Clovis North swimming phenom makes history

Clovis North freshman swimmer Claire Tuggle won first place for the 500-freestyle race and set a new record for the highest score for a Central Valley swim at the CIF State Swimming Championship. PHOTO COURTESY OF SWIMSWAM

After a strong showing in the CIF Valley Finals last weekend, Clovis North’s Claire Tuggle once again showed just how special her abilities are in the pool.

At the CIF State Swimming Championship, Tuggle won first place in the 500-freestyle race. She recorded a time of 4:41.60, setting a record for the highest score from a Central Valley swim in history.

Tuggle and all of the Clovis Unified swimmers faced some of the toughest competition in the country in one of the biggest swim meets.

“This is a huge deal. California is known for having the top swimming and diving teams in the country and we’ve had this meet here for five years, and it has really grown into a tremendously vast meet,” Clovis West swim and dive director Adam Reid said in a recent interview. “A lot of the top kids in the country are here and we’ve got kids going on scholarships to universities. We’ve probably got future Olympians out here in the water, so it’s just really exciting to have the whole state to come together and compete against each other.”

One of many student athletes taking part in the 2019 CIF Swimming & Diving State Championships at Clovis West on May 11, 2019. (Jose Romo Jr./Clovis Roundup)

Tuggle wasn’t finished. She also recorded a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle. Clovis West’s Abby Samansky recorded a fifth-place finish in the same 200. While Tuggle and Samansky placed well in the swim meet, Clovis Unified had many reasons to smile.

The Broncos had another placement with Ben Forbes, who finished third in the 200 freestyle. Averee Preble, from Clovis High School, won silver in the 200 Individual Medley and recorded a sixth-place finish in the 500 freestyle.

The Clovis West girls 200 freestyle relay team also clinched fifth place, earning All-American honors.

In terms of team scores, the Clovis North boys swim team took home a seventh-place finish with a score of 91 and the Clovis West girls finished 13th out of 236 schools.

Competition was high and the CUSD swimmers held their own against some of the best swimmers and divers in the country. The athletes represented well, as did the Clovis West venue.

“Most of the swimmers have seen Olympic trials, the Olympics and national level meets and Clovis Unified does a really good job in bringing that type of atmosphere,” Reid said. “In terms of the setup at the pool and for the finals, we do the walkouts to music; it’s a big show that really gets kids excited. When kids get on the deck, there aren’t many facilities like this in the state and so they can’t believe this is a high school facility that they can compete at, so they get really excited.”


Nugesse Ghebrendrias
For the past three years, Nugesse has been a vital part of the Madera Tribune covering sports, news, entertainment and feature writing. Nugesse’s ability to interact with the community allows him to promote students, athletes and community members with fairness and objectivity. We are happy to have Nugesse join our team here at the Clovis Roundup.