March 30, 2018
Northwest Region Age Group Championships was a great weekend for our eight CAST swimmers that attended. It was a weekend of exciting swims, best times, finals swims (top 8) and team records.
Day 1: Thursday evening had two swimmers competing in the 500 Free. First was Logan Robillard (13), who went out like gang busters and went a 4:56.55 and dropped nearly 7 seconds. Our other swim on the first day was Ethan Downing(16), who was a little nervous but went in with a game plan and had a meticulous yet aggressive swim and went a 4:51.56, dropping 9 seconds. Both broke the 5 min barrier for the first time and cracked into the CAST All-time top ten swims for the 500 Free and both were 4th place finishes in their respective age groups.
Day 2: Friday started the same as we left off Thursday evening. The first three swims in the 100 back were best times by Gabby Garasky (11), Natasha Austraskus (14), and Lanis Webb (14). In the middle of the day we had good swims that just missed the mark of best times in the 100 Bk and 200 Fly. Then we ended the prelim session with two final qualifying swims by Ethan Downing (16) in the 200 Fly and Gabby Garasky(11) in the 50 Free.
Finals was a great evening with three events. Gabby was first off and she managed to double dip with time drops in both 100 Back (taking 3rd) and her 50 Free (2nd place finish). Ethan had a strong finals swim and had an 8th place finish in 200 Fly.
Day 3: Saturday fared pretty well for the CAST team. We had some great swims, but so did the field, as it was a very competitive meet. In prelims we had four best times in six swims. Gabby’s best times qualified here for finals in both the 50 Fly and 100 Free. Logan and Ethan went best times in their 100 Free swims as well. Ethan met a personal goal of breaking the 50 second mark and accomplished that by finishing with 49.92. We ending the morning with Natasha in the 200 IM going her 2nd best time ever by .04 but a best time in over a year. CAST Swimmers are on the rise!
Finals were represented by two very impressive swims by Gabby G. First of the evening was her 50 Fly where she finished 3rd with 28.67, only bested by her prelim swim of 28.24. Last swim of the evening for Gabby was the 100 Free where she placed 1st with 57.44, which was her second fastest time ever because she swam a 57.22 in prelims.
Final Day: This was a day that all CAST coaches were looking forward too with adding our final two swimmer for the weekend, Riley Taylor(12) and Micah Sharples(15). With the whole crew together, it was an exciting day. The swimmers were definitely tired but they were focused and were kept in good spirits by our new captains Tori Wilson and Ethan Downing. Natasha and Lanis went best times in the 200 Back. Gabby, Riley, and Logan all had best times in the 100 Fly. Gabby and Natasha’s 100 Fly swims made it into finals. Then about 30 minutes later Gabby was up again in the 200 Free and led the field and ended up seeded first for finals by two seconds. Then Logan and Ethan finished off the morning with best times in the 200 Free and making it into finals; with such a competitive field, this was a great way to end the morning.
Midday of the final day is the 1650 Free. For Micah Sharples this was her only swim of the meet, and she did great. She had been battling injury setbacks for about year and has been very sick for the last couple of weeks. She had an incredibly consistent swim but added about 10 seconds (19:22.27). One of the great things to see is that she is just about back to where she was before her injury last spring. I also would like to take this opportunity to let you know that Riley Tayor’s 100 Fly was her only swim too. She had sprained her ankle let than a week prior and she had to really take care of herself and still managed a best time in 100 Fly (1:04.17). Before we get to finals, Tori was an incredible teammate at the meet and CAST should realize how fortunate we are to have this young lady as a captain of our team. I give much of the success at the meet to her for keeping everyone loose between swims and grouped together. She swam well in the meet even though she didn’t hit best times in her two backstroke swims, she went two best times in her 200 Free and 200 IM time trials.
Sunday’s final session was looking like the strongest night CAST would have. In the 100 Fly Gabby started off the evening with a 4th place finish and best time from prelims by .8 seconds. Natasha ended our 100 fly run with an impressive 1.4 second drop in 100 Fly for a 3rd place finish. Gabby went up again for her 200 FR only 18 minutes later and managed to drop another 2.4 seconds. This finish won by nearly 4 seconds and set a new CAST team record of a 2:02.44 in the 200 Free. Both Logan and Ethan were pumped by great swims by our ladies and went our hard and left everything in the pool on their 200 Free and managed to go similar times from the prelims, with Logan taking 6th place and Ethan taking 7th place. I was so proud of the swimmers after their last swims. You could see the satisfaction on their faces, that they left it all in the pool that night.
With the team efforts from CAST, we placed 29th out of over 200 teams that attended. CAST is in a really good place performance-wise and is building toward continued success at this level of meet. This was great way to end the season as well as be excited to start the next season. I look forward to continued improvements, and would love to see our team complete in relays as well at future Age Group Regional events, so let’s continue to follow Tori’s lead and build strength as relays too!