Manta Ray Partners


City of Mason Sends Six Swimmers to World Championship Trials

Mason, Ohio – The City of Mason’s swim team, the Mason Manta Rays, sent six swimmers to compete at the Phillips 66 Nationals Championships/World Championship Trials, which was in Indianapolis on Tuesday, June 27, at the Indiana University Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI. Four of the six swimmers are in high school and the other two are in college.

The Manta Rays competitors consisted of:

  • Ashley Volpenhein, 18, 50 & 100 Free 
  • Hannah Foster, 17, 100 & 200 Free, 200 Individual Medley
  • Jake Foster, 16, 100 & 200 Breast, 200 & 400 IM
  • Carson Foster, 15, 100 & 200 Back, 100 Free, 200 & 400 Individual Medley
  • Zoe Thatcher, 20, Auburn University, 400 & 1500 Free, 200 & 400 Individual Medley
  • Cooper Hodge, 19, Wisconsin University, 200 Breast, 200 Individual Medley

These six athletes are among the top 0.5 percent of swimmers from across the country to qualify for the Phillips 66 National Championships.

This meet served as the qualifier for the U.S. team in the pool competition at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships, which runs from August 23-28 in Indianapolis. The first and second fastest 18 & younger swimmer in each Olympic event will claim an automatic spot on the roster. Outside of the Olympic Games & the FINA World Championships, the FINA World Junior championships are the sport’s largest international competition.

The Manta Rays had an amazing meet highlighted by Carson Foster, 15, making USA Swimming’s World Junior Team in the 200 meter backstroke.  His time of 2:00.33 was not only an Ohio state record but was also the second fastest time in the country for all 18 & younger swimmers.

“It’s a dream come true and an honor to be selected for a meet of this caliber, and I couldn’t be more excited to represent the United States at the Junior World Championships” Carson Foster

This summer marks the sixth edition of the FINA World Junior Championships competition which was first held in 2006 in Rio de Janeiro and hosted in 2015 in Singapore. Nearly 1,000 athletes from nearly 100 countries are expected to compete in the six-day meet that will feature an early look at young athletes who will vie for positions on their respective nations’ Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games rosters.

His brother, Jake Foster, just missed making the World Junior Team in the 400 meter Individual Medley.  While his time (4:20.69) was the second fastest in the country and the fifth fastest in US history for his age group, he was ultimately ranked third because someone placed into a higher heat in the prelim session.  As a silver lining, Jake will most likely be placed on USA Swimming’s National Junior Team.

Twelve hours of television coverage from Phillips 66 Nationals was aired by NBC Sports Group with nightly broadcasts on NBC Sports Network and four hours of coverage on NBC on July 1-2. 

About USA Swimming

As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit