Washington Open

David Dolphay

    CAST had a phenomenally successful Washington Open last weekend in Federal Way. WA Open features nearly 800 athletes who aren’t separated into age groups, meaning the competition is very tightly bunched together leading to a lot of great racing opportunities! Our athletes absolutely floored the coaches with how well they swam. For quite a few of our swimmers, this was their first taste of an open style competition with this amount of high level swimmers, against the backdrop of an awe-inspiring facility-and they absolutely stepped up!

    Every one of our swimmers had a noteworthy performance. Jake Sachtjen was our top finisher, garnering 8th place in the 1650 freestyle. Jake also earned a pair of Senior Sectional cuts in that race as well as the 1000 free, and nabbed a pair of CAST top performer times in those events-along with 5 other best times! Tillie Sobek smashed the team record for the 13-14 girls 1000 free en route to her first ever senior sectional cut, to go along with PR’s in the 500 free (6th on the performer list), 200 free, 100 free, and 200 fly. She made bonus finals in the 500 free finishing 20th overall, at just 13 years old! Elishka Janout also earned her first ever Senior Sectional cuts, making both the 100 breast (8th on the performer list) and 200 breast (7th on the performer list). She also dropped in her 200 IM, 50 free, and 100 free! Gabby Garasky was our most finalled swimmer, earning second swims in the 50 free, 100 fly, 100 back, and 100 free, and raced well morning and evening alike. Demi Blaylock smashed her 200 breast time while qualifying for finals, dropping 8 seconds and is now 6th on the performer list. She also had drops in her 100 breast, 100 fly, and 50 breast. Pema Anain had good drops in her 500 free (8th best performer time) and 200 free, and dropped 7 in her signature 1650 (3rd fastest performer time & 5th fastest performance time ever) to finish 11th overall. Rachel Nicholls made qualifying swims for the prestigious Age Group Zones this summer, as well as Age Group Sectionals in March, thanks to 20+ second drops in her 1000 and 1650 which also earned her spots on the performer lists, and 10th on the performance list in the 1650; she also had best times in her 200 IM and 200 free. Elijah Brown was a perfect 8 for 8 on his best times, with bests in the 200 breast, 200 back (10th on the performer list), 100 breast, 100 back, 100 free, 50 free, 50 breast, and 200 free. Quinn Taylor netted 5 best times, made the performer list in the 200 breast, and qualified for bonus finals in the 50 breast, 100 breast, and 200 breast-all at just 14 years old! All 4 of Zach Linford’s swims ended in huge drops, capped off by a terrific 7 second PR in the 200 fly, along with bests in the 200 IM, 100 fly, and 100 back. Riley Taylor was our final point-earner, with a 13th place finish in the 50 back, and a best time in the 50 fly as well. Erin Griffith earned 3 best times, with her highlight swim a 3 second drop in her 200 back to qualify for bonus finals and debuting on the performer list at 10th. 

    Ben Linford led off his meet with an excellent 2 second drop in his 200 IM, and added bests in the 50 free and 200 free, although my favorite race of his might have been his 200 back-it wasn’t quite a best, but it was terrifically raced nonetheless. Camden Cotant was 3 for 4 on bests, with PR’s in the 50 breast, 100 back, and 100 free, as well as an excellent relay split on the 200 free relay. Owen Bennett was a perfect 3 for 3, dropping in his 100 fly, 100 free, and 200 fly in his first of what will be many swims at KCAC. Camryn Schmidt kicked off the meet with a terrific Friday, dropping time in her 50 free and 500 free to start the weekend and staying close to her other best times all the way through. Clara Strow battled hard all weekend, willing herself to a pair of best times, with a terrific 5 second drop in her 200 IM kicking off the meet along with a drop in her 100 free. Eli Shaw looked back to form in a kind of comeback meet, earning a 3 second drop in the 100 free, bests in the 50 back and 100 fly, and a sterling best in his 200 fly. Sylvia Strow dominated her backstroke swims, dropping 3 seconds in her 100 and over 5 in her 200 back. Bostyn Shoemaker stepped right up and raced the older swimmers in her heats (in some cases older by 5 years), dropping in her 50 free, 100 breast, and 200 breast. Ethan Abbott made the most of his one day at the meet, earning 2 out of 3 best times in the 200 breast and 100 free & had a big smile on his face all day. Delaney Snell had to bounce back from a Friday suit-related setback, but finished the meet strong with a 15 second best time In her 200 fly. George Lavy dropped a full second in his 100 breast, and was almost exactly on his bests in 3 other races.

    With the way this group swam, we are well set up for our upcoming championship season! Great job Crocs!