Day two of the 2012 Western Zone Age Group Championships was a great day for fast swimming in Grand Junction, Colorado. With the first day of team skits, and the first individual finals, everyone in the building had lots of fun.
At zone meets, swimmers represent their local swim committee (LSC) rather than their hometown club; this particular meet also has a very lighthearted atmosphere, with many opportunities for athletes to let-loose and get away from the monotony that can plague swim meets.
The girls 10 and Under 100 back was as tight as anyone could ask for. Jasmine O’Brien out of Hawaii started out the meet with a 1:17.38 just barely out touching Nicole Oliva of Pacific Swimming who touched with a 1:17.47 who wasn’t as fast as she was seeded with but still very fast for a 10 year old. The boys age group was won on the turn by Alex Karulin of Pacific Northwest swimming in 1:16.65, catching up on, and taking the lead on the turn from Zachary Wieland, and Max Chang who took second and third respectively.
For the 11-12 division, the girls 100 back was a run-away win by Bayley Stewart of Colorado Swimming in a 1:07.64, just barely missing Madison White’s record of 1:07.40 from 2007. On the boys side, three guys were within the same number of tenths after Danny Kovac from Colorado ran away on the start, Elijah Warren, and Trey Freeman closed the last 25 meters, but ran out of water.
The 13-14 age group started with the 200 back. The Womens side was won by Paige Maynard of Sierra Nevada after dropping three seconds and going 2:22.02, compared to second place of 2:22.32 by Kate Peterson of Colorado who once again, just ran out of pool trying to close at the end after Maynard had controlled the race most of the way. The mens side saw the first 1-2 punch of the meet, as two Coloradoans took the top spots in 2:13.13 and 2:13.55 for Jonah Saya and Daniel Carr in the same order. Another fun fact about that race which was pointed out to me by the announcer: every major suit brand was represented in this race. I’m sure that had nothing to do with the outcome but it’s nice to see more than just one brand in the younger age groups too.
15-16 age groups saw a few more teams start to come out. For the girls, Kelcie Gerson of Colorado won in a 2:27.95, and closed tremendously on Connor Tarver of Wyoming Swimming who turned at the 100 almost a full second ahead of anybody in the field. The mens event was controlled from the start to the finish by Alex Straw of Snake River who went 2:13.00 and dropped six seconds from his prelim time, and was also six seconds ahead of Conner Mcginnis of Pacific Northwest swimming at 2:19.11.
The Old age group at this meet, didn’t see a whole lot of change from prelims. Sarah Morgan of Wyoming won the womens 200 with a time of 2:26.81, who held off a middle 100 charge from Mariah Williamson of Pacific Northwest. The men saw another completely controlled race from start to finish by Jayden Rasband of Utah beating Drake Mendelson of Utah as well with a 2:12.85 to 2:16.55. That’s an 8 second drop for Jayden in this meet alone. We’ll be watching for more drops like that in coming days.
On to the long breaststroke races. For 10 and unders, complete control of the 100 meter race seemed to be the theme. Sophia Sebastian of Pacific Swimming won by a full 3.39 seconds beating Virginie Qian 1:23.61-1:27.00. The boys side saw the first Western Zone Record of the meet fall when Ethan Dang of Pacific Northwest completely destroyed the rest of the field with a 1:19.08 breaking the 11 year old record by a full two seconds, and celebrated with Kitajima style splashing. Second place came to Bryce Soriano of Pacific Northwest as well in 1:29.46. A few weeks ago, Dang broke the National Age Group Record in this race, though was a bit off of that time here.
The girls 11-12 saw another race where the pool just wasn’t long enough. Emily Brockman of Oregon won it in a time of 1:17.99, and Zoe Bartel of Colorado took second in 1:18.09 in a fantastic race, but both had to hold of a charging Joyce Lin of Pacific who took the last 50 and swam lights out fast. She just ran out of pool though finishing third in 1:18.44. The mens side could have gone to any of five swimmers in the final. Ivan Graham of Pacific Northwest swimming got the win in 1:15.45 while Felix Chiun of Pacific finished in 1:16.00. Six of the eight boys turned at the same time and five of them were even going into the flags at the finish, leading to a very exciting finish.
The 13-14 girls race was won by Emma Barksdale of Snake River who set the pace early, but was chased closely by Cassie Dallas from lane 2 (the outside lane here) just barely edging her out at 2:47.17-2:47.31. Colorado Swimming again went 1-2 in the mens 13-14 age group with Daniel Carr winning this one and Keegan Foulke finishing second in 2:32.06 and 2:32.08 in one of the closet races of the night.
To go along with the older kids controlling their races, the Womens 15-16 200 Breast was controlled start to finish by Taylor Shewchuk of Pacific Northwest Swimming. Coming off the last turn though Lauren Davis was able to over take the field and create a gap between second place and the pack with a final time of 2:15.60. The mens side saw no competition for Alex Straw from Snake River who finished in a time of 2:29.53, almost four seconds ahead of Jonah Hu of Hawaii who took second in 2:33.30.
For the 50 freestyles, the update will come later on, as results online get finalized. For more results check out Western Zone Swimmings Website . And for up to the minute results follow me on Twitter and Instagram @ccollinswim.