March 18, 2019
It was a successful finish to the short course season for 5 of our senior swimmers at the Speedo Senior Sectional meet in Federal Way. Seniors is the fastest meet from December through early August, and brings in 900 truly exceptional athletes from around the Western United States.
Aren Kariotis led the charge for CAST as the lone finals swimmer in his last short course meet with the team. Aren set team records in the 50 and 100 freestyles to go along with best times in the 200 fly and 100 back. Aren made finals in 5 of his 6 races; his best swim almost didn’t happen, as he had an off swim in the prelims for the 50 freestyle. He ended up tied with another swimmer and to determine who swam in finals, they had a head to head race with not very much notice. To Aren's credit, he won the swim-off and punched under the 21 second mark for the first time in team history, with a 20.99!
Logan Robillard led a trio of swimmers competing at their first Senior Sectional meet. Logan broke a decade old team record in the 1000 free by a scant .3, becoming the 2nd fastest swimmer in team history with the 4th fastest performance. Logan added a best time in his 500 free, and was right at his previous bests in the 100 free, 100 fly, and 1650 free.
Natasha Astrauskas started her weekend off with an excellent 2.5 second drop in her 200 freestyle, and was right on her best 200 back. A poor start hurt an otherwise great 100 backstroke as she also competed at this level of meet for the first time, as she raced alongside Olympic Trials qualifiers and national age group record holders..
Lanis Webb began the meet with a terrific 2 second drop in the 100 back, becoming the 6th fastest swimmer in team history in that event. He was just off his best times in both the 50 free and 200 back, but gained valuable experience at his inaugural Senior level meet and didn't bock down from the new challenge!
Our final competitor swam his last Senior Sectionals perhaps not how he wanted to go out, but courageously nonetheless. Kelton Ellis came down terribly sick the week of the meet and was unable to swim at all on Wednesday, and had to scratch his first race. Kelton plugged away, but added time in both his 200 and 500 freestyles. In his final event, the daunting 1650, Kelton swam a smart and consistent race that ended only 3 seconds off his time. It was truly a courageous swim under very difficult circumstances, and one of the moments from the weekend I was most proud of.