Former Tesoro swimmer Jillian Abrian is being remembered as an upbeat teammate with a strong competitive spirit after she died Saturday in a traffic collision in Pueblo County, Colo., where she attended classes and swam at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
The university stated Sunday that Abrian “succumbed to injuries from a traffic accident”, which involved two other Colorado State University-Pueblo students.
The university added that one student received treatment for injuries before being released while the other was in critical condition.
Abrian, in her third year at the university, was a CIF-SS Division 1 qualifier as a junior and senior at Tesoro in 2018-19.
As a senior, she placed third in the South Coast League championships in the 100-yard butterfly and fourth in the 50 free.
“While she was an exceptional swimmer at Tesoro, it was her attitude, happiness and love of her teammates that made her so great,” former Tesoro girls swimming coach Todd Conrad said. “Jillian was always happy and managed to make everyone around her better.”
Abrian grew up swimming age-group with the Ladera Liquids and later joined Gators Swim Club under Ecuadorian Olympian Felipe Delgado.
Delgado recalled that Abrian was undersized but earned a collegiate scholarship because of her hard work.
“Total underdog story,” he said. “She was 5-foot-3, maybe 100 pounds but a huge heart. … Great teammate, great athlete to coach.”
As a freshman at Division II Colorado State University-Pueblo, Abrian raced on a school-record 200-yard freestyle relay.
Her last post on Instagram, from last month, has received several heartfelt comments.
“Your kind heart and warm spirit got me through many swim practices,” one person wrote. “Missing you.”
Katie McLaughlin and her teammates did their job, setting up Katie Ledecky for her anchor leg in the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay at the Toyko Olympics on Thursday, July 29.
The U.S. star responded right on cue, racing with the determination to deliver a silver medal and American record for the Santa Margarita High product in an epic final.
McLaughlin teamed with veteran Allison Schmitt, fellow Olympic rookie Paige Madden and Ledecky to bring Team USA to the wall in 7 minutes, 40.73 seconds, four-tenths of a second behind China’s world-record 7:40.33.
Ledecky rallied past heavily favored Australia, which touched in 7:41.29 for the bronze.
The final was so fast, the United States and Australia also raced well under the world record, a 7:41.50 by Australia in 2019.
McLaughlin, 24, did her part, splitting a 1:55.38 in her third leg to keep the Stars and Stripes positioned third behind China and Australia.
Ledecky sizzled a 1:53.76 and nearly caught China.
Madden also delivered in the clutch, splitting a 1:55.25 that moved the U.S. team to third after it was fourth after a 1:56.34 leadoff leg by Schmitt.
Madden and McLaughlin also raced in the second and third spots for the United States in prelims, producing the two fastest times for the team.
For McLaughlin, the relay marked her Olympic debut and Tokyo finale. The former Mission Viejo Nadadores and Nellie Gail Gators club swimmer qualified for the Games in the 800 free relay, and delivered.
It’s time to call Tom Shields a two-time Olympian.
The former Edison High and Cal standout swimmer qualified for his second consecutive U.S. Olympic team by finishing a strong second in the men’s 100-meter butterfly final at the U.S. Trials in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday, June 19.
Shields, 29, touched second to world-record holder Caeleb Dressel by just over a second with a time of 51.19, narrowly missing his lifetime-best time by 16 one-hundredths of a second.
Dressel won in 49.87, about fourth-tenths of a second off his world-record time of 49.50 from 2019.
Shields posted the 11th fastest time in the world this year.
He will race the individual 100 butterfly at the Tokyo Olympics later this summer and also be in the mix to race on the 400 medley relay.
At the 2016 Olympics, Shields earned a gold medal by racing in prelims for the U.S. medley relay. Earlier at the 2016 Trials, he placed second to Michael Phelps in the 100 and 200 butterfly.
The U.S. swim team bound for Tokyo also includes O.C. products Katie McLaughlin (Santa Margarita, 200 free) and Michael Brinegar (Tesoro, 800 free) and Annie Lazor of the Mission Viejo Nadadores (200 breaststroke).
McLaughlin, 23, claimed her spot via a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle final in a time of 1 minute, 57.16 seconds in Omaha, Neb.
Reigning Olympic champion Katie Ledecky won the race in 1:55.11, leading a trio that included four-time Olympian Allison Schmitt (1:56.79) and Paige Madden (1:56.80). Schmitt and Madden were separated by one, one-hundredth of a second.
Upstart Bella Sims (1:57.53) and Stanford-product Brooke Forde (1:57.61) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
Ledecky and Schmitt will race the 200 free individually at the Tokyo Games while the top-six finishers will be part of the 800 free relay. The top-four are favorites to race in finals.
McLaughlin grew up in Orange County swimming club for the Nellie Gail Gators at age 9 and joined the Mission Viejo Nadadores a few years later. After earning county swimmer and athlete of the year honors at Santa Margarita, she swam at Cal.
In January 2016, McLaughlin fractured two vertebrae in her lower neck during a beach accident. She has steadily regained her form in recent years, highlighted by helping the U.S. take silver in the 800 free relay at the 2019 World Championships.
On Monday, McLaughlin placed fifth in the 100 butterfly with a 57.72. She also is entered in the 100 free, which begins Thursday.
Former Crean Lutheran High and Stanford swimmer Ella Eastin announced Tuesday, May 18 that she won’t race at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials because she has developed chronic fatigue and a nervous system disorder.
Eastin, 24, shared the conditions in a post on Instagram, writing that “for the first time, the health of my body and mind had to take priority” over her swimming career.
“Over the past year and half, I have been battling a seemingly undiagnosable illness that has incapacitated me,” she wrote. “I lost my ability to manage daily activities and had to be taken care of by family and friends.”
Eastin was expected to be among the contenders in the individual medley events at the Trials in Omaha, Neb. She is a member of the national team in the 200 and 400-meter individual medley.
Her last major appearance with the U.S. national team was in 2019 at the World Championships, where she placed 12th in the 200 IM.
Eastin helped Stanford win three NCAA team championships during a decorated collegiate career. She won eight individual NCAA titles and set four American records.
Eastin’s collegiate career came after a record-setting career at Crean Lutheran and rising the ranks with the SOCAL and Irvine Novaquatics club.
She said her nervous system disorder affects her cardiovascular health, energy and mental stability. She said she will continue to swim as a “restorative” activity and hopes to pursue a nursing career.
“I have been blessed by my swimming career in that it gave me lifelong friends, priceless experiences and prepared me to take on any challenge that may come my way,” she said. “You may just see me again behind the blocks one day.”
400 free relay (3:25.0) — SM A 3:12.29, HB 3:13.58, LosAl 3:15.70, CdM 3:16.64, Port 3:19.91, LosAl B 3:19.99, Nor 3:17.74, Tes 3:17.77, AN 3:18.72, MD 3:21.37, Nor B 3:21.54, Foot 3:21.58, Ser 3:21.79, MD 3:21.91, Beck 3:21.96, LB 3:22.30, ET 3:22.31, SM B 3:23.60, SC 3:24.01
Diving – (350 points) —
FOOTHILL 114, BREA OLINDA 56
Pacific Coast League
NORTHWOOD 102, UNIVERSITY 76
SANTA MARGARITA 117, ORANGE LUTHERAN 49
MATER DEI 146, ROSARY 64
CAPISTRANO VALLEY 95, JSERRA 75
CANYON 111, YORBA LINDA 57
200 medley relay (1:54.9 OCR standard) — CdM 1:46.61, SM A 1:49.22, LosAl 1:49.92, JS 1:52.18, Por 1:52.57, CV 1:53.46, FV 1:53.86, SM B 1:54.45
An Orange County high school-age swimmer raced her way into the spotlight amid the Olympians at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo on Saturday, April 10.
Tesoro High junior Katie Crom, representing the host Mission Viejo Nadadores, won the 200-meter butterfly in a lifetime-best time of 2 minutes, 10.38 seconds at the Marguerite Recreation Center.
Crom, 17, surged in the final lap to out-touch 18-year-old Lillie Nordmann of Alto Swim Club in Northern California by just over two-tenths of a second.
Saturday’s finals also included Brazilian Bruno Fratus out-touching Caeleb Dressel by three one-hundredths of a second to capture the 50 free in 21.80 and Katie Ledecky posting the fastest time in the world this year in the 400 free (3:59.25).
IRVINE Mission Viejo Nadadores swimmer Alex Ispas signed a national letter of intent with his dream university — Northwestern — on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
On Thursday night, the Santa Margarita High senior raced as the youngest male in the fastest heat of the men’s 800-meter freestyle at the U.S. Open
And his spot in the sizzling heat at the Woollett Aquatics Center arrived as a surprise.
“I got scratched in,” he said.
Yes, talk about a couple of whirlwind days.
In his first pool competition since February because of the pandemic, Ispas clocked a time of 8 minutes, 31.94 seconds in the 800 freestyle, which combined with the results from the other nine sites for the meet, placed him 58th overall.
While his entry time of 8:14.39 — clocked racing for Austria at the European Junior Championships last summer — would have placed him in the Top 25, Ispas wasn’t too hard on himself.
“I’m happy to be back,” he said. “Being here and stepping up to race these guys is what I’ve missed.”
Ispas, 17, also is pleased with his training with the Nadadores, which was one of the first teams to resume training amid the pandemic.
“I’ve been pretty motivated these last few months going into this winter season, so I’ve enjoyed it,” he said. “We have a great group at Mission Viejo right now. We’ve been getting in some great work in.”
Ispas said he also is intrigued by open water racing. He made his debut at the recent West Coast Open Water Championships at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev. and placed ninth in the 10K.