Jamie Engan of the Carson Tigersharks gave a strong opening-day performance at the Far Western Short Course Championships as she swam to gold medals in the 17-18 girls age group 200- and 1,650-yard freestyle races on Thursday in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Engan, a Carson High junior, won the 200 freestyle in 1 minute, 52.97 seconds then came back later in the day and cruised to first-place in the mile with a personal best time of 16:36.70 during competition at the Morgan Hill Makos Swim Club.
She passed the first 500 yards in 4:59, followed by 5:01 and 5:04 splits to win the mile in a time that qualified for the U.S. senior nationals in Irvine, Calif., on Aug. 3-7. She qualified for senior nationals in both the 1,000 and 1,650 last year.
Engan outdistanced a quality field in the 200 free, according to Tigersharks coach Jim Puleo, who pointed out that the four-day meet has attracted 1,168 swimmers representing six states (including Virginia) and Alberta, Canada.
"She was aggressive and she swam well," Puleo said. "Three of the top four were Canadians (Team Alberta All-Stars), so she beat some decent swimmers."
The 1,650 was a solid event overall for the Tigersharks, who had three other swimmers set personal records and Pacific Reportable Times. Lauren Metcalf and Barbara Perkins placed fourth and fifth in the 15-16 girls race with respective times of 18:09.79 and 18:09.90, while Tatum Boehnke placed eighth in 18:15.59. Abby Niehoff also placed second in the 13-14 girls mile with a time of 17:18.47.
"I thought they all swam well," Puleo said of the Tigersharks' milers.
Kevin Dyer placed fifth in the 13-14 boys 200 freestyle with a time of 1:48.96, his second fastest ever for the event.
Also for Carson on Thursday, Jessica Fahrenbruch finished 35th in the 9-10 girls 200 freestyle with a 2:25.92 clocking and Hilary Schlager was 32nd in the 15-16 girls 200 breaststroke with a 2:43.14 effort.
The Far Westerns continue through Sunday.