Our senior swimmers maintained an 80% improvement rate while at Sectionals even when considering time trials. Four of our seven swimmers improved 100% of their times, and the size of the time drops were more reminiscent of younger age group swimmers. Improvements in the 1000 and 1650 freestyles remained in the 20-second range, while shorter races such as 100 and 200 yard swims were improved by anywhere from three to seven seconds.
In a situation where all but one of our swimmers are experiencing their first short course Sectional meet in California and are among over 1000 swimmers who are competing including 2-time Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima, and while competing among the USC contengent that remains the dominant team competing at the meet, our swimmers are closing the gap as they move toward earning their second swim.
A total of nine team records were broken by two swimmers. Nathan Rhea broke six team records in the 13-14 age group (1000 free – 9:55.37, 200 breast – 2:12.81, 400 IM – 4:13.18, 200 free – 1:49.71, 500 free – 4:51.20, 1650 free – 16:41.65 and 100 breast – 1:02.90), while Sam Hansen broke two team records in the 15-over age group (1650 free – 16:39.40 & 1000 free – 10:03.44).
Day 1 opened with Sam Hansen who improved over five seconds in the 1000 freestyle event dropping to a 10:05.17 from a 10:10.42 which was swam as recently as three weeks ago at the Terrapin meet. Teammate Nathan Rhea swam in the next heat demolishing his previous 10:20.70 by swimming his first sub-10 minute time to a 9:55.37 thereby moving up in place from 60th to 46th.
Day 2 brought shorter distance races in the meet and time trials. Our breaststroke duo of Nathan Rhea and Sam Hansen resulted in four and three second improvements respectively. Nathans 200 breaststroke drops from a 2:16.47 to a 2:12.81, while Sams 200 breaststroke dropped from a 2:16.27 to a 2:13.28 which is our third fastest time in team history for the 15-over age group. Our breaststrokers were followed by our sprint freestylers with Colin Landweer swimming his first sub-50 time in the 100 free. Colins 49.48 now qualifies for the Mission Viejo Swim Meet of Champions. Joshua Tabers also swam the 100 freestyle in a 52.01.
Time Trials for day 2 brought in Thomas Brown who made a new Sectional time in the 100 freestyle as well as a Meet of Champions cut with his first sub-50 time of 49.14. Colin turned around and swam near even splits in his 50 free thereby nearly breaking the 23 barrier with a 23.07, while Sam Hansen doubled up his day by swimming a 1:02.52 in a time trial 100 breaststroke and improving over a second in that event. The day rounded out with Nathan Rhea improving three seconds in his 100 fly and swimming his first sub-minute time with a 58.16. Day three brings the 200 free and 400 IM.
Four TNT swimmers competed on day 3 of Sectionals which included the 200 freestyle and 400 IM events. After qualifying only two weeks earlier this month at the Tulare meet with a time of 1:48.63, Colin Landweer continues to improve, this time swimming slightly faster to a 1:48.47. Teammate Thomas Brown who qualified for the event as a bonus swam a 1:51.82 which was near his 1:50.92 that he established as a best time recently at the Tulare meet earlier this month.
Our IM swimmers included Sam Hansen swimming a time slightly faster than his 4:21.64 with a 4:21.57, while teammate Nathan Rhea continues his extraordinary performance improving his team record by over ten seconds from a 4:23.31 that he had set as recently as the Terrapin meet just last month. The new record is now established at 4:13.18.
To continue their streak, our four swimmers entered time trials on this third day at the meet, with Sam Hansen leading off in the 200 IM improving nearly two seconds from a 2:05.52 to a 2:03.53. Sam was followed by Thomas Brown whose 100 breaststroke was a 1:04.45 which nearly matched his Tulare time earlier this month of 1:04.46. Colin Landweer repeated a time trial in the 50 freestyle from yesterday as he was determined to go under 23 seconds, and does so with a 22.91. Colin is now .02 seconds from the Long Beach Grand Prix meet that will take place in January, and which will involve swimmers such as Michael Phelps. Time Trials for TNT concluded with Nathan Rhea improving his 200 backstroke by nearly 8 seconds from a 2:06.69 to a 1:58.98 which becomes the second fastest 13-14 200 backstroke time in the history of the team behind Kohlton Noryss 1:57.59 set at Sectionals in 2004.
All TNT swimmers arrived at Long Beach on day 4 of competition. The days events included both sprint and distance events. Both Hannah Giles and Thomas Brown swam to their lifetime best times in the 50 freestyle as Hannah shaved nearly a quarter of a second from a 25.86 to a 25.64 while Thomas Brown matched his lifetime best of 22.24. Joshua Tabers swam within three tenths of his best with a 23.38.
Our distance swimmers included Sam Hansen and Nathan Rhea. Both swimmers who train together swam nearly identical times improving six and five seconds respectively. Sam Hansen finished with a 4:51.18 while Nathan Rhea finished with a 4:51.20 finishing in an overall place directly behind Sam.
Wesley Coles arrived on day 4 for his time trial in the 50 freestyle event improving that time by a half second to a 23.30. Hannah Giles competed solo in the girls 100 breaststroke time trial (swimming against the boys) and made a gallant effort chasing her male counterparts during the first half of the event. Hannah finished with a 1:11.80 for the 100 breaststroke. Our 4 x 100 freestyle relay composed of freestylers Wesley Coles, Joshua Tabers, Colin Landweer and Thomas Brown rounded out the night.
The fifth and final day of Sectionals included the 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 1650 freestyle for TNT swimmers. Josh Tabers led off the day swimming 58.01 in his 100 backstroke, and he was followed by Nathan Rhea who continues his improvement trend dropping his 100 breaststroke to a 1:02.90.
The mile event was tackled by two TNT swimmers, Sam Hansen and Nathan Rhea. Our distance freestylers qualified for this Sectional meet with only this past summers long course times. Both swimmers focusing on achieving the minimum 16:59.99 cut swam performances that obliterated the standard. Sam Hansen improved his 17:00.95 to a 16:39.40 swimming his lifetime best in the 1000 freestyle along the way, even surpassing his improvement in the 1000 freestyle from Fridays performance at this very meet. Nathan Rhea followed Sam in the very next heat with a 16:41.65 which was also a drastic improvement over his lifetime best of 17:05.58 that was swam as recently as the Terrapin meet only a few weeks ago.
Sectionals for TNT will ended with the 4 x 100 medley relay manned by Nathan Rhea, Sam Hansen, Wesley Coles and Colin Landweer.