Torpedoes make their mark at Junior Olympics |

Torpedoes make their mark at Junior Olympics

Provided to the SunTruckee Tahoe Swim Team member Emma Sloan, 14, charges the butterfly during the Sierra Nevada 14-and-under Junior Olympics, Short Course, at Solano College in Fairfield last month. Sloan competed in five races.

The Truckee Tahoe Swim Team (TTST) Torpedoes assembled a squad and descended to the Valley floor to take on larger rival teams in the Sierra Nevada 14-and-under Junior Olympics, Short Course, at Solano College in Fairfield from March 23-25.

In total, 491 male and female swimmers from 28 teams throughout Northern Nevada and Northern California qualified for the competition, including 15 athletes from TTST.

The aquatic talent base growing in Truckee has continued to make its presence known to many of the larger teams in the area during these key swim meets in recent months. Junior Olympics was no exception.

Each of the young JO athletes put forth a tremendous amount of hard work just to qualify for the meet, as members had to make difficult time standards in each of their age divisions in order to step foot on the deck.

The following is a list of the local JO swimmers:

– Emma Sloan, 14, qualified for five races: The 100 freestyle, 200 free, 500 free, 100 breaststroke and the 200 breast. At 14 years of age, Emma faced some of the largest and fastest fields in the JO meet.

– Sarah Westmoreland, 13, qualified for two races, taking on competitors in both the 100 free and 100 butterfly.

– Alex Straw, 11, arrived with the heat turned up. Racing in eight events, Alex brought home some outstanding results. In the 100 backstroke he took third place overall out of 16 competitors, and in the 200 backstroke he took fifth place out of a field of 10.

– Molly Ingalls, 12, qualified in five races. She made three “A” times during the meet, along with plenty of personal best times racing in the 200 free, 500 free, 50 breast, 100 breast, 200 breast. Molly took 14th overall in the 50 breast and 11th in the 200 breast out of 29 swimmers.

– Erika Klene, 11, made the qualification cut for one event but was unable to compete during the meet.

– Mackenzie Redner, 11, also qualified for five events and put the power to the water in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 50 back and 100 back. In one of the meet’s largest fields, at 63 racers, Mackenzie took 35th overall.

– Conor Nicholas, 10, qualified in three races: the 50 free, 100 free and the 50 backstroke. Based on the short time Conor has been swimming competitively, he’ll likely be making an impact on the 2008 JO team, if not sooner.

– Jake Hamilton, 9, returned the JO scene this year to compete in five races: The 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 50 back and the 100 individual medley. Jake is another TTST athlete who will be making an impact in the future.

– The hard work of Kayla Redner, 9, during the season was clearly on display with her qualification in eight events: The 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 50 back, 50 breast, 100 breast, 50 fly and 100 individual medley. A newcomer to the 500 free, Kayla showed what she’s made of by finishing 16th out of the 22 girls in her division in that event.

– Brittney Straw, 9, was among the swimmers who qualified for nine events, the maximum number of events possible at the Junior Olympics. A TTST powerhouse, Brittney turned up the wattage during her 100 breaststroke and 100 individual medley races. In the 100 breast she came in 12th in a field of 35 and placed 20th out of 55 competitors in the individual medley.

– Brittany Percin, 10, pulled down three top-10 overall finishes at JOs, taking ninth out of 51 swimmers in the 100 free, seventh in the 200 free out of 44 and sixth out of 22 in the 500 free.

– Mikayla Sonder, 8, took TTST pride to new levels by walking on the deck at the JO meet for the first time at the ripe old age of 7.

– Maia Dvoracek, 8, qualified for seven events and put together several races of a lifetime. After racing the 25 free, 50 free, 100 free, 25 breast, 50 breast, 25 fly and the 100 Individual medley, Maia was smiling ear to ear like the positive competitor she is.

– Hailey Pope, 8, is another budding TTST star who made her first ever JO qualification time in the 25 free. Her intensity in the water at practice boded well in this big-league meet. In a field of 33 racers, it was a sight to behold watching Hailey motor her way down the pool in a blaze of high-intensity racing.

– Ingrid Suter, 8, came to the races for no other reason but to spank the competition into submission. If there were a team MVP, it would be Ingrid. Racing in eight events, Ingrid placed no worse than seventh competing against some of the largest fields at the meet. Ingrid placed seventh out of 33 swimmers in the 25 free; second out of 31 in the 50 free; fifth out of 20 in the 100 free; seventh out of 21 in the 25 back; sixth out of 28 in the 50 back; first out of 14 in the 25 breast; first out of 16 in the 50 breast; and fourth out of 26 in the 100 individual medley. After TTST coaches rolled their jaws back into position from watching Ingrid’s charge, head coach Betsy Hansen was heard saying, “You go girl!”

– Two of the most exciting races came in the form of relays. The 10-and-under girls relay team of Brittney Straw, Kayla Redner, Ingrid Suter and Brittany Percin took seventh place out of 13 teams in the 4×100 free and another seventh place out of 13 teams in the 4×100 medley.

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