Eva Jorn, Zach Hammond and Michael Perry, seniors, traveled to Indianapolis for the 2015 National Club Swimming Association (NCSA) Junior National Championships from July 28 to August 1. All three swimmers had previously competed at the national level at the NCSA Spring Championships in Orlando last March, and Jorn had qualified the year before.
Although this was Jorn’s third time at a national meet, this was her first time qualifying individually, as she had been on relays her first two times.
Jorn said that qualifying individually rather than on a relay gave her a new sense of accomplishment.
“With the relays, [I thought] ‘I’m here, but there are other people who helped get me here.’ With my individual races, I got myself [to nationals], so I felt a little bit better about it,” Jorn said.
Jorn had qualifying times in the 200m fly, 100m fly, 100m free and had a “bonus cut” in the 50m fly, meaning that she did not have the qualifying time, but because she was a within a number of seconds from it and had already qualified, she was able to swim that event.
She had preliminary times of 2:24.94 for the 200m fly, 1:06.10 for the 100m fly, 1:01.77 for the 100m free, and 30.64 for the 50m fly, none of which sent her to finals.
“I was happy about just getting there because it had been my goal all season. I managed to get my cut without tapering, which normally doesn’t happen, so I was really happy about that,” Jorn said. “My times weren’t the best, but I learned a lot about setting goals and even resetting goals.”
Perry made cuts in the 100m fly, 200m fly, 200m free and 50m fly. He swam the 100m fly in 58.64, the 200m fly in 2:13.15, the 200m free in 1:57.49 and the 50m fly in 26.81.
Although all of his preliminary times were personal bests, Perry did not make it to finals.
“I had best times in all of my events, but I felt like some of them could have been better,” Perry said. “Because this was only my second time competing at this level, there is a certain amount of nervousness. Even though … I knew how fast I could go, I still was a little bit freaked out actually standing up there. I was in shape [physically]; it was just mentally I was not necessarily there.”
Perry said that he felt more pressure in Indianapolis than in Orlando.
“I might have been even more nervous than I was the first time. The first time my goal was just to get to the meet, so I wasn’t really concerned with competing … but this time I also really wanted to qualify for finals, which didn’t end up happening, but that was something I had my sights set on,” Perry said. “I felt like more pressure was being put on me, not necessarily by anyone else but by myself.”
Hammond qualified for the 100m breast, 50m breast, 200m breast and 200m IM. He swam the 100m breast in 1:08.95, the 50m breast in 32.85, the 200m breast in 2:32.69, and the 200m IM in 2:23.46.
Although he did not make it to finals, Hammond said he looks to work toward making finals for his senior season.
“There are goals that I’ve always had, mainly to final at [a championship meet] and set club records,” Hammond said.
Perry and Jorn said they feel the same.
“Whenever you don’t achieve the goal that you want to achieve, you get frustrated. But now I’m a lot more determined to work even harder this year and figure out what I need to do in order to come back to finals at the spring junior national meet [next year],” Perry said.
“I’m definitely excited now that I’ve been to nationals individually. I want to actually get my cut in the 100 fly, maybe get some more cuts, drop some more time, and I definitely want to go back [to nationals],” Jorn said.
Rachel Munson, class of ‘15, also competed at the meet. She placed third in the 100m and 200m breast, with times of 1:09.15 and 2:33.21, respectively. She won the 50m breast in 31.62, an NCSA meet record. She also competed in the 200m IM.
Munson is swimming at the University of Minnesota this fall.
by Maeve McKaig