August 10, 2019
Mason Manta Rays swim to a THIRD place finish at Speedo Junior Nationals at Stanford University, with THREE more Rays achieving Olympic Trial cuts!
Speedo Junior Nationals Stanford University, August 6 – 10, 2019
Things got off to a roaring start for the Mason Manta Rays as 16-year-old Carl Bloebaum qualified for his first A final at JNATS in the first event of the meet in the 200 butterfly. Narrowly missing the OTC in prelims, he charged to a 4th place finish with a time of 1:59.94, claiming his first Olympic Trial Cut (OTC) of his young career. This time is 20th fastest all time in the US for 15-16-year-old boys.
Soon after that performance, Ansel Froass stepped to the blocks in the B final of the 100 breaststroke. He dominated the heat, finishing with a time of 1:02.08 earning him his first OTC, with a new 15-16 team record. Ansel also swam the 100 freestyle, qualifying for the C final, and finishing with a 20th place finish.
Cora Dupre raced to the finish in the 200 backstroke with an OTC time of 2:13.99 and a podium appearance for a 6th place finish.
Distance specialist, Grady Wheeler, gutted out a strong point scoring 14th place finish in the 1500 freestyle with a stunning time of 15:47.74, setting a new team record.
The boys 400 freestyle relay consisting of Jacob McDonald, Carl Bloebaum, Ian Van Gorp, and Ansel Froass powered to a 5th place podium finish with a time of 3:27.74.
Jacob McDonald appeared on the podium with a 5th place finish in the 400 freestyle. His prelim time of 3:56.85 was under the OTC. Auburn bound, Grady Wheeler, was 19th just off the OTC.
After a slow start, Carl Bloebaum was last at the 50 in the 100 butterfly B final. Charging home, he passed the field and finished first in the heat for a 9th overall finish, with a time of 54.72.
The boys 800 freestyle relay team of Carl Bloebaum, Jacob McDonald, Ansel Froass, and Grady Wheeler, had a strong showing with a 5th place medal winning time of 7:36.10.
Cora Dupre had another strong showing in the 200 freestyle placing 7th and another podium stance with a time of 2:01.82.
The girls 200 breaststroke C final is where the 3rd new OTC qualifier was found. 16-year-old Reese Lugbill who was 7th at the 50, destroyed the last 150, gliding to the win, but more importantly finishing in a time of 2:32.99 under the OTC standard. Reese also set a new team record.
Ansel also swam the 200 breaststroke with a 18th place finish in a time of 2:18.30.
The last day of competition the Mason Manta Rays were in a tight team race and needed stellar performances in all races of finals and they did not disappoint. Grady Wheeler got the day started with an 11th place finish and new team record with a time of 8:15.36 in the 800 freestyle. Ansel Froass then got the night started in fine fashion in the 200 IM. Last at the 100, he surged through the breaststroke and freestyle legs to finish 3rd, with another OTC time of 2:03.54. Perhaps saving the best for last, Indiana bound Cora Dupre, in her last individual swim as a Mason Manta Ray, won her 2nd Junior National Title in the 50 freestyle. Her reaction time of .59, fastest in the field, was key to her victory as she out touched the 2nd place finisher by .01 with a time of 25.62.
The night and the meet came down to the final 400 medley relays. The girls team consisting of Ohio State bound Brynna Wolfe, Reese Lugbill, Kiara Anchrum, and Cora Dupre, swam their hearts out, finishing with team record time of 4:14.32 and more importantly placing 9th and valuable team points in the team race. The boys 400 medley made up of Xavier bound Jon Bernard, Ansel Froass, Carl Bloebaum and Jacob McDonald, finished 6th securing a 3rd place team finish for the Mason Manta Rays.
Congratulations Mason Manta Rays on another great national meet and a 3rd place team finish! Great team effort!