Our nation’s Division 1 NCAA Swimming Championships is
considered to offer the fastest level of competition outside of the actual
Olympic Games. Considering that many swimmers across the nation, and in the
history of swimming, who have achieved Olympic Trial cuts have never earned a
spot to compete at the Division 1 NCAA meet is an arguable testament that the
D-1 NCAA level of competition supersedes even the Olympic Trials. It is, unquestionably,
the fastest short course yard meet in the world, and getting an invitation to
compete there is truly an accomplishment.
In the course of our team, we’ve proudly had four swimmers
compete in individual events at the D-1 NCAA Championships, and most recently Mallory Korenwinder (competing for the University of
Arizona) and Kyle Grissom (competing for USC) completed
their season at this culminating meet in Austin, Texas. The two join Kohlton
Norys (who competed for Auburn), and Samantha Goates (who competed for LSU) as D-1
NCAA qualifiers. Kyle Grissom had participated at the NCAA meet for the past
three years, and his 50 freestyle time of 19.35 was fast enough to earn a spot
at the meet this year. Mallory made her second appearance at the meet this
year, after posting a time of 59.90 in the 100 yard breaststroke event. Kyle
finished 26th for the 50 free in a field of 46 at the meet (the
winning time this year was 18.63), while Mallory finished 30th for
the 100 breaststroke in a field of 50 (the winning time was 55.73).
Our very own Missy LeStrange has received numerous recognitions in the past few years that included becoming inducted into the Hall of Fame, and being last year’s Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year, but this past month she had been notified that she is named the 2018 Overall Age Group Female Triathlete of the Year by the USA Triathlon’s Age Group Committee. This recognition places her as the most recognized age group triathlete for the year based on performances. This past year, Missy earned four world titles for her division in a six-week span that took to competitions in Australia, South Africa, and Hawaii to name a few locations. Many thanks for attributing part of her development to TNT Swimming. (Read the publication of all triathletes recognized here.) Congratulations – we are very proud.
Six TNT swimmers traveled to the Roseville Aquatic Complex to compete in the 2019 South Western Age Group Regional (SWAGR) Championships that recognizes only the top 10 swimmers from each age to advance to finals, and Visalia’s 13-year old Ella Bettencourt did just that in three different events. Her highest place was 9th in the 13-year old 50 freestyle where she posted her lifetime best of 25.60 in the preliminary heats of the event. She then followed up with two additional championship swims that included another lifetime best of 2:02.66 from the preliminary heats of the 200 freestyle, and a lifetime best of 1:03.03 in the prelims of the 100 backstroke. Our next highest finish was Addison McCullough’s 17th place in the 12-year old girl’s 200 yard breaststroke, a 20th place finish for the 13-year old 100 fly by Visalia’s Emma Bettencourt, a 21st place in the 50 free by Visalia’s Lara Omololu, a 25th place finish in the 13-year old 200 back by Visalia’s Kristine Marinos, and finally a 39th place touch by Visalia’s Kate Geiger in the 13-year old 200 IM. Kate Geiger and Lara Omololu each improved 100% of their swims.
Eleven TNT swimmers competed at the Juanita Allington
Memorial Senior meet over the second weekend of March, and nine of our swimmers
scored by placing among the top 20. All points from individual events were led
by Visalia’s graduating senior, Janessa Bringe.
Janessa competed in seven events, and scored in all seven, garnering over 71
points in total. Her highest finish was 5th in the 1000 freestyle
(10:48.05), and she followed that with two additional championship swims that
included an 8th place finish in the 500 free (5:13.82), and 10th
place finish in the 200 free (2:01.78). Her consolation swims included the 200
fly (2:11.47), 400 IM (4:44.91), 100 fly (1:01.27), and 200 IM (2:16.87)
Our next leading scorer was Visalia’s Layla Flores who also had a championship swim, and her highest place was also a 5th place finish, but in the 200 IM (2:12.59). Her consolation swims included the 100 free (53.97), 200 back (2:14.93), 400 IM (4:48.81), and 100 fly (1:00.46) events. Visalia’s graduating senior, Megan Ridenour, shared in our team’s highest finish of 5th by doing so in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.82) event. She also had a bonus swim, and 31st place finish, in the 100 fly. Ava Olson had our only other championship finish, and she did this with a 9th place touch in the 100 breaststroke where she posted her lifetime best of 1:09.68. She also had consolation swims in the 200 breast and 100 fly events. Our team’s next highest finish came in an 11th place in the 200 IM by Selma’s Jackson Huckabay who posted a time of 1:58.99, improving nearly three seconds. He also had a bonus swim in the 100 fly. His training partner, Jonas Huckabay, scored in the 100 breast (1:04.68) by finishing 15th there, and also earned a bonus swim in the 200 IM. Visalia’s Luke Vanwoudenberg, along with his training partner, Ella Bettencourt, both had their highest scoring events at 16th place with Luke doing so in the 200 back (2:06.04), and Ella doing so in two events that included the 50 free (25.73) and then again in the 100 back (1:03.20). Both swimmers posted lifetime best times in these events. Luke also scored in the 100 back (58.19) with a 19th place finish, while Ella had two additional bonus swims that included the 200 free and 100 breaststroke events. Making her first appearance at a senior meet was Visalia’s Emma Bettencourt who had her highest finish as 50th in the 100 fly (1:07.57). Drew Black competed in the 200 breaststroke event.
At age 12, Alexa Wong’s highest finish was 14th, swimming a time of 1:02.55 in the 100 back. She also scored in the 200 back by posting a time of 2:16.00, placing 18th, and setting a new team record by sliding under the 2:16.49 record set by Samantha Goates at the Tulare meet back in 2003. Alexa’s new record is among the top 200 swims in the nation, at 199, for girls at age 12.
Ten TNT swimmers competed at the 2019 Spring Sectional meet
held over the last weekend of February in Carlsbad, California, and half of our
team earned a second swim at the meet. Our highest place was a championship
swim, and 10th place finish in the 100 breaststroke where Preston Niayesh posted a time of 56.74 to reflect our
team’s highest place. Following closely was an 11th place finish by Garrison Price who won the consolation heat with a
time of 1:50.09 in the 200 fly, and improved nearly two seconds in the event. Two
additional swimmers scored in the consolation heat (top 20) by placing 19th,
and these included Danielle Albright’s 1:04.86
in the 100 breaststroke, and JK Koster’s 1:53.34
in the 200 fly. Our remaining points came in the bonus heat where Bryce Wong, making his first appearance to the Spring
Sectional meet, touched 29th with a time of 1:55.29 in the 200 fly.
Visalia’s Layla Flores had her highest place at 72nd in the 50 free (24.46) while her training partner, Mackenzie Garza, touched 50th in the same event (24.25). Visalia’s Lauren Geiger, now competing for Fresno Pacific, touched 106th in the 100 fly (58.86), and Selma’s Jonas Huckabay had his highest finish at 76th in the 200 free (1:45.10). At age 14 Bryan Wong was our youngest competitor, and he finished 39th at his best in the 400 IM (4:08.97).
Bryan Wong was our only swimmer to set 13-14 year old team records at the meet, and he did this in three events, beginning with his time of 4:41.01 in the 500 free by improving nearly five seconds. This falls well under his 4:45.93 record he set at the Winter Age Group meet this past December, and currently stands as the 42nd fastest nationally for boys at age 14. He then posted a time of 4:08.97 in the 400 IM to claim a new team record that was previously set at 4:13.18 by Nathan Rhea while competing at Winter Sectionals in 2009. This new record currently stands as the 43rd fastest nationally. Finally, by improving nearly a full second in the 200 breaststroke, Bryan posted a time of 2:09.80 and improved his Winter Age Group record of 2:10.70, and becomes the 49th fastest swimmer in the nation for the event, and age.
Thirty three of our 51 swimmers contributed points from
individual events that resulted in an overall team finish of 3rd place
at the 2019 Short Course Junior Olympic Championships hosted by Clovis over the
third weekend of February. Our individual points were led by Selma’s eight year
old Logan Huckabay who nearly went undefeated,
winning six of his seven individual events, and thereby becoming the highpoint
recipient at the meet for his age division and coming home with the largest
number of individual wins for our team. His long list of wins in the 8-under
division include the 100 free, 50 back, 50 fly, 100 IM, 50 breast and 50 free.
The only 2nd place finish occurred when he challenged the 10-under
boys, and touched 2nd in the 100 fly. Logan was one of only eight
TNT swimmers who came away as event champions in one or more events.
Drew Black was our next
highest point-getter, and was an event champion in the 11-12 year old 50 fly
event, and was the runner up in three additional events that included the 200
fly, 100 free, and 100 fly events. Next in points, and bringing home the next
largest number of wins in comparison to Logan, was Bryan
Wong who was undefeated in all events he competed in, winning the 1650
free, 200 breast, 100 breast, 50 free and 1000 freestyle events in the 13-14
division. Our next highest points came from Alexa Wong,
who behind Logan and Bryan, had the next highest number of wins at four. Alexa
took home the gold in the 400 IM, 200 fly, 100 IM, and 200 IM events for the
11-12 girls division. Garrison Price also had four
wins, and in four events, thereby being one of only two TNT swimmers to remain
undefeated, winning the 15-18 200 free, 100 breast, 200 back and 100 free
events, and, along with Lucas Huckabay, provided
the 5th highest contribution to the overall team score. Three
additional swimmers returned as event champions, and these include Gage Price who won the 13-14 100 back, Visalia’s Luke Vanwoudenberg who took home gold in the 15-18 year
old 200 IM, and Bryce Wong who was the champion
in the 15-18 year old 50 freestyle event.
Eight team records were set by two swimmers from one family.
Twelve year old Alexa Wong posted a time of
4:40.62 in the 400 IM thereby shaving off over two seconds from her previous
record set at the Winter Age Group Championships last December. Her new time
stands as the 28th fastest nationally for girls at age 12. Her
2:13.35 in the 200 fly was also an improvement of her own previous record of
2:13.69, also set at the Winter Age Group meet, and this time now ranks 36th
nationally. Winning the 200 IM with a time of 2:14.08 resulted in an
improvement of another record previously held by her from the same December
meet. Her new time currently stands as the 83rd fastest nationally. She
went on to improve over seven seconds in the 200 freestyle and became the first
11-12 year old girl in the history of our team to swim under the two-minute
mark. Her 1:59.61 is an improvement of Danielle Albright’s previous record of
2:00.81 set at the Age Group Championships in 2015, and Alexa’s new record currently
stands as the 119th fastest time in the nation.
Bryan Wong had our only other record-breaking performances, and he reset the bar in five events beginning with his time of 16:26.93 in the 1650 freestyle. His 74 second improvement fell under Nathan Rhea’s 16:41.65 that was set at Sectionals in 2009, and the new record stands as the 55th fastest nationally for boys at age 14. He led off the 800 free relay with a time of 1:47.16, and improved his own previous record of 1:48.21 and posted the 192nd fastest time nationally. His next record resulted from the 59.66 in the 100 breaststroke, which was once again an improvement of his previous record 59.76 set last December, and now ranks 58th nationally for boys the same age. His relay leadoff time of 49.28 in the 100 free also slid under his previous record (49.66), and stands in the 235th spot nationally. Bryan finished off the meet by improving over 40 seconds in the 1000 freestyle, posting a time of 9:40.12, falling once again under Nathan Rhea’s previous team record of 9:55.37 set at Sectional in 2009, and is his highest ranked event at 24th based on the Junior Olympics.
Sixteen TNT swimmers maintained a 100% improvement rate at Junior Olympics despite the inclement weather. Congratulations to: Riley Carpenter, Ivy Carter, Isaak Ensz, Koen Ensz, Layla Flores, Nadia Garabedian, Alyssa Gonzalez, Lucas Huckabay, Lucas Mcmunn, Kamlynn Newlin, Jade Perez, Garrison Price, Blake Sifton, Maryn Vanwoudenberg, Alexa Wong and Bryce Wong.
Nine TNT swimmers traveled to La Mirada to compete in the 2019 long course senior meet on Monday, January 21st to begin their long course experience for 2019. Preston Niayesh and Garrison Price came away as our only event champions for the meet, Preston winning the 100 meter breaststroke with a time of 1:09.31, and Garrison winning the 100 meter butterfly with a time of 59.32. Garrison was also one of three swimmers to improve a time, and had the largest time improvement, exceeding 15 seconds in the 200 meter backstroke (2:31.39) event. The next largest improvement came in Bryce Wong’s 200 meter butterfly, where he improved over six seconds to a 2:18.76. Alexa Wong had the only other time improvement, and hers was in the 100 fly. Alexa also had our only team record-breaking performance, setting a new team record in the 200 meter butterfly for the 11-12 girls division. Her 2:37.22 is an improvement over Drew Black’s 2:40.70 that was posted at Zones in Roseville this past summer. Alexa can monitor her time nationally as the long course season moves forward – she currently stands as the second fastest 12-year old in the nation.
Danielle Albright finished 3rd in both the 100 breast and 200 breast, while Drew Black’s highest finish was
17th in the 100 fly. JD Koster touched 3rd in the 100 fly, and Ava Olson had a 14th place finish as
her highest. Bryan Wong was 2nd in the 100 breast, and Bryce Wong had his highest finish as 5th in the 100
swimmers competed at the Fresno Senior Trials and Finals meet hosted by
the Dolphins over the third weekend of January, and Visalia’s Janessa Bringe
along with Bryce Wong were our sole
event champions, both winning the 200 yard butterfly event. Janessa had
two championship swims, winning the 200 fly in 2:15.13,
and then earning the bronze in the 200 IM, with a time of 2:18.36.
Bryce’s sole championship swim was his win in the 200 fly, posting a
time of 1:56.11 in the event.
Twenty one additional TNT swimmers earned a final swim in one of three heats, and additional championship finalists included Ella Bettencourt who placed
5th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:22.49, and then followed that with a 6th place touch in the 200 breaststroke after posting a time of 2:43.57 in the preliminary heats. Ella
also finished 10th in the consolation heat of the 100 free (57.54). Her Visalia training partner, Layla Flores placed 2nd in both the 200
IM (2:12.13), and 200 breaststroke (2:34.55) events. Visalia’s graduating senior, Mackenzie Garza was runner up in the 100 free, posting her lifetime best of 53.17,
and then touched fourth in the 200 IM, with another lifetime best of 2:20.90. Selma’s Daniel Haley touched 6th in the 200 free, swimming under the two
minute mark twice. He also had two top-16 finishes that included a 12th place in the 200 IM (2:23.99), and a 13th place in the 100 fly (1:03.89), as well as a bonus swim, and
17th place finish, in the 100 free. Dylan Hunt had two championships swim that included a silver medal performance in the 200 breast after posting a time
of 2:35.63 in the preliminary heats, and then went on the finish 6th in the 100 breast after posting a time of 1:11.27 in prelims. He had two additional top-16 finishes that included an
11th place in the 50 free (26.86), and 13th place in the 100 back (1:08.72). Dylan had five second swims that included a bonus 21st place finish in the 100 free.
Ava Olson had three second swims on day one of the meet that included a championship, 3rd place performance, in the 500 free by improving over 25 seconds
in the event to a 5:25.57. She also had a consolation finish of 11th in the 100 free (59.29), and also a bonus 18th place finish in the 100 back. Ava was one of five TNT
swimmers to improve 100% of their times. Gage Price competed in one event, and earned a championship swim in the 200 fly, moving from 8th to 5th
in finals with a time of 2:19.03. Visalia’s Luke Vanwoudenberg had three second swims, two of those being in the championship heat. His highest finish was
5th in the 100 back where he posted a time of 1:00.68, and he also touched 6th in the 200 IM with a lifetime best of 2:12.96 in the event. Luke also scored in the consolation
heat with a 14th place finish in the 100 free (54.76). His training partner in Visalia, Benjamin Wheeler, earned a pair of championships swims, and
7th place finishes, each reflecting significant time improvements. His 2:16.70 in the 200 IM finished 7th, as did his 1:00.90 in the 100 back, both being over seven and
five second improvements respectively. Benjamin also touched 15th in the 100 free (55.48) where he improved over three seconds in the event. Alexa Wong
our only other championship finalist, and she did this in the only event
she competed in, posting a time of 5:23.71 in the 500 free, touching 2nd, and improving over nine seconds in the
Additional consolation finalists included Visalia’s Emma Bettencourt who touched 12th in the 200 IM (2:28.79), and then also swam in the bonus heat in
both the 100 free (20th) and 100 back (23rd). Selma’s William Butts competed as a new 13-year old, and finished 14th in the 100 back
(1:09.71), while Laney Cox finished 9th in three events that included the 200 breast (2:46.53), 200 free (2:12.06), and 100 breast (1:16.73). She also
touched 15th in the 100 free. Visalia’s Kate Geiger came away with a pair of second swims, starting in the consolation heat with a 13th place
finish in the 100 back (1:11.46), and then swimming in the bonus heat of the 100 free (23rd). Nathan Hunt had three consolation swims, his highest finish
being 11th in the 100 breast (1:16.45), and then following that with a pair of 15th place finishes that included the 100 back (1:09.92), and 50 free (27.91). Visalia’s
Kristine Marions also had a pair of
finals, her consolation swim being in the 100 back (1:14.99), and then
also swimming in the bonus heat of the 200 IM
(22nd). Eleven year old Addison Mccullough earned a consolation swim by touching 14th in the 200 breast (2:51.87), and then won the bonus heat
of the 200 IM (17th). Amy Murphy swam three consolation finals, her highest place being a pair of 10th places that included the 200 breast
(2:47.17), and 100 breast (1:18.59) both being lifetime best times, and then touching 15th in the 100 fly (1:11.26). Visalia’s Vincente Sanchez was our
only other consolation finalist, and he did this with an 11th place finish in the 100 back (1:06.96).
Additional bonus swims came from Riley Carpenter who finished 20th in the 100 back, and Isabella Klawitter who touched
17th in the 500 free, 18th in both the 200 IM and 200 free, and 20th in the 100 fly.
Swimmers who improved 100% of their times included: Emma Bettencourt, Isabella Klawitter, Ava Olson, Milo Pennington, and Alexa
Of the 31 TNT
swimmers who competed at the Yosemite meet in the first weekend of
October, seven came away as event champions, and of those seven, two
remain undefeated at the meet. Eight year old
Regan Hildreth won all three events she scored in, and they included the 50 free, 50 back, and 100 IM, while five year old Zachariah
Walker won all three of his 6-under events, that included the 25
free, 50 free, and 25 backstroke events. Five additional swimmers came
home with gold, and these included Drew Black (winning the 11-12 100 fly), William Butts (winning the 11-12 100 breast), Isaak Ensz (7-8 50 back),
Dylan Hunt (15-18 100 breast), and Ava Olson (13-14 100 breast).
Eight TNT swimmers maintained a 100% improvement rate. Congratulations to a perfect meet go to: William Butts, Danielle Hager, Daniel Haley, Regan Hildreth, Isla Jay,
Clara Shinn, Liam Shinn, and Nicholas Vassylenko.
Forty-one TNT swimmers competed in Bakersfield at the sprint-focused meet over the first weekend of November, and eight of our swimmers came away with improving 100% of their events entered. Meghan Adams competed in three events, and improved all three which included a 5-second drop in the 100 free. Drew Black swam 3 and improved 3, bettering her 100 back by three seconds. Dylan Hunt improved both of the events he competed in, while young Isla Jay dropped over three seconds in both of her events. Canyon Johnson swam three, and improved all three, and dropped nearly ten seconds in his 100 IM, while Kambria Prodo swam the 200 free for the first time, and improved her remaining three events. Vincente Sanchez improved nearly 20 seconds across four events, and also swam four additional events for his first time. Finally, Sydnee Wilson also held an improvement streak, bettering four of four events, including a 13 second improvement in the 200 IM.
Only three event champions came away from the meet, and these included Drew Black who, at age 11, won the 11-12 100 back, and 100 free events, 9-year old Nathan Boudreaux who won the 9-10 50 breast, and Sydnee Wilson who took home the gold in both the 11-12 50 fly and 50 breast events.