Fifty-one TNT swimmers and were among the 500 who competed at the 2016 Central California Swimming Long Course Junior Olympic Championships over the last weekend of July, and the team came away with a second-place finish scoring 2,560 points behind Clovis whose team of 110 athletes scored 6,319 points. Thirty-one teams scored at the meet.
Points from individual events were led by our highest scoring individual in each age and gender division, and these included:
- 8-under girls: none scoring
- 8-under boys: Lucas Huckabay ranked 2nd 97 points
- 10-under girls: Ava Olson ranked 6th 93 points
- 10-under boys: none scoring
- 11-12 girls: Layla Flores ranking 6th 110 points
- 11-12 boys: Peyton Costa ranks 4th 128 points
- 13-14 girls: Janessa Bringe ranks 8th 90 points
- 13-14 boys: Bryce Wong ranks 12th 76 points
- 15-18 girls: Maddie Pallares ranks 17th 32 points
- 15-18 boys: Satoshi Shinkawa ranks 12th 49 points
Our event champions were led by Selma’s 8-year old Lucas Huckabay who swam to first place finishes in four of his five events, and placed 2nd in the final one. His wins included the 50 back (42.34), 50 free (35.54), 50 fly (41.97), and 100 free (1:17.90). Our only other event champions came from one age division and gender (13-14 girls), and included: Danielle Albright (100 back – 1:13.85), Visalia’s Janessa Bringe (400 free – 4:45.89), and Visalia’s Mackenzie Garza (50 free – 28.48).
A premium is placed on swimmers who advance to a championship final from the preliminary heats in any event, and our team representation was plentiful. Championship finalists included:
- Sienna Abernathy (age 9): 7th in the 200 free
- Libby Adriaansen (14): 3rd in the 200 breast & 100 breast, 4th in the 200 IM
- Danielle Albright (13): 2nd in the 1500 free
- Tristin Bennett (16): 7th in the 100 breast
- Janessa Bringe (14): 2nd in the 800 & 200 free, 5th in the 1500 free, 6th in the 100 fly
- Dylan Burr (17): 2nd 100 back & 3rd 200 back
- Ciara Clarke (10): 3rd 50 back, 5th 100 back & 100 free, 6th 50 free & 7th 50 breast
- Peyton Costa (12): 2nd 50 back, 200 IM & 100 free; 3rd 50 free & 100 back; 4th 400 free, 100 fly & 50 fly
- Layla Flores (12): 2nd 50 back; 3rd 100 & 200 breast, 200 IM, 100 back & 50 fly. Layla also competed in the 11-14 age division as a 12-year old and finished 4th in the 200 breast, and 5th in the 200 back.
- Daniel Haley (12): 8th in the 400 free & 100 back
- Jackson Huckabay (13): 8th in the 800 free
- Drew Johnston (10): 5th in the 50 back & 50 free
- Rylee Lord (13): 5th in the 100 fly, 200 IM & 50 free; 6th 100 free; & 7th 200 free
- Ava Olson (10): 4th 100 fly & 200 IM; 6th 100 breast & 200 free; & 7th in the 50 fly
- Madison Pallares (15): 2nd in the 100 breast & 4th in the 200 breast
- Emma Pena (15): 4th in the 100 back
- Gage Price (12): 7th in the 100 back & 8th in the 100 fly
- Garrison Price (15): 4th in the 200 fly
- Micah Ruiz (16): 6th in the 100 back & 100 free
- Satoshi Shinkawa (16): 2nd in the 200 back, and 3rd in the 200 free & 200 fly
- Katherine Sullivan (14): 2nd in the 400 IM and 200 back; 3rd 200 IM; & 6th 200 fly
- Sydnee Wilson (10) 3rd in the 50 breast & 8th in the 100 breast
- Alexa Wong (10): 4th in the 50, 100 & 200 free, and 6th in the 50 & 100 fly
- Bryan Wong (12): 3rd in the 50 & 100 breast, 5th 200 free, 6th 200 IM & 7th 100 free
- Bryce Wong (14): 3rd 100 back, 6th 200 IM & 200 back; 7th 100 breast; and 8th 100 free
Individuals whose top performance took them to a consolation heat included: Drew Black, Isaac Gutierrez, Xavier Gutierrez, Maya Herrera, Logan Huckabay, Dylan Hunt, Addison Mccullough, Caroline Mendyk, Priscilla Niayesh, and Benjamin Wheeler.
Two of our swimmers set new team records at the meet, and these record-breaking performances were led by Peyton Costa who is continuing to improve the records he has set earlier in the year. His improvements include the 50 back, dropping his 33.11 to a 32.73 and now ranking 139th nationally, dropping his 200 IM from 2:31.84 to 2:31.24 and ranking 135th, improving his 100 back from 1:12.36 to 1:12.26 and ranking 274th, and improving his 100 free from a 1:03.03 to a 1:02.94 and ranking 315th in that event. Peyton also set a new team record for himself, and this was in the 50 freestyle where his time of 28.71 fell under Jackson Huckabay’s 29.13 that was set last year at the very same swim meet. Peyton’s new record now stands as the 307th fastest time posted in the nation for boys at age 12.
Our only other record breaking performance came from Visalia’s Ciara Clarke as she led off the 10-under girls 200 medley relay that finished 2nd in the event. Her lead-off split of 38.22 in the backstroke leg is a tenth of a second under one of the longest standing remaining records on our team. Brook Wilson set the record as a 38.32 in Bakersfield twenty-two years ago in 1994. Ciara’s time places her as the 284th fastest 10-year old girl in the nation for the event.
An astounding 80% of times were improved at this championship-level swim meet, which is significant considering that many of these swimmers are not relatively new to the sport, and have already achieved time standards for much higher-level swim meets prior to their performance at Junior Olympics. Swimmers who improved 100% of their times at the meet included: Sienna Abernathy, Bridget Benegar, Tristin Bennett, Dylan Burr, Ciara Clarke, Ciena Clarke, Peyton Costa, Isaac Gutierrez, Xavier Gutierrez, Logan Huckabay, Lucas Huckabay, Drew Johnston, Rylee Lord, Corinne Maxfield, Addison Mccullough, Madison Pallares, Satoshi Shinkawa, Seiji Shinkawa, Benjamin Wheeler, Sydnee Wilson, Brett Wong, and Bryce Wong.
Our 29 relays generated 948 points of the total team score for the second place team finish and four of our relays came away as Gold Medal finishes. Three of the first place relay finishes were captured by the 13-14 girls. The 13-14 girls team of Katie Sullivan, Danielle Albright, Janessa Bringe and Mackenzie Garza led the first & third place finish of the 400 meter medley relay with a time of 4:53.75, while Katie Sullivan, Danielle Albright, Rylee Lord and Mackenzie Garza took home the gold in the 200 meter medley relay with a time of 2:11.49. Mackenzie Garza, Danielle Albirght, and Rylee Lord teamed up with Janessa Bringe to win the 200 meter freestyle relay with a time of 1:57.01. Our final winning relay was from the 15-18 girls team, and Emma Pena, Tristin Bennett, Megan Ridenour and Maddie Pallares teamed up to swim 5:06.61 to win the 400 meter medley relay.
Four team relay records were broken at the Junior Olympic Championships, beginning with the 11-12 boys 200 meter medley relay led off by Peyton Costa, then Bryan Wong, Gage Price and Danielle Haley. They swam 2:15.72, swimming under their own June Age Group Invitational time of 2:16.05. The 10-under girls’ team of Ciara Clarke, Sienna Abernathy, Ava Olson and Alexa Wong swam 2:13.42 in the 200 meter freestyle relay, swimming again under a June Age Group relay time of 2:15.55 established by Ciara Clark, Ella Bettencourt, Ava Olson and Alexa Wong. The 10-under girls posted a time that currently stands as the 21st fastest nationally for the age and gender division. Our 15-16 boys team of Micah Ruiz, Satoshi Shinkawa, Garrison Price and Brett Wong set a new team record in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:00.65, swimming well under a previous team record of 2:09.72 set in 2008 by Brian Brown, Nathan Rhea, Alex Hansen and Thomas Brown at that year’s Junior Olympics. The final team record was set by the 11-12 boys 200 freestyle team of Bryan Wong, Daniel Haley, Gage Price and Peyton Costa as a 2:02.69, swimming under the 2:04.57 set in 2013 by JD Koster, Preston Niayesh, Bryan Wong and Quinton Davis at the Junior Olympics that year.