Inland Empire Junior Champs

David Dolphay

   The Inland Empire Junior Championship meet kicks off our short course champs season. It was another very successful edition of one of our favorite meets of the year, featuring up-and-coming swimmers who get the chance to shine! CAST took third place in the team competition and earned plenty of individual medals from a slew of great swims!

    Two Crocs ran away with individual high point honors. Michaela Richards continued her winning ways, breaking CAST team records in the 25 back and 50 back on her way to first place in 5 events and the 8 and under girls’ high point. Addie Wallace swam to personal bests in all 7 of her swims, winning a pair of them and never finishing lower than 3rd to earn top honors for the 13-14 girls. Both achieved “BB” times that qualify them for SC Champs in Moscow next week!

    Several other athletes went down to Pullman hoping to qualify for the next level meet and succeeded. Hank Crow, Harris Crow, Andrew Davis, Ethan Harrell, Jackson Oswald, Anjali Richards, Brielle Schmidt, and Jace Voeller all earned new “BB” times over the weekend, tore up their finals swims, and qualified for SC Champs in Moscow!

    We had one first time competitor in Reese Thompson. Reese swam 4 events, highlighted by a fantastic 25 fly that netted her 6th place for the 8 and under girls-way to make a first competition impression Reese!

    Caroline Anderson went all best times including 7 second drop in the 100 back; Norah Bennett earned a pair of bests and had a terrific relay leadoff leg for the 200 medley relay; Bailey Copstead dropped time in all 3 races, made her first finals, and finished 5th in the 50 fly by going a PR in prelims and then dropping again at night;  Serena Grace shaved 9 seconds off her 50 back and 3 off her 50 free;  Sophia Grace had a pair of personal bests and contributed to 2 top-8 relays; Sam Harrell showed off his racing acumen with 6 best times and 5 terrific finals swims; Izzy Hunt also went 6 for 6 on best times and had a pair of top-8 finishes and simply swam her heart out every time; Gavin Johnson earned 3 faster marks in the 50 back, breast and freestyles with the highlight of a 5 second drop in his best stroke; Kinley Ochoa blew up her 3 events with 3 best times and 3 top 8 finishes, winning the 50 breast for the 9-10 girls; Gwen Peterson earned 4 new best times including a 6 second drop in the 50 breast; Everlee Racanelli shaved 5 full seconds off both of her races by showing off a real competitive spirit; Ellie Ruth earned bests in all 3 of her individual races and moved up a ton of places in each to make a trio of finals on Sunday; and Charlie Wagstaff knocked it out of the park with 4 best times and wins in the 200 fly, 200 IM, and 50 breast.

    Thanks to all the swimmers on a fun weekend-CAST is well set up for the rest of our short course championship meets!