Lemoore’s 10-year old Michelle Murphy returns from the Winter Age Group Championships the previous month in San Diego to take home 7 wins at the Winter Classic that took place over the 3rd weekend of January in Tulare. Michelle won seven of her eight events, and placed second in the remaining one. She also improved six of her eight events, thereby maintaining one of the highest improvement rates as well.
Our next highest wins came from Visalia’s 12-year old, Ella Bettencourt, who also is a Winter Age Group Championship contender, improved 86% of her times at the Winter Classic, and took home six wins out her seven events. She also placed second in her remaining event. Both of these athletes were among 73 TNT swimmers who competed alongside over 200 athletes total at the meet. Visalia had two additional swimmers who came home with five wins each, and these included 16-year old Janessa Bringe, and 14-year old Layla Flores. Layla was also one of the few TNT swimmers who remained undefeated at the meet. Thirteen year old Bryan Wong was the only other TNT swimmers entered in more than two events to remain undefeated, winning all five of the events he competed in.
Other event champions include: Sienna Abernathy (100 free), Danielle Albright (200 back), Emma Bettencourt (50 back), Drew Black (100 IM), Natalie Boudreaux (50 free), Nathan Boudreaux (25 free, 25 breast), William Butts (50 fly, 50 back, 100 back, 50 breast), Carson Clarke (50 free), Ciena Clarke (100 IM), Tyler Coles (200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 free), Riley Duffy (100 fly), Alonso Escobedo (50 free, 100 free), Jillian Gaines (200 free), Mackenzie Garza (200 free, 100 back, 50 free), Xavier Gutierrez (200 free, 200 IM), Regan Hildreth (50 breast, 25 breast), Jaxon Hoover (50 fly, 100 back, 100 IM), Dylan Hunt (500 free), Nathan Hunt (100 back, 200 breast, 200 back), Ashton King (100 back, 50 free), Madalynn Lady (200 free, 50 fly, 100 breast), Thomas Matthews (200 back), Addison Mccullough (200 free, 50 back, 100 fly), Genoveve Mcilwaine (100 fly), Preston Niayesh (200 IM, 100 breast), Ava Olson (400 IM, 200 fly), Luke Pena (50 free, 100 IM, 100 free), Jaxon Percival (50 free, 25 free), Garrison Price (100 fly), Megan Ridenour (100 fly, 100 breast), Danny Rodriguez (100 breast, 50 breast, 100 free), Mikayla Rodriguez (50 fly, 100 IM), Sophia Rubalcaba (100 back), Mackenzie Sepeda (200 IM), Kalei Sine (200 free), Jake Surratt (25 fly, 50 back, 100 free), Chesney Watson (200 IM), Alexa Wong (1000 free, 200 back, 50 breast), Brett Wong (200 back), and Bryce Wong (100 breast, 500 free)
Six TNT swimmers improved 100% of times that had been previously recorded with the team, and these include Porterville’s 10-year old Natalie Boudreaux who entered two events, and improved both, 13-year old Duncan Champagne who swam four, and improved all four, and 13-year old Noah Hoy, who had one event that he had a previous time, and improved it, then swam two additional events for the first time. Similarly, 14-year old Xavier Gutierrez improved two previously recorded times, and competed in two new events, while nine year old JoAnne Mecum maintained a 100% improvement rate by improving her time in the 50 free. Finally, 17-year old Kalei Sine made her re-entry into club swimming with an improvement in the 50 free, and swam three additional events for her first time. Congratulations to all.
The Pac-12 Conference recognizes athletes on weekly and monthly bases as swimmers of the week, and swimmers of the month respectively. On January 17th, our very own Mallory Korenwinder was named the swimmer of the week based partly on a double win during an Arizona quad meet that took place the previous week. At a lifetime best of 1:00.53 posted at the Texas Invitational earlier this season, Mallory currently holds the 29th fastest time in the 100 breaststroke nationally among Division 1 swimmers. The Swimmer of the Week recognition can be reviewed at the Pac-12 New page, the Pac-12 Video page, the Pac-12 Network YouTube page, or on SwimSwam.
Eight TNT swimmers traveled to La Mirada and competed on the long course day of the meet with intent to prepare for upcoming long course competition that includes the summer meets, as well as the Pro-Swim series at Mesa, Arizona in April. Our highest finisher was 15-year old Danielle Albright who placed second in the 100 meter breaststroke with a time of 1:18.36. Our two other Mesa qualifiers had the next highest finishes in third, and these included 17-year old JD Koster’s 200 IM where he posted a time of 2:19.12, and 17-year old Preston Niayesh who swam to a 3rd place finish in the 200 breaststroke event with a time of 2:38.51.
Thirteen year old Bryan Wong had the next highest finish at 5th in the 200 meter breaststroke (2:39.03), while 18-year old Alonso Escobedo finished 11th in the 100 back (1:07.26). At age 17, Brett Wong finished 19th in the 100 meter free (57.35), while 14-year old Peyton Costa finished 25th in the 100 back (1:10.61). Bryce Wong is our final swimmer, and his highest place was 26th in the 100 fly (1:05.65). Seventeen year old Brett Wong had the highest improvement rate at 66%, being one of only two swimmers to improve any swims. Thirteen year old Bryan Wong had the only other improvement, that being just over a half second in the 400 free.
At a time in the year when most swimmers are just re-entering their training, Visalia’s 10-year old Emelia Rasner competed with 28 other TNT swimmers at the first meet of the new year hosted by Clovis, and managed to improve 100% of the eight events she competed in over the first weekend of January. Her largest improvement was over five seconds in the 100 fly where she posted a time of 1:34.12, and followed that with an improvement that exceeded four seconds in the 100 free. Two other swimmers improved 100% of their times, and these include Porterville’s 8-year old Megan Adams who improved two of two events, and 7-year old Micah Bailey who successfully completed one event, and improved it. Other very high improvement rates were maintained by: Cody Coles (88%), Jaxon Hoover (86%), Genoveve Mcilwaine (80%), Luke Vanwoudenberg (80%), Isabella Klawitter (71%), Chesney Watson (60%), Thomas Matthews (57%), Kaylee Hicke (50%), Dylan Hunt (50%), and Jade Perez (50%).
Our event champions were led by Visalia’s 6-year old, Carson Clarke who took home the gold in three of his five events, which included the 50 free (50.54), 25 free (21.26), and 26 backstroke (26.86) events. Visalia’s 16-year old Mackenzie Garza was next in line, winning two of her six events including the 100 free (57.66), and 50 free (25.98). Our remaining event champions include Drew Black (100 free), Nathan Boudreaux (50 back), Ciara Clarke (200 fly), and Thomas Matthews (200 fly).
Over 900 swimmers representing about 35 teams competed at the Winter Age Group Championships on Coronado Island in San Diego over the third weekend of December, and our group of 23 TNT swimmers finished among the top-9 scoring teams at the meet. A total of 652 points from individual events were generated by fifteen of our swimmers, led by Drew Black who had the busiest schedule by earning a second swim in the maximum number of events that a swimmer may enter, and generating 140 points at the meet. Although our team didn’t field a single individual event champion, Drew managed to earn three runner-up positions, and was our only swimmer with a 2nd place in any individual event finishing second in the 10-under 100 free (1:00.96), 50 fly (30.77), and 50 free (28.19). Our next highest point getter was Lemoore’s Michelle Murphy, and she accumulated 98 points by earning a second swim in six of her nine events, and scoring in all nine. Her highest finish was 4th in the 10-under 50 freestyle where she posted a time of 29.14 while competing in her first Winter Age Group Championship meet. Besides Drew Black, only two other swimmers came away with a finish as high as 3rd place, and Ava Olson was one of them. At 79 points, Ava also generated the third highest points from individual events, and placed 3rd in the 12-under 200 fly with a time of 2:22.55.
Our remaining finalists include Hanford’s Addison Mccullough at 67 points by scoring in all nine events, her highest place being 7th in the 10-under 50 breast where she posted a time of 40.29 in the preliminary heats. Next was Selma’s Sienna Abernathy, who was the other 3rd place finisher, and doing so in the 10-under 100 free with a time of 1:04.08, and accumulating 64 points across the three days. Bryan Wong competed at the bottom of the 13-14 age division, and scored 59 points with his highest place being 4th in both the 400 IM (4:23.94), and 200 breast (2:16.34) events. Peyton Costa scored in seven of his nine events, with his highest finish being 4th in the 100 free (51.25). Bryce Wong finished 7th in the 15-18 200 fly with a time of 2:02.83, and scored 25 points total, while younger sister, Alexa Wong accumulated 18 points while competing at the bottom of the 11-12 girls division, and having her highest finish as 11th in the 100 fly with a time of 1:06.91. Visalia’s Janessa Bringe brought in 17 points and scored in 9th place as her highest finish in the 13-over 1650 freestyle with a lifetime best of 18:16.49, while Hanford’s Thomas Matthews raked in 12 points for the 11-12 boys division, placing 7th in the 12-under 200 fly, swimming the short course event for the first time, and posting a 2:48.26 as his time. Selma’s Trent Reiger scored in the 11-12 boys 50 fly, earning his final swim, and 10th place finish, while competing at his first Winter Age Group Championships, and posting a time of 30.10. Seventeen year old Brett Wong also placed 10th in 15-18 200 fly with his lifetime best of 2:04.86, while a Visalia duo of Ciara Clarke, and Ella Bettencourt each scored in multiple events, Ciara having her highest finish as 13th in the 11-12 girls 50 fly (29.85), while Ella finished 15th as her highest place in both the 11-12 girls 50 breast (35.60), and 100 breast (1:18.09).
Visalia’s Ella Bettencourt was also one of only three swimmers who improved 100% of their times while competing at the meet. She improved all six events she entered, with the largest improvement exceeding three seconds in the 100 breaststroke. Another swimmer with a 100% improvement rate was Selma’s Daniel Haley who entered seven events, and improved all seven, and dropping over twelve seconds in the 1000 freestyle. Hanford’s Isabella Klawitter was our final swimmer who maintained 100% improvement, and she did this by entering and improving the 50, 100, 200 and 500 freestyle events. Her largest drop was nearly thirty-one seconds in the 500 freestyle. Fourteen additional swimmers improved 50% or more of their times, and these included: Peyton Costa (89%), Ava Olson (89%), Ciara Clarke (86%), Alexa Wong (83%), Dylan Hunt (80%), Drew Black (78%), Michelle Murphy (78%), Madalynn Lady (75%), Brett Wong (67%), Bryan Wong (60%), Janessa Bringe (50%), Ashton King (50%), Thomas Matthews (50%), and Bryce Wong (50%).
Congratulations for qualifying, and competing at their first Winter Age Group Championships, goes to ten-year old Maguire Barteau whose highest finish was 21st in the 50 backstroke, and twelve year old Amy Murphy whose highest finish was 31st in the 12-under 200 breaststroke. Congratulations also go to Katherine Sullivan whose highest place was 20th in the 15-18 girls 200 butterfly event.
Although TNT swimmers began a regular appearance to Junior Nationals back in 2005, TNT’s last representation at any Junior National meet was the summer of 2016 when Mallory Korenwinder competed at the Summer Junior National meet in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After missing an appearance at the 2016 Winter Juniors, and 2017 Summer Juniors, four of our athletes constituted one of the largest teams at any Junior National meet, all four qualifying for their first Junior National level of competition. In order of qualifying, Preston Niayesh, JD Koster, Visalia’s Megan Ridenour, and 14-year old Danielle Albright all join the ranks of Kohlton Norys, Megan Eppler, Samantha Goates, Mallory Korenwinder, Chris Nolan, Bradley Matsumoto, Wesley Coles, Micha Storey, Lauren Davis, Jillian Hatch and Sierra Jett as USA Swimming Junior National qualifiers for TNT.
During this year’s meet at the University of Iowa, JD Koster came away with our team’s highest place, and being the only swimmer to improve at the meet, and doing so in both his qualified 200 fly event, swimming a time of 1:50.99 (a four second improvement), and also improving his 100 fly time trial event (51.48). Visalia’s Megan Ridenour had our next highest finish at 85th in the 100 breaststroke, with a time of 1:05.01, placing just ahead of the 86th place finish of Danielle Albright who swam a time of 1:05.02. Preston Niayesh competed in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and finished 130th in the 200 breast event.
Six TNT swimmers qualified for, and competed at the 69th annual Husky Invitational that took place over the first weekend of December in the swim complex located in Federal Way, Washington near Seattle, and one swimmer placed TNT on the scoreboard at this senior-level meet. Alonso Escobedo scored six points by finishing in a scoring position of 19th in the 400 IM after swimming a time of 4:10.38 in the preliminary heats, and nearly repeating the swim with a time of 4:10.91 in finals. He had also earned a second swim in the 200 yard backstroke in the D-final, and posting a lifetime best of 1:56.81 there while placing 28th.
Selma’s Jonas Huckabay was our next highest placed finisher after posting a lifetime best by nearly ten seconds in the 1650. His time of 16:43.01 was fast enough for a 28th place finish in the time-based final in that event.
Our top performance in terms of time improvement goes to 14-year old Visalia swimmer, Layla Flores who improved four of her six events. Her highest finish was 54th in the 100 yard breaststroke where she posted a time of 1:08.53. The next highest finisher went to her training partner from Visalia, Janessa Bringe, who finished 65th in the 500 free (5:16.04). Selma’s Maya Herrera finished 137th in the 50 free (25.49), while her Selma training partner, Emma Pena, finished 148th in the same event (25.60).