Tosky shakes off fatigue to grab for gold
Adam Hinshaw also earns gold; Rachael Acker, Haley Sims, Byron Sanborn also headed for Omaha
The real Jasmine Tosky showed up to swim in the Speedo Junior Nationals Championships this week. The one who stumbled through the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships last week just had to be an imposter.
The Palo Alto High senior, who swims for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, never came close to sniffing a final last week. Not only did Tosky qualify for the finals in the first two of her events in the USA Junior Nationals at the Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford, she took home a pair of gold medals for her trouble.
"We're way past where her prime was for this summer," PASA coach Tony Batis said. "We peaked for (the FINA World Championships) in Shanghai, came in here to Nationals straightaway and tried to race but was definitely tired."
Tosky has earned her way to next summer's Olympic trials in Omaha. She'll be joined by many of her PASA teammates who have swam well enough to make the trip.
Adam Hinshaw, who has two gold medals this week, Rachael Acker, Haley Sims, and Byron Sanborn will also be making the trip.
Stanford incoming freshman David Nolan also punched his ticket to Omaha this week.
Tosky nearly sleepwalked through Nationals while recovering from jetlag that had her awakening at four in the morning.
"Nationals was not a very happy meet for me, not one of my best," Tosky said. "But I guess since I came back from Shanghai, that kind of has to do with my performance at Nationals."
A rested Tosky returned to her usual championship form this week at the Junior Nationals, earning gold in the 400 freestyle relay, and helping set a new meet record that she had helped set a year ago, and earned gold in the 100 butterfly. Though Tosky may be facing slower competition at the Junior Nationals, her times have also improved dramatically from the previous week. And, besides, scores of swimmers have met the Olympic Trial times this week as well.
Tosky's butterfly in the finals on Wednesday clocked in at 59.51 seconds, more than a second faster from the time she posted in the bonus finals at Nationals. Her time in the relay dropped as well, falling from 56.01 seconds to 55.98 seconds. While that decrease may seem slight, as evidence of her fitness, Tosky's time on the second lap of the relay shrank from 29.55 to 29.19.
"She has an understanding of where the endpoint is," Batis said. "She knows she's 48 hours from taking a good, well-deserved break, and it's a not too distant event now."
Tosky has budgeted what little energy she has left in the Junior Nationals, electing to withdraw from a few of her regular events, such as the 200 butterfly, an event in which she holds the current Junior Nationals record.
As PASA coach Scott Shea said, Tosky is merely taking "a little recovery" amidst her final week of summer competition.
With the conclusion of a grueling three weeks of summer competition, Tosky said she'll take two weeks off, but then must begin preparing for the 2012 Summer Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. next summer.
Tosky said she plans to swim six events at the Olympic Trials in hopes of making the Olympic squad. Asked if the Olympics were on her radar, Tosky replied, "Definitely, but first I've got to work on Trials so that's my big meet right now."
While Tosky's Olympic aspirations may be legitimate, Batis warned that making the Olympic team requires more than talent.
"There are a lot of girls that are good enough to make the Olympic team, and unfortunately it's a battle for 26 positions," Batis said. "Is she a contender? Absolutely, and she has the ability too. But the ability only takes you to a certain point. She's still got a lot of stuff to do over the next 8-10 months to give herself that chance."
Hinshaw joined won his second gold medal in the 400 freestyle. Sitting in third place after 350 meters and trailing by more than four tenths of a second, Hinshaw found a late surge to touch just ahead of Matias Koski, winning by .13 seconds. He finished with a time of 3:56.27.
"I knew I had really great finishing speed based off my other performances at Juniors so far and at Nationals," Hinshaw said, referring to his gold in the 400 individual medley on Tuesday. "So at the last 50 there, I knew that if I threw in my kick, I would be able to get to the wall first."
It was Hinshaw's closing speed that made the difference as he swam the final 50 meters in 28.10 seconds, his fastest lap by nearly two seconds. Hinshaw followed his plan for the race perfectly, waiting in fourth or third place for much of the race, but remaining close enough to catch the leaders in the final sprint.
"I just wanted to stay in the lead pack and then in the last 50, take off," he said.
Sims finished ninth in the 100 fly with a time of 1:01.14. Acker took third place in the bonus final with a time of 1:01.92.
The PASA relay team of Hinshaw, Connor Stuewe, Andrew Liang and finished 10th in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:42.42.
Lane swam 54.78 in the 100 butterfly to earn fourth place and his qualification for the Olympic Trials.
PASA's record-setting 'A' women's 400 freestyle relay team consisted of Tosky, Julia Ama, Camille Cheng and Acker and finished in 3:46.68 to obliterate the meet record of 3:48.24, which was accomplished by Tosky, Cheng, Acker and Maddie Schaefer, who will be a freshman at Stanford this fall.
"I wasn't sure how our relays would do without Maddie, but I think we're going to do pretty well," Tosky said. "Julia and Rachael are really stepping in."
Both Acker and Tosky swam their portions of the relay in under 56 seconds, times that would have been fast enough in the 100 free finals to place second and third, respectively.
Finishing immediately behind PASA 'A' in the relay was PASA 'B,' comprised of Sims, Alicia Grima, Carly Reid and Ally Howe. That quartet earned the silver medal with a time of 3:50.24.
Jeremie Dezwirek held a lead in the finals of the 200 backstroke for the first 150 meters, but was unable to hang on down the stretch and took the bronze with a time of 2:03.13.
Acker competed in the 100 freestyle finals before her gold in the relay, finishing in 56.43 seconds to earn fourth place. Ama finished fifth in the consolation final while fellow relay teammate Cheng took seventh in the bonus final. Both Ama and Cheng failed to qualify for the Olympic Trials with Ama just missing the necessary time of 57.19 by .09 seconds.
Howe earned her qualification into the Olympic Trials in the 200 backstroke by winning the bonus final in a time of 2:18.33.