Five of seven TNT swimmers earned second swims at the 2018 Spring Sectional Championships over the first weekend of March in Carlsbad, and 15-year old Danielle Albright led the group with the only championship swim, marching out from the ready-room in the 100 yard breaststroke where she posted a time of 1:04.89 in the preliminary heats for an 8th place finish into finals. In a meet that recognized the top 30 in one of three heats, Danielle also came home with a C-final swim in the 400 IM where she posted a time of 4:34.94 in the preliminary heats.
Visalia’s Megan Ridenour had the next highest place on the team, with her 1:05.15 swim in the 100 breaststroke finals which was enough for a 15th place finish there. Megan maintained one of the highest improvement rates, bettering two of her three events. Alonso Escobedo competed in five events at the meet, improved three of them, and earned a second swim in the B-final of the 400 IM where he swam 4:09.53 in the preliminary heats, and then posted a life-time best in finals with a 4:07.33 for a 17th place finish. Visalia’s Mackenzie Garza was our only swimmer to maintain a 100% improvement rate, bettering both of her events, and finishing 19th in the 50 freestyle after posting a time of 24.07 in the preliminary heats. JD Koster was our only other finalist, and he did this in the 400 IM after swimming a time of 4:09.90 in the prelims, and then finishing 20th in the B-final.
Preston Niayesh had his highest finish as 39th in the 100 breaststroke (59.87), while Selma’s Jonas Huckabay touched 94th in the 500 free (4:58.98).
Eleven TNT swimmers competed at the Juanita Allington Memorial Swim Meet over the last weekend of February, and six of our swimmers performed in scoring position within individual events. Our two top performers who earned championship swims both finished in 5th place, and included Visalia’s 14-year old Layla Flores who improved nearly eight seconds in the 400 IM to post a time of 4:38.78 after improving over five seconds in the preliminary heats. Her Visalia training partner, and Junior National qualifier, 17-year old Megan Ridenour posted a time of 1:05.74 in the 100 yard breaststroke, and finished 5th in that event. Both swimmers scored in two events, with Layla finishing 16th in the 200 IM (2:14.09), and Megan finishing 12th in the 200 breast (2:25.85).
Thirteen year old Bryan Wong was the only other swimmer with two scoring swims, and he did this with two 14th place finishes, one in the 200 breast where he posted a lifetime best of 2:15.20, and the 100 breast where he swam a time of 1:02.54. Our other scoring swims came from Visalia’s Mackenzie Garza who finished 13th in the 50 free (24.57), Brett Wong who finished 18th in the 50 free (22.56), and Selma’s Jonas Huckabay who finished 20th in the 1650 freestyle (17:58.97).
Other finalist included Visalia’s Janessa Bringe (100 fly & 200 IM), Peyton Costa (200 back, 400 IM, 100 back, & 100 breast), and Bryce Wong (100 back). Selma’s Jackson Huckabay had his highest finish as 43rd in the 200 IM, while 12-year old Ava Olson finished 85th in the 200 IM as our youngest competitor at the senior-level meet.
Nearly 700 swimmers representing thirty-one teams competed at the short course Junior Olympics in Clovis over the third weekend of February, and 29 of those teams scored at the meet with Tule Nation Tritons earning 1,812.5 points to finish 4th behind Santa Barbara Swim Club (1,874 points), Ccat Swimming (2,111), and Clovis Swim Club (4,423). Clovis fielded 107 swimmers to TNT’s 51, Santa Barbara’s 47, and Ccat’s 42.
Individual events accounted for over 1,200 points of the team total point accumulation, and these came from 37 of our swimmers earning scoring positions in one or more events, and led by Lemoore’s 10-year old Michelle Murphy’s 129 individual point total, earning a final swim in all eight individual events she competed in, and winning the 10-under 50 yard freestyle event after posting 28.81 for her time. In addition to being named one of two CCS Swimmer of the Year recipients from TNT, Michelle was also one of only five TNT swimmers to become event champions at the meet. Joining Michelle are Visalia’s Layla Flores who won the 13-14 100 back (59.99), 50 free (25.18), and 200 back (2:11.50). Selma’s Logan Huckabay was an event champion at age seven who won the 8-under 50 fly (37.60), and his brother Lucas Huckabay was our team’s second highest point getter at 128 points, who won the 10-under 200 free (2:15.51), 50 free (29.01), and 100 free (1:02.61). Like Michelle, Lucas also earned a second swim in all eight events he entered. Fifteen-year-old Bryce Wong was our only other event champion who won the 15-18 100 breast (1:02.90) and 100 free (50.50).
Only one other swimmer earned a point total in the triple-digits, and that was Lemoore’s Madalynn Lady, who at 113 points was the only other TNT swimmer to score in all eight events entered. Thirty-four additional swimmers scored in individual events, and these included: Logan Huckabay (81 points), Ella Bettencourt (78), Layla Flores (77), Ava Olson (75), Ciara Clarke (50), Drew Black (48), Nathan Boudreaux (47), Chesney Watson (47), Bryan Wong (47), William Butts (43.5), Bryce Wong (40), Daniel Haley (38), Alexa Wong (38), Sydnee Wilson (28.5), Peyton Costa (27), Regan Hildreth (21.5), Tyler Coles (20), Danny Rodriguez (18), Dasha Lester (17), Ashton King (12), Thomas Matthews (12), Sienna Abernathy (9), Drew Johnston (6), Ciena Clarke (5), Sophia Rubalcaba (5), Dylan Hunt (4), Cody Coles (3), Raegan Greiner (3), Jaxon Hoover (3), Landon Mauge (3), Maguire Barteau (2), Kate Geiger (2), Mikayla Rodriguez (2), Emelia Rasner (1).
A single team record was broken at the meet, and this record was re-established by 13-year old Bryan Wong who posted a time of 2:03.37 in the 13-14 boys 200 IM, finishing 3rd in the event, but setting the fastest time on record for the history of our team. The previous record was set by Kohlton Norys at age 14 at the same Junior Olympics in 2004 when Bryan was about two months old. Bryan’s time currently stands at the 70th fastest nationally for boys at age 13.
Sixteen of our swimmers maintained a 100% improvement rate, and these included Drew Black (improving 9 of 9 events that included a relay lead-off), Lucas Huckabay (improving 8 of 8), Madalynn Lady (8 of 8), Ciara Clarke (8 of 8), Thomas Matthews (7 of 7), Layla Flores (4 of 4), Danny Rodriguez (4 of 4), Bryan Wong (3 of 3), Regan Hildreth (3 of 3), Bryce Wong (2 of 2), Xavier Gutierrez (2 of 2), Nathan Hunt (2 of 2), Luke Vanwoudenberg (2 of 2), Jillian Duffy (1 of 1), Isaac Gutierrez (1 of 1), Ayla Morgan (1 of 1). Additionally, thirteen other swimmers maintained an improvement rate above the 71% team average, and these include: William Butts (88%), Sydnee Wilson (88%), Drew Johnston (88%), Dasha Lester (86%), Chesney Watson (83%), Sienna Abernathy (83%), Sophia Rubalcaba (83%), Genoveve Mcilwaine (80%), Michelle Murphy (75%), Ava Olson (75%), Alexa Wong (75%), Nathan Boudreaux (75%), and Duncan Champagne (75%).
Eleven TNT swimmers traveled to Golden West College in Huntington Beach to compete in the long course day of the February 17th weekend, and 13-year old Bryan Wong is providing a preview of what’s to come when the long course season is in full swing later this summer. At only our second long course meet in the year, Bryan set a new team record while on the bottom of the 13-14 age group in the 200 meter freestyle by posting a time of 2:05.03 which was well below Kohlton Nory’s 2:06.39 that was set as the previous team record in Bakersfield back in 2004. Being an unusually early time for a long course meet, Bryan’s time is currently posted as the second fastest out of 102 total swims nationally for boys at age 13.
Although there were no event champions from TNT, JD Koster came away with the highest finish on the team as 2nd in the 200 meter individual medley after posting 2:15.54 in the event, and in fact all three of his swims were top-8 finishes that included a 4th place in the 100 meter fly (59.85), and 7th place finish in the 200 fly (2:13.96). Our senior team also came away with a pair of 3rd place finishes that included Alonso Escobedo’s 200 IM (2:16.09), and Preston Niayesh’s 100 meter breaststroke (1:08.51). Additionally, Preston placed 5th in the 200 meter breast (2:33.69), and Alonso also placed 8th in the 200 meter free (2:03.22). Our 13-year old, Bryan Wong, came away in 4th place in the 400 IM (4:56.61) while competing amongst senior swimmers that represented countries such as Korea. Other top-8 finishers included the 5th place finish of Danielle Albright in the 200 meter breaststroke (2:50.33), and the 8th place finish of Visalia’s Megan Ridenour in the 100 meter breaststroke (1:18.52).
Brett Wong, who was our only swimmer to improve 100% of his times, had his highest finish as 10th in the 100 free (56.44), while Visalia’s Mackenzie Garza placed highest in 14th while competing in the 50 free (28.58). Bryce Wong came in 16th as his highest place in the 200 IM (2:23.08), while Visalia’s Janessa Bringe touched 17th as her highest place in the 100 fly (1:11.26). Peyton Costa was our final swimmer, who placed 29th in the 400 free (4:37.54).