Two Records Fall on Second Night of Speedo Far Western Championships

SAN JOSE, California, August 1. TEAM Quebec took its second meet record in a relay event on the second night of finals at the 2013 Speedo Far Western Championships. Spectators were also treated to the first new individual Far Western record of the meet from 14 year old Morganne McKennan of Quicksilver.

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McKennan put together an excellent 200 breaststroke for the win and record, cutting her 2:41.04 prelim time down to a 2:38.60. Her time put her over half a second under the 2:39.19 previous meet record set by Terrapins’ Paige Bradley in 2005.

A number of girls added to the collection of titles they started on the first night. Sunn Swimming’s Vivian Wang claimed her third title of the meet in the 11-12 girls 100 backstroke, with a 1:07.56, just shy of the 1:07.09 meet record set by Palo Alto’s Ally Howe in 2008. Pleasanton’s Erika Brown also took her third meet title in the backstroke, winning the 13-14 age group in a 1:04.71, also within striking range of the 1:04.55 meet record.

The 200 breaststroke provided an excellent opportunity for racing, seen first among the 11-12 boys. Ellis Aquatic’s Jesse Russell-Cheung took the top spot with a 2:49.55 after losing steam down the home stretch. Sensing Russell-Cheung’s weakness, South Valley Stingray’s Bryant Luu made a late push for the win but settled for second with a 2:50.60.

Nearly the entire finals field of 13-14 boys bettered their preliminary times, including winner Lyon Zhang from Mission San Jose Aquatics. Zhang cut nearly four seconds off for a 2:31.81 winning time. A late build from Skyeler Kerr (Fort St. John) put him in second with a 2:31.38, mere hundredths under Team Quebec’s Connor Isings.

The boy’s 400 IM displayed the depth of international talent in attendance at the Far Western Championships. In the 17-18 and 15-16 age groups, at least half of the finalists hailed from Mexico or Canada. Pleasanton’s Kevin McLaughlin had a comfortable lead for the majority of the men’s 17-18 race, but Mexico’s Gerado Guz and Jorge de Jesus Amaya both put together incredible freestyle legs to chase him down for first and second, pushing McLaughlin down to third.

Seth Chun dominated the 11-12 age group from the dive, winning the event by over 10 seconds. Although Chun was a ways away from Nick Silverthorn’s 4:58.13 meet record from 2008, his 5:05.53 final time is highly impressive for a 12 year old.

The second night of finals concluded with the 400 medley relay. The girls’ 13-14 relay team from Quebec, consisting of Lily Bellehumeur-Bechamp, Jillian Pauletto, Erica Dobby and Allyson Kis, shaved a few tenths off the meet record with their 4:28.34 winning time. The previous meet record belonged to PASA, set in 2009 at a 2:28.69.