Ten TNT swimmers qualified for, and competed at, the 2019 Short Course Far Western Championships hosted by Santa Clara Swim Club at their International Swim Center in Santa Clara over the first weekend of April, and half of our swimmers performed well enough to earn a second swim among one of ten championships finalists. Although this is the first year Far Westerns offered a non-scoring consolation heat of the next ten swimmers, the all of TNT finalists competed in the championship (top-10) heat, and a vast majority of their final swims were in that heat. The caliber of Far Westerns is aptly reflected in at least one National Age Group Record being broken while at the meet.
Our top performance must go to 13-year old Bryan Wong who competed in seven events, and scored in all seven by earning a championship (top-10) swim in each event. This performance resulted in outscoring all but one of the fifty 13-14 year old boys who earned a score in any event, and missing the high point award by a mere two points (57 vs 59). Bryan was the event champion in the 400 IM, posting a time of 4:04.61, and breaking his preexisting record by over four seconds when he set it at Sectionals just over a month earlier. His time currently stands as the 18th fastest nationally, and is a new Futures cut for him. Bryan was the runner up in four additional events, three of which also resulted in team records. His first 2nd place finish was in the 200 breaststroke where his prelim time of 2:07.29 bettered his Sectional time by over two seconds, and now stands as the 28th fastest nationally for boys at age 14. He followed this with a 2nd place in the 200 IM, resetting his team record from 1:58.54 set in December at the Age Group Championships, to a 1:55.52, and a time that ranks 31st nationally. Another 2nd place resulted from his 58.63 in the 100 breaststroke, once again improving upon his previous team record of 59.66 from JO’s in February, and posting the 28th fastest time nationally in that event. The other 2nd place was in the 1000 freestyle where he posted a time of 9:42.87. His final record resulted from his 1:45.20 swam in the preliminary heats of the 200 freestyle. This was an improvement from his JO relay leadoff time of 1:47.16, and currently ranks 105th nationally. His final scoring event was from his lifetime best of 49.05 in the 100 freestyle where he touched 6th.
Next closest for high point was Bryce Wong who scored 23 points and accumulated the 11th most points for the 17-18 division. He did this by earning top-10 finishes in four events that included a pair of 4th place finishes in the 200 fly (1:53.88), and 200 IM (1:57.37) events, as well as a 5th place finish in the 200 breast (2:14.02), and 8th place finish in the 100 fly (52.69) for the 17-18 division.
The next highest high point ranking was the 16th point accumulation by Alexa Wong for the 11-12 girls division, and she did this by scoring 22 points and earning a final swim in all seven of her events, six of which were in the championship heat. Alexa’s highest place was a 3rd place touch in the 200 fly with a time of 2:11.04, sliding under the previous team record set in the preliminary heats of the same meet by Drew Black as a 2:12.92. The new record stands as the 28th fastest nationally for 12-year old girls to date. Her next highest finish was a 7th place in the 400 IM where her time of 4:38.43 is a new Sectional cut for her, and is an improvement of her JO record of 4:40.62 set in February. This is the 26th ranked time nationally. Next in place was an 8th place finish, and another team record, in the 200 IM where she posted a time of 2:11.86, again swimming under her JO record (2:14.08), and posting the 49th fastest time nationally. Her final record was also in an IM, but this time she swam a 1:02.50 in the 100 IM, and this is a new record for her, sliding just under Danielle Albright’s 1:02.85 set at the Clovis meet in 2016. This time stands as the 98th fastest nationally. Alexa also earned an 8th place finish in the 500 free (5:21.59), a 9th place finish in the 100 fly (1:00.04), and a 17th place finish in the 100 free (55.93).
Visalia’s Janessa Bringe had our next highest point accumulation ranking for her 17-18 division. Her 20th place ranking resulted in her scoring in all four of her events, the highest of which resulted from the 10:47.90 in the 1000 freestyle, and 5th place finish there. She also finished 7th in the 400 IM (4:47.77), 9th in the 200 fly (2:13.74), and 10th in the 500 free where she posted a lifetime best of 5:12.14 in the preliminary heats.
Our only other swimmer to score points was Drew Black who did so in two events, beginning with a record breaking time of 59.53 in the 100 fly, swimming twice under the minute mark, and becoming the first 11-12 year old girl in the history of our team to do so. Drew’s previous record was 1:00.13 set at the Winter Age Group Championships in December. Her new record stands as the 69th fastest nationally for girls at age 12. She also swam under her preexisting team record in the 50 fly, this time posting a time of 26.88, and earning a second swim in the consolation heat where she placed 11th. This time currently ranks as the 64th fastest nationally. Drew did score in the 200 fly where she placed 6th after posting a lifetime best in the preliminary heats (2:12.92).
Ava Olson had her highest place at 21st in the 13-14 200 yard breaststroke (2:28.32), while Porterville’s Trevor Riley improved 100% of his times and had his highest touch at 24th in the 15-16 100 free (49.36). Selma’s 8-year old Logan Huckabay touched 33rd in the 10-under 100 fly with his best time of 1:15.78, while Visalia’s Ella Bettencourt improved 100% of her times, and was 36th in the 50 free (25.12) while competing on the bottom of the age group. Also on the bottom of the age group was Selma’s Lucas Huckabay who touched 43rd in the 11-12 boys 200 free (2:07.83).