IES Team Places 1st at Senior Zones

Western Zone Senior Champs- 2017
Fresno, California

Inland Empire Swimming took thirty-five of its finest swimmers to the Western Zone Senior Championship swim meet in Fresno, California from August 1st to August 5th for this elite swim meet.  Featuring the fastest zone qualifiers from the western United States the competition was fast and furious and resulted in the Inland Empire taking FIRST PLACE in the All Star division by a wide margin. 

This year’s team consisted of Jon Archer, Rebecca Bay, Charles Cutter, Christian Cutter, Sophia Black, Gabrielle Davy, Emily Deitz, Lance Denny, Ethan Downing, Brooklyn Dressel, Rae Ann Dressel, Garren Dutto, Kelton Ellis, Luke Elmenhurst, Conner Elwyn, Eli Engledow, Hannah Gardner, Jaclyn Gray, Brianne Gundlack, Jordan Hartley, Kyra Hartley, Chang He, Aren Kariotus, Eric Kemper, Bethany Long, Tage Madison, Kathryn Moon, Karter Rasmussen, Milan Saric, Riana Scott, Hannah Vanheyningen, Natalie Varland, Cameron Wheeler, Tristan Whiting, and Christopher Yaw.

This amazing group of swimmers could not have held the IES banner any higher!  Had there been a spirit award there is no doubt that this group of swimmers would have won it in a walk – throughout a long week with temperatures getting as high as 108 and every day cracking the 100 degree mark, our swimmers were even hotter -swimming to a remarkable 92% best times!!!  And every single swim was accompanied by the cheers of their teammates giving their thunderous support. 

A few quick “tips of the hat” to some swimmers who went above and beyond:  First to Garren Dutto who started the meet with a wonderful swim in the1500 and then told us he was sick, this young man gutted it out in performance after performance, running a fever and so sick he could barely stand up.  To Emily Deitz who needed a trip to the ER because she was sick and then swam to multiple finals performances including two top eight performances when she was less than her best.  To Conner Elwyn who had a pair of the toughest doubles I have ever seen, including back to back final swims in the 400 IM and 100 fly just a few minutes apart.  To Kyra Hartley who embodied the spirit of the LSC with non-stop support, smiles and great swims.  To Tristan Whiting who forgave his coach (me) for a terrible blunder and was a fixture leading every cheer to support his teammates.  To Hannah Gardner for being so gracious and supportive of her teammates and forgiving a coach for not being able to hear the difference between a “V” and a “B” (me again) – what a class act!  To Milan Saric who when faced with great disappointment handled it with dignity and grace.  Milan, that great swim is right there!  To Jon Archer who negatively split more races than I have seen in the last three years total and gave his coach a small coronary every time, and I might add, swam to the highest finish the team had, a second place in the 100 back.

And to all of the the rest of the swimmers who collectively put in the finest TEAM performance I have ever seen!!!

My hat is off to all these great swimmers who bonded as a team, got to know new friends, swam their hearts out, and cheered the longest and the loudest for their team mates!  What an amazing trip.  You all are the very best!!!

Also many thanks are due to our wonderful chaperones who did the hard work of making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time and our athletes were fed, watered, shaded, transported and sun-screened. 

I want to thank the coaches that dished out incredible advice, put together the best relays the LSC has ever seen, treated every swimmer with dignity and respect, and just out-coached the rest of the teams on deck.  John Pringle – thanks so much – you’re the man!!!  Great advice to the swimmers, knockout relays, and support.  No wonder Velocity is tearing it up!  Darren Dutto – such an incredible wealth of knowledge – and our LSC’s well-deserved Coach of the Year!  Thanks for taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge to these swimmers to hear you coach the swimmers is an education to the swimmers and to the coaches listening.  And thanks to Rachel Millet - one of our LSC’s most amazing swimmers ever!  Returning to share her knowledge coaching with SAS and doing a terrific job coaching the zone team.  Rachel proves you don’t have to be loud to be a coach – when she speaks swimmers listen!

At the bottom of this document is a list of finals swims (my fault if I left anyone out) so you can get a sense of the incredible amount of swims we had in finals.

Advice for parents who have a swimmers who may end up at some point going to zones and are worried about having their swimmer attend a travel meet of this magnitude.  It is always a worry as a parent as to whether you should allow your young son or daughter to attend an away meet of this duration and magnitude.  As a parent of three swimmers myself who have attended Zones and high level travel trips when they were “age-groupers” I want to share a few thoughts with you.  Parents worry about their children being exposed to poor language, poor choices, and unknown roommates during these travel trips.  Parents also worry that their son or daughter will not swim their best if they (the parents) don’t accompany them during a swim trip, after all “father and mother know best”. 

My experience over the years and more than 40 multi day travel trips with large groups of swimmers has been that these trips are the very best thing that can happen to stimulate a swimmers passion and enthusiasm in the sport.  Yes, the swimmers are exposed to swimmers who do not share their beliefs and, yes, the swimmers probably don’t sleep as well as they would if they were with mom and dad.  But the positives far outweigh the negatives!   Your swimmers are exposed to different coaches who give them thoughts and comments that are sure to help them swim better.  Your swimmers are exposed to other high performing swimmers swimming well – this drives your swimmer to perform well too!  Your swimmers are exposed to what a college atmosphere of swimming is like – high level travel meets where, despite less than optimum conditions, they are expected to perform at their best ever.  Your swimmers must make decisions for themselves and in the team atmosphere my experience is a vast majority of the time they do make the right decisions.  These trips tend to solidify a swimmers passion for the sport and become a very important part of the swimmers growth as an athlete and as a person. 

The swimmers that attended this trip learned that they only need one single rule to follow for a trip like this: “support your teammates!”  If you are supporting your teammates you do not make bad decisions that would negatively affect you and others around you.  If you support your teammates you swim fast.  If you are supporting your teammates you are making quality decisions on your own with an attitude of helping those around you.  This is an extremely important part of the education and growth of a swimmer.  So parents when considering whether it is right to let your swimmer participate in a travel trip with their zone team or to another major meet I suggest you give it a try.

Congratulations to all the phenomenal swims and swimmers for a wonderful experience!


Coach Bob Wood

Finalists Swims & Relays
Name                               Place                  Event                  Time

Hannah Vanheyningen 35th                800 free              9:44.24

Garren Dutto                      9th                 1500 free         16:44.46

Emily Deitz                        32nd                100 free            1:01.04

Conner Elwyn              11th                     200 fly               2:11.50

Eric Kemper                  31st                    200 fly               2:16.72

Rebecca Bay                  30th                     200 breast       2:50.47

Chang He                        22nd                    200 breast       2:33.45

Jon Archer                     30th                     200 breast       2:33.72

Emily Deitz                    6th                       200 back          2:25.45

Jon Archer                     7th                       200 back          2:11.88

Conner Elwyn              25th                     200 back          2:13.64

Riana Scott, Jaclyn Gray, Jordan Hartley, Hannah Vanheyningan                                         x                                         23rd                    800 free relay 9:10.17

Garren Dutto                21st                     400 free            4:14.77

Conner Elwyn              30th                     400 free            4:17.19

Conner Elwyn              24th                     200 IM              2:15.76

Jon Archer                     25th                     200 IM              2:12.11

Jon Archer, Chris Yaw, Eli Engledow, Garren Dutto                                                                 x                                         18th                     800 free relay 8:18.24

Emily Deitz                    21st                     50 free              28.04

Conner Elwyn              5th                       400 IM              4:42.41

Emily Deitz, Rebecca Bay, Jordan Hartley, Brooklyn Dressel                                                 x                                         21st                     400 medley relay 4:42.15

Jon Archer, Chang He, Conner Elwyn, Garren Dutto                                                                  x                                         5th                       400 Medley Relay 4:04.20

Eli Engledow, Lance Denny, Aren Kariotus, Charles Cutter                                                       x                                         10th                     400 medley     4:07.61

Emily Deitz                    7th                       100 back          1:07.74

Jon Archer                     2nd                       100 back          59.00

Conner Elwyn              11th                     100 back          1:00.70

Eli Engledow                36th                    100 back          1:02.98

Rebecca Bay                  12th                     100 breast       1:17.67

Riana Scott                    20th                     100 breast       1:17.83

Lance Denny                 9th                       100 breast       1:08.31

Chang He                        20th                     100 breast       1:09.06

Aren Kariotus              12th                     100 fly               58.87

Conner Elwyn              17th                     100 fly               59.08

Emily Deitz, Brianne Gundlach, Riana Scott, Brooklyn Dressel                                                   x                                         17th                     400 free relay  4:10.40

Jon Archer, Luke Elmhurst, Chang He, Milan Saric                                                                       x                                         10th                     400 free relay  3:42.25