Tigersharks make splash at regional swimming championships

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Andrew Willett and Ryan and Tara Theilemann all had an outstanding day on Thursday for the Carson Tigersharks at the Far Western Regional Swimming Championships in Concord, Calif.

Ryan Theilemann, 17, placed first in the 200 breaststroke in two minutes, 43.20 seconds. Theilemann lowered his personal best time of 2:49.82.

Theilemann also placed seventh in the 400 freestyle in 4:29.64. He lowered his qualifying time of 4:33.51.

Swimming in the 15-16-year-old division, Tara Theilemann placed sixth in the 400 free in 4:41.62. Theilemann is competing in a meet for the third straight week and is coming off the Western Zone Championships in Hawaii.

"I'm happy that she's even here," Tigersharks assistant coach Jackie Boudreau said.

In the 11-12-year-old division, Willett lowered his time of 5:10.21 to place eighth in the 400 free in 4:58.02.

"We're very excited about his swim," Boudreau said. "We had a great day."

On Friday, Willett was schedule to compete in his best event, the 50 backstroke, and the 100 free. Ryan Theilemann was set to compete in the 200 back and 100 free and Tara Theilemann was set to compete in the 200 back and 800 free.

Meanwhile, at the USA Summer National Championships at Clovis West High (Calif.), Lauren Costella and Justin Barber both had outstanding efforts for the Tigersharks even though Costella was disqualified from her race.

Costella dropped three seconds in the 400-meter individual medley, finishing in four minutes, 55.15 seconds. The effort would have been good enough to qualify her for the consolation finals and was a long course senior national qualifying time.

But Costella was disqualified on the turn of her freestyle leg for an unsimultaneous touch. Tigershark coach Jim Puleo said Costella was disqualified for just a "really aggresive mistake."

Puleo also said Costella's freestyle leg of 1:04.6 was outstanding. "Lauren had a great 400 I.M.," Puleo said.

Barber swam to a personal best time of 4:36.15 in the 400 I.M. time trial. "He looked really good," Puleo said.

Today, Costella and Barber will compete in the 1,500 free, with Costella being seeded in the championship final. On Sunday, Costella will compete in the U.S. Open Water Championship 5K race.


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