November weather in Northern California can be a crapshoot. But this weekend (Nov 8 – 10), just before the rain is set to move into the area, it broke perfectly for the Concord Terrapins Senior IV meet. Typically, with morning prelims followed by three heats of evening finals, this meet is a good mid season tune-up before the fall season taper meets in December. This year was no different, highlighted by some solid swimming hinting at even greater swims later.
The meet opened with the 400 IM’s, each showcasing a 15 year-old winning the first of several races. On the women’s side it was a north vs. south dual with NorCal’s Chloe Isleta (4:21.72) holding off the back half charge of another 15 year old, Courtney Mykkanen (4:22.71) from SoCal’s Irvine Novaquatics. On the men’s side, it was Peak’s Benjamin Ho (3:59.65), followed by Walnut Creek Aquabear Jake Rollo (4:03.48).
On the women’s side in the 1000 free, Novaquatics’s Brittany Kamper, also 15, steadily pulled away from the field finishing in a 10:03.13. While on the men’s side, it was 28 year old Bobby Yribarren who kept the youngsters from sweeping all the evening’s events, with a winning time of 9:32.53.
On the men’s side, the Saturday evening finals presented two great Lion King circle-of-life duals between 23 year-old Stanford graduate Aaron Wayne, and 17 year-old rising star Justin Lynch. And this time, it was the old lion telling the younger one: “Not just yet.” In the 50 free Wayne made an immediate statement, pulling away from the field in a 19.96, followed by Lynch (21.1) and Matt Horner (21.31). Twenty minutes later, the two lions were at it again, this time in the 100 fly, with Wayne winning in a 47.39, followed by Lynch (48.96), and Monty Randall placing third (49.92).
Stanford bound Heidi Poppe won the women’s 200 breast in a 2:16.3, pulling away from Piper Brockley (2:18.5) and Alexis Johnson (2:19.8). Not to be outdone by his older sister, Hank Poppe, who just turned 15 on Thursday, won the men’s 200 Breast in 2:04.79, followed by Dar Chan Chin Wah (2:07.67). Carson Sand recorded the second fastest time of the evening, winning the consolation final in 2:05.25.
Much like they did on Friday night, Chloe Isleta and Benjamin Ho each won the 200 back. Isleta, rode her nearly textbook backstroke to a 1:56.94, ahead of SRN’s Jenna Bauer who finished in 1:59.12. Earlier this year, Benjamin Ho set the 13-14 NAG 200 back record in 1:45.73, and now as a recent 15 year old, he wasn’t far off that pace finishing in a very fast 1:46.64, ahead of Concord Terrapin Brandon James (1:50.38).
After the 200 back, Isleta and Bauer would race a second time in the women’s 200 IM with Isleta (2:01.37) again finishing ahead of Bauer (2:04.08). But the Arizona bound Bauer would find her victory at the end of a very busy evening, winning the 200 free (1:50.66). Isleta also swam in a 3rd final, finishing as the runner up in 100 butterfly (55.46), behind the Aquabear’s Brittany Usinger (55.05).
Lee Ward headed up the field in the men’s 200 free in a 1:40.36, followed by Orinda Aquatics recent Brown commit Talbot Jacobs (1:42.54). While in the men’s 200 IM, Irvine’s Jason Rodriguez (1:52.81) pulled away from a trio of Aquabears headed by Grant Watson (1:56.08).
Finally, in perhaps the best feel good story of the evening, Sara Delay continues to fight back into form, rebounding from some very serious medical issues, winning the 50 free in 23.62.
After a warm and sunny set of prelims, the temperature began to drop into a more seasonable range for the finals.
Chloe Isleta continued her meet domination with a victory in the 200Fly (2:02.69), followed by Carly Perri (2:04.55) and Brittany Usinger (2:05.26). On the men’s side, Justin Lynch earned his first title of the meet in a 1:49.83, followed by Chris Nolan (1:50.78) and Monty Randall (1:51.66).
In the 100 freestyles, Sara Delay took her second sprint title with a winning time of 51.46, and Neptune Swimming’s Jon Knox took his first title of the meet in a 46.76.
Heidi Poppe also added her second title of the meet, winning the 100 BR in 1:01.52, but this time her brother Hank couldn’t quite match his sister. Even with a lifetime best of 57.12, he finished second to DACA’s Dar Chan Chin Wah who won the event with a 56.98.
In the 500, Jenna Bauer added a second middle distance freestyle title, finishing in 4:52.93. And on the men’s side, it was Aquabear and Marvel Comic’s superhero Lee Ward (with his sidekick Wind Ward) who also added a second middle distance title by pulling away from the field with a 4:30.38.
Finally in the last event of the evening, the meet closed just as it opened on Friday night, with Chole Isleta (55.01) and Benjamin Ho (50.09) winning their respective events, the 100 back.
Isleta finished the meet with five individual titles. Now, for all the men and women “Who Came…Who Saw…Who Concord,” it’s off to more training before the various big shows next month.