Truckee Tahoe Swim Team represents at Junior Olympics | SierraSun.com

Truckee Tahoe Swim Team represents at Junior Olympics

Dan Ingalls
Provided to the Sun

Provided to the SunThe group of Truckee Tahoe Swim Team members who competed in the Junior Olympics, from front to back, include Molly Ingalls, Alex Straw, Alycia Wilson, Brittany Percin, Conor Nicholas, head coach Debbie Myer, Brittney Straw, Ingrid Suter, Kayla Redner, Tristen Nicholas, Max Ingalls, and Cooper DeRyk.

The annual pilgrimage of talented swimmers from the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team (TTST) made their way to the campus of Solano Junior College last weekend to compete in the Junior Olympics.

Each of these athletes put out a tremendous amount of effort just to qualify for the opportunity to make this trip. Nearing the conclusion of the short-course (25-yard) season, swimmers focus their training, racing and stroke development in on this Junior Olympics event.

The Junior Olympics is the first step on the path to elite swimming, which does not come easily.

Dedication, focus and long-term effort is the only course to be followed leading to this first major step in swimming accomplishments. The life skills and physical development gained through these efforts are unparalleled and will surely serve this band of local kids as their lives evolve in and out of the water.

Local records fell, swimmers qualified for the next steps of elite swimming and a new batch of TTST kids were exposed to high-intensity competition. As in years past, the weather posed challenges as it did this year and in some cases, may have hampered top performances. Twenty-one TTST swimmers qualified this year, pointing the continuing surge of talent coming from Truckee aquatics.

Down only one swimmer from the 22 who qualified in 2008, this increasing trend can be seen in these numbers over the 15 who made the cut in 2007.

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Leading the charge, Alex Straw, Brittany Percin and Ingrid Suter dropped many personal-best swims. Each of these swimmers also qualified for the next step in their quest toward the pinnacle of elite swimming, Western Zones.

While first-time qualifiers of the Junior Olympics cuts included Max Ingalls, Alycia Wilson and Layne Goetz, this new trio was joined by the solid returning backbone crew of Brittney Straw, Molly Ingalls, Tristen Nicholas, Conor Nicholas, Niki Kates, Kayla Redner and Cooper DeRyk. Eight other TTST swimmers qualified for the JO races but were not able to attend the meet.

Brittany Percin had a standout performance at this year’s JOs. Breaking long-standing team records, qualifying for Western Zones in every event she entered, and coming in tied for second place in points (overall meet standings), Brittany was on nothing less then a tear over the weekend. Taking the first place overall spot from Brittany was nationally ranked Morgan McClure. The record of TTST swimming phenom Leslie Ajari of 1:08.40 in the 100 Butterfly race fell by more than two seconds to Brittany’s 1:06.31.

With a pack of hungry TTST swimmers coming away from a very difficult weekend of racing like a group junkyard dogs, zeroed in on their pry, the numbers of TTST swimmers making it to Zones is sure to increase over the coming year.