Seven TNT swimmers competed at 2016 Summer California-Nevada Sectional Championships over the fourth weekend of July at the Roseville Aquatics Complex, and intent on achieving the time standard to move on to the USA Swimming’s Futures meet, Visalia’s fourteen year old Mackenzie Garza did just that. Mackenzie recently broke the team record in the 13-14 girls 50 meter freestyle event with a 28.06 at the LA Invitational meet only one week earlier, just missing being the first 14-under girl in the history of our team to swim under 28 seconds in the event; however, well exceeded that milestone, not just once, but twice, while competing at Sectionals. Mackenzie’s first attempt left her with a time of 27.92, under the 28-second mark, but just shy of the Futures cut of 27.49. Her second effort would not disappoint. She swam her lifetime best of 27.28 during her second attempt, well under the Futures time standard, well under her previous team record of 28.06 set the previous week, and now just over a tenth of a second off of the CCS Record held by former Porterville resident who trained in Visalia, Kristi Begin, who went on the compete for the University of California, Berkley. Mackenzie’s new record currently stands as the 51st fastest time for any 14-year old girl in the nation.
Four of our swimmers earned second swims at Sectionals which fielded four heats of eight. Our finals were led by Preston Niayesh who was our only swimmer with two second swims, his 100 meter breaststroke preliminary time of 1:09.41 being fast enough to place him in the scoring C-final where he finished 23rd. His other final was a winning performance of the 200 breaststroke non-scoring D-final (25th place) where he improved nearly 15 seconds from his preliminary swim to a 2:32.08. Alonso Escobedo was our only other scoring swim, and he improved nearly nine seconds from his preliminary swim to a 4:55.47 to finish 23rd in the 400 meter IM. Alonso is newly qualified for Sectionals, making the cut in the 200 IM while competing at the LA Invite the previous weekend. JD Koster swam nearly three seconds faster than his preliminary swim, another swimmer to win the non-scoring D-final, of the 200 meter butterfly where he swam 2:13.04 in the event he achieved the qualifying time just one week earlier at LA Invite. Our only other finalist was Visalia’s Megan Ridenour who improved her preliminary swim by over second during the D-final to a 1:15.53, and 28th place finish there.
Our youngest representative at age 13, Danielle Albright, finished 37th in the 100 meter breaststroke with a time of 1:17.85, and competed in four events at the meet. Our most experienced veteran to Sectionals, Khloe McCarthy, competed in five different events, and her highest finish was 36th in the 200 meter backstroke event. Khloe will be attending Pepperdine this upcoming fall.