Youth swimming sensation Erin Jones made tidal waves at the March 22-23 Northwest Zone Age Group Sectionals, held in Federal Way, Wash.
Jones, 11, of White Salmon, Wash., posted three top-20 finishes against a field of swimmers from seven states: Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
She also posted personal bests in each of her six events and continued to establish herself as one of the most promising swimmers to come out of the Hood River Valley youth swim program.
“Erin simply tore up the pool at Sectionals,” coach Shelly Rawding said. “She’s a real competitor, and I think that’s what has set her apart the past couple years.”
Rawding explained that Jones was so focused last weekend that she finished a couple heats tied to the hundredth of a second.
Her most notable time drops were five seconds in the 500 free (6:03.80, 14th place), four seconds in the 200 free (2:17.45, 17th place), and three seconds in the 100 breast (1:20.48, 17th place).
Jones posted additional finishes in the 50 free (29.22 seconds, 28th place), 200 IM (2:37.77, 30th place), and 50 fly (33.05 seconds, 36th place).
Jones, a sixth grader at Henkle Middle School, will continue to swim for the Hood River Valley youth team throughout the summer. Rawding said she is also starting to think about next January’s state All-Star meet.
“She hasn’t qualified yet, but it’s a meet I think she’s set her sights on,” Rawding said. “She has constantly been improving her times and I think she can get there.”