2011 Pan Ams Champ Lara Jackson Spotted at T2 May LCM Kick-Off in Naples, FL

2021 T2 May LCM Kickoff

Many of the top club swimmers in Florida competed at the 2021 USA Swimming 18&U Spring Cup in Orlando. Moving towards Southern Florida, however, T2 Aquatics hosted the 2021 T2 May LCM Kickoff Meet in Naples at the Norris Aquatic Center alongside more Florida-area clubs such as Swim Florida, Eagle Aquatics, and YMCA Wave Runners. Among the participants were 2011 Pan American champion Lara Jackson and 2021 Hungarian Olympian, Petra Halmai, who is currently with SwimFlorida before preparation for the 2021 European Championships.

34-year-old Lara Jackson swam just two events, the 50 free and 100 fly, this past weekend. Jackson first placed third in the 100 fly at 1:08.63 behind Swim Florida’s KT Kustritz (1:05.23) and Clarice Spencer (1:07.70). Then, Jackson won the 50 free with a solid showing of 26.33, touching more than three seconds ahead of runner-up Spencer (29.50).

The Wave I Trials Cut in the women’s 50 free sits at 25.99, with the new Wave II cut just 0.34s faster at 25.65. Jackson is just swimming “for fun” at the moment, yet is also aiming to nail a Trials cut in the coming weeks.

Jackson’s lifetime best in this event sits at 24.50, set during the 50 free prelims at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, which was briefly the American record until Dara Torres took the record back at 24.38. In the final, Torres won with another American record at 24.25. Meanwhile, Jessica Hardy touched out Jackson for the second Olympic spot by 0.06s, 24.82 to 24.88. Despite Hardy’s late withdrawal due to a positive drug test, Jackson was never added to the Beijing roster.

After placing tenth in the 50 free at the 2010 US Nationals, Jackson earned a spot on the 2011 Pan American Games roster. That year, Jackson earned her first major international medal, a gold medal in the 50 free at 25.09, clearing the 2007 Games record of 25.14 set by Venezuala’s Arlene Semeco. At the 2012 Trials, Jackson settled for 8th in the final at 25.42, with Hardy (24.50) and Kara Lynn Joyce (24.73) earning Olympic berths.

Jackson also held the American record in the 50-yard free, hitting 21.27 at the 2009 NCAA Championships while swimming with Arizona, which stood for seven years. At the end of her collegiate career, Jackson had earned back-to-back titles in the 50 free (08-09) and was a member of seven title-winning relays.

Jackson began coaching at Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) during the 2019-2020 season. Coincidentally, 23-year-old Hungarian Petra Halmai has just wrapped her career at FGCU with a valiant 11th-place finish in the 200-yard breast at the 2021 NCAA Championships. Halmai is currently training with SwimFlorida before traveling back to Hungary in preparation for the 2021 European Championships. Halmai is also a 2021 Tokyo Olympic, qualifying with a 1:08.02 in the 100 breast, taking down the FINA Olympic B cut of 1:09.08.

The CSCAA All-American won the 100 breast in Naples with a slightly slower time of 1:09.51, swimming ahead of SwimFlorida training-mates Kustriz (1:15.06) and Rebecca Winn (1:17.12). Winn went on to win both the 200 breast (2:41.55) and 200 IM (2:28.59) in Naples.

More Highlights from Naples

  • SwimFlorida 16-year-old Marcos Egri-Martin won the 100 breast at 1:12.05 and 200 IM at 2:24.32. Finishing second in 100 breast was 14-year-old teammate Declan Kelly, hitting the wall at 1:15.87. In the IM, Kelly placed third at 2:29.58 behind T2 Aquatics’ Jason Ang (2:26.91). Ang went on to sweep the backstroke events at 1:04.81/2:22.75. Kelly settled for runner-up in both events at 1:08.31/2:28.07. At the end of the meet, however, Kelly walked away with a win in the 200 breast at 2:48.46.
  • SwimFlorida 16-year-old Colton Rasmussen took home two wins in the 200 free (1:57.58) and 50 free (25.18). 9-year-old Patricia Nemes, also of Swim Florida, was another double-winner, hitting 9&U wins in the 50 breast (46.29) and 50 free (38.40).
  • In the 12&U age group, T2 Aquatics 11-year-old Naiyla Di Sarno had 10 swims while SwimFlorida 11-year-old Sawyer Nass had 7 swims, both racking up multiple wins.
    • Di Sarno earned wins in the 50 breast (38.26) and 100 breast (1:28.88). 12-year-old teammate Sienna Plutzer took second at 39.87. Later on in the meet, Plutzer won the 12&U girls 200 IM at 2:51.20.
    • Nass was runner-up in the 100 free (1:13.34) to T2 Aquatics’ Coleman Gillen (1:07.49). Gillen also overtook Nass’ lead to win the 400 free 5:23.45 to 5:24.35. T2 Aquatics teammate Lucas Casey won the 50 back at 37.62, again holding off Nass (37.62). However, Nass went 3-for-3 in the 100 back (1:24.07), 50 breast (42.13), and 200 IM (3:00.42).

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About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

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