Eight TNT swimmers representing five of our six current towns competed at the 2018 SWAGR meet in Clovis, many of whom are focused on the Far Western Championships two weeks hence. Selma’s 11-year old Sienna Abernathy maintained a 100% improvement rate, and had as her highlight event a 14-second improvement in the 500 yard freestyle where her time of 5:42.76 just missed the Far Western standard by .07 seconds while still on the bottom of the 11-12 age division. Visalia’s 12-year old, Ella Bettencourt, is already a first-time Far Western qualifier, but she added to her Far Western schedule by achieving a new cut in the 100 yard freestyle after swimming 58.30 in the event, and improving by nearly a full second. Drew Black is another swimmer who already has Far Western cuts, and she posted a time of 59.11 in her 100 freestyle, just missing a new event for Far Westerns by a mere .62 seconds. Another swimmer who is knocking at the door of Far Westerns is Selma’s 13-year old, Tyler Coles, who improved nearly four seconds in the 200 backstroke to post a time of 2:08.09, which is now within a second of the Far Western time standard (only .8 seconds away), and while still on the bottom of the 13-14 age division. Layla Flores is probably the most veteran of our Far Western qualifiers who attended the SWAGR meet, and will be attending Far Westerns, and her highlight event was a new Sectional time standard achieved in the 100 yard breaststroke where she posted a time of 1:07.24 in the event as the event champion. Hanford’s 11-year old Thomas Matthews is another swimmer to keep an eye on for next year’s Far Western’s since he is now well within range of qualifying in four events (50 fly, 50 back, 100 fly & 100 back) after swimming 2 seconds from the standard in each 50, and 4 seconds from the standard in each 100 yard event. Lemoore’s Michelle Murphy already has a full schedule of qualified events at Far Westerns, but still, her 8-second improvement in the 200 IM to a 2:40.99 is a new cut, and in one of her off events. Finally, 11-year old Alexa Wong entered only two events into SWAGR, with clear intent of achieving new Far Western cuts in both events, and she did just that by improving over two seconds in the 200 IM (2:22.84), and nearly 19 seconds in the 400 IM (4:57.69).
Far Western Championships takes place at the Santa Clara International Swim Center over the first weekend of April.