The Laker swimmers continued their strong performances on day three at nationals in Buffalo, New York.
Ashley Commens continued her strong performance string with a 15th place finish in the 100 IM. Commens traded her Laker soccer jersey for a place on the swim team this winter. Joining the team to stay in shape until spring soccer games begin, Commens has found great success in the pool, scoring valuable national points and helping on multiple relays. Coach Peters was excited to have Commens join the team in January. "We really needed a fifth woman to allow us to swim all five relays at nationals. That was initially the push behind getting Ashley to join the team. The other swimmers found out Ashley had swam in high school and talked her into giving it a try. Ashley's improvement over the past two months has been phenomenal. She gets faster every time she swims and I picked just the right national events for her and she stepped up with huge time drops to get herself into multiple scoring positions. Her soccer background makes her very competitive and familiar with performing under pressure. She's having a lot of fun, she brings great energy and excitement to the team and she will return to the soccer field in great shape this spring."
Mavi Valentin and Jake Bohnert both had time improvements in the 500 free finals. Coach Peters was impressed with their evening swims. "Mavi has been struggling with a back injury since before winter break. She is so tough and just keeps on swimming. Her evening swim and time drop was shear determination. Jake's swim was great too. We talked about his strategy before the event. I told him, get out front and don't let anyone catch you, and that is exactly what he did." Bohnert won the consolation final with a lifetime best time.
Juliana Villa Rodriguez and Liz Crewe-Brown had strong prelim swims in the 100 backstroke and they both qualified for the top 8 in finals. Juliana finished 4th and Liz finished 8th. Both women had lifetime best times and Juliana swam under the 1:00 barrier for the first time with a 59.82.
Gabriela Reis and Gabriel Carmona had top 16 swims in the 100 breaststroke with Reis finishing 10th and Carmona 15th.
Juan Briseno and Garrett Nielson both had lifetime best swims in the 200 butterfly preliminaries.