A total of 646 athletes representing 24 teams competed at the 2018 Long Course Central California Swimming Junior Olympic Championships hosted by Clovis Swim Club over the last weekend of July, and the 48 TNT swimmers (with 2,401.5 points) managed to edge out the 62 swimmers of Sandpipers of Nevada (with 2,399 points) by a mere 2.5 points for a second place team finish at the meet, making every single point matter. Both teams placed behind the 130 Clovis swimmers that accumulated 5,640.5 points.
Our 27 TNT swimmers who scored in individual events were led by Lemoore’s 10-year old Michelle Murphy who competed in eight total individual events, and was the event champion in seven of the eight, placing 5th in the remaining one. She was the gold-medal recipient in the 200 free (2:31.57), 50 back (36.38), 200 IM (2:52.16), 100 back (1:20.24), 50 free (31.08), 50 fly (34.13), and 100 free (1:07.92). Michelle set three team records at the meet, beginning with the 36.38 in her 50 meter backstroke where her time fell under Drew Black’s previous team record of 37.17 that was set JOs the previous year. Her new records stands as the 69th fastest nationally for girls at age 10. Her next record of 31.08 in the 50 meter freestyle fell under Skylar Ford’s previous record of 31.44 set at the Age Group Invitational in 2012. The 31.08 is currently the 53rd fastest time nationally. Michelle’s final record of 1:07.92 in the 100 free was an improvement of Sienna Abernathy’s previous record of 1:08.83 set at JOs last year. The new record is Michelle’s highest national ranking of all three records at 40th.
The next highest point accumulation from individual events was from 14-year old Bryan Wong who competed in seven events, and won six of those seven, and then placed second in his remaining event. All first place finishes were new team records for Bryan, as he set seven new records, one being in the lead-off of the 400 free relay. Bryan began his record breaking streak with the 8:57.54 in the 800 freestyle, falling under Nathan Rhea’s 9:02.30 in the event from Zones in Hawaii back in 2009, and posting the 67th fastest time in the nation for boys at age 14. His next record of 4:49.13 in the 400 IM once again took him under Nathan Rhea’s previous record of 4:55.72 set at the same Zone meet in Hawaii. This record was the 60th fastest nationally (Bryan had subsequently improved his time at Age Group Zones, and moved up in ranking to 34th). Next in line was his winning time of 2:02.81 in the 200 meter freestyle, which improved his own 2:04.01 record from the Clovis meet earlier in the same month, that time will rank around 139th nationally at the close of the reporting cycle. His 56.87 relay lead-off topped Kyle Grissom’s (currently in his senior year competing for USC) team record of 57.12 set at the Age Group Invitational back in 2012, and sits in the 262nd spot nationally for boys at the same age. Next came his 4:19.95 in the 400 free, and this slid just under his 4:19.96 record set at Sectionals just the previous weekend. That swim stood at the 126th spot nationally. Showing his versatility, Bryan then set a new team record in the 200 IM, posting a 2:16.44, thereby going well under JD Koster’s previous record of 2:20.50 set at JOs in 2015. That swim is in the top-100 nationally, at 83rd. Finally, swimming the 1500 meter freestyle for the first time in his life, Bryan posted a time of 17:15.84, which stood as the 80th fastest time nationally at the time, and broke Nathan Rhea’s previous record of 17:26.24 set at the Clovis Senior Q meet nearly a decade earlier in 2009.
Only five other TNT swimmers swam away with a gold medal in individual events, and one of the four was our next highest point generator – Visalia’s Janessa Bringe. Janessa swam away from the meet with a total of 121 points from individual events, these points included two winning performances. She posted a lifetime best in the 100 fly during the preliminary heats with a 1:08.90, and successfully defended her first place seeding in finals. Her other win also resulted from a lifetime best, but this time in the 400 IM, hitting that best time of 5:26.29 in finals. Her training partner from Visalia, Layla Flores, only entered four events due to the upcoming Age Group Zone meet, and won three of those four events. She posted a lifetime best in the 13-14 100 fly with a 1:08.17 for the win there, and then went on to win the 100 free (1:01.31), and the 100 back (1:09.77) events. Porterville’s 8-year old Regan Hildreth came home with the gold in the 50 breaststroke, posting a time of 51.62. Brett Wong started the meet with a win, that being in the 100 meter freestyle (56.02), while his brother, Bryce Wong, took home his gold on the last day of the meet by winning the 15-over 200 IM (2:21.02).
Our remaining championship (top-8) finalists included: Sienna Abernathy (5th 100 free, 8th 50 free); Drew Black (2nd 100 fly, 4th 50 fly); Nathan Boudreaux (5th 50 breast, 8th 100 breast); Janessa Bringe (2nd 200 free, 2nd 400 free, 2nd 200 fly, 2nd 200 IM, 5th 100 free); William Butts (2nd 50 back, 2nd 50 fly, 2nd 50 breast, 3rd 50 free, 4th 100 breast, 7th 100 free); Ciara Clarke (3rd 50 back, 6th 50 fly); Peyton Costa (2nd 200 breast, 4th 100 free, 8th 100 fly); Layla Flores (2nd 200 free); Raegan Greiner (8th 100 free); Daniel Haley (6th 1500 free, 8th 400 IM); Regan Hildreth (4th 50 free, 5th 50 fly, 5th 50 back); Ashton King (8th 100 back); Genoveve Mcilwaine (8th 200 breast); Michelle Murphy (5th 50 breast); Ava Olson (2nd 100 breast, 3rd 400 IM, 4th 200 fly, 6th 50 breast, 7th 100 fly, 7th 50 fly); Gage Price (7th 100 back); Garrison Price (2nd 400 IM, 2nd 100 breast, 4th 50 free); Sydnee Wilson (5th 100 breast, 7th 50 free); Alexa Wong (3rd 200 IM, 6th 100 fly, 6th 100 back, 8th 50 fly); Brett Wong (2nd 200 free, 2nd 200 fly, 3rd 50 free, 4th 100 fly, 4th 100 breast); Bryan Wong (2nd 100 fly); and Bryce Wong (2nd 100 fly, 4th 400 IM, 7th 200 back, 7th 100 breast).
Consolation finalists include: Sienna Abernathy, Drew Black, William Butts, Aidan Champagne, Carson Clarke, Ciara Clarke, Laney Cox, Raegan Greiner, Daniel Haley, Drew Johnston, Thomas Matthews, Ava Olson, Gage Price, Sydnee Wilson, and Alexa Wong.
Twenty of our swimmers improved 100% of times that had been previously recorded with our team while at the meet. Congratulations on the perfect performance goes to: Sienna Abernathy, Meghan Adams, Aidan Apgar, Audrena Butts, Willilam Butts, Aidan Champagne, Duncan Champagne, Jillian Gaines, Kate Geiger, Nathan Hunt, Drew Johnston, Sydney King, Mark Marroquin, Addison Mccullough, Gage Price, Garrison Price, Josh Wee, Sydnee Wilson, Brett Wong, and Bryan Wong.