March 10, 2020
It was a long, emotional, but ultimately successful weekend in Moscow for the 50 CAST swimmers at the 2020 IES Junior Olympics. This year’s team championship had a new format, but many of the final results were very familiar: CAST placed 3rd in the combined team race, and came home with the spirit award as we have for the past several years!
Saturday was a unique, sad, and beautiful day as all of Inland Empire mourned Adam England. The coaches were proud of our swimmer’s efforts to remember and honor Adam, as well as their composure under very difficult circumstances. The “empty lane” for Adam during the 400 IM was a powerful, indelible moment that won’t be forgotten by anyone in attendance. We are all grateful for the support of the IES community but in particular the CAST family during this trying past month.
There were plenty of swimming highlights over the weekend, and below are a few who earned top billing!
Gabby Garasky won high point honors for the 13-14 girls, winning 5 races and placing 2nd in her three other events. She moved up the rankings to 8th on the CAST All-time performers list as well in the 200 freestyle.
Jacob Ballard won 3 events and placed second and third in two others in just 2 days of work. Jacob’s 100 breaststroke in finals set a new team record, and his 200 IM, 100 freestyle, and 50 freestyle all made the all-time performance lists.
Two swimmers made the huge jump to the next level by qualifying for the Age Group Sectional Championships in two weeks in Federal Way. Pema Anain crushed her first ever short course mile, securing her first AGS cut and placing her 6th on the top performer list en route to her best finish of the meet, second place. Erin Griffith punched her first ticket to AGS in the 100 back on Saturday, in which she also placed second. It’s a big deal to make the incredibly fast Age Group Sectionals cuts-congratulations ladies!
Other top 10 performer times included Pema's 1000 free split during her 1650 (7th on the list), Ethan Downing's 200 fly (6th), Lance Mielke's 100 breast (8th), Alli Hood's 1650 (5th), Lanis Webb's 50 free (9th), and Abbey Whiting's 500 free (7th).
Many other swimmers had tremendous swims-here are just a few of them!
Chloe Bourland was 6 for 6 on best times, with the coup de grace her blazing fast 29.00 50 free courtesy of a 2 second time drop. Elijah Brown revolutionized his breaststroke over the course of the meet leading to a ton of best times and moving up in every finals race. Keelie Halsted was 7 for 8 on best times, and absolutely obliterated the field not once but twice leading off the 10 and under relay teams which placed first and second. Jacob Sachtjen went 7 best times on the heels of a fabulous meet just month ago at JR Champs, in a tough event schedule that had the 400 IM, 500 free, and the 200 fly-twice! Camryn Schmidt had 7 best times as well, narrowly missed winning high point for the 11-12 girls, and secured two new Age Group Sectional cuts! Trista Slife had 6 best times, and won the 13-14 girls 50 breast in a fantastic finish. Tilly Sobek was an impressive 8 for 8 on best times, starting the meet off in style with a 9 second drop in her 200 yard IM.
Saturday had an extra dose of emotion as we began the “goodbye” process for CAST’s incredible 9 graduating seniors. While we will be seeing most of them on deck and at meets for at least a little while longer, it was the last competition for Hope McWilliams. Hope has been a CAST member for exactly one decade and one month, and we will all miss having her radiant presence on deck, and wish her the best of luck going forward!