Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics Swims Off with Far Western Championship Title

MORGAN HILL, Calif. – The 2013 Far Western Championship, hosted at the world-class Morgan Hill Aquatic Center, wrapped up yesterday after four days of short course yards racing.  Quicksilver Swimming played host with co-sponsorship by Pacific Swimming.

Since 1925, the Far Western Championships has provided one of the fastest and most prestigious venues for USA Swimming.  Athletes from across the United States, Mexico and Canada travel each year to attend the Spring short course and Summer long course meets.  Olympic and World Champions, including Michael Phelps, Janet Evans, Pablo Morales, Summer Sanders, Natalie Coughlin, Chloe Sutton, and Missy Franklin, all competed in these fast competitive meets as age groupers.

This year’s meet boasted 1,861 swimming athletes with 7,187 individual entries and 372 relay entries from the Canadian All-Star Team, 15 USA Swimming LSCs, and 184 USA Swim Clubs, that traveled to the San Jose area to compete at Morgan Hill.  The Championship finals were contested across six age groups:  10 and under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18.

The 2013 Far Western Championship proved to be an incredibly fast meet.  There were numerous outstanding top swimming performances from which five individuals topped each age group as high pointers – 10-& under Alyssa Watson (71 Points), Winn Aung (73 Points); 11-12 Vivian Wang (73 Points), Hunter Hitchens (73 Points), Nathan Yates (73 Points); 13-14 Lauren Green (69 Points), Maxime Rooney (73 Points); 15-16 Jennifer Gamble (57 Points), Daichi Matsuda (53 Points); 17-18 Lea Goldman (46 Points), Andrew Liang (42 Points).

Top three team standings recap:  1st  Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (623.5 Points), 2nd Irvine Novaquatics (602.5 Points) and Santa Clara Swim Club (595 Points).

Olympic medalist Debbie Meyer, Scott Weltz, and Olympic Trials National Team Member Sean Mahoney were the presenters during the venue’s medal ceremonies.

Day 1 – Thurs. 4/4

Some rising stars shined on opening day as unattached Tara Halsted raced out to a 54.72 at the forth turn of the girls 17-18 200 free, before scorching the back half to finish in 1:52.92.  Unattached Kirsten Brand pulled into second with 1:54.39, while ABC’s Jane Doe claimed the bronze in 1:55.61.  Unattached Chris Scheaffer demolished the field with a win in the 17-18 boys 200 free with a time of 1:40.78.  The effort sliced a little more than 4.03 off his preliminary mark.  Unattached Timothy Kou snared silver in 1:41.74, with unattached Zach Selfridge earning a podium bronze finish (1:42.18).

In the 15-16 girls 200 free, Pasa’s Jennifer Campbell just out touched Sarah Shimomura, 1:47.83 to 1:50.59, for the gold medal victory.  Campbell’s time took down the 2009 FW record set by Catherine Breed of 1:48.73.  Jamie Pincin of RAD took bronze in 1:52.50.  Unattached Cooper Burrill came alive in today’s 15-16 boys 200 free competition, as he registered a 1:40.67.  UVRA’s Connor Anderson silvered in 1:41.47, while UCD’s Colten Montgomery took home a third place medal with 1:42.76.

Gold’s Shae Nicolaisen earned her first gold medal win in the 11-12 girls 200 free, winning comfortably in 1:53.43, well ahead of AH’s Lizzie Menzmer (1:56.67).  Unattached Kathleen Sulkevich was right behind for the bronze in 1:57.89.  The race in the 11-12 boys came down to three swimmers, with I-NOVA’s Hunter Hitchens leading the way to hit the wall first in a blistering 1:48.98.  SCSC’s Nathan Yates stopped the clock for silver in 1:49.93, while I-NOVA’s Owen Kao claimed the bronze in 1:52.56.

Unattached Erika Brown captured the 13-14 girls 200 free gold in 1:49.25.  That win broke the 2009 FW record of Chelsea Chenault (1:49.32).  Lauren Green of QSS wasn’t far behind as she posted a 1:49.37.  Unattached Catherine Boles snuck into third with a 1:53.43 for bronze.  Unattached Maxime Rooney posted the quickest time in the 200 free at 1:39.67 which broke the 2010 FW record held by Nick Silverthorn (1:39.71).  Unattached Benjamin Ho grabbed silver in 1:39.98.  DAV’s Tucker Fisk followed up in third overall in 1:46.14.

I-NOVA’s Alyssa Watson was victorious in the 10-under girls 200 free.  Maintaning power on her walls gave her first touch in 2:05.49.  SAC’s Ashley Strouse took silver in 2:07.86, while SCSC’s Bianka Yongyuth bronzed in 2:10.74.  RAD’s Winn Aung took the 10-under boys 200 free in 2:01.90.  JH’s Harrison Lierz finished second in 2:03.84, with unattached Zerin Wolfgramm posting 2:05.01 for third.

Unattached Maria Carlson proved to be a force in the 17-18 girls 200 breast as she delivered a strong showing of 2:21.35 for the top podium spot.  Unattached Tara Halsted also displayed a brilliant effort taking the silver victory in 2:24.94.  Unattached Maddie Pont left nothing to chance, surging to third in the field with a 2:27.85 for the bronze.  TDPS’s Cole Hurwitz blazed in the 200 breast with an astonishing time of 2:00.02, which bested his prelims time.  Unattached Timothy Kou surged to a 2:05.28 for silver, while Unattached Nick Silverthorn tracked down bronze in 2:09.40.

Unattached Piper Brockley provided a golden sweep in the 15-16 girls 200 breast with a 2:19.98, while unattached Eva Chung placed second in 2:22.55.  OA’s Summer Thompson rounded out the top three earning a bronze in 2:23.04.  With all eyes on unattached Jonathan Pun it was his third open turn to help him win gold on the boy’s side, and did so in stunning fashion clocking in at 2:07.72.  Unattached Aidan Burns stopped the watch for silver in 2:09.55, more than .17 ahead of unattached Aaron Huang who claimed bronze in 2:09.72.

AH’s Lizzie Menzmer held off a hard charging Juliana Fox in the 11-12 girls 100 fly, 57.35 to 58.76, after building a lead heading into the third open turn.  Gold’s Shae Nicolaisen earned the bronze in 58.92.  I-NOVA’s Hunter Hitchens was in a class of his own in the 100 fly earning the 2nd gold of the meet in 56.27.  Daniel Marella of DACA clocked a 56.80 to take silver, while RIO’s Seth Chun wound up third in 57.39 for the bronze.

QSS’s Lauren Green launched a quick start and opened up a sizable advantage then hung on to the lead winning gold in the 13-14 girls 100 fly in 55.52.  Unattached Maddie Murphy placed silver in 56.17, while WCAB’s Gianna Garcia rounded out the top three in 56.69.  Unattached Maxime Rooney was the top finisher in the 13-14 boys 100 fly as he posted a 50.07 to knock off unattached Benjamin Ho (51.91) and DAV’s (52.28).

Jessica Chu of DACA continued her dominance with a strong showing in the 10 & U girls 100 fly.  Chu stopped the clock in 1:07.31.  Unattached Marin Vial (1:07.47) won the silver victory, while Greer Pattison of SAC completed the rest of the field with a bronze in 1:08.50.  Unattached Zerin Wolfgramm claimed first touch on the boy’s side for gold in 1:02.42.  RAD’s Winn Aung followed with 1:02.68 for silver, while WA’s Carl Grini picked up a bronze medal in 1:05.37.

In the 17-18 girls 200 back, unattached Kristen Brand topped the championship final in her second gold medal win, with a 2:08.17.  SRN’s Miranda Howell grabbed the silver podium spot in 2:10.72, while unattached Angelica Nowack bronzed in 2:14.91.  Long-axis strokes and strong flutter kicks provided PLS’s Jason Chen in taking the gold in 1:53.78, while unattached Nick Johnston secured a silver finish in 1:55.47.  Unattached Theo St. Francis rounded out the top three who bronzed in 1:55.67.

Unattached Samantha Coloma topped the 15-16 girls 200 back podium registering in a 2:02.54.  Jennifer Campbell of PASA notched silver in 2:03.82, while unattached Kiara Calayag placed bronze in 2:07.86.  On the boy’s side Pasa’s Joe Molinari powered in 1:50.03 for the win breaking the 2008 FW record set by Tyler Messerschmidt (1:50.54).  LCAT’s Andrew Gormley followed up grabbing silver in 1:55.90, and unattached Garrett Schmid claimed bronze in 1:57.57.

SMST’s Halladay Kinsey brought home the 11-12 girls 200 breast title with a 2:24.49, in front of EKSC’s Ellie Maradyn for the silver (2:25.11).  SAC’s Madison Leblanc, took the bronze in 2:28.27.  TOPS’s Benjamin DuFachard broke the 2012 FW record set by Austin Nguyen (2:17.87), lowering it to 2:16.88 for the gold, which now ranks him 6th on USA Swimming’s NAG top 10 list this season for his age group.  OCW’s David Lowengrub posted a 2:24.13 for second, while DAV’s Kiet Nguyen registered the third fastest time in finals with a 2:26.74.

Unattached Halle Morris captured the 13-14 girls 200 breast with a statement win in 2:19.00.  Unattached Morganne McKennan recorded a 2:20.82 for silver, with Hana Brett of PASA in third (2:21.37).  MSJA’s Lyon Zhang then posted the best time in the 200 breast at 2:12.05, only .77 better than Josh Parmenter of NCA (2:12.82) who took silver, while unattached Waylen Fu took bronze in 2:14.02.

In the 100 breast, GPS’s Caraline Baker topped the10 & U girls championship final in her first win, with a 1:14.61, while Jessica Chu of DACA clocked a 1:14.80 to take silver.  GAPB’s Abby Duiski touched third in 1:15.74.  PASA’s Ryan Kim swept the 100 breast with a 1:16.58 for gold, well ahead of RSD’s Andrew Schmidt (1:17.27).  AH’s Sean Swift finished third for the bronze in 1:19.17.

SUNN’s Vivian Wang clinched the 11-12 girls 50 back title (26.94) in a battle with unattached Fanetupou Wolfgramm clocking second in 27.06, while RSD’s Juliana Fox placed third in 27.72.  SCSC’s Nathan Yates locked down first in the 50 back with a 25.71, which broke his own mark of 26.52 in prelims, while I-NOVA’s Shawn Lou earned the silver medal in 27.87, and his I-NOVA team member Kevin Tu touched third in 28.29.

All four girl age groups demonstrated some remarkable freestyle swimming in the 1650 free as unattached Kathleen Sulkevich emerged victorious in the 11-12 girls 1650 free in a tight finish over PS’s Natalie Smith.  Sulkevich got to the wall first for the gold in 17:49.91, with Smith behind in 18:20.00.  PLS’s Miranda Heckman bronzed in 18:21.81.  In the 13-14 group Danica Adams topped the field with a 17:30.86.  CROW’s Charlie Meier picked up a silver medal in 17:49.42, while CCA’s Sierra Buell touched third in 17:54.97.  PLS’s Moriah Simonds clocked a 16:48.88 in the event for the15-16 year olds.  Unattached Rachel Knowles came in second in 17:04.49, while EDAC’s Megan Birch posted a 17:38.58 for the bronze.  Unattached Cayla Jetter made a statement win in the 17-18 girls as she touched the wall in 16:49.79 to claim gold in this freestyle mile event, while BLDR’s Amber Richey grabbed silver in 17:49.94, and TRIV’s Natalie Tang rounded out the top three earning a bronze in 18:03.02.

End of day competition saw four team relays in the 400 medley.  In the 13-14 age group, Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics’s Vicky Wong started off with a 1:00.85 split in the backstroke portion followed by Hana Brett who swam a 1:07.05 breaststroke leg.  Maegan Rudolph clocked a 57.80 butterfly and Claire Lin finished off with a 52.90 freestyle anchor leg.  Combined relay swim was 3:58.60.  Mission San Jose Aquatic’s Vincent Le, Lyon Zhang, Sean Yeo, and Christopher Ha joined them with a sizzling swim to win the 13-14 boy’s 400 medley in 3:50.67.  In the 11-12 age group Arden Hills Swimming girls went out hard in coming together as a team to hold onto a lead all the way down the stretch for a winning finish in 4:05.48 by Amalie Fackenthal, Tina Reuter, Lizzie Menzmer and Samantha Kapphahn.  Santa Clara Swim Club and Irvine Novaquatics 11-12 boys staged an exciting 400 medley duel with Novaquatics coming back from 5th place at the fly start then seizing control for not only the overall win in 4:02.19, but actually shredding Pacific Swim’s 2012 FW record (4:03.53) in the process.  Irvine Novaquatics Shawn Lou back split (1:01.87), Maxwell McKendry breast split (1:12.76), Hunter Hitchens fly split (55.26) and Owen Kao free split (52.30).

Day 2 – Fri. 4/5

Second day finals action saw unattached Tara Halsted dominate the 17-18 girls 400 IM surging to the top time for gold in 4:20.84.  Unattached Hailee Baldwin held onto second with a 4:35.11, while DDST’s Shaelin Morefield come from behind swim clocked in a 4:39.83 for the bronze.  On the boy’s unattached Kevin McLaughlin gunned for first touch with a smooth time of 4:11.21, while PASA’s Willy Lee snared the silver in 4:12.62 away from a very close race against Jason Chen who set a time of 4:15.38 for the bronze.

Unattached Eva Chung struck gold with winning the 15-16 girls 400 IM in 4:29.31.  Unattached Rachel Knowles claimed silver in 4:30.53, while TIGR’s Taylor Hosmer finished strong in 4:32.56 for bronze.  In the 15-16 boys 400 IM unattached Daichi Matsuda brought a bit more to the plate in terms of firepower in the fly and free segments owning the IM event with the win in 4:01.26.  Joe Molinari brought home the silver for PASA stopping the clock in 4:04.57.  UVRA’s John Morris earned the bronze medal recording a 4:13.44.

SUNN’s Vivian Wang swam a 2:08.73 to win the 11-12 girls 200 IM with a blistering fast 27.14 butterfly split.  SOAR’s Connor Doran followed up grabbing silver in 2:12.08, while SMST’s Halladay Kinsey rounded out the top three earning a bronze in 2:12.14.  SCSC’s Nathan Yates picked up another podium finish, winning the 11-12 boys 200 IM in a very tight race with DACA’s Daniel Marella 2:06.50 to 2:06.65.  RIO’s Seth Chun came in third with 2:08.92.

Lauren Green of QSS outlasted the field to win the 13-14 girls 200 IM in 2:02.67 taking down the 2012 FW record held by Chloe Isleta (2:03.18).  DDST’s Shelby Koontz touched second in 2:07.06 for the silver, while TERA’s Skyler Liu wound up third for the bronze in 2:06.63.  Unattached Benjamin Ho marked the top time in the 13-14 boys 200 IM with a 1:50.95 for the victory over unattached Maxime Rooney who checked in with a second time 1:51.71, while MSJA’s Lyon Zhang stretched to touch in 2:01.90.  Ho’s 1:50.95 time breaks the 2010 FW record held by Nick Silverthorn (1:51.26).

Alyssa Watson of I-NOVA prevailed with a solid win over the rest of the field in the 10 & U girls 200 IM, touching gold in 2:22.97.  Jessica Chu brought home the second place title to DACA in 2:23.42.  OCW’s Michelle Tekawy took third in 2:26.52.  In the 10 & U boys 200 IM JH’s Harrison Lierz just out-touched Winn Aung of RAD, 2:18.97 to 2:19.55. Lierz’s 2:18.97 time broke the 2010 FW record held by Alex Liang (2:20.37).   Unattached Zerin Wolfgramm was right behind in third in 2:24.14 for the bronze medal.

In the 17-18 girls 100 free, unattached Brittany Aoyama proved to be the fastest in the pool, posting the top time in 50.77.  Unattached Elise Locke hit the wall second for silver in 51.67, and TERA’s Taylor Thorsen followed up with the bronze in 52.71.  It was unattached Jackson Locke establishing a margin lead at the third flip turn coming out of a four way race in the 17-18 boys 100 free posting a 46.05.  Unattached Timothy Kou earned silver in 46.58, while unattached Zach Selfridge placed third in 46.97.

Unattached Brooke Stenstrom won the 15-16 girls 100 free with a steaming 51.04, while unattached Iris Brand won silver (51.71) and RAD’s Jamie Pincin earned bronze in 51.91.  UCD’s Colten Montgomery owned the 15-16 boys 100 free turning up the heat to win the competition in 45.70, which broke the 2005 FW record held by Joel Greenshields (46.22).  Unattached Cooper Burrill took the silver in 46.67, while unattached Zachary Lowenstein came away with the bronze in 46.99.

In the 11-12 girls 100 free, AH’s Lizzie Menzmer picked up the win in 52.59.  GOLD’s Shae Nicolaisen earned a podium finish with a 52.61 for second, while SCSC’s Cathy Teng swam a 54.22 to take third.  I-NOVA’s Hunter Hitchens turned in a strong showing in the 11-12 boys 100 free.  Hitchens stopped the clock in 50.41 ahead of SCSC’s Nathan Yates (50.85).  Aaron Kuo of PASA rounded out the top three in 52.02.

Unattached Erika Brown was the top finisher in the 13-14 girls 100 free as she posted a 50.51, while QSS’s Lauren Green narrowly escaped with silver honors in (51.02).  Unattached Maddie Murphy claimed bronze in 51.86.  DAV swept the top spot in the 100 free, with Tucker Fisk and TERA’s Nathan Barsanti battling it out to the end.  Fisk got to the wall just ahead of Barsanti, 48.25 to 48.74.  NBA’s Peter Lewczyk swam a 48.99 to take third.

Ashley Strouse of SAC picked up her second medal so far in the meet, but this time winning gold after posting a 58.46 to take the 10 & U girls 100 free title.  I-NOVA’s Alyssa Watson took second in 59.36, while SAC’s Leila Rosin claimed the bronze in 1:00.04.  Winn Aung’s victory of the meet for RAD came in the 100 free, as he claimed the title with a 55.74.  Unattached Zerin Wolfgramm touched .28 behind in 56.02.  QSS’s Kevin Sichak registered third in 57.53.

Unattached Brittany Aoyama finished in the 17-18 girls 100 fly with a 54.37 breaking the 2011 FW record held by Catherine Breed (55.16), just ahead of unattached Michi Aisawa (55.39).  Unattached Elise Locke finished with the bronze in 56.43.  Unattached Chris Scheaffer moved up a step on the podium in the 100 fly, winning in 49.28 in breaking the 2011 FW record in the process held by Piaukhi Gibson (49.37).  PLS’s Jason Cheu just out-touched Ivan Garin of OSC for second, 51.40 to 51.42.

Unattached Dani Taylor secured the win in the 15-16 girls 100 fly clocking in at 56.80, while unattached Kindle Van Linge and Maddison Johnson placed second and third in 57.10 and 57.19.  UCD’s Colten Montgomery finished first in the 15-16 boys 100 fly leading with a 50.44 for the gold medal win and breaking the 1988 FW record held by Joey Rossetti (50.14).  Arjun Sharma captured second place silver honors in 50.74, while unattached Daichi Matsuda raced to third for the bronze in 51.01.

RSD’s Juliana Fox finished well ahead of her heat in the 11-12 girls 200 back final, touching in a final time of 2:05.68.  GOLD’s Shae Nicolaisen wound up second in 2:09.15, just ahead of SCSC (2:10.15).  SCSC’s Nathan Yates won the 11-12 boys 200 back with a top time of 2:01.92.  I-NOVA Hunter Hitchens took silver (2:02.53), while his teammate Kevin Tu finished with a bronze in 2:06.33.

Unattached Erika Brown emerged victorious bringing home the 13-14 girls 200 back title with a 2:02.05, only .67 in front of AH’s Kassidy Henson (2:02.72).  SCSC’s Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou won the bronze in posting a 2:04.35.  Another exciting race unfolded in the 200 back finale, as the top two boys were within .39 of each other.  Unattached Benjamin Ho led the way in 1:48.11 breaking the 2012 FW record held by Aidan Burns (1:50.33), followed by unattached Maxime Rooney (1:49.50).  SMST’s Bryce Mefford was right behind in third in 1:54.74.

In the 10 & U girls 50 back, PASA’s Sophie Golub topped the championship final in her first gold medal win, with a 31.62. SAC’s Greer Pattison clocked a 32.04 to take second, while SRR’s Jordyn Wemhoner was third (32.30).  Unattached Zerin Wolfgramm ascended to the top step of the podium in the 50 back ripping a time of 29.97.  Harrison Lierz of JH recorded a 31.01 for the silver, with PASA’s Chris Cook posting a 31.93 for the bronze.

AH’s Lizzie Menzmer topped the girl’s 11-12 50 fly in 25.89 for her third gold medal thus far, while SUNN’s Vivian Wang grabbed second place honors in 26.06.  PASA’s Sophia Balmaceda took third in 26.49.  I-NOVA’s Hunter Hitchens locked down his fourth gold medal win thus far in the 50 fly with a 25.92, while RIO’s Seth Chun earned silver in 26.52, and PSC’s Alejandro Fuentes touched third for bronze in 26.68.

I-NOVA’s Owen Kao cruised to victory in the 11-12 boys 1650 free at finals, recording an impressive personal best 17.21.73.  Following second was SUNN’s Jack Schertler with a recorded time in 17:39.71.  PCS’s Lucas Hess held onto the third with a 17:39.82.  MP’s Nicholas Cruse posted a top time in the 13-14 boys 1650 free winning in 16.24.09.  SMST’s Bryce Mefford surged to a 16:31.46 for the silver, while Jonah Staton of JH claimed bronze in 16:36.40.  EDAC’s Keith Brazzell marked the top time of 16:18.58 in this event for the15-16 age group victory over a close battle with SCSC’s Bill Truong who checked in with a second time 16:38.81, while CROW’s Sharif Shaker stretched to touch in 16:47.53 for third.  For the 17-18 age group it was unattached Nicholas Mitchell who staked claim to the 1650 free who led the way with a winning time of 16:33.24.  MAC’s Cody Newton checked in with a silver place winning 16:39.44, while Evan Augst of VJO pocketed bronze in17:02.69.

Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics Maegan Rudolph, Alexandra Hartman, Vicky Wong, and Claire Lin topped the 13-14 girls 400 free relay in 3:33.62, while Terrapins Swim Team foursome Nathan Barsanti, Nicholas Pacult, Jordan Fetterman, and Tyler James joined forces to win the event on the boy’s side in 3:25.73.

In the 11-12 girls 400 free relay finale Arden Hills Swimming team of Amalie Fackenthal, Tina Reuter, Lizzie Menzmer,  and Samantha Kapphahn took complete control with a winning time of 3:43.74.  Irvine Novaquatics fielded freestyle sprinters Owen Kao, Shawn Lou, Kevin Tu and Hunter Hitchens in the 11-12 boys 400 free event that displayed some high intensity swimming with a blistering time of 3:30.75 over the competition which broke the 2010 FW record set back in 2010 by Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (3:37.20).

Day 3 – Sat. 4/6

Ladies, start your engines!  And they did with the 13-14 girls 200 medley beginning tonight’s finals.  The Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics team of Vicky Wong, Hana Brett, Maegan Rudolph,  and Claire Lin blitzed the field with a winning time of 1:48.68, while Sun Devil Aquatics Josh Vedder, William Witmer, Frank Van Alstine, and Brian Beutler took top honors in the boys event (1:45.44) in what proved to be a great race.  Arden Hills Swimming’s11-12 girls 200 medley surfaced victorious with Amalie Fackenthal, Tina Reuter, Lizzie Menzmer , and Samantha Kapphahn and with a time of 1:54.03.  Irvine Novaquatics team of Shawn Lou, Maxwell McKendry, Hunter Hitchens, and Owen Kao went full throttle in the boys 11-12 joining forces for the gold medal in 1:48.97, and breaking a 30 year old 1983 record held by San Jose Aquatics (1:52.16).

Unattached Michi Aisawa adding a first place individual victory to her collection, winning the 17-18 girls 200 fly with a blistering 2:01.30.  Leah Goldman checked for the silver with a second time 2:03.88, while Elise Locke of ABC swam a 2:03.96 for the bronze.  Unattached Andrew Liang turned up the heat in the 200 fly with a time of 1:48.44, which was not only a time drop from prelims, but astonishing to watch as he broke the 2011 FW record held by Adam Jorgensen (1:48.98).  Unattached Chris Scheaffer surged to a 1:48.99 for the second spot, while unattached Travis Kim tracked down third with a 1:58.29.

PASA’s Jennifer Campbell topped the 15-16 girls 200 fly with a 1:59.02, coming out on top of a two way race to the finish.  TERA’s Ariana Saghafi (1:59.81) took the silver, and unattached Brittany Usinger scored the bronze with a 2:03.62.  Unattached Daichi Matsuda picked up a gold medal finish in the 15-16 boys 200 fly, winning in 1:50.50.  Unattached Aidan Burns provided silver in 1:52.48, while unattached Anthony Yeung round out the top three in 1:55.02.

In the 11-12 age group Shae Nicolaisen took aim at the 500 free gold medal by marking a top time in 5:02.31.  Unattached Kathleen Sulkevich checked in with a second time 5:07.65, while SUNN’s Sydney Killer stretched to touch in 5:08.43.  I-NOVA’s Hunter Hitchens once again demonstrated to be a tremendous 11-12 boy’s talent at this Far Western Championship added a fifth gold medal triumph to his collection posting a time of 4:59.59 in the 11-12 boys 500 free, with PCS’s Lucas Hess (5:03.18) and DACA’s Daniel Marella (5″03.32) in second and third respectively.

QSS’s Lauren Green performed a touch out triumph ahead of AIA’s Lauren Fornshell 4:58.22 to 4:58.82 in 13-14 girls 500 free, while unattached Erika Brown placed third with 5:01.77 for the bronze.  Maxime Rooney topped the 13-14 boys 500 free in 4:30.15, with SMST’s Bryce Mefford (4:40.99) and AH’s Zack Reuter (4:45.05) in second and third.

I-NOVA’s posted the top time in the 10 & U girls 500 free with Alyssa Watson winning in 5:38.34.  Following second was Bianka Yongyuth from SCSC with a time of 5:46.98.  SAC’s Leila Rosin placed third in 5:48.37.  JH’s Harrison Lierz continued his success with another big time on the boy’s side in the 500 free.  He outlasted the field with a 5:29.13.  RSD Andrew Schmidt surged to a 5:42.28 for second, while SAC’s Dylan Melin claimed third in 5:44.66.

SUNN’s Vivian Wang cleared 59.18 in the 11-12 girls 100 IM placing first, while AH’s Lizzie Menzmer and Juliana Witting went 2-3 in 1:00.74 and 1:01.93.  PASA’s Aaron Kuo controlled from start to finish in the 11-12 boys 100 IM claiming first in 59.56 with I-NOVA’s Shawn Lou touching second in 1:00.24, and TOPS’s Benjamin DuFauchard rounding third place in 1:00.62.

The 17-18 girls100 back saw unattached Sidney Cooke and unattached Leah Goldman both go out and push the pace.  But in the end, Cooke took the gold winning in a 55.61 as compared to Goldman 57.68, and the 2011 FW record held by Catherine Breed (56.32).  Coming in third was unattached Mackenzie Kirk stopping the watch at 58.99.  The boy’s event was all over the board for the lead.  PLS’s Jason Chen and unattached Andrew Liang both led at the 50, but saw unattached Nick Johnston close on the third turn putting some pressure on the leaders.  Chen won in a time of 50.23 which broke the 2005 FW record held by Pascal Wollach (51.06).  Liang turning in a 50.34 for the silver, and Johnston touching the wall for bronze in 52.68.

Unattached Heidi Katter and unattached Samantha Coloma went ahead of the pack and stayed there in the 15-16 girls 100 back.  Katter won the gold in a time of 56.14 with Coloma following in 56.83 for silver.  PASA’s Jennifer Campbell placed third respectively with a 58.21.  The 15-16 boys 100 back race saw Joe Molinari of PASA go out with a very good kick, and still head and shoulder roll in capturing the gold in 51.73.  Unattached Cooper Burrill ended with silver in 53.35, while Arjun Sharma touched 53.71 for bronze.

Unattached Fenetupou Wolfgramm set the pace early in the 11-12 girls 100 back taking the win, pulling away in the last turn, and touching first with a 57.39.  SUNN’s Vivian Wang took second in 58.02 and RSD’s Juliana Fox claiming third in 59.05.  SCSC’s Nathan Yates performed some great under water breathe holding after his start and turn to move ahead of I-NOVA’s Kevin Tu 55.48 to 59.06 in 11-12 boys 100 back, while I-NOVA’s Shawn Lou placed third with 1:00.01 for the bronze.

Gianna Garcia of WCAB ripped a stellar 55.94 in the 13-14 girls100 back charting a time of 55.94 for the win, and broke the 2010 FW record held by Ally Howe (55.42).  Unattached Erika Brown held onto second with a 56.66, while Joyce Lin’s come from behind swim clocked in third in 57.81.  On the boys side Unattached Benjamin Ho gunned for first touch with a smooth time of 48.93 breaking the 2012 FW record held by Aidan Burns.  DAV’s Tucker Fisk snared the second spot in 52.66 away from a very close race against OAPB’s Jolen Griffin who set a time of 53.97 for third place.

SRR’s amazing backstroke swimmer Jordyn Wemhoner powered in a victory in the 10 & U girls 100 back and crushed the field with 1:07.82.  I-NOVA’s Alyssa Watson drafted towards the end, but couldn’t track her down enough to win it, finishing with a time of 1:08.12.  SAC’s Ashley Strouse rounded the top three for a bronze medal in 1:09.00.

On the boy’s side, Zerin Wolfgramm topped the championship final with a 1:00.99, while Harrison Lierz clocked a 1:05.26 to take silver.  PEAK’s Theo Makler touched third in 1:07.22.

Unattached Maria Carlson claimed the 17-18 girls 100 breast crown in 1:03.95, while unattached Hailee Baldwin (1:05.38) and Leah Goldman (1:06.16) finished second and third.  The boys followed that up with TOPS Cole Hurwitz pulling the levers with a stellar 56.16 in the 100 breast for the gold medal, and broke the 2012 FW record held by Byron Sanborn (57.32).  Unattached David Morgan checked in with a second time 57.37, while Rolland Lee stretched to touch third in 58.37.

It was unattached Aileen Lee driving her head and lunging forward for the gold in the15-16 girls 100 breast with a 1:02.79.  That swim ranks her 11th in the top 10 NAG list this season for her age group.  Also turning in impressive swims were unattached Marie-Claire Schillinger and Piper Brockley (1:04.23) silver and (1:04.88) bronze.  ABC showed dominance in the boys 15-16 100 breast with unattached Jonathan Pun pumping all the way to the wall in 57.67.  Unattached Jerome Sun touched silver in 59.38, while unattached Aaron Huang rounded the top three in 1:00.09.

SMST’s Halladay Kinsey came out firing on all cylinders in the 11-12 girls 50 breast for a stretch touch to the wall in 31.47 winning the gold, while unattached Audrey Lukawski posted a faster then prelims time of 31.52.  LOBO’s Lauren Burckel took the bronze in 31,67.  On the boys side of the event PLS’s Timothy Yao recorded his highest ever season finish in 29.55, while TOPS’s Benjamin DuFauchard earned silver in 31.04, and CHAT’s Jackson Binder touched third for bronze in 31.07.

Stefanie Ting of DACA had a strong showing in the 13-14 girls 100 breast topping the podium spot with a 1:03.30.  Unattached Halle Morris followed by clocking second in 1:04.05, while unattached Mallory Korenwinder rounded out the top three in 1:04.09.   Unattached Hank Poppe won the13-14 boys 100 breast in 59.26, taking the lead halfway in and never giving it up.  Jonathan Mui surged powerfully forward to the wall for the silver in 1:00.19, while unattached Waylen Fu tracked down bronze in 1:02.18.

The 10 & U girls 50 breast finals race couldn’t have gone any better for Nicole Rogy, she pumped a top time of 34.04 for the win, while Caraline Baker earned silver with an impressive swim as well stopping the clock in 34.50.  Jessica Chu claimed the bronze for DACA in 34.97.  Jared Rodi of MP secured the 50 breast title on the 10 & U boys with a 34.22.  PASA’s Ryan Kim snared silver in 34.42, with Malcolm Mackey earning a podium bronze finish (35.41).

In the 10 & U girls 200 medley relay Scottsdale Aquatic Club Greer Pattison pushed off with a 32.79 split in the backstroke portion followed by Ashley Yancy who swam a 38.12 breaststroke leg.  Leila Rosin clocked a 37.92 butterfly and Ashley Strouse finished off with a 19.01 freestyle anchor leg.  Combined relay swam a 2:07.84.  On the boys side Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics Chris Cook, Ryan Kim, Guy Zamir and Jerry Yang worked effectively with each leg to win the 10 & U boys 200 medley in 2:06.03.  Another exciting duel between Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics and Peak Swimming in the 13-14 girls 200 free race took place with the team of Vicky Wong, Alexandra Hartman, Maegan Rudolph, and Claire Lin coming on top for the win in 1:38.35.  The boys 13-14 age group ended the evening with Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics Erik Orr, Alex Nikolaev, Francisco Vazquez, and Tristan Daniels claiming gold with strong underwater phases, push offs and open turns that made the difference with winning in 1:33.70.

Day 4 – Sun. 4/7

In the fourth and final day of the Speedo Far Westerns saw PASA’s Ally Howe turning on the jets for the final 100 yards of the 17-18 girls 500 freestyle as she moved up to touch first in 4:48.44.  That swim broke the 1980 FW record held by Elizabeth Grant (4:54.98).  Unattached Elise Locke wasn’t too far behind as she powered in a 4:55.59 for silver.  ABC’s CCA’s Vanessa Dugan finished third grabbing the bronze in 5:03.29.  In the boys 17-18 500 free unattached Jackson Locke provided the golden sweep clocking in a 4:36.85  Unattached Zach Selfridge surged to a 4:40.27 for silver, while EDAC’s Joen Brynnel tracked down bronze in 4:41.32.

Unattached Sandra Soe outlasted the field in the15-16 girls 500 freestyle as she took the victory in 4:50.13.  PASA’s Jennifer Campbell stopped the watch for silver in 4:50.23.  SCSC’s Cat Ladd held on to the bronze with a mark of 4:54.13.  Unattached Aidan Burns showed the stamina and smooth free technique giving him the win in 4:28.04, which broke the 2010 FW record held by Kevin Owens (4:29.95).  Unattached Daichi Matsuda took silver in 4:36.64.  Unattached Tony Shen followed up in third overall in 4:40.92.

SOAR’s Connor Doran captured the 11-12 girls 400 IM gold in 4:37.46.  That win shaved 4.87 off her prelims best time of 4:42.33.  CHAT’s Catherine Hampton posted another quick time for silver in 4:39.85, while SMST’s Halladay Kinsey finished the event for bronze in 4:42.68.  In the final turn of the freestyle with knees tucked up to the stomach going into the flip it was Daniel Marella bringing home the11-12 boys 400 IM win to DACA in 4:25.54.  TOPS’s Benjamin DuFauchard placed silver in 4:26.17, while PASA’s Aaron Kuo rounded out the top three in 4:32.32.

In the 13-14 girls 400 IM unattached Heaven Quintana dominated with a strong showing for the victory touching the wall in the final lap in 4:29.76.  Unattached Catherine Boles (4:33.45) won the silver victory, while Milava Shumilova of PCS completed the rest of the field with a bronze in 4:33.70.  Unattached Maxime Rooney topped the championship final in the 13-14 boys 400 IM with his gold medal win in 3:57.18, which broke the 2010 FW record held by Nick Silverthorn (3:58.03).  Unattached Benjamin Ho notched silver in 3:57.77, while SMST’s Bryce Metford followed up grabbing bronze in 4:11.74.

Going out strong and building with each stroke with strong walls it was DACA’s Jessica Chu in the 10 & U girls 100 IM who captured gold in 1:06.90.  I-NOVA’s Alyssa Watson was right in the battle as well with a 1:07.75 for silver, while GPS’s Caraline Baker posted the third fastest time in finals with a 1:08.63.  RAD’s Winn Aung swam a very close race against JH’s Harrison Lierz in the 10 & U boys 100 IM, but it was Aung winning with an awesome 1:04.33 to 1:04.92, while MP’s Zachary McIntyre won bronze in 1:07.23.

PASA’s Ally Howe was the top finisher in the17-18 girls 200 IM as she posted a 2:00.39, which broke the 2009 FW record held by Paige Bradley (2:03.68), while unattached Leah Goldman turned a strong showing for second in 2:05.16.  Shaelin Morefield of DDST claimed the bronze in 2:11.35.  Unattached Andrew Liang swept the top spot on the podium in the 17-18 boys side showing some amazing progression with each of the strokes finishing 1:51.65.  Unattached Kevin McLaughlin captured second place silver honors in 1:57.00, while unattached Nick Silverthorn raced to third for the bronze in 1:58.06.

Unattached Kindle Van Linge finished well ahead of her heat in the 15-16 girls 200 IM final, touching for the gold medal in 2:07.59.  PASA’s Lindsey Miller wound up second in 2:08.73, just ahead of unattached Abigail Miller (2:08.97).  In the 15-16 boys 200 IM unattached Aidan Burns marked the top time in 1:53.59, while unattached Daichi Matsuda took the silver in 1:54.76.  PASA’s Joe Molinari scored the bronze with a 1:54.78.

Showing an awesome start and fast turn SUNN’s Vivian Wang topped the 11-12 girls 50 free in a very tight race, but pulled away touching first in 24.24, which broke the 2012 FW record Emma Segneri (24.25).  That swim ranks her 4th in the top 10 NAG list this season for her age group.  Leading the way in the boys 11-12 SCSC’s Nathan Yates clinched the 50 free (22.67), which broke the 2008 FW record held by David Morgan (22.82), while I-NOVA’s Hunter Hitchens clocked second in 23.37, and PASA’s Aaron Kuo took third in 24.12.

Another top performing close race was unattached Erika Brown and Lauren Green in the 13-14 girls 50 free who battled 23.54 to 23.55 for their 1-2 victories.  DDST’s Shelby Koontz scored the bronze with a 23.86.  Unattached Benjamin Ho picked up a gold medal finish in the 15-16 boys 50 free, winning in 21.27.  Ho swim breaks the 2009 FW record held by David Morgan (21.35).  Jolen Griffin from OAPB provided silver in 22.03, while DAV’s Tucker Fisk rounding out the top three in 22.39.

In the 10 & U age group SAC’s Leila Rosin took aim at the 50 fly gold medal by marking a top time in 29.37.  SAC Chloe Zapata checked in with a second time 30.27, while TTST’s Rebecca Waterson stretched to touch in 30.40.  RAD’s Winn Aung clinched the 50 fly (28.57) in a close battle with QSS’s Kevin Sichak clocking second in 28.84, while DRAT’s Martin Anders took third in 29.59.

SUNN’s Vivian Wang performed a touch out triumph ahead of CHAT’s Catherine Hampton 1:08.95 to 1:09.13 in 11-12 girls 100 breast, while STAS’s Kristina Murphy placed third with 1:09.13 for the bronze.  Timothy Yao of PLS topped the 11-12 boys 100 breast in 1:05.39, with OCW’s David Lowengrub (1:05.46) and TOPS’s Benjamin DuFauchard (1:05.89) in second and third.

Unattached Leah Goldman posted the top time in the 17 & 18 girls 50 free with Goldman winning in 23.80.  Following second was Rachel Owen from OAQ with a time of 24/24.  Unattached Daniella Orlandi placed third in 24.36.  Unattached Andrew Liang continued his success with another big time on the boy’s side in the 50 free tearing through a 20.90, which broke the 2011 FW record held by Piankhi Gibson (21.00).  Unattached Jackson Locke surged to a 21.36 for second, while ABC’s John Doe3 claimed third in 21.36.

Unattached Brooke Stenstrom finished in the 15-16 girls 50 free with a 23.72, and just ahead of PASA’s Jennifer Campbell (23.81).  RAD’s Jamie Pincin finished with the bronze in 24/08.  Unattached Zachary Lowenstein moved up a step on the podium in the 50 free, winning in 21.19.  Forrest White just out-touched Freddie Swope of V-NOVA for second, 22.22 to 22.29.

Unattached Heaven Quintana secured the win in the 13-14 girls 200 fly clocking in at 2:05.40, while QSS’s Lauren Green and Sarah Wang placed second and third in 2:05.46 and 2:06.48.  Unattached Maxime Rooney finished first in the 13-14 boys 200 fly leading with a 1:50.00 for the gold medal win, and breaking the 1989 FW record held by Ugur Taner (1:52.83).  DAV’s Cameron Wright captured second place silver honors in 1:58.67, while MAKO’s Jarod Hatch raced to third for the bronze in 1:58.73.

AH’s Lizzie Menzmer finished well ahead of her heat in the 11-12 girls 200 fly final, touching in a final time of 2:07.62.  SOAR’s Connor Doran wound up second in 2:09.59, just ahead of Sydney Keller from SCSC (2:11.25).  PCS’s Lucas Hess won the 11-12 boys 200 fly with a top time of 2:03.44.  RIO’s Seth Chun took silver (2:04.58), while DACA’s Daniel Marella finished with a bronze in 2:04.65.

I-NOVA’s Alyssa Watson emerged victorious bringing home the 10 & U girls 50 free title with a 27.20, only .43 in front of PASA’s Sydney Harris (27:63).  PASA’s Olivia Watson won the bronze in posting a 27.78.  On the boy’s side RAD’s Winn Aung led the way in the 10 & U boys 25.72, followed by MP’s Zachary MacIntyre (26.76).  QSS’s Kevin Sichak was right behind in third in 26.91.

Ending the final day of competition brought six relays starting off in the 800 free.  In the 13-14 age group, Santa Clara Swim Club started off with a 1:56.38 split by Janet Tran followed by Hayley O’Brien who swam a 1:58.77 second leg.  Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou clocked a 1:54.42 with her split, and Kristen Tria finished off with a 2:00.07 anchor leg.  Combined free relay swim was 7:49.64.  De Anza Cupertino Aquatics Michael Auld, Bradley Chen, Sean Hoerger and Felix Chiun joined them with a sizzling swim to win the 13-14 boy’s 800 free in 7:28.02.  In the 11-12 age group Arden Hills Swimming girls came together as a team in the 200 free relay to hold onto a lead all the way down the stretch for a winning finish in 1:41.78 by Amalie Fackenthal, Tina Reuter, Lizzie Menzmer and Samantha Kapphahn.  Irvine Novaquatics and Pleasanton Seahawks waged war in the 11-12 boys 200 free duel with Novaquatics just simply crushing the field in the finale event placing and overall win in 1:37.03, which breaks not only the 2004 FW record held by DeAnza Cupertino Aquatics (1:40.02)  I-Irvine Novaquatics Owen Kao (24.40), Kevin Tu (24.57), Shawn Lou (24.71) and Hunter Hitchens (23.35).

In the last event of the 2013 Speedo Far Western Championships it was the 10 & U girls from Scottsdale Aquatic Club performing the 200 free Ashely Strouse, Greer Pattision, Chloe Zapata, and Lelia Rosin combined forces to place a top time of 1:51.91.  The 10 & U boys Quicksilver Swimming team of Andrew Tsaranou, Leo Zhang, Brandon Nguyen and Kevin Sichak triumphed in winning the gold medal with showing some versatility and stamina to scorce a 1:53.33 on the 200 free relay ending the evening.

This report was filed by SwimSwam contributors.

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7 years ago


9 years ago

In looking at some of these swimmer’s times I can understand why this is billed as the fastest age group meet in the country, lived up to its name with many epic battles.

9 years ago

Nice accomplishment of 9 gold medals for Hitchens at this type of meet. Just watched his interview, seems to handle himself well –

9 years ago

Great job to everyone!

9 years ago

It’s amazing how these age-groupers handle swimming fast under pressure, and the ability to relax at a big meet like this with live taping etc. Gold Medalist Mark Spitz once said, “racing is 90% mental and 10% physical.” Obviously if you can learn to handle the pressure of competition you’re going to perform at your potential, but what are some of the coaching philosophies and techniques taught for handling the mental side? Curious to hear some USA Swimming coach’s opinions on the topic.

Swim Mind
9 years ago

Some real stunning performances by several elite swimmers at this championship meet. I’m seeing several of these names on the USA Swimming Top 10 list. The power of one tenth of a second at the wall in this meet was huge. The fastest swimmers held onto a lot of water and had very consistent tempo along with breathe holding. We watch many races of 100 back and fly where the first lap underwater was impressive. Great job to all the swimmers who seem to give that extra adrenaline, and that extra tenth.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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