Fourteen TNT swimmers traveled to Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista over the third weekend of December, right before Christmas, to compete at the 2019 Winter Age Group Championships hosted by San Diego Imperial Swimming. Ten of our swimmers performed well enough in the preliminary heats to earn a spot among the top 16 athletes to score for the team, thereby contributing to the team’s 14th place finish.
The top finisher for the team was Porterville’s Nathan Boudreaux who touched 2nd in the 10-under boys 50 yard breaststroke with a time of 38.00, improving nearly two seconds in the preliminary heats. Nathan also touched 5th in the 100 breaststroke, and scored a point in the 50 backstroke by touching 16th in the preliminary heats. Nathan scored 32 points total. At 93 points total, our highest point recipient was 12-year old Michelle Murphy who scored in all nine events she competed in. Her highest finish was a pair of 5th places, one in the 200 backstroke where she improved nearly eight seconds to a 2:22.20, and also in the 200 freestyle where she improved nearly four and a half seconds to a 2:02.14. Michelle was followed in points by 12-year old Addison Mccullough who scored a total of 67 points in eight of her nine events. Her highest place was a pair of 6th place finishes that included the 200 fly (2:28.76), and 100 breaststroke (1:14.78). Both events were well over a three second improvement for her. Our next highest point recipient was Visalia’s Ella Bettencourt who scored in four events for a total of 44 points. Ella, just coming off a successful senior-level Sectional Championship, posted five lifetime best times, including her highest finish of 5th place in the 50 freestyle after posting a time of 24.73 in the championship final heat. Our remaining points from individual events came from Meghan Adams (12 points), Emma Bettencourt (3), Kate Geiger (12), Isabella Klawitter (3), Luke Vanwoudenberg (2), Maryn Vanwoudenberg (3), and Josh Wee (5).
An astounding 81% improvement rate for the team was led by seven swimmers who maintained a 100% improvement rate, and these included: Isabella Klawitter, Landon Mauge, Addison Mccullough, Michelle Murphy, Luke Vanwoudenberg, Maryn Vanwoudenberg and Josh Wee. Also, both Meghan Adams and Vincente Sanchez each improved 80% of their times.
With 77 swimmers of the total 348 who competed at the Fresno meet during the third weekend of November, TNT was the third largest team behind the 145 from Clovis and the 82 of Fresno as the Tritons placed second overall with 1,039 points behind the 1,875.5 points of Clovis. Our team’s second place finish was led by three TNT swimmers who received the High Point award for their respective divisions. Hanford’s brother duo, Lance Walker (age 8) and Zachariah Walker (age 6) were both recognized as High Point recipients, with Lance earning 62 points in the 7-8 boy’s division, and his brother Zach earning the honors for the 6-under boy’s division. Zach remained undefeated in all six 6-under events that he competed in which included the 50 free, 25 breast, 25 fly, 50 back, 50 breast and 25 freestyle events. Lance, with 62 points, led all TNT swimmers in point accumulation, and did this by being the event champion in five of his eight events that included the 100 free, 50 breast, 50 fly, 100 back and 100 breaststroke. Our remaining High Point recipient was Michelle Murphy (age 12) who, with 55 points, led all 23 athletes in the 11-12 girl’s division. Michelle was the event champions in two events that included the 50 free and 100 IM, and was the runner-up in four additional events.
Other event champions include: Danielle Albright (wining 3), Ella Bettencourt (1), Drew Black (4), Nathan Boudreaux (2), Aubree Carlock (1), Natalie Ensz (1), Layla Flores (1), Pearl Johnson (1), Ava Olson (1), Alexa Wong (2), Bryan Wong (2), and Bryce Wong (1).
Congratulations to the following eight swimmers who improved 100% of their times at the meet: Isaak Ensz, Koen Ensz, Jenna Goertzen, Kingston Knaak, Axl Menard, Stella Pack, Liam Shinn, and Bryan Wong.
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).
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.
Tule Nation Tritons was a topic of discussion around the pool deck
among numerous teams during the early days of the Winter Age Group
Championships when TNT was in 4th place among 38
teams competing at the meet. Once all was said and done, at 1,018 points, TNT finished a respectable 6th among the field, with 19 of our 28 swimmers scoring in individual events, two of
whom scored in triple digits.
With 128 points, fourteen year old Bryan Wong
was the lead scorer, winning four of his six events at the meet, three
of which resulted in team records. His first
win was in the 200 IM, swimming under the 2-minute mark for the first
time with a 1:58.54 and being among 64 fourteen year old boys in the
nation to do so. Bryan’s previous record was 2:02.10 set at
the Hanford meet in September. Following the short IM was the win in the
400 IM where he once again swam uncontested, with a 4:13.69 finishing
four seconds ahead of the next swimmer. His next win was
nearly a 2-second drop over his previous record of 2:12.50 from the
Kevin Perry meet in the 200 IM, where his 2:10.70 now ranks 43rd
nationally. His final win was in the 500 freestyle,
where his 4:45.93 missed the meet record by less than two seconds, but
was an improvement of his own team record of 4:46.81 from Kevin Perry,
and now stands as the 50th fastest nationally
for boys at age 14. Bryan set team records in three additional events,
and these included the 100 breaststroke, where his 59.76 was enough for a
2nd place finish, and was an improvement of
his Kevin Perry time of 1:01.10, and currently ranks 32nd nationally. His 1:48.21 in the 200 freestyle tops his Merced swim of 1:49.68 in October, and is the 153rd
nationally. Finally, his 49.66 in the 100 free is a new team record for
him, falling under Kyle Grissom’s 50.40 set at the Terrapin meet in the
winter of 2012, standing as the 179th
Drew Black was the only other triple-digit point getter at 119 points from individual events, with her highest place being a 2nd
place finish in the
11-12 girls 100 butterfly. While still on the bottom of the age group,
her 1:00.13 at finals went under Mallory Korenwinder’s previous team
record of 1:02.68 set at Far Westerns in 2011, and with a
time that currently stands as the 2nd fastest nationally for girls at age 11 (the top time being posted from the same meet). Her next highest finish was 3rd,
and this was in the
50 butterfly, where she posted a time of 27.34, again falling under
Mallory’s previous team record of 27.67 set at the same Far Western
meet. Drew’s time is currently the 7th fastest
Our third highest point getter was 12-year old Alexa Wong. With 94 points, she finished 2nd
in three events that included the 200 IM, 200 fly, and 400
IM, all three which resulted in team records. Her 2:14.61 in the 200 IM
went under Danielle Albright’s 2:15.50 set at Far Westerns in 2015, and
stands as the 48th fastest nationally for
girls at age 12. Her 2nd place finish in the 200 fly resulted
from a 2:13.69, and is an improvement of Drew Black’s previous team
record of 2:18.63 set at the Tulare meet earlier in the
same month. The new record stands as the 19th fastest time nationally for a 12-year old girl. Finally, her 4:42.88 stands as the 16th fastest time in the nation, and slides
under Danielle Albright’s previous team record of 4:43.59 set at Far Westerns in 2015.
Bryce Wong was our only other event champion, winning the 200 fly after posting a lifetime best of 1:55.55 in the preliminary heats. He earned three additional championship swims that included the 100 breast (1:01.76), 100 fly (52.58), and 200 IM (2:01.68) events, and also swam a final in the 200 breast. Visalia’s Ella Bettencourt competed on the bottom of the 13-14 age division, yet earned a championship swim in the 50 free by posting a time of 25.72 in the preliminary heats. She also earned second swims in the 200 free, 100 back, and 100 free events. Visalia’s Janessa Bringe had a championship swim by finishing 8th with a lifetime best of 2:14.33 in the 200 fly. She also had second swims in the 100 fly, 200 IM, 400 IM, and 500 freestyle events. Selma’s William Butts had 4 swims in the championship finals, his highest place being three 4th place finishes that included the 50 fly (27.88), 50 back (29.93), and 100 fly (1:07.57). Two other championship swims of his included a 5th place in the 50 breast (32.89), and 8th place in the 100 free (59.90). He also earned seconds swim in the 100 breast, 100 back, and 100 fly events. Visalia’s Layla Flores is another individual competing on the bottom of the age division, yet who earned a championship seeding in finals. She posted a time of 2:10.23 in the 15-18 division of the 200 IM to finish 3rd in the event. She also earned second swims in the 100 breast, 50 free, 100 back and 100 free events. Porterville’s 8-year old Regan Hildreth earned her championship swim with an 8th place finish in the 10-under (yea, she’s 8 in the 10-under division) 50 breaststroke after swimming a time of 40.54 in the preliminary heats. She also earned a second swim in the 100 breast. Another 8-year old phenom who earned a championship final in the 10-under division was Selma’s Logan Huckabay who touched 5th in the 10-under 50 fly with a time of 34.52. He also earned second swims in the 100 free, 100 IM, and 50 free events. His brother, Lucas Huckabay, while competing on the bottom of the 11-12 age division, earned a championship swim in the 200 free after posting a time of 2:09.31 in the preliminary heats. He also earned a final swim in the 50 breast, 100 free, 50 fly, 100 breast and 50 free events. Ava Olson is another of our swimmers competing on the bottom of the age bracket, and she still earned a top-8 finish in two events that included a 6th place finish in the 200 fly after posting a lifetime best of 2:18.64 in the preliminary heats, and then finished 8th in the 100 breast after posting another lifetime best of 1:10.06 in prelims. Sydnee Wilson was another double championship finalist. Her top finish was a 4th place in the 50 breaststroke, improving her time by over a second to a 33.27, and then again improving by over a second in the 50 free to a 26.44 to touch 6th there. Sydnee also earned second swim in the 100 free and 100 breaststroke.
Six additional swimmers earned a final (top-16), scoring,
swim, and these include Selma’s Jackson Huckabay who
earned consolation swims in the 200 IM and 400 IM, along with his brother, Jonas Huckabay, who earned consolation swims in the
100 breast, 200 free and 100 free events. Hanford’s Thomas
Matthews finished in the consolation finals in six events that included
the 200 back, 50 fly, 200 fly, 400 IM, 100 back, and 100 fly, while 11-year old
Addison Mccullough earned top16 finishes in the
12-under 200 fly and 200 breaststroke events. Also competing at the bottom of
the 11-12 division, and scoring, was Lemoore’s Michelle
Murphy who finished top-16 in the 200 back and 500 free events. Finally,
Gage Price had 4 top-16 performances that
included the 100 fly, 100 back, 500 free and 200 back.
Thirteen year old Laney Cox
had her highest finish at 21st in the 13-14 200 breaststroke, while
13-year old Drew Johnston touched 18th
in the 13-14 100 backstroke. Ashton King came
back from college to finish 29th in the 200 back, while Lemoore’s Madalynn Lady finished 23rd as her highest
finish in the 200 breast. Kristine Marinos of
Visalia had her highest place as 22nd in the 100 back, and Selma’s Mark Marroquin touched 41st as his highest
finish, and in the 100 fly. Lemoore’s Amy Murphy had
her best place at 35th while on the bottom of the age group, and
Visalia’s Vincent Sanchez, also on the bottom
of the age group, finished 39th as his highest place. Visalia’s Luke Vanwoudenberg touched 21st in the 200
back as his highest finish.