By Reed Miller
One of the more exciting events in swimming made a stop in Clovis, CA, this past June. The TYR Pro Swim Series was hosted at Clovis North High School, and we were lucky enough to get some tickets to sit front row at the event! We took a group of 40 DART swimmers down to practice at the venue and watch the Friday finals session, which included some household names such as Matt Grevers, Brad Tandy, and Kelsi Dahlia. Several swimmers from our Senior group raced their way to finals that night, including Luca Urlando, Sanne Dequine, Tate Cutler, Tara Halsted, Connor Daniels, Izzy Urlando, Rebecca Waterson, Iz Meraz, and Chris Wieser.
After we finished our workout some of the kids spotted Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers and he was nice enough to sign some autographs and take some pictures. Shortly after, the TYR reps gave out t-shirts to wear for the event. All of the kids had to wear TYR gear since they were going to be on camera as this was a televised event. They set us up in the gym while we waited for the finals session and everyone socialized and shot some hoops.
The finals session kicked off with DART swimmers present in each of the first four heats. Sanne Dequine put forth a great effort to take the win in the B final of the women’s 200 fly, followed by a strong A final swim from Tara Halsted. Tate Cutler had a big swim in the B final of the men’s 200 fly to win the heat and achieve his Summer Junior time standard. The best part was that his brother and sister were sitting in the stands right behind his lane cheering him on! Luca Urlando followed that up with a huge swim in the 200 fly, taking down the National Age Group record for 17-18 year olds, previously held by Michael Phelps. Phelps’ swim was also a world record at the time. Needless to say, there were several exciting swims, but the kids were mostly star struck by all of the big name swimmers. Luca was one of those big names. He came over to the team area and signed several autographs for the kids before we went to the autograph session featuring Justin Wright and Tate Jackson. Wright won the 200 butterfly at U.S. Nationals last summer and Jackson was a standout swimmer at Texas. It’s safe to say the kids cheering helped motivate our finals swimmers, and we definitely left the meet with a better appreciation for high level swimming.