ava Olson (200 fly – 3rd, 200 breast – 13th, 100 breast – 16th, 100 fly 10th); Satoshi Shinkawa (200 IM – 4th, 100 back – 3rd, 100 free – 3rd); Seiji Shinkawa (100 back – 18th, 100 free – 15th); Shoji Shinkawa (100 back – 21st); and Katherine Sullivan (200 IM – 12th, 100 back – 15th, 100 free – 15th).
The top performances in terms of improvements unquestionably belong to two swimmers: Diego Gutierrez and Selma’s Shoji Shinkawa. Despite another rain-drenched swim meet, and a team improvement rate that only reached 37%, Diego and Shoji still managed to improve all events entered, and by very large margins. Diego competed in, earned a final swim in, and improved five of five events with his largest improvement of over six seconds being from his final swim in the 100 backstroke where he earned a top-8 finish. Twelve year old Shoji competed in four events, and improved all four with a margin of no less than approximately three seconds. His largest improvements were also over six seconds, and in two separate events that included the 100 back (his final swim), and the 100 free.
What may be arguably the worst weather for a swim meet in the last two or more years, six of our 30 TNT swimmers who competed at the Clovis meet in January, primarily from the Selma and Visalia programs, still managed to improve 100% of their times in events 50 yards or longer that had been previously recorded with the team. Seven year old Meghan Adams (improving 1 of 1 event), along with Selma swimmers Sydney King (age 11 - 4 of 4), Jade Perez (age 8 - 2 of 2) and Delbert Salvadalena (age 9 - 3 of 3), and Visalia swimmers Luke Vanwoudenberg (age 14 - 3 of 3) and Kylie Walker (age 13 - 4 of 4), all improved 100% of their times despite the inclement weather. The team’s overall improvement percentage was only 39%.
Sixteen year old JD Koster was one of two swimmers who remained undefeated at the meet within their age and time divisions, winning all seven of his events entered for the 15-over division, while 12-year old Gage Price entered two events, and won both of those within his divisions. JD had a time drop in the 100 back, swimming 58.86 reflecting a three and a half second improvement. Selma’s ten year old, Sienna Abernathy, took home two first place finishes that included the 200 MI (2:53.10), and 100 IM (1:16.42), while her training partner, ten year old Sydnee Wilson, went home as the champion in both the 50 fly (33.79), and 100 breaststroke (1:24.27) events. Our only other double winner was Preston Niayesh who won the 100 free (50.98), and 50 free (23.79) events for the 15-over division. Other event champions included Meghan Adams (25 breast), Jillian Duffy (7-8 25 fly), Nathan Hunt (11-12 200 breast), and Tyson Phillips (7-8 50 free).
Fifteen TNT swimmers traveled to Lewisville, Texas for the second time to compete at the 2016 Pro-Am Classic over the third weekend of December, and two thirds of our team earned a second swim in one of four final heats provided. Six of those ten moved into one of two scoring heats, placing among the top 16 at the meet within their respective events.
Our only championship swim (placing in the top-8) was Visalia’s Megan Ridenour who swam 1:07.15 in the championship finals to successfully defend her 7th place seeding going into that heat. Megan also earned a 2nd swim in the C-final of the 200 breast, finishing 22nd there (2:31.84). Our team had only one swimmer that scored in two individual events, and that honor goes to Selma’s Jonas Huckabay who finished 10th in the 1650 freestyle on the final day where he swam a lifetime best time of 16:52.23, and had the largest improvement from any TNT swimmer of nearly 22 seconds. Jonas must have known he would be among the top performers since he started the meet with the 1000 freestyle, and already earned a scoring performance by finishing 16th in that event with is lifetime best of 10:05.20. At an 83%, Jonas maintained one of the highest improvement rates for the team by improving five of his six swims.
Selma’s Satoshi Shinkawa was the busiest on the team, earning second swims in four of his six events. He scored in the 100 backstroke where is lifetime best of 55.44 in the preliminary heats took him to a spot in the consolation final where he nearly repeated the time and finished 15th. Satoshi also earned 2nd swims in the 100 breast (1:02.61), 100 fly (52.98), and 200 IM (2:01.59) events. With an overall team improvement percentage only at 38%, Satoshi was one of seven who improved at or over 50% of their times.
Visalia’s Mackenzie Garza earned the next highest number of second swims at three, and she scored in her specialty event, the 50 freestyle, with a lifetime best time of 24.55 posted in the finals and placing 14th there. Mackenzie also earned a second swim in the 100 freestyle, finishing 28th after swimming a time of 55.25 in the preliminary heats. Her final second swim was in the 50 backstroke where her time of 28.19 finished 17th. At a 60% improvement rate, Mackenzie was among our best improved swimmers. Another scoring swim came from one of our four 13-year olds who competed at the meet. Danielle Albright was within a second of her best time in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:07.71 in the preliminary heats which was fast enough to get her into the B-final where she finished 13th. Her second final resulted from her 4:47.29 in the preliminary heats of the 400 IM where she ultimately finished 23rd in the C-final. Our final scoring swim came from Visalia’s Lauren Geiger who swam a time of 28.39 in the preliminary heats of the 50 backstroke to make it into the consolation final, where she finished 15th.
Our top performer in terms of time improvement was unquestionably Visalia’s Layla Flores, who at age 13 wouldn’t back down to the senior-level of competition. She competed in six events, and improved all six, by margins that well exceeded two and a half seconds at times. Layla also earned second swims in two events that included the 200 breaststroke (2:33.19 – 26th), and 50 back (30.20 – 29th). Selma’s Morgan Coddington is a veteran at the meet, and she also earned second swims in two events that included the 100 breast (1:10.29), and the 400 IM (4:47.66). Two additional swimmers earned a top-32 finish, and they include Visalia’s Janessa Bringe who finished 26th in the 1000 free (11:13.40), and Peyton Costa who earned a second swim, and finished 29th in the 50 back (28.36).
Our remaining swimmers, along with their highest placed event, included: Visalia’s Rylee Lord (55th in the 100 fly), Priscilla Niayesh (85th in the 100 breast), Selma’s Emma Pena (39th in the 50 free), Katherine Sullivan (65th in the 50 back), and Libby Adriaansen (78th in the 100 breast).
Twenty TNT swimmers competed at the 2016 Winter Age Group Championships held on Coronado Island in San Diego over the December 17-19 weekend with 559 of the total 753 points generated from individual events led by twelve year old Bryan Wong who was not only the teams sole event champion, but took home the gold in three of his eight events, placing second in the 500 free (5:22.18), and third in three additional events (100 free – 57.16; 200 IM – 2:19.47 & 200 free – 2:02.40). Rounding out a sixth place finish in the 100 fly (1:04.54), Bryan was a championship (top-8) finalist in all events that he participated in, and thereby contributed a total of 138 points to the team total. His three first place events were also new team records, beginning with the 31.71 that he swam in the 50 breaststroke event. His time slid under Preston Niayesh’s 31.98 that stood as the previous team record set at the Tulare meet three years earlier in 2013. Bryan’s new record stands as the 95th fastest nationally for swimmers at age 12. Establishing himself as a breaststroker, Bryan went on to set the team record in his next gold medal event, the 100 breast where his time of 1:09.22 ranks 120th nationally, and shaved .05 seconds off of Preston’s previous record of 1:09.27, being the only two TNT male swimmers to go under the 1:10 mark. Bryan previously held the 200 breaststroke record, most recently setting it at the Tulare meet earlier in the month as a 2:36.64, but now in his final gold-medal performance, falls well under that time to a 2:30.99, and placing himself as the 83rd fastest 12-year old male in the nation for the event to date.
Our next highest point contributor was Alexa Wong who also placed in the championship (top-8) heat for nine events that she participated in, scoring a total of 131 points. Her highest finish was the 2nd place in the 100 butterfly (1:11.69), and she followed that with a pair of 3rd place finishes that included the 50 fly (32.09), and 50 free (29.17) events, as well as a pair of 4th place finishes that included the 200 IM (2:36.14), and 100 back (1:12.19), and a pair of 5th place finishes that included the 100 free (1:04.22), and 200 free (2:19.55). Her final two events paired up for 6th place finishes, and included the 50 back (34.73), and 100 IM (1:13.16).
Gage Price was the next highest point getter at 77 points generated by championship swims in four of his events. Gage’s top place was 5th in the 200 back (2:23.04), and he followed that performance with a pair of sixth place finishes that included the 50 back, (31.32) and 100 back (1:06.33) events. His final top-8 finish was 7th in the 100 fly (1:05.45). Additionally, Gage finished top-16 in three other events that included the 100 free (10th), 50 fly (9th), and 500 free (9th) events. Selma’s Sydnee Wilson was one of three swimmers to improve 100% of their times, and she also had three championship swims that included a pair of 4th place finishes for both the 50 fly (32.51) and 100 breaststroke (1:23.35) events, and a 5th place finish in the 50 breast (37.78). Her remaining top-16 scoring swims include the 200 IM (14th), 100 IM (15th) and 50 free (9th). Selma’s Sienna Abernathy was our next highest point contributor with 54, and she did this with three top-8 finishes that included a pair of 6th places for the 100 free (1:06.83), and the 50 free (29.96), and a 7th place finish in the 200 free (2:25.52). Sienna also finished 10th in the 50 fly, and 9th in the 100 fly. Visalia’s Daniel Haley would be next in points at 41, while finishing 6th in the 12-under 200 butterfly event with a time of 2:35.76. Daniel had five additional scoring events that included the 200 back (13th), 100 free (16th), 50 back (9th), 100 back (10th) and 500 free (10th) events. Drew Black made her first appearance at the meet, and had a top-8 finish with a 7th place in the 50 fly (33.56), and also scored in the 100 free (16th), 50 back (13th), and 100 back (12th). Another double digit scorer was Selma’s Lucas Huckabay who scored in four individual events that included the 100 free (15th), 200 free (11th), 100 back (12th) and 50 free (10th). Bryce Wong was one of three 100% improvement swimmers, and our only other double digit winner, scoring in the 100 fly (11th) and 100 back (12th). Our remaining scorer in individual events was Ava Olson who finished 10th in the 200 fly.
Our remaining swimmers, along with their highest placed event, includes Aidan Champagne (50 breast – 30th), Duncan Champagne (50 breast – 20th), Ciara Clarke (50 breast – 29th), Diego Gutierrez (100 free – 30th), Isaac Gutierrez (100 breast – 43rd), Xavier Gutierrez (200 breast – 29th), Addison Mccullough (100 fly – 17th), Micah Ruiz (200 back – 23rd), Benjamin Wheeler (200 back – 25th), and Brett Wong (200 back – 31st). Addison Mccullough was one of only three individuals to improve 100% of their times.
JD Koster tops the performance list for the three TNT swimmers who competed at the December Sectional meet at East LA College. He swam to the highest finish of the three, and improved three of four swims that included two time trial events. JD’s top finish was 31st in the 200 fly in a meet where the top 24 swimmers advance to a final heat. His 1:55.68 was nearly a two second improvement, and slides under the short course Sectional time standard for his first time in the event where he maintained a long course qualifying time. During time trials, JD also improved his 200 IM to a 1:57.40, and 200 breaststroke to a 2:11.98.
Preston Niayesh was our only swimmer who was eligible to swim three events in the meet, and he had the next highest finish of our team of three, placing 40th in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:15.77 which is his second fastest meet performance in the event. Alsonso Escobedo was entered into two events, and his highest finish was 54th in the 400 IM after swimming a time of 4:17.63 in the preliminary heats, and posting his second fastest time on record.