The Truckee Tahoe Swim Team sent 18 swimmers to the Sierra Nevada Long Course Junior Olympics in Roseville from July 19-22.
The meet opened with chilly temperatures that steadily rose during the course of the event, which was held at a 50-meter outdoor pool. By Sunday the temperature reached 110 degrees and the heat was matched by 12-year-old Cooper deRyk’s exciting performance that day in the 11/12 boys’ 50-meter freestyle.
deRyk was seeded third going to the event and took first place in the preliminaries. He came back later Sunday night in the finals to take even more time off, which earned him first place again with a time of 29.20. This capped deRyk’s full slate of seven events and two other medal races.
Next up for deRyk is the Far Western Invitational Championships in San Jose at the beginning of August, followed immediately by a full week of swimming in Grand Junction, Colo., after being selected as a member of the Sierra Nevada Western Zones all-star team.
Caitlin Smith, the youngest member of the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team (TTST) Junior Olympic (JO) team at 8 years old, also raced to a spectacular first-place finish in the 50-meter butterfly with a time of 43.46. Smith not only swam events in the 8 and under age group, but also qualified for events in the 10 and under age group to swim in a total of six events.
TTST fielded a strong group of swimmers in the 9-10 age group. Leading the way was 10-year-old Allison Lockard. Lockard brought home an incredible five medals (two fourths and three sixths) out of the maximum allowance of seven events in the meet, and dropped lots of time along the way.
Rebecca Waterson, 9, also had a great meet. The highlight of her seven events was a fourth-place swim in the 50 butterfly, which also earned Waterson her first “AAA” time. Up next for both Lockard and Waterson are the Far Western Championships, and both were also selected to the Sierra Nevada Western Zone all-star team.
Swimming in her first JO meet was 10-year-old Zoe Klenke. Klenke swam to personal bests in three of her four events, including a 3.5-second drop in her 100 backstroke.
Hunter Hoffman, also 10, swam in his first long-course JOs after only swimming in a long-course pool for the first time three months ago. Hoffman swam just shy of the finals with a ninth place in the 50 butterfly and his first “A” time.
Emmy Purdy, 9, also swam a full seven events and swam best times in most of them. The high point of Purdy’s meet was dropping a whopping 9.5 seconds off of her 100 butterfly time. Rounding out the 9-10-year-old contingent is recently turned 9-year-old Annika Thayer. This was Thayer’s third appearance at the JOs, which was highlighted by a 13-second drop in the 200 freestyle.
The 9-10 girls also fielded relays in the 10 and under age group. Swimming to a fifth-place finish was the team’s 200 medley relay team. Each swimmer completed 50 meters of the pool. Klenke led off with a backstroke swim followed by Lockard with breaststroke. Waterson took the butterfly leg and Purdy anchored with Freestyle. The foursome repeated for a fifth-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay.
Moving up an age group to the 11-12-year-olds, Kate Rye, 12, turned out an awesome 50 freestyle swim and with it earned her first “AA” time. Rye swam a full seven events and was a member of both TTST girls’ 11-12, 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, swimming freestyle legs in both events.
Swimming in her first JOs was 12-year-old Chloe Gorman. Her 200 breaststroke was the highlight of her meet. She dropped more than 9 seconds from a time she had just set only weeks before. The huge smiles on her parents’ faces summed up the great swim. Gorman also swam both relays and was the breaststroker in the medley relay.
Megan Burrill, 11, chopped 14 seconds off of her 400 freestyle swim to cap off her JO experience. Burrill swam in three events and also contributed to both 11-12 girls’ relays with a turn at butterfly in the 200 IM relay. Anna Kates, also 11, helped round out the two 11-12 relays with a backstroke swim in the 200 medley relays and freestyle swim in the 200 free relay.
After recently moving up to a new age group, Sean Percin, 11, qualified for three events. Percin swam personal bests in events he had just set times in two weeks before.
In the 13-14 age group, Kyla Burrill, 14 swam in seven events and took large amounts of time off in most of them. Among them, Burrill took off 5 seconds from her 200 butterfly and 6 seconds off of her 400 freestyle. Niki Kates also 14, swam in six events and had personal bests in half of them, including a 5-second drop in the 200 IM. Jake Hamilton finished the season strong in his last meet as a 14-year-old. He swam in seven events and dropped significant time in both the 200 IM (8 seconds) and the 400 freestyle (9 seconds).
Lastly, TTST sent two 17-year-olds to the meet. Amanda Novick swam in seven events and made the finals in four. Novick’s highlight was a fourth place in the 1,500 freestyle. She also took home a seventh and two eighth-place medals. Kaleb Rodarte also swam seven events, including seventh place with a 4-second time drop in the 100 butterfly. Rodarte finished JOs and went straight to Sectionals in Santa Clarita; he was also selected to the Western Zone team.
Coaches Debbie Meyer and Betsy Hansen both attended the meet and were thrilled with the number of swimmers TTST sent and the dedication the swimmers put in to qualify.
“The competition and weather were challenging, but TTST swimmers stepped it up and did an amazing job,” Meyer said.
TTST offers training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability levels. Swim with TTST at the team’s upcoming open-water event, Hot August Chill, to be held at Donner Lake on Sunday, Aug. 19. Find more information at www.truckeeswim.com.