A total of 28 TNT swimmers competed at the Fresno Dolphins Senior meet which provided exposure to a trials and finals formatted swim meet for not only our current senior-level swimmers, but also to our up-and-coming age group swimmers who gain experience from competing in a senior formatted meet, that offers two swims if qualifying for a final.
Half of our swimmers earned a spot in one of three final heats, and these fourteen finalists included: Ella Bettencourt (age 16; swimming finals in 1), Emma Bettencourt (16; with 2 finals), Drew Black (15; 2), Mia Buller (16; 2), Hayden Cardoza (12; 2), Gabriela Dutra (15; 3), Isaak Ensz (11; 2), Koen Ensz (13; 3), Kody Kevorkian (17; 3), Rylee Medina (13; 1), Ayla Morgan (14; 1), Amy Murphy (16; 4), Ivan Rodriguez (13; 6), and Blake Sifton (17; 1).
Our top finisher was Visalia’s 16-year old Ella Bettencourt who touched 2nd in the 200 IM with at time of 2:15.24, after a 5th place seed from the preliminary heats. Ella is one of our senior swimmers who have qualified for, and competed in, both high-level age group competitions, and senior-level meets, that take place both in state, and out of state. Ella has established herself early on by being the third fastest 50 freestyler in the history of our team for the 13-14 girls division. Other championship, top-8, finishes came from: Drew Black (7th in the 100 fly and 8th in the 100 breaststroke), Kody Kevorkian (7th in the 100 breaststroke), Amy Murphy (4th in the 200 breaststroke and 7th in the 100 breaststroke), Ivan Rodriguez (6th in the 100 backstroke), and Blake Sifton (7th in the 100 free).
Three swimmers posted times in the team’s all-time top 100 list, and these included Nathan Boudreaux (11-12 boys 50 & 100 breaststroke), Regan Hildreth (11-12 girls 50 &O 200 breaststroke), and Blake Rogers (11-12 boys 50 freestyle).
Six TNT swimmers traveled to La Mirada and competed in the Road to 2022 Senior Meet over the third weekend of January. This swim meet was conducted in a split-course format common in Olympic and World Championship years when swimmers can only reach the respective national-level qualifying meets with long course times. For instance, Olympic Trials present only long course time standards, while qualifying for the USA World Championship team is usually based on performance at Summer Nationals, which is conducted in a long course pool. Accordingly, the La Mirada meet provided early long course competition for the calendar year by running preliminary heats as short course (25 yards), and finals as long course (50 meters).
All six TNT swimmers had the opportunity to compete in finals, each contributing to the 7th place finish for the team. Championship finalists were led by 17-year-old Bryan Wong who finished top 8 in four of his five events that included a pair of 4th places (200 breaststroke and 200 IM), a 5th place finish (100 breaststroke), and 7th place (400 IM) finish. Our next highest championship finish was from 15-year old Alexa Wong who touched 7th in the 200 fly, and then by 16-year old Ava Olson who touched 8th in the 100 breaststroke.
Ava Olson and Alexa Wong also set one new team record each. Ava Olson posted a new 1500 meter freestyle time of 17:57.77, being one of only 13 swimmers in the 15-over division to have ever competed in the event, and went well under Katelyn Herrera’s previous record of 18:28.19 set at the LA Invite in 2013. Being an early long course meet, Ava’s time current stands as the 4th fastest nationally for 16-year old female swimmers within the reporting period that started in September. Interestingly, the current top time in the nation was posted while at the same La Mirada meet.
Alexa Wong broke her own team record in the 400 meter IM event for the 15-over division, and now posting the top two times in the history of the team while swimming both times at the bottom of the age division as a 15-year old. Her previous record stood at 5:08.76, and her new record of 5:08.50 now stands as the 5th fastest nationally for 15-year old female swimmers. The currently 2nd ranked swim was posted at the same La Mirada meet by an Irvine swimmer, and the current leading ranking was posted in December at the US Open, and is an Olympic Trial time standard from the “2020” meet.
Congratulations to all who competed, and earned a final swim, including: Addison Mccullough (age 14), Michelle Murphy (age 14), and Josh Wee (age 16).
Thirty-six TNT swimmers competed at the first swim meet hosted within Central California Swimming for the 2022 year, and six of our swimmers posted times fast enough to list among our all-time top 100 list in their respective events. Although at one time, not being considered a recognizable accomplishment, considering the number past swimmers who had been recognized, and swam for, considerable colleges such as within the CSU system (i.e. Cal State Bakersfield, Fresno State and San Jose State), University of California system (i.e. UC Santa Barbara) as well as private institutions in California (such as Cal Berkley, Pepperdine, and USC), and out-of-state institutions (such as the Auburn, LSU, University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, etc.), posting a time in many of our Top-100 lists has now become an accomplishment considering the low number of individuals who do post such times. For the Clovis meet, of the 172 swims that generated a time, 15 events (8.7%) were among the top-100 for the team, and only among swimmers who have had previously posted times. These postings were led by Michelle Murphy who posted Top-100 times in all four events for the 13-14 girls’ events. Michelle was also the event champion in the senior 100 freestyle event. Similar to Michelle, Blake Rogers likewise posted all four of his 11-12 swims among the all-time Top-100, and in addition, was the event champion in all four of his events. Junior National qualifier, Bryan Wong posted all three of his swims in the 15-over division while winning both the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly events, while Porterville’s breaststroke specialist, Nathan Boudreaux, posted all time Top-100 times in both the 11-12 50 and 100 breaststroke events. Rounding out our list of six swimmers was Nathan’s training partner from Porterville, Regan Hildreth who posted a Top-100 time in the 11-12 girls 50 breaststroke (and also won the 100 backstroke event), and Alexa Wong who posted a top-100 time in the 15-over 100 yard butterfly event.
Ten swimmers improved 100% of their events while competing at the first meet which typically follows an extended break, they include: Hannah Beer (8-under) who was also the event champion in the 8-under 25 breaststroke, Gabrielia Costamagna (15-over), Mia DeLaTorre (11-12), Isaak Ensz (11-12), Koen Ensz (13-14), Ada Maher (8-under), Benita Marshall (9-10), Amy Murphy (15-18), Sam Ruiz (13-14), and Elsy Witt (10-under).
Thirteen TNT swimmers competed at the 2021 Winter Age Group Championships in Oceanside, north of San Diego, over the third weekend of December, and four of our swimmers performed well enough to score in individual events at the championship-level meet by placing among the top-16 in their respective events. Our team was led by 12-year old Blake Rogers who touched 2nd in the 11-12 50 freestyle with a time of 25.50 that ranks 3rd in our all time top-100 ranking, behind Bryan Wong and Micah Ruiz, and just ahead of USC graduate, Olympic Trial qualifier, and NCAA qualifier, Kyle Grissom. Blake also touched third in the 50 breaststroke (32.92), and 10th in the 50 fly (29.92) events. Visalia’s 10-year old Reece Philips qualified in two events, and scored by touching 13th in both the 50 breaststroke (44.86), and 100 breaststroke (1:38.90) events. Next was 16-year old Mia Buller to finished 15th in the 13-18 division of the 1650 freestyle (commonly referred to as “the mile”) with an improved time of 19:20.71. Ten-year-old Peyton Martin was our only other scoring swimmer, who finished 16th in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:37.42.
Five of our swimmers improved 100% of their times, and these included Kaitlyn Bean, Jillian Duffy, Ivan Rodriguez, Blake Rogers and Blake Sifton. Congratulations in qualifying and attending the meet also go to Samantha Dolan, Gabriela Dutra, Isabella Garrett, Isabella Klawitter, and Rylee Medina.
Seven TNT swimmers competed at Winter Sectionals hosted by Southern California Swimming over the third weekend of December, and over half of our team earned a second swim in one of three final heats. Our highest finish came from 16-year old Ava Olson who touched 5th in the 500 freestyle event, posting a time of 4:55.66 which re-establishes Alexa Wong’s previous record of 4:58.11 set at only age 15 the previous month in November while competing at the Kevin Perry Memorial meet. Both Ava and Alexa share the top-4 times in the history of the team for the event, and are the only two to have gone under the 5-minute mark to date.
Other finalist at Sectionals included: Ella Bettencourt of Visalia, Michelle Murphy (at age 14), and Alexa Wong. Additional qualifiers competing at the meet included: Kate Geiger, Addison Mccullough (age 14), and Gage Price.
Upcoming graduating senior, Bryan Wong, has joined a growing list of TNT swimmers who have qualified for, and attending, Winter Junior Nationals by competing at the University of Texas in Austin over the second weekend of December. Bryan improved two of his three events, and posted the fastest time in the history of TNT in the 200 yard breaststroke event with a time of 2:02.26, improving the team record by previously set as a 2:03.23 by Preston Niayesh at the same meet and pool three years earlier in 2018. Bryan also competed in the 100 yard breaststroke, and the 200 IM.
Twenty-nine TNT swimmers competed at the Fresno Dolphin Senior Trials and Finals meet held over the third weekend of January, and were led by Visalia’s Layla Flores who was the event champion in four of her six events that included the 100 free (53.79), 200 free (1:57.12), 50 free (25.00), and 100 fly (59.43). Layla subsequently lead the team in points with 97. Also entering six events was Danielle Albright, and she was the event champion in three of her swims. These included the 200 IM (2:14.23), 200 breast (2:24.53), and 100 breaststroke (1:06.21) events. Danielle accumulated the next highest point total at 77. Our remaining event champions included Ava Olson (1:02.82 in the 100 back), Trevor Riley (22.60 in the 50 free), and Bryan Wong (56.87 in the 100 breaststroke).
Fourteen additional swimmers performed well enough in the preliminary heats to earn a spot in the championship final heat, and these include: Ella Bettencourt (100 back – 2nd, 100 free – 3rd, 100 breast – 7th, 50 free – 4th), Emma Bettencourt (400 IM – 6th), Drew Black (100 back – 3rd, 200 breast – 5th), Peyton Costa (200 IM – 3rd, 200 breast – 2nd), Dylan Hunt (500 free – 7th), Nathan Hunt (200 breast – 6th), Isabella Klawitter (400 IM – 7th), Addison Mccullough (200 breast – 6th), Amy Murphy (100 breast – 6th), Michelle Murphy (200 fly – 2nd, 500 free – 2nd, 200 free – 5th, 400 IM – 3rd), Gage Price (100 back – 2nd, 200 free – 4th, 100 fly – 5th), Luke Vanwoudenberg (100 back – 5th, 100 fly – 3rd), Alexa Wong (200 breast – 3rd, 100 breast – 3rd), and Bryce Wong (100 free – 4th, 100 breast – 3rd).
Consolation finalists included: Kate Geiger, Vincente Sanchez, Maryn Vanwoudenberg, and Josh Wee.
Fourteen TNT swimmers traveled to Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista over the third weekend of December, right before Christmas, to compete at the 2019 Winter Age Group Championships hosted by San Diego Imperial Swimming. Ten of our swimmers performed well enough in the preliminary heats to earn a spot among the top 16 athletes to score for the team, thereby contributing to the team’s 14th place finish.
The top finisher for the team was Porterville’s Nathan Boudreaux who touched 2nd in the 10-under boys 50 yard breaststroke with a time of 38.00, improving nearly two seconds in the preliminary heats. Nathan also touched 5th in the 100 breaststroke, and scored a point in the 50 backstroke by touching 16th in the preliminary heats. Nathan scored 32 points total. At 93 points total, our highest point recipient was 12-year old Michelle Murphy who scored in all nine events she competed in. Her highest finish was a pair of 5th places, one in the 200 backstroke where she improved nearly eight seconds to a 2:22.20, and also in the 200 freestyle where she improved nearly four and a half seconds to a 2:02.14. Michelle was followed in points by 12-year old Addison Mccullough who scored a total of 67 points in eight of her nine events. Her highest place was a pair of 6th place finishes that included the 200 fly (2:28.76), and 100 breaststroke (1:14.78). Both events were well over a three second improvement for her. Our next highest point recipient was Visalia’s Ella Bettencourt who scored in four events for a total of 44 points. Ella, just coming off a successful senior-level Sectional Championship, posted five lifetime best times, including her highest finish of 5th place in the 50 freestyle after posting a time of 24.73 in the championship final heat. Our remaining points from individual events came from Meghan Adams (12 points), Emma Bettencourt (3), Kate Geiger (12), Isabella Klawitter (3), Luke Vanwoudenberg (2), Maryn Vanwoudenberg (3), and Josh Wee (5).
An astounding 81% improvement rate for the team was led by seven swimmers who maintained a 100% improvement rate, and these included: Isabella Klawitter, Landon Mauge, Addison Mccullough, Michelle Murphy, Luke Vanwoudenberg, Maryn Vanwoudenberg and Josh Wee. Also, both Meghan Adams and Vincente Sanchez each improved 80% of their times.
With 77 swimmers of the total 348 who competed at the Fresno meet during the third weekend of November, TNT was the third largest team behind the 145 from Clovis and the 82 of Fresno as the Tritons placed second overall with 1,039 points behind the 1,875.5 points of Clovis. Our team’s second place finish was led by three TNT swimmers who received the High Point award for their respective divisions. Hanford’s brother duo, Lance Walker (age 8) and Zachariah Walker (age 6) were both recognized as High Point recipients, with Lance earning 62 points in the 7-8 boy’s division, and his brother Zach earning the honors for the 6-under boy’s division. Zach remained undefeated in all six 6-under events that he competed in which included the 50 free, 25 breast, 25 fly, 50 back, 50 breast and 25 freestyle events. Lance, with 62 points, led all TNT swimmers in point accumulation, and did this by being the event champion in five of his eight events that included the 100 free, 50 breast, 50 fly, 100 back and 100 breaststroke. Our remaining High Point recipient was Michelle Murphy (age 12) who, with 55 points, led all 23 athletes in the 11-12 girl’s division. Michelle was the event champions in two events that included the 50 free and 100 IM, and was the runner-up in four additional events.
Other event champions include: Danielle Albright (wining 3), Ella Bettencourt (1), Drew Black (4), Nathan Boudreaux (2), Aubree Carlock (1), Natalie Ensz (1), Layla Flores (1), Pearl Johnson (1), Ava Olson (1), Alexa Wong (2), Bryan Wong (2), and Bryce Wong (1).
Congratulations to the following eight swimmers who improved 100% of their times at the meet: Isaak Ensz, Koen Ensz, Jenna Goertzen, Kingston Knaak, Axl Menard, Stella Pack, Liam Shinn, and Bryan Wong.