This past weekend, the TYR International Senior Cup brought some great competition to Florida’s Gulf coast. With the end of the season drawing near, swimmers were encouraged to compete in multiple events and soon after the start of the competition, the International Senior Cup quickly set the stage for new Olympic Trials qualifying times to be established.
The Virginia Gators showed their team dominance by winning the men’s and women’s divisions by a substantial margin. Individual performances from the Roanoke swim club highlighted the meet, as well.
The Gators’ Olivia Bray put her skill on display by claiming eight victories throughout the weekend. Already a trials qualifier, Bray added three meet records to her resume. She proceeded to win the three sprint freestyle events, every butterfly event she competed in, and the 50m and 100m backstroke. Her times in the 100m backstroke (1:02.62), the 100m butterfly (58.41), and the 200m butterfly (2:09.60) all fell under the current trials standards.
As if her performance couldn’t have been more impressive, she led the Virginia Gators to four relay victories. Taking first in all but the 400m freestyle relay, which went to the YMCA of the Triangle Area, the Gators set a record in each win.
Carly Cummings of Condors Swimming picked up two Olympic Trial qualifying times in the 100m breaststroke, with a 1:10.60, and the 200m individual medley, with a time of 2:16.19. The Auburn junior joins a talented group of Tigers who have been able to qualify for the trials. Cummings claimed victory in her two qualifying events: the 50m breaststroke, where she posted a 32.23 and the 200m breaststroke, where she posted a 2:34.48. These qualifying times set meet records in both events.
The race in the 100m breaststroke ranked among the meets most exciting. 17-year-old Edenna Chen from Colorado Springs battled to a silver medal and an Olympic Trials qualifying swim, becoming the third female swimmer to qualify during this ISCA meet.
Girls 16U meet records fell in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly, as many of the top finishers swam under the previous best time. The best overall performance of the weekend came from the Gators’ Qishuo Zhang, with wins in the 200, 400, 800, and 1500m freestyle.
For the men, the top swimmer of the meet also came from the Virginia Gators. Noah Bowers’ time of 1:59.18 in the 200m butterfly was good enough to qualify for the Olympic Trials and set a meet record. He previously also qualified in the 100m butterfly.
The male swimmers came out to compete, with Iran Almeida lowering the 100m freestyle, Griffin Alaniz dropping the 50m backstroke, and Samuel Oliver showing off in the 1500m freestyle. Alaniz added the 200m backstroke as a gold medal swim and Oliver claimed the 400m and 800m freestyle events. Trials qualifier and fellow Gators teammate Khalil Fonder won the 100m backstroke and the 50m and 100m butterfly, adding even more points to the Roanoke club’s total. Colorado Springs swimmer Joshua-Ryan Lujan won the 100m and 200m breaststroke.
Two Boys 16U swimmers finished the meet with three victories each. CPAC’s Typer Sicignano won the 100m and 200m butterfly along with the 200m individual medley. Gators’ Micah Lowe dominated the backstroke events and Christopher Guiliano of Tops Swimming broke the meet record in the 100m freestyle with a 52.00.
The Virginia Gators swept through the men’s relay events, winnings all five by a significant margin. With individual champions, such as Almeida, Bowers, and Fonder, the Gators established meet records in the 200 freestyle relay and medley relay.
Overall it was an exciting weekend with impressive times being posted by extremely talented athletes and with Olympic dreams being developed with every stroke. Best of luck for everyone looking towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond!