Koontz swims well at Junior Nationals | RecordCourier.com

Koontz swims well at Junior Nationals

by Julie Gray
Special to The R-C
Shelby Koontz

Douglas Dolfins swimmer standout Shelby Koontz continued her push toward the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials when she recently competed at the Speedo Junior National Championships.

This national level long-course meet was held July 30-Aug. 3 in San Antonio. Koontz, who is entering her senior year at Douglas High School, came in with qualifying times in the 100-meter freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley and 200 butterfly and performed very well.

Despite battling illness, she turned in a personal best time of 58.81 seconds in the 100 freestyle, blowing away her previous Dolfins 17-18 girls long course team record with a time of 1:02.08.

She also achieved a best time of 1:01.30 in the 100 butterfly preliminaries, returning to place 16th in the finals with a time of 1:01.95. She broke her previous team record of 1:02.79 twice in one day and inched closer to the Olympic Trials time cut of 1:01.19. The Olympic Trials will be held June 26-July 3, 2016, in Omaha, Neb.

Koontz also clocked times of 2:24.01 in the 200 IM and 2:26.31 in the 200 butterfly.

Higher caliber competitions such as Junior Nationals and senior level meets provide qualified swimmers the opportunity to better their times in separate time trial events in addition to the trials and finals competition.

Koontz was able to pull off a 27.10 in the 50 freestyle, equal to her personal best set earlier this summer, and a time of 1:01.49 in the 100 butterfly.

While Koontz and Dolfins head coach Kat Matheson were attending the Junior Nationals, six Dolfins teammates, along with coach Sarah Davenport, competed in the 2015 Area Western Zone Senior Championships at Clovis High School in central California.

Kaila Duffy, Ryan Chen, Justin Hight, Logan Killion, Josh Smithen and Joe Sullivan all turned in stellar performances including eight new Douglas Dolfins Team Records.

Kaila Duffy shaved .08 seconds off her previous best time in the 50 freestyle with a time of 30.19 and dropped 2.87 seconds in the 100 butterfly with a new PC-AA time of 1:09.81. In a time trial, she achieved another new PC-AA time of 1:04.06 in the 100 freestyle.

Ryan Chen turned in a new boys PC-A and 15-16 team record time of 1:16.81 in the 100 breaststroke, taking off 9.56 seconds and beating the previous record time of 1:22.70. He also dropped 7.83 seconds in the 100 butterfly in a new PC-A time of 1:04.03, dropped 5.93 in a 100 freestyle time trial in a new PC-AA time of 59.14, and a whopping 17.84 in the 200 IM with a new PC-A time of 2:29.17.

Justin Hight dropped 1.05 seconds from his previous best 100 freestyle with a time of 57.63, 3.03 in the 200m freestyle with a 2:06.03 and 1.74 in the 100 butterfly in a new PC-AA time of 1:03.29.

Logan Killion beat three of his own previous boys 17-18 team records in the 400 freestyle, taking off 15.06 seconds with a 4:29.62; the 800 freestyle, dropping 11.22 with a 9:24.18 and the 1,500 freestyle, taking off nearly 30 seconds with a time of 17:58.93. All of his team records were also new PC-AA times.

Josh Smithen, competing in his first long course meet, achieved a new 15-16 boys team record time of 1:06.21 in the 100 backstroke, right on PC-AA pace. He turned in a time of 26.96 in the 50 freestyle, 59.52 in the 100 freestyle and set another team record in the 200 IM in 2:21.67.

Joe Sullivan set two boys 15-16 team records in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.91, breaking the record time of 26.77 set by Andrew Sturges in 2001, and in the 100 freestyle with a new PC-AAA time of 56.20, breaking a record of 57.20 set by Kyle Johnston in 2011. He also dropped 14.12 sec in the 100 backstroke with a new PC-A time of 1:07.67.