December 14, 2021
Thank you to the swimmers who participated in the inaugural Vandal Invite in Moscow last weekend! This meet was formatted after the spring sectional championship meets and was aimed at giving Junior and Senior level swimmers a taste of that style and level of competition. The women’s side of the competition had excellent depth with swimmers from the U of I women's team there, while the top end of the men’s side was extremely fast for a meet at this time with several swims at IES record breaking speeds. Our kids did a great job racing, especially when they made it back for finals!
Jake Sachtjen had a terrific meet, breaking the 1:00 barrier in the 100 fly, narrowly missing a top 10 time in his first ever 1650 free, and added best times in the 200 fly (prelims and finals), 100 free, and 100 breast. Zach Linford absolutely crushed the weekend, dropping time in the 200 IM, 50 free, 100 fly, and 100 back-but his top performance was a 5 second drop in the prelims of the 200 fly, followed up by a terrific finals swim that knocked another 3 seconds off! Zach was also team cheerer and distance lap counter extraordinaire. Pema Anain was our top scoring female swimmer, with drops in the 200 free and 100 back, and a 3rd place finish that was just off her best 1650 time. Zack Castaneda was our top scoring men’s performer, buoyed by blowing away his previous best in the 200 IM by 12 seconds right off the bat, and significantly dropping time in his 100 back, 200 free, and 100 fly afterwards. It was a triumphant return to club swimming for Zack and a joy to see him compete with CAST again! Mason Groth was a perfect 5 for 5, dropping time in the 200 IM, 50 free, 100 fly, 100 breast, and 100 back. His new best time in the 100 fly moves him to 9th on CAST’s all-time top-10 performers list! Anjali Richards was our only A squad swimmer in attendance (one of the few who made the time standards!), and got wonderful meet experience against girls up to 10 years older than her. Anjali nabbed best times in 2 of her 3 races, the 50 free and 100 breast! Ben Linford was another of our gentlemen who dropped mountains of time-14 seconds in the 200 IM in a great finals swim, 4 in the 200 free, a half second in his primary event (100 back), and added drops in the 100 free and 200 back.
Great job to all who attended-if they offer this meet again next year, I highly encourage all our swimmers who qualify to attend!