WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
May 19, 2012
For the second night in a row, Brandon Goldman turned in the team’s top performance at the Texas Senior Circuit Meet Saturday night in College Station, Tex.
Goldman, 17, earned his second junior national cut time and placed fourth in the 400-meter individual medley in a career-best time of 4:39.27 in the “A” championship final, more than a five second time drop.
Goldman had bettered his previous best time (4:44.46) in morning prelims in 4:42.09 and then turned it on in the championship final including a 31.60 split in the last 50-meter freestyle.
“This whole meet I have been really nervous before each race because I wasn’t sure how I would do,” Goldman said. “I had been training well. I knew I would get it together. I am excited about the times I’ve been going and happy to get have two junior national cuts.
“I’ve been doing a lot more training and been getting close to best times in practice. Aerobically and physically I’ve been more fit. I feel like I am getting a lot stronger.”
After dropping time in morning prelims, Goldman saw there was still room for improvement for the finals.
“I knew in the morning my fly was too slow,” Goldman said. “In my back I kept the tempo up. The breaststroke I did whatever comes out for me. The freestyle I was a little bit tired, a little bit dead. I gave whatever I had.”
Goldman said the 200 backstroke and 400 IM were his two best races.
“I wasn’t tapered for this meet at all, so I was just thinking let’s see what I can do,” Goldman said. “I didn’t have any specific cuts.
“This helps my confidence a lot. I’ve always been a nervous swimmer. The more and more swims I get, it helps my confidence. I swim best when I am confident obviously. When I feel my back is up against the wall I really swim well.”
It is Goldman’s third appearance at the Texas Senior Circuit meet. The indoor facility and meet are among his favorites. “I love the pool,” he said.
Goldman has the 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley left to swim on Sunday, the third and final day of the meet.
“These are shorter, more fun events for me,” Goldman said. “They are two of my best races and important to me.”
Goldman’s 400 IM splits were: butterfly (29.04, 33.65), backstroke (35.99, 35.19), breaststroke (40.10, 41.09) and freestyle (32.61, 31.60).
Goldman got his first junior national cut in March at the Purdue Invitational in the 100-meter backstroke where he won the “B” final in 59.26 and swam back-to-back best times despite being sick.
It was also Goldman’s second consecutive appearance in an “A” final at the Texas meet. On Friday, he swam back-to-back best times and finished fourth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:08.60 on opening night.
“He has been training really harder lately,” said Coral Springs Swim Club head coach Bruno Darzi. “We didn’t really back off training for him at all and he’s not really tapered for this meet.
“I can’t really say I am surprised because of the way he’s been training,” Darzi said. “It was a good race and good confidence-boost for him.”
Goldman and Darzi sat down and talked about the race on Friday. Both wrote predicted splits for his race. Darzi nailed the backstroke and breaststroke splits and was 4/10ths off his finish time.
In other SOFLO swimmer performances:
Evelin Jimenez and Maria Lopez, a pair of 16-year-olds, turned in best times. Jimenez swam 1:09.51 in the 100-meter butterfly and Lopez went 2:16.31 in the 200-meter freestyle. Lopez also swam the 100-meter butterfly in 1:06.86.
U.S. Olympic trials qualifier Jessie Alcaide, 27, was sixth in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:03.26, better than her morning time of 1:03.79 but off her best time of 1:02.23.
Xavier Brown, 17, swam 1:03.25 in the 100-meter butterfly.
In Sunday’s women’s 50-meter freestyle, Dara Torres of Coral Springs Swim Club and SOFLO swimmers Jessie Alcaide, Arlene Semeco and Evelin Jimenez will compete. It will be Torres’ final tune-up meet before the U.S. trials where she attempts to qualify for her sixth Olympic team.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org