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).
Nine pre-collegiate TNT swimmers met with their teammate Kyle Grissom, who is currently competing for USC, as they all joined world-class athletes such as World Record holder Katinka Hozzu, and Olympic Gold Medalist, Conor Dwyer, and Anthony Ervin, over the July 12th – 15th weekend at the 2018 Los Angeles Invitational held at the USC Uytengsu Aquatic s Center.
A veteran to the meet since he was 14 years old, Kyle Grissom made it to the B-final finishing 16th in the 50 meter freestyle after posting a lifetime best of 23.93 in the preliminary heats. He then returned to the B-final in the 100 fly to touch second in that heat with a time of 54.99. Our remaining three finalists earned their spots in the D-final with Preston Niayesh leading that group by touching 2nd in the D-final for the 25th place finish in the 200 meter breaststroke where his 2:24.41 was his lifetime best by over two seconds, and so well under his 15-18 team record set at the Clovis meet the previous weekend as a 2:26.64. His time is now the fastest in the history of the team since he slid under Sam Hansen’s senior record of 2:24.99 set at Sectionals at Canyons in the Olympic year of 2012. Preston currently stands as the 36th fastest 17-year old in the nation for the event. His second D-final came from a preliminary swim of 1:07.08, and resulted in the second highest finish among the pre-collegiate TNT swimmers at 28th. Only one other dual finalist existed at the meet, and that was JD Koster who maintained a consistent performance in the 200 meter butterfly after posting a time of 2:09.89 in the preliminary heats, and then improving that time to a 2:09.29 in the D-final, and 29th place finish. His second final came in the 200 meter breaststroke, where he finished 31st after posting a time of2:29.28 in prelims. Danielle Albright was the only other finalist, and she did this on the last day of the meet, in the 100 meter breaststroke by finishing 31st in the D-final after posting a time of 1:15.94 in the preliminary heats, and not requiring any scratches – a bona fide finalist.
Only one other team record was broken at the meet, and that came from 14-year old Bryan Wong who made his first appearance, competed in three events, improved all three, and posted a new team record in the 200 meter breaststroke with a 2:31.66, which just slid under Preston Niayesh’s previous record of 2:31.89 set at the Age Group Zone meet in Hawaii three years earlier in 2015. Bryan’s time currently ranks 34th nationally for boys at the same age and this was his highest finish at 56th at the meet. Alonso Escobedo’s highest finish was 49th in the 400 IM (4:52.33), Visalia’s Lyla Flores touched 93rd in the 200 back (2:37.50), Mackenzie Garza , also of Visalia, finished 74th in the 50 free (27.94), Selma’s Jonas Huckabay touched 85th in the 400 free (4:29.43), and Alex Roberts had her highest finish as 41st in the 200 back (2:26.09)
The Merced meet over the 14th & 15th of July served as the last chance to qualify for Junior Olympics prior to the entry deadline of the meet, and nearly 73% of our members who had previously recorded times improved 50% or more of them. Four swimmers competed in only one event, and improved that one event, and they included: Aidan Champagne, Duncan Champagne, and Visalia’s duo, Carson Clarke and Ciara Clarke. Both Morgan German of Visalia and Noah Hoy competed in five events, and each improved 4 of them, thereby maintaining an 80% improvement rate. Selma’s Lucas Huckabay improved two of three for a 67% improvement, while Nathan Hunt improved one of his two events.
Currently the 44 TNT swimmers represented below are entered into individual events for Junior Olympics. Congratulations to all qualifiers, and good luck at the championship meet.
Eight of eighteen TNT swimmers who competed at the Clovis Arena Grand Challenge meet hosted by Clovis during the first weekend of July earned a second swim in one of four final heats to place among the top 32 in respective events, but only one swimmer came away as an event champion at the senior-level meet. Preston Niayesh was the event champion in the 200 meter breaststroke event, posting a lifetime best swim of 2:26.64 in the event for a new team record in the 18-under division by bettering his previous record set at Futures last August with a 2:27.73. Preston’s improvement currently stands as the 55th fastest nationally for male swimmers at age 17. Preston also set a new team record in the 100 meter breaststroke with another lifetime best at 1:06.64, and this time not only falling under his previous 18-under team record of 1:07.13 set at Sectionals last summer, but also under the Senior team record set by Jordan Stotts at the Clovis Senior Q meet in July of 2009 as 1:07.04. As our first swimmer to post a sub-1:07 time in the history of the team, Preston’s championship final swim takes the 50th slot nationally for boys at age 17. Preston earned three second swims at the meet, his final one being a 25th place finish in the 100 meter butterfly (1:00.52).
Alex Roberts was the only other championship finalist for TNT at the meet, finishing 6th in the 100 meter backstroke with her lifetime best of 1:07.69, and then earned a 10th place consolation finish in the 100 meter fly, again with another lifetime improvement to a 1:05.57. Four additional swimmers scored in the consolation heat, and these included Danielle Albright who posted two 9th place finishes, including the 100 meter breaststroke (1:16.00), and 200 meter breaststroke (2:48.29) events, as well as a C-final swim in the 200IM (2:34.46). Selma’s Jonas Huckabay improved nearly three seconds in the 100 meter freestyle to post a time of 55.71 in the preliminary heats, and a 16th place finish in finals, while 14-year old Bryan Wong improved nearly eight seconds in the 400 meter freestyle with his lifetime best of 4:20.11 posted in the consolation heat for a 16th place finish there. Bryan also earned a D-final swim in the 200 freestyle, posting a lifetime best of 2:04.01. Both his swims were also team records with his 200 free going under his previous record of 2:05.03 set at the Golden West long course meet attended earlier in February of this year. His improved record now ranks 123rd among the 14-year old boys in the nation. The 400 meter freestyle was a new record for him, falling under Nathan Rhea’s previous record of 4:24.64 set at Zones in Hawaii back in 2009. Bryan’s 4:20.11 now stands as the 55th fastest time nationally for boys at the same age.
Two Visalia swimmers performed well enough in the preliminary heats to earn a spot in the C-final, and these included Janessa Bringe who touched 19th in the 200 meter butterfly with her lifetime best of 2:35.49, and Visalia’s Fresno Pacific collegiate swimmer, Lauren Geiger who posted a time of 2:41.41 in the 200 meter backstroke for a 24th place finish there. Lauren also earned a second swim in the D-final of the 100 back (1:11.72). Our only other second swim came from 12-year old Alexa Wong who swam the 400 meter IM (5:36.68) for the first time, and placed 30th at the senior-level meet.
Peyton Costa’s highest finish was 38th in the 200 meter breaststroke (2:50.45), Laney Cox touched 60th in the 100 breast (1:30.57),Visalia’s Mackenzie Garza touched 21st in the preliminary heats of the 50 free (28.54), while Selma’s Daniel Haley had his highest finish as 34th in the 1500 free (19:47.91). Dylan Hunt touched 58th in the 100 breast with a lifetime best of 1:19.67, while his training partner, Ashton King, finished 59th in the 100 back with his lifetime best of 1:10.85. Ten-year old Lemoore standout, Michelle Murphy had her highest finish at 107th in the 100 fly (1:20.95), while Ava Olson touched 48th in the 100 breast (1:26.81). Brett Wong finished 58th in the 200 free (2:06.27), while his brother Bryce Wong touched 39th in the 100 back (1:07.83).
Eighteen TNT swimmers traveled to Ventura to compete at the 2018 June Age Group Invitational alongside swimmers representing over 40 swim teams, and one sole TNT swimmer came away as an event champion, and with 101 points from individual events by placing among the top 4 every time she competed, led the team to its 10th place finish overall. Lemoore’s Michelle Murphy took home the gold in the 10-under 50 meter breaststroke after posting a lifetime best of 42.63, and joining the group of seven TNT swimmers to improve 100% of their times. Michelle was also one of three TNT swimmers to break a team record, and she did this by improving nearly four seconds in the 100 backstroke to a 1:19.81, falling under Alexa Wong’s previous record of 1:21.79 that was set at the Reedley meet in April of 2017. Michelle’s new record currently stands as the 25th fastest in the nation for girls at age 10.
A second record was set by 11-year old Drew Black, who at age 11, set the 11-12 standard in the 100 meter butterfly event as a1:10.39, sliding under one of the remaining historical records that belonged to Lynnie North as a 1:10.75 set back in 1989 at the Western Zone Championships. Drew’s new record currently stands as the 12th fastest nationally for girls at age 11, nearing the national top-10 recognition list. Drew was also one of the seven who improved 100% of their times.
Twelve year old Ava Olson had the only other record-breaking performance, and she did this by improving over three seconds, and posting a time of 2:44.24 in the 200 meter butterfly for the 11-12 age division. Ava’s time falls under Danielle Albright’s previous record of 2:46.62 set at the Reedley meet in 2015. Ava’s time currently stands as the 90th fastest nationally for girls at age 11.
Fourteen of our swimmers’ points from individual events contributed to the team’s overall place that ranged throughout the meet as high as 7th, and following the 100+ points from Michelle Murphy was Visalia’s Ella Bettencourt who posted a total of 66.5 points, and she was followed by her training partner in Visalia, Layla Flores who totaled 45 points from individual events. Our remaining of the 14 swimmers include: Drew Black (44 points), Ava Olson (39), Alexa Wong (35), Bryan Wong (34), Peyton Costa (29), Alex Roberts (29), Ciara Clarke (24), Janessa Bringe (10), Sydnee Wilson (9), Brett Wong (3), and Thomas Matthews (2). Every point was important since only six points separated the 7th place team from the 10th place team. Sienna Abernathy’s highest place was 25th in both the 11-12 50 fly and 100 free, Laney Cox finished 42nd in the 11-12 100 free, Selma’s Drew Johnston finished 27th in both the 11-12 100 back and 50 back, and Bryce Wong touched 21st in the 15-over 100 fly.
Congratulations also to those who managed to maintain a 100% improvement rate at the meet, and these include: Drew Black (improving 6 of 6), Selma’s Drew Johnston (2 of 2), Hanford’s Thomas Matthews (4 of 4), Lemoore’s Michelle Murphy (6 of 6), Selma’s Sydnee Wilson (6 of 6), Bryan Wong (2 of 2), and Bryce Wong (1 of 1).