Osprey Swimmers Excell at Far Westerns with Link to Linnea Mack Interview

It was a beautiful spring weekend in Morgan Hill as the Osprey took part in the 2011 Short Course Far Westerns March 31st  thru April 3rd.  There were 17 Osprey  who swam in the meet, with our high school swimmers competing as unattatched.  That meant their points scored would not go towards the team’s total in order to preserve their eligibility for CCS in May.  Moreover, all of our high school athletes in the 15-16 and 17-18 age groups swam the meet tired, not shaved or tapered.
A total of five Osprey qualified as top 8 finalists from each mornings trials in this extremely fast meet.  Leading the way was LInnea Mack, who finaled four times in the 15-16 girls age group.  Linnea swam a series of seasonal bests on the way to posting three 1st place finishes, winning the 50 free in 23.51, the 100 free in 51.63 and the 100 fly in 55.73.  The 100 fly was an especially close race as Linnea had to come from behind at the 50 to win it, taking the lead off the last wall and matching her own impressive underwater speed with the strongest fly she’s swum all year.   Linnea also finished 3rd in the 100 back with a 57.71.  See interview with Linnea on Swim world TV http://tv.swimmingworldmagazine.com/events/2011-far-western-short-course-championships/interviews/10701 
Dale Williams had a breakthrough meet, finaling at FW’s for the first time in his young career.  Competing in the 11-12 boys age group, Dale was holding his taper from JO’s two weeks earlier.  He swam lifetime bests in each the events he finaled in, going 55.34 to qualify in the 100 free and placing 8th at night.  Dale also broke a minute for the first time in the 100 fly, with a 59.24 in prelims and then a 59.54 at night to finish 5th.  In the 50 fly Dale swam a fast 26.77 to qualify for finals where he finished 6th overall.  In all Dale broke 5 team records for the 11-12 boys, including the swims he finaled in and with his best times of 1:04. 82 in the 100 IM and 2:21.02 in the 200 fly.
Michelle Berry finaled 2 times, in the 400 and 200 IM’s for 17-18 girls.  She was able to swim lifetime bests and team records in both events, making race pattern adjustments from prelims to improve her execution and go faster at night in finals.  Michelle swam a fast 2:09.77 to place 5th in the 200 IM and swam to a 3rd place finish in the 400 IM with a 4:32.65.  Most noteworthy in the 400 IM was the final gritty 100 free split of 59.7 to move from 4th to 3rd.   That marked the first time in team history any female has been under a minute on the last 100 that race!
Rachel Owen, though 15 and in high school is unable to swim CCS this year because her school has no team.  So she rested and held her taper from the Clovis meet 4 weeks earlier.  Rachel’s best swim was her sizzling 52.64 in the 100 free to qualify for the 3rd seed.  A mishap on the start in finals cost Rachel about a second on the first lap.  Despite that she showed real character and mental toughness, racing her best to finish 8th.   Rachel’s 100 free time puts her 4th all time for girls in team history.    
Zach Selfridge swam the 500 free on the last day of the meet and did an excellent job.  After qualifying in the morning with a fast 4:44.15  Zach came back at night and swam a lifetime best and team record 4:40.21 to place 5th overall.  Zach’s trademark toughness was on display through out  the race, with his splits by 100’s being 53.1, 56.6, 57.1, 56.8 and 55.8.
Lifetime bests were posted by other Osprey at the meet.  Ten year old Patrick Hurlston dropped .38 in his 50 free to go a fast 30.14.  Jasmine Yaghutiel, who swam so well in Clovis back in early March as part of the Osprey women’s 800 Free Relay that finished 1st on the way to breaking the team record with a 7:50.8, also swam a best time at FW’s in the 50 free for 13-14 girls, going 25.55.   
Thirteen year old Owen McCormick continued to swim at a torrid pace.  Holding his taper from Clovis through JO’s and into FW’s, Owen got faster at every meet.  He finished his training cycle by continuing to drop time in each of his swims at FW’s. Owen posted lifetime bests in the 200 free with a 1:54.37, the 50 free with a 24.18, the 100 fly with a 59.06 and the 100 back with a 58.34.
Congratulations to all our swimmers and coaches who took part in the meet.  The seventeen swimmers who competed comprised the largest group of athletes we’ve had in short course Far Westerns to date!
Coach Brian