By Colin Becht
Palo Alto Online Sports
Palo Alto High senior Jasmine Tosky's apparent nonchalance for the Speedo Junior National Championships belied her accomplishments of the past week.
Tosky, who swims for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, highlighted her appearance at the Junior Nationals at Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford with yet another gold medal, this time in the meet-ending 400 medley relay on Friday. It was the fifth gold medal of her abbreviated week.
"Juniors this year was really fun. I wasn't swimming a lot, so I could really socialize and stuff and still swim pretty well," Tosky said. "It was just swimming more for fun."
Making swimming fun may have been exactly what Tosky needed as she concluded a grueling three weeks of competition, which began in Shanghai at the FINA World Championships before crossing the Pacific to Stanford for the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships last week and the Junior Nationals this week.
Tosky will bypass the Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru, which would have meant yet another grueling week of travel, in exchange for some R & R.
After failing to reach a final in Nationals last week while still fighting her time zone fatigue, Tosky rebounded this week by reaching the finals in each of the six events she competed in and winning all but one.
Tosky, Ally Howe, Haley Sims and Camille Cheng combined to win the medley relay in 4:11.96, beating the field by nearly four seconds. PASA's women's 'A' relay team swept all three relay events this week, setting meet records along the way.
Though the lineup for the relay team changed from event to event, Tosky was a part of all three. That also helped make her decision to swim a lighter schedule that much easier. She withdrew from some of the longer races in which she had already qualified for the Olympic Trials.
"I kind of took it easier at Juniors," Tosky said of taking the rare day off.
Had she not, chances of acquiring even more hardware for her collection would have been that much greater. She pulled out of five other individual events, several of which she owns the meet record, but she did not let down her teammates.
Even competing with one foot in the pool and the other on break, Tosky managed to finish third in the high point award among female swimmers.
PASA took second in the team rankings with 494 points, behind Dynamo Swim Club's 561 points. The PASA female swimmers earned the most points for their gender while the men finished seventh.
Now that her back-to-back-to-back weeks of competition are over, Tosky said she's glad she'll have the next two weeks off.
"It's been all fun and good, but I'm glad to just relax now," she said.
While Tosky will be resting, the season continues for PASA's Rachael Acker, who made the U.S. National Junior Team and will compete in the FINA Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru beginning Tuesday.
Acker will be the sole PASA representative at the event since Tosky was moved to the national team.
Adam Hinshaw, who won two events during the week, would have qualified for the Junior Worlds with his times at the Junior Nationals, but his times at Nationals the week before were slightly too slow according to PASA coach Scott Shea.
Tosky showed her first and only sign of exhaustion of the meet Friday while swimming in the 50 freestyle final. After getting off to a solid start, Tosky fell slightly behind the leaders and took fourth place with a time of 26.14 seconds. Had she finished .01 seconds faster, Tosky would have jumped into a three-way tie for second place.
"It was just annoying at the end," Tosky said. "It wasn't that good of a swim. I wish I went just maybe .01 faster. That would have been cool."
Incoming Stanford freshman Jack Lane swam the 200 individual medley in 2:05.59 to finish eighth. Lane was in second following the butterfly, but dropped towards the back of the pack in the backstroke and couldn't manage a late charge. His time was still strong enough to qualify him for the Olympic Trials.
Sims placed fifth in the bonus final of the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.76 and PASA's women's 'B' relay team of Alicia Grima, Lilly Nelson, Naomi Thomas and Julia Ama swam the 18th best time, finishing the race in 4:21.74.
Jeremie Dezwirek, Byron Sanborn, Andrew Liang and Connor Stuewe of PASA's men's relay team also finished 18th in the medley with a time of 3:54.82.