PASA swimmers earn berth into Olympic trials


By Colin Becht

Palo Alto Online Sports

While Emma Schoettmer was making waves with her record-setting 200 breast, a handful of Palo Alto Stanford swimmers were also making their own waves at the Speedo USA Junior National Swimming Championships being held at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center.

Schoettmer, who swims for the Center Grove Aquatic Club, became the major star of Monday's competition,‭ ‬setting a meet record in her event with a time of‭ ‬2:27.99.‭ ‬The lightning-fast pace gave Schoettmer a nearly three-second victory over the field.

It's been an interesting two weeks for Schoettmer, who finished sixth in the USA Swimming National Championships last week,‭ and who moved into the lead during the final 100 meters. She improved ‬her time from last week by one-hundreth of a second.

With most of the top swimmers scratching from the day's events following a grueling national championship run, no local swimmer reached the podium on the first day of competition. There were, however, Ally Howe and Byron Sanborn of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics and Jack Lane and Ben Holston,‭ ‬both incoming freshmen swimmers at Stanford.

All four swam in one of the consolation finals and all four swam qualifying times to earn a spot in next year's Olympic Trials, with will be held in Omaha.

Howe and Lane each qualified in‭ their respective ‬200 fly finals. Howe went 2:16.25 in the 'B' final to finish 18th overall, while Lane swam a 2:03.04 in the 'B' final to finish 13th overall. Sanborn beat the qualifying time in the‭ ‬200 breast by‭ ‬.06‭ ‬seconds and Holston closed strong in the 1,500 free.

Holston finished‭ ‬16th overall,‭ propelling ‬himself to a qualifying time with a‭ ‬30.37 final lap,‭ ‬his fastest by nearly two seconds.‭ He finished the race in 15:‬52.31. Mission Viejo took the top two spots on the podium,‭ ‬with Janardan Burns and Logan Redondo finishing‭ ‬15:34.36‭ ‬and‭ ‬15:37.74,‭ ‬respectively.

Lane finished third in the 'B' final of the‭ ‬200 fly,‭ ‬after being unable to hang on to an early lead in the race.‭ ‬Lane's first lap of‭ ‬27.04‭ ‬seconds set the pace. He eventually fell behind winner Marco Bove and runner-up Carlos Omana,‭ ‬losing by‭ ‬1.11‭ ‬seconds.

Sanborn closed strong to improve two spots in the final‭ ‬100 meters of his‭ ‬200 breast race and placed fifth in the consolation final.‭ ‬He posted a time of‭ ‬2:20.73,‭ ‬slightly more than two seconds behind heat-winner Eric Holden of the SoNoCo Swim Club,‭ ‬who went 2:18.54.

Howe was PASA's first competitor of the day and relied on a fast start to finish eighth in the women's‭ ‬200 fly consolation final with a time of‭ ‬2:16.25.‭ ‬Connie Hsu of the Wheaton Swim Club took the heat,‭ ‬finishing more than two and a half seconds faster than Howe at‭ ‬2:13.63.

Elsewhere, Courtney Weaver of the Flint‭ '‬y‭' ‬Falcons edged Kara Kopcso in the closest finish of the day,‭ ‬taking the championship of the‭ ‬200 fly by two-tenths of a second.

Clark Smith and William Licon earned championships in the‭ men's ‬200 fly and 200 breast,‭ ‬respectively,‭ ‬while‭ ‬14-year-old Kathleen Ledecky took the title in the‭ women's ‬800 free.

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