By Nathan Jendrick
FEDERAL WAY, Wash., USA, July 17. FINALS started early on the final day of the Speedo West Sectional Championships, but the swimmers apparently experienced no lag and pulled off some quick swims to put the meet into the books.
The first finals of the day were the 400 medley relays, contested during the preliminary session Saturday morning. The women from King Aquatic Club finished out their dominating performance, taking the event in fine form. The King relay of Arianna Kukors, Megan Jendrick, Emily Kukors and Emilee Jennings, touched in 4:16.73, slightly off their 4:13.57 seed time, but still quick enough to smash the former meet record. The previous mark of 4:18.08 was set by Tualatin Hills in 2000, by a team that included Inge DeBruijn.
The King men's A relay was handled by the crew of Trent Staley, Joon Youm, Scott Rice and David Bai. They took their event handily in 3:54.11, ahead of STAR, which finished in 3:55.79. King just missed the meet mark which remains held by Sun Devil Aquatics at 3:54.03.
During the night session, King's wunderkind, 16-year-old Arianna Kukors, picked up yet another Sectional title by taking the 200 individual medley in 2:16.58, well ahead of Carley Beaudreau (LOVE) who touched for second at 2:20.28. Arianna's teammate, Courtney Eronemo, finished third in 2:20.51, and her older sibling Emily swam to a sixth place finish in 2:23.49.
After coming into the A final seeded sixth, DU Hilltopper's Chris Good stepped up to take the men's 200 I.M. in 2:07.88, just a fingernail’s length ahead of C.J. Nuess (SAS), who stormed into the wall at 2:07.91. Good was in second at the 150 mark, just over three-tenths behind Nuess. The Ironman and Ironwoman titles of the 1,500 freestyle went to Joni Zimmerman (AFOX) on the women's side in 16:55.60 and to Carl Jones (TCCC) on the men's end at 15:57.11.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, and the event that would mark the end of the meet, was the 50-meter freestyle. The A final for the women was awarded to Madeline Rovira (Race) in the closest heat of the meet. Rovira touched first in 26.60, barely ahead of Katerine Raatz (AFOX) at 26.62, who nabbed the second place medal from Emilee Jennings (King) at 26.63. The men were slightly more spaced out, with the championship going to Johnathan Larsen (Chat) in 23.56. Finishing second was King's Matt Diotte in 23.88, who was slightly ahead of Tacoma's Nathan Adrian at 23.96.
The team championship went, not surprisingly, to King Aquatic Club with 1,001 points. In a distant second was Tacoma Swim Club, fueled by the strong performances of Ryan Verlatti, with 464 points.