March 21, 2018
Nine of CAST’s fastest senior swimmers competed in Federal Way at the 2018 Senior Sectionals, the premiere meet each spring for the Northwest U.S. This year was above and beyond previous years, with meet records broken every night and just making a second swim in the top 32 harder than ever. Sectionals boasted over 700 swimmers and 4500 swims in the 4 days of competition. Our seniors more than held their own, taking down 6 team records and a pair of Inland Empire records to boot!
Our men’s relays truly shone at the meet, featuring a tremendous confluence of talent that doesn’t come along very often. Aren Kariotis, Chang He, Jon Archer, and Milan Saric combined to break 2 IES relay records and 4 team records. They boys broke a 13 year old IES mark set by Spokane Area Swimming in the 200 free relay, and an 11 year old record in the 200 medley relay also set by SAS. They were just a hair off breaking two other IES records in the 400 free and 400 medley relays, but shattered the existing team records. Karter Rasmussen and Tristan Whiting teamed up with Jon and Milan to break the team’s 800 freestyle relay record as well.
Two individual team records fell, with Sarah Nicholls bettering her own time in the 100 breaststroke, and Jon Archer smashing a 19 year old team record in the 200 freestyle. Sarah finished her short course club swimming career with a team-best 81 points, placing 4th in the 100 breast, 5th in the 200 breast, 11th in the 400 IM, and 13th in the 200 IM. She went best times in the 400 IM and 100 fly in addition to the 100 breast. Jon’s final short course meet with CAST yielded 18 points, with best times in the 200 breast, a 17th place finish in the 200 back, a team record in the 200 free en route to 26th place overall, a 17th place in the 100 back, and a best time in the 100 breast.
Milan swam a pair of best times in the 200 free and 100 free; he qualified for finals in the 100 and finished 31st. To give you a sense of how fast the meet was, Milan was only .2 off the team record and that was just barely enough to get a second swim! Milan had his sights set on several records in the sprint freestyles and the fly; although he didn’t accomplish all he set out to do, he will graduate as one of the premiere sprinters in IES and CAST history, and his relay splits were excellent nearly every time. Chang ended the meet with best times in the 100 free and 100 fly, and added more swims to his dominating list of top performances in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. He narrowly missed finals swims in both breaststrokes, finishing 36th and 37th out of the 160 or so swimmers in the events. Tristan, after striving to make this meet for the last 2 seasons, finally arrived and had his best races in his signature distance swims; despite feeling under the weather all weekend long, Tristan gutted out a 3 second drop in the 1650 on the last day, and knocked off over 15 seconds from his 1000 free on the first day, earning the 10th spot on the all time performance list.
Kelton Ellis is still getting back into distance freestyle form; he swam his second-fastest races in the 200, 500, and 1650 freestyles, but couldn’t quite get under his best times. The good news is Kelton is going the right direction, and re-qualified for this meet next year with a gritty swim in the mile on the last day. Emily Deitz was in a similar situation; she consistently swam faster than she has all season, but wasn’t able to get under her best times from last year. Emily’s best race was the 200 back, where she placed 60th. She finishes up her short course career with us holding top performer marks in the 50, 100, 200, and 500 freestyles, both backstrokes, the 100 fly, and the 200 IM.
This was the largest contingent of swimmers CAST has ever sent to a Senior Sectional level meet, and it was a little bittersweet as 6 of our 9 swimmers will be graduating and off to swim in college next fall, but it was a great way to finish up!