Thirty-one TNT swimmers traveled south to Bakersfield over the June 7-8 weekend to compete in the long course meet following the close of the school year. Several used this meet as a tune-up for the upcoming June Age Group Invitational that takes place two weeks following.
Our top performer at the meet must go to 10-year old Layla Flores of Visalia who was an event champion in seven of the nine events that she competed in, and placed second in the remaining two events. A Far Western qualifier from earlier this year, Layla won the 100 meter fly (1:33.63), 50 breast (44.99), 50 free (33.57), 100 free (1:13.66), 50 fly (38.73), 50 back (41.41) and 200 IM (3:05.16) events. Other event champions included Danielle Albright who won the 11-12 200 breaststroke (3:08.94) while only 11-years old, Owen Ansel who won both the 200 breast (2:34.77) and 100 breaststroke (1:10.55), along with Janessa Bringe of Visalia who won the 12-under 400 IM (5:56.45).
Sixteen year old Fig Garden swimmer, and USA Swimming Junior National qualifier, Lauren Davis, won the 100 breaststroke (1:21.89), while Katelyn Herrera who won the 13-over 200 fly (2:36.22). Fourteen-year old Jakob Koorey took home the gold in the 200 breaststroke (2:50.47) and 100 breaststroke (1:18.50), and 8-year old Kaden Medeiros swam undefeated winning all three events that included the 50 free (47.64), 100 free (1:45.30), and 50 back (57.03) events. Chris Nolan pulled off an upset in the 100 freestyle (56.49) for the 15-over division, as Visalia’s 13-year old Megan Ridenour remained uncontested in both breaststroke events (3:09.13 in the 200 and 1:24.33 in the 100). Birthday girl Alex Roberts, now 12 years old, finished first in the 50 backstroke, while 12-year old Katherine Sullivan made her first Zone cut after winning the 200 backstroke event in a time of 2:45.63.
The team maintained a 55% improvement rate with four individuals improving 100% of their times. Improvements were led by 12-year old Jillian Gaines of Hanford who entered eight events, and improved all eight. She, along with the Garabedian due of 12-year old Amanda Garabedian and 10-year old Nadia Garabedian, who each improved seven of seven events, teamed with 16-year old Owen Ansel who entered and improved two events, to lead all swimmers in improvement rates. The largest time improvements came from Jillian Gaines and Amanda Garabedian, who each improved over 30 seconds in the 200 freestyle. Other swimmers who improved 50% or more of their times included: Danielle Albright (83%), Desmond Brown (83%), Tristan Gaines (75%), Damian Brown (67%), Benjamin Wheeler (67%), Jakob Koorey (63%), Olivia Garabedian (50%), Chris Nolan (50%), Alex Roberts (50%), and Katherine Sullivan (50%).