Sharks end season at Inland Empire Long Course Championships

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(Photo courtesy of JACINDA BOKOWY) The Sharks take a team photo after the Inland Empire Long Course Championships, held in the Tri-Cities area in Washington from July 26-28. They are, from left to right: Aidan Nielsen, coach Mike Brosnahan, Ryleigh Bamer, Ayiana Prevost, Sara Hogue, Julia Cummings, Mikayla Schoening, Caleb Norling and Hayden Norling.

The Sharks club swim team concluded another season at the Inland Empire Long Course Championships, held in the Tri-Cities area of Washington on July 26-28.

So many swimmers set new personal bests and placed well throughout the three-day event that Sharks’ head coach Mike Brosnahan had one word to describe it: epic.

“The Sharks had an epic end of the season,” Brosnahan wrote in an email. “Every swimmer had a PR in almost all of their swims.”

The Sharks didn’t have strength in numbers, but each of them contributed. All nine Sharks that swam at the Championships set new personal bests in at least one event. The team combined for a combined 25 top-10 finishes in both big and consolation finals races.

Not only that, several team records went down. Ryleigh Bamer broke the team’s 11 and 12-year-old record in the 50 fly with a 37.67 — good for 12th overall.

Over on the boys’ side, Aidan Nelson broke a longstanding, 15-and-over 100 fly record with his fifth-place, 1:05.13 finish.

But 14-year-old Caleb Norling rewrote the Sharks’ record book by setting six new program records in his seven swims.

And better yet: He managed to set a new personal best every time he got in the pool.

Norling had eight, top-10 finishes, including a trio of second place finishes (100, 200 and 1500 free) and a pair of thirds (50 free and the 100 fly). His biggest improvement came in the 200 breaststroke, in which he nudged up against the three-minute barrier with a 3:00.99 — good for ninth place.

He broke a minute in the 100 free for the first time by winning his heat in the prelims with a 58.85, then followed it up with a 58.79.

The elder Norling Hayden, who is entering his junior year at Sandpoint High School, had five top-10 finishes with bronze medal finishes in the 200 and 1500 free.

Hayden also made the finals in each of his swims, setting a handful of new PRs in his wake.

Ayiana Prevost and Sara Hogue also set new PRs in all of their events; the latter went on to several big finals in her swims.

More than 300 swimmers attended the meet, which was only open to swam qualifying times.

While the club swim season is over for now — this was the Inland Empire’s grand finale Long Course swim meet — the overwhelming majority of the Sharks will suit up for Sandpoint High School’s swim team this fall.

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