Heading into the final 100 meters of the men’s 200-meter butterfly C-Final, Canyons Aquatic Club swimmer Jonathan Quick looked up and saw something out of the corner of his eye: his very own cheering section at the 2019 CA SPEEDO Summer Sectional Finals held at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Thursday evening.
Huddled around the finish line in lane No. 6 was a small contingent of young Canyons Aquatics Club swimmers yelling, jumping and urging Quick to go faster.
“That definitely motivated me,” Quick said. “I kind of saw the guy all the way to my left and just seeing the little kids and the older kids on the other side also, definitely motivated me.”
Hearing the chants, Quick made his move on the third and final turn. Going toe-to-toe with James Torrez of Brea Aquatics with only 50 meters remaining, Quick powered through beating Torrez by .14 seconds for first place in two minutes, 7.16 seconds.
“It felt great,” Quick said. “My gameplan, honestly, today was just to try to be close to my best time and I surpassed that which was good.”
Quick’s high school and Canyons Aquatic teammate Kyle Brill also found himself in a C-Final. After finishing tied for sixth place in the Men’s 200-meter breaststroke in the morning’s prelims, Brill was required to do a swim-off to advance to the evening’s final heats.
Swimming to a third-place finish in 2:27.49, Brill was content with dropping his time, but knows that there is still more to accomplish.
“In the morning, I felt a little better, but I really paced myself awfully,” Brill said. “I could have gone a lot faster in the morning, but I just didn’t have a fast tempo. Tonight, I didn’t feel quite as good, but I fixed my pace and that definitely helped me drop some time. I’m looking forward to dropping a little more this season, for sure.”
Sophia Morici finished in 23rd place in the Women’s 1,500-meter freestyle in 18:54.59 seconds, using the race as a “feeler” for future races and meets.
Justin Morsch took seventh place in the Men’s 100-meter freestyle C-Final in 53.26.
Rounding out the Canyon’s Aquatic swimmers was Caitlin Tang, who like Brill, agreed that she felt different swimming in the morning.
Battling Elizabeth Ramirez of LaMirada Armada and Emily Honng of Brea Aquatics in the Women’s 200-meter breaststroke C-Final, Tang finished .28 seconds off the first-place time for runner-up honors in 2:43.74.
“I thought it was a nice swim,” Tang said. “Obviously, the morning swim in comparison to the afternoon swim was a bit different, depending on the person. I think that it was all thanks to my coaches and helping me to fix the little things. Also working hard in practice and working hard in general on my stroke, technique and endurance have really brought me good results today.”
Paseo Aquatics swimmer and one of the youngest swimmers in the entire field, Teia Salvino turned some heads, swimming to an eighth-place finish in the women’s 100-meter freestyle Championship Final and clocking in a time of 58.24 seconds.
“I thought we did a lot of really good things,” said Paseo Aquatics head age group coach Daiki Sato. “We have been working on her underwaters, making sure we hit 15 meters, that’s the last spot before you get disqualified for going too far. And then on the other side, she did exactly what I needed her to do, go eight meters.
“Now, you know, these girls are older and a little bit stronger, so I saw her starting to fade around the last 10 meters, which I think is normal. She is one of the youngest girls at the whole meet, having said that, I think she had a phenomenal race. She wasn’t rested or tapered for this meet so I’m really excited to see what Future (Championships) is going to look like.”
Day 2 of the meet continues today with another round of prelims at 9 a.m. and finals starting at 5 p.m.