The TYR Pro Swim Series finished their fifth and final race of the season at the Clovis North Aquatics Complex last week and many Clovis swimmers stood out amongst a crowded pool of talented swimmers from across the globe in over 30 different events.
“I thought the competition was really good. It was a little bit smaller than we wanted it to be, but the competition was top end and the event was televised,” head coach and program director John L McGough said. “The level we had from the top eight to 16 was really good. Probably every pool record in every event in the Clovis North long-course meters was broken and the most outstanding swimmer at the meet was Gianluca Urlando.”
Clovis North’s Claire Tuggle,14, received a fifth-place finish in the women’s 200 freestyle Group A, while Clovis West product Abby Samansky,17, finished fourth in the 200 freestyle in Group B.
Tuggle and Samansky raced against some of the best in the event, including Leah Smith and Mallory Comerford, who will both represent Team USA at the World Championships later in the summer.
“Claire has had a tough year in terms of injuries and different ailments, but she has battled all year and even though she did well at this swim meet, I know she thinks she could’ve done better,” McGough said.
Samansky and Tuggle also placed first and third respectively in the 400 freestyle in different groups. Tuggle had three top five finishes during the entire event. Even at the age of 14, Tuggle proved to be a contender despite her age.
Justin Wright, former Clovis West swimmer and national champion in the 200 fly placed second in the men’s 200 butterfly. Wright finished just behind U.S. National Team member Urlando who dominated the TYR Pro Swim Series as a whole after winning three events.
Wright also finished fifth in the men’s 100 fly with a time of 54.67 and seventh in the 50 butterfly. Ben Forbes,17, Gabriel Jett,16, and Tyler Mansheim,17, also took part in the event.
Clovis’ own Averee Preble also placed in the TYR Pro Swim Series with a third-place swim in the women’s 200 butterfly and Clovis native Ian Bellflower finished second in the men’s 100 breaststroke.
Yulduz Kuchkarova, 25, Danielle Herrmann, 31, and A.J. Sheppard, 17, also represented Clovis Swim Club.
The competition itself took almost a year of planning for the Clovis Swim Club and affiliated groups. From the just the planning of the four days, to the setting up and returning all the equipment from TYR and other professional swimming brands.
With the Olympic trials beginning next summer, chances are Clovis not being able to host another event. Time scheduling is an issue.