Western Zone Long Course Age Group Swimming Championships

Duncan Henderson. Courtesy photo


Duncan Henderson. Courtesy photo




Western Zone Long Course Age Group Swimming Championships were held in Gresham, Oregon Aug 7-10 in typically Pacific Northwest Seasonal conditions, that is cold with some rain.


USA Swimming (USA S) Local Swim Committees (LSC) from WA, OR, CO, CA, AK, NM, AZ and HI among others competed using swimmers from hundreds of USAS teams. California teams from Pacific Swimming, and SoCal were the toughest, as they have 15k+ swimmers registered in those LSCs, and tend to work very hard, and end up fastest in the nation frequently.


Los Alamos Aquatomics sent 5 Swimmers representing New Mexico Swimming LSC to the meet.


Julia Quernemoen, 13, showed her versatility, competing in the 200 and 400 M IM, 100 and 200 M Breaststroke, 200 M Back, 400 M Free, and 200 and 400 M Medley and Free Relays. Her highest finish in individual events was 27 th in the 200 M Breast, and helped the 200 M Free Relay to score in 8 th place.


Michelle Lo, 9, one of the few 9 years olds competing in the meet in the 10-U, competed in the 50 M Fly, 50 M Breast, 50 M Free, 200 M IM, and was a member of the 200 M Medley and 200 M Free Relays as well. Michelle’s highest finish in the individual events was 30 th in the 50 M Brst, and her 200 M Free Relay placed 11th.


Owen Mclaughlin, 10, swam the 50 and 100 M Back, 100 M Free, 50 and 100 M Fly, and both the 200 M Medley and Free Relays. Owen’s 50 Fly Prelim swim was fast enough to qualify 12th for the finals, in which he raced to 16 th place, and scored a point! Both relays he was a member on scored, the Free Relay scored in 7th place, Medley Relay in 8th.


Ming Lo, also demonstrated some versatility, swam in the 100 and 200 M Breast, 200 and 400 M IM, 100 and 200 M Free, the 200 and 400 M Medley Relays, and the 400 M Free Relay. Ming just missed the finals by one place in 3 different individual events, but got to swim the 100 M Breast as an alternate, scoring in 10th place, and Finaled in the Championship Heat in the 200 Im, placing 8th, 200 M Breast, placing 5th with some excellent Personal Best times in close races, and scoring 32 of NMS’s points.


Duncan Henderson, 12, was one of NMS’s bright spots in the meet. In Duncan’s first event, the 400 M IM, he dropped almost 23 seconds to place 3rd.


In the 100 M Back, he squeaked into the Consol Finals in 16th, yet won the Consols that night. He placed 11th, also in the Consol Finals of the 200 M Free, and moved up a spot during the Finals to 10th. Duncan Qualified 7th to make the Championship Finals, and moved up to 4th in the Finals. Qualified 10th, finished 10th in the 50 M Back. In his last event, he raced off to yet another PB, and another 3rd place in the 400 M Free.


Duncan’s efforts scored 70 points in Individual Events, which topped the list for NMS boys at the Zone Champs.


This meet caps off a successful Long Course Season in which the Aquatomics eeked out 2nd Place at the NMS LC State Championships, doubled our points scored at LC Sectionals, at the same pool in Gresham, and had a USA S Jr National Qualifier, with Duncan’s big brother Orion’s effort in the 400 M IM.


Next up: A well earned 2 week break from training timed with the Walker Aquatic Center Annual Maintenance. They drain the pool, otherwise some of our swimmers would probably be in there!


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