Eighteen TNT swimmers traveled to Ventura to compete at the 2018 June Age Group Invitational alongside swimmers representing over 40 swim teams, and one sole TNT swimmer came away as an event champion, and with 101 points from individual events by placing among the top 4 every time she competed, led the team to its 10th place finish overall. Lemoore’s Michelle Murphy took home the gold in the 10-under 50 meter breaststroke after posting a lifetime best of 42.63, and joining the group of seven TNT swimmers to improve 100% of their times. Michelle was also one of three TNT swimmers to break a team record, and she did this by improving nearly four seconds in the 100 backstroke to a 1:19.81, falling under Alexa Wong’s previous record of 1:21.79 that was set at the Reedley meet in April of 2017. Michelle’s new record currently stands as the 25th fastest in the nation for girls at age 10.
A second record was set by 11-year old Drew Black, who at age 11, set the 11-12 standard in the 100 meter butterfly event as a1:10.39, sliding under one of the remaining historical records that belonged to Lynnie North as a 1:10.75 set back in 1989 at the Western Zone Championships. Drew’s new record currently stands as the 12th fastest nationally for girls at age 11, nearing the national top-10 recognition list. Drew was also one of the seven who improved 100% of their times.
Twelve year old Ava Olson had the only other record-breaking performance, and she did this by improving over three seconds, and posting a time of 2:44.24 in the 200 meter butterfly for the 11-12 age division. Ava’s time falls under Danielle Albright’s previous record of 2:46.62 set at the Reedley meet in 2015. Ava’s time currently stands as the 90th fastest nationally for girls at age 11.
Fourteen of our swimmers’ points from individual events contributed to the team’s overall place that ranged throughout the meet as high as 7th, and following the 100+ points from Michelle Murphy was Visalia’s Ella Bettencourt who posted a total of 66.5 points, and she was followed by her training partner in Visalia, Layla Flores who totaled 45 points from individual events. Our remaining of the 14 swimmers include: Drew Black (44 points), Ava Olson (39), Alexa Wong (35), Bryan Wong (34), Peyton Costa (29), Alex Roberts (29), Ciara Clarke (24), Janessa Bringe (10), Sydnee Wilson (9), Brett Wong (3), and Thomas Matthews (2). Every point was important since only six points separated the 7th place team from the 10th place team. Sienna Abernathy’s highest place was 25th in both the 11-12 50 fly and 100 free, Laney Cox finished 42nd in the 11-12 100 free, Selma’s Drew Johnston finished 27th in both the 11-12 100 back and 50 back, and Bryce Wong touched 21st in the 15-over 100 fly.
Congratulations also to those who managed to maintain a 100% improvement rate at the meet, and these include: Drew Black (improving 6 of 6), Selma’s Drew Johnston (2 of 2), Hanford’s Thomas Matthews (4 of 4), Lemoore’s Michelle Murphy (6 of 6), Selma’s Sydnee Wilson (6 of 6), Bryan Wong (2 of 2), and Bryce Wong (1 of 1).