GLENDALE — Following a grueling week of swimming, which pitted them against the top competition in the United States, three locals are getting little time to rest before yet another demanding schedule of races.
But for Andrea Kropp, Sara Sun and Yumi So, the experience gained from the five days competing in Indianapolis at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships may just outweigh the fatigue.
“They built a lot of confidence [this] week,” said Swim Pasadena Coach Terry Stoddard of his standout swimming trio. “They are carrying a lot of momentum into this week.”
This week brings a new challenge, the Speedo Junior National Championships, which is for 18-and-under swimmers and set to begin today in Indianapolis.
On Saturday, Kropp, Sun and So swam the final day of the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships, setting the tone for a strong upcoming set of races.
Competing in the 200- meter individual medley, Kropp swam to a time of two minutes 22.47 seconds, placing her 87th overall. It was the second-fastest mark of her life in the event, but not quite enough to get her into the finals later in the day.
“She got better as the week went on,” said Stoddard of Kropp, the All-Area Girls’ Swimmer of the Year. “It’s really exciting.”
Like Kropp, Crescenta Valley High’s Sun also posted her second-best mark ever, this coming in the 1,500 freestyle.
Sun qualified for the finals and proved her worth by swimming to a 16th-place finish with a time of 16:54.63.
“She swam a perfect race,” Stoddard said.
The duo were then joined in the pool by Crescenta Valley’s So and Ann Tsuchiya of Mayfield for the 4x100 medley relay, the last race of the competition.
Paced by Kropp, Sun and So all swimming their best individual marks in the event, Swim Pasadena clocked 4:23.34, placing them in 39th place.
It was a seemingly positive way for the three to end the week’s events and also a boost for the upcoming slate of races.
“It’s invaluable to come to any championship, it’s were the best of the best come together,” Stoddard said. “They become a little more confident to that one day they’ll be one of those people who come in and people are awestruck by.”