Torpedoes swimming for a purpose
The Truckee Tahoe Swim Team (TTST) Torpedoes have been on the road the past few months, building momentum toward Junior Olympics with each meet.
This year’s Junior Olympics short course championships will be held in Solano, Calif., from March 23-25, and swimmers from all over the Sierra Nevada and Pacific region have been pursuing qualification times to be part of the experience.
The most recent meet the Torpedoes attended ” held at Natomas High School in Sacramento from Jan. 19-21 ” was no exception, as each Torpedo was firing to reach their goals.
Hosted by the Sacramento Swim Team, this three-day meet saw Torpedoes stepping up in every age group, with Truckee swimmers demonstrating how to maintain composure and have a good time in cold weather.
Each morning swimmers had to walk over frost-covered grass to reach the pool deck. Getting in the water for warm-ups in the morning at the outdoor facility was one of the biggest obstacles to overcome.
Event No. 1 had Brittany Percin, 10, showing what she’s made of in the 400-meter Individual Medley. This race is made up of 100 yards, or four laps, of each competitive stroke ” 100 butterfly, 100 back stroke, 100 breast stroke and 100 freestyle. Brittany pulled down an overall second place with a time of 6:26.90.
At 8 years old, Lilly Sloan had everyone in the crowd on their feet when she pulled her 4-foot-3-inch frame out of the water, smiling after taking first place in her age group in the 500 freestyle. It was the first time she had ever raced in the event, and she completed all 20 laps in 8:51.04.
Molly Ingalls, 12, handily achieved her goal of qualifying for Junior Olympics in the 500 free with a time of 6:37.05, while Emma Sloan, 14, showed the Sloan family prowess in the long races by qualifying for JO’s in 6:10.70.
Other TTST swimmers who are close behind Molly and Emma and are working hard to make the JO squad in the 500 free include Mackenzie Redner, 11, Erika Klenk, 11, Melissa Koper, 13, and Brittany Percin, 10.
On the second day of the meet Emma Sloan qualified for JO’s in yet another event, the 200 free, with a time of 2:21.39. Meanwhile, the following narrowly missed their goal times: Melissa Koper, 13, Mackenzie Redner, Molly Ingalls, Erika Klenk, 11, Alex Davis, 11, and Kaylee Bingham. They will have another opportunity to qualify at their next meet in Minden, Nev., from Feb. 9-11.
In the 100 free, Addison Dvoracek, 10, took second place with a J.O. qualifying time of 1:10.55. Jake Hamilton, 9, took fourth place in the same race, with Bayley Sonder, 9, close behind in fifth place overall. TTST girls put on a show in the 100 free with two more J.O. times by Brittany Percin and Kayla Redner.
Lilly Sloan, Mikayla Sonder, 7, and Max Ingalls, 8, put the hammer down in the 25 free, with Max taking ninth place overall and Mikayla and Lilly placing in the top half of the 8-and-under field.
The majority of the Torpedoes who entered the 50 butterfly posted personal best times. Erika Klenk, Molly Ingalls, Mackenzie Redner, Alex Davis, Maia Dvoracek (7), Brittany Percin, Kayla Redner (9), Madelyn Decker (9), Addison Dvoracek and Jake Hamilton put on a butterfly clinic, making head coach Betsey Hansen very proud.
The 50 backstroke races also had personal best times dropping. Ingrid Suter, 8, led the charge for the girls, taking fifth overall, while Mikayla Sonder and Lilly Sloan posting personal best times. Kaylee Bingham also posted a personal best time, and Max Ingalls smashed his personal best time by more than six seconds to take ninth place.
In the 100 backstroke races, Erika Klenk, Molly Ingalls, Kaylee Bingham, Brittany Percin, Kayla Redner, Madelyn Decker and Jake Hamilton all posted personal best times.
Melissa Koper pulled her way to a strong finish in the last 50 yards of the 200 backstroke for an 11th-place finish and another personal best time.
Emma Sloan posted a personal best time of 1:21.95 in the 100 breaststroke to take eighth place overall.
Again, Ingrid Suter led the 50 breaststroke charge, taking first place, with Lilly Sloan posting a third-place finish. In the 8-and-under boys division, Max Ingalls pushed hard for a seventh-place finish and a personal best time by more then 10 seconds.
In the 10-and-under division of the boys 50 beast event, TTST put three swimmers in the top 10 of a field of more than 35 competitors. Addison Dvoracek took first place, while fifth place went to Bayley Sonder and seventh going to Jake Hamilton.
Over the course of the three-day meet, which included 76 events, the Torpedoes came home with countless top-10 finishes and personal best times.
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Students from North Tahoe and Truckee recently made the trip to Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley to compete in the annual Kays Ostrom Invitational.