Chai, Sech, Miner Have Impressive Time Drops on Day 2 of Fullerton Sectionals

2021 California/Nevada Gold Summer Sectionals – Fullerton Site

  • July 15–18, 2021
  • Janet Evans Swim Complex, Fullerton, California
  • Long Course Meters, Prelims/Finals
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2021 Summer CA-NV Sectional” or search “Fullerton”

This week’s California-Nevada Summer Sectional Championship, usually held in one site, is split between Fullerton in the south and Roseville in the north. The meet is only open to teams from the 5 LSCs in California (which includes most of the state of Nevada) as well as Hawaii (no teams from Hawaii have made the trip to the mainland).

USC swimmers dominated most of the podia on Thursday night but the Trojans fielded a sparser crew on Friday. Princeton-to-USC transfer Courtney Tseng medaled in a pair of events, opening the night with a gold in the 200 free. Tseng clocked a 2:05.04, just 1.5 off her best time, to win by 1.6 seconds over USC teammate Hallie Kinsey (2:06.69). Fullerton’s Kailee Chow (2:08.05) edged Aquazot’s Zara Masud (2:08.35) and North Coast Aquatics’ Sydney Jackson (2:08.47) for third. Tseng was also runner-up in the very next event, the 400 IM, with 5:04.94. Her best time in the event is 4:59.54. NCA’s Sophia Ryan dropped 2 seconds from her previous lifetime best to win the IM in 5:02.29. Aleena Herrera from Riverside Aquatics Association dropped 10 seconds to finish 3rd in the event with 5:07.70.

The USC women were absent for the finals of the 100 back and 400 free relay. The Trojans’ Laticia-Leigh Transom had led the heats of 100 backstroke in the morning but second-place qualifier Kai-min Tsuei from Trident Swim Club swam largely unchallenged in the final, winning in 1:05.22, a full body length ahead of the rest of the field. Isabella Martinez-Spencer from Riverside touched out Cheyanne Summers of Yucaipa Swim Team for second place, 1:06.56 to 1:06.71. That was a 1.5-second drop for Summers.

Riverside won the women’s 4×100 free relay with Martinez-Spencer (59.58), Ava De Anda (59.76), Kennedy McPhail (1:00.84), and Sonja Aarsvold (59.52) who combined for 3:59.70. San Clemente’s Kate Loo, Kaden Kopp, Maya Gallimore, and Madelyn Phillips touched second in 4:02.80.

USC’s Dominic Margarino was about 2 seconds off his seed time but more than a body in front of the rest of the A final in the 200 free, winning with 1:53.62. Riverside’s Matthew Vinh dropped .7 to place 2nd with 1:54.82. Third to the wall was Fullerton’s Matthew Chai, who came into the meet with a lifetime best of 2:02.69 from February 2021. He clocked a 1:55.50 in prelims to lead all qualifiers. In finals, he dropped another .13 to take third with 1:55.37. All said, he improved 7.3 seconds in the event.

As impressive as Chai’s 200 free performance was, he might have been outdone by 16-year-old Noah Sech of San Clemente Aquatic Team. Sech was entered with a PB of 4:48.74 from March 2021. He popped a 4:41.90 in prelims to earn the right to swim in lane 4 tonight. In finals, he improved by another 2.7 seconds to finish with the top time of 4:39.21. That time is a Futures cut and is just .9 off the Summer Juniors bonus standard.

James Miller of Fullerton dropped 7.8 seconds to place second with 4:42.62. Riverside’s Wyatt Miner, seeded with a yards time of 4:07.63 as his LCM best of 5:05.71, only 3 weeks old, did not make the entry standard, dropped 22.4 seconds to earn a new PB of 4:43.36 for third place.

USC’s Jack Kirby ran away with the final individual event, winning the 100 back with 56.86, more than 2 seconds ahead of Golden West Swim Club’s Kenta Chiyo (59.07). Aquazot 15-year-old Nathan Wu dropped 2.1 seconds from his seed time to place 3rd with 1:00.20. Kirby’s teammate Paul Retterer was fourth with 1:00.52, about 1.6 off his seed time.

Fullerton cruised to victory in the 400 free relay, with Sean Kao (53.74), Simon Lamar (54.60), Chai (53.27), and Patrick Park (53.54) combining for 3:35.15. Swim Torrance clocked in at 2nd with 3:38.14 from Benjamin Tunila, Brandon Yoon, Jack Brearton, and Ricardo Sanchez.

Team Scores – Day 2

Women’s Meet

  1. North Coast Aquatics – 226
  2. Riverside Aquatics Association – 180
  3. Aquazot Swim Club – 128
  4. FAST Swim Team – 115
  5. Trojan Aquatics Swim Club – 75
  6. Pacific Swim – 65
  7. Tule Nation Tritons – 63
  8. Swim Torrance 62
  9. Fusion Aquatics – 41
  10. Trident Swim Club – 40

Men’s Meet

  1. FAST Swim Team – 179
  2. Trojan Aquatics Swim Club – 175
  3. Swim Torrance – 100
  4. Riverside Aquatics Association – 90
  5. CCAT Swimming – 83
  6. Golden West Swim Club – 75
  7. San Clemente Aquatic Team – 72
  8. Pacific Swim – 64
  9. Aquazot Swim Club – 58
  10. Irvine Novaquatics – 55


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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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