There is so much exciting stuff going on right now pertaining to the Olympics. I have been loving seeing the gymnastics, swim and track and field trials on TV, though I wish there was more of all of them. I wanted to see Stephanie LeFever jump today, but NBC didn’t show any of the long jump prelims.
In part because of that, I wanted to bring you an update on how our locals fared today. You can, of course, get complete coverage in Saturday’s Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Andrew Porter had never been in the same heat as Michael Phelps before, and it’s likely something he won’t soon forget.
The Monte Vista Christian School alum can still hear the “slap, slap, slap” of Phelps’ signature arm swing prior to Friday’s 200-meter individual medley event at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Neb.
“It was cool to hear that as the final thing before we dove in,” Porter said. “It reminded you of where you are.”
Not that Porter would forget. He recorded a time of 2 minutes, 3.67 seconds to finish 25th overall out of 116 competitors in the 200 IM, falling short of advancing to the semifinals by roughly six-tenths of a second. Afterward, the 18-year-old swimmer mentioned the stress of the big stage coinciding with his less-than-ideal time.
One athlete who shined on that stage and wasn’t supposed to, however, was Bellarmine Prep graduate Scott Weltz. Weltz won the 200-meter breaststroke over favorites Brendan Hansen and Eric Shanteau.
TRACK AND FIELD
Aptos High alumna Stephanie LeFever earned a mark on all three of her jumps at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. Unfortunately for LeFever, even the longest of them wasn’t enough to move her into Sunday’s final.
LeFever’s longest attempt of 19 feet, 10 ¼ inches placed her last of the 23 competitors who took to the runway Friday. She hit that leap in her second attempt, but also jumped 19-0 and 19-6 ¼.
“I’ve been jumping in the 20s and I wanted to get higher,” LeFever said. “But this was one of the not-so-good days.”
Janay DeLoach of Fort Collins, Colo., hit 23-5½ on her one and only jump to lead the list of 12 qualifiers for the final. Vashti Thomas, a graduate of Mount Pleasant High in San Jose, positioned herself in second with her lone marked jump of 22-10 ½. Each of the top five jumpers turned in just one scoring mark.
Also, Nikki Hiltz, an incoming Aptos senior, placed fifth in the Girls 1-mile exhibition race. Hiltz ran a time of 4 minutes, 57.35 seconds. That was considerably slower than the time of 4:43.24 she ran to win the California 1,600-meter championship at the state finals in June.
Hannah Meier, a junior at Michigan’s Grosse Pointe South High, won the race in 4:55.63. Her twin sister, Haley Meier, finished just ahead of Hiltz in fourth [4:56.65].