For Amaya Rocheleau, her final time swimming at the Western Zone Age Group Championships was a test of adversity.
Because of flight cancellations that led to a 40-hour layover in Phoenix and two red-eye flights, Rocheleau arrived in Lewisville, Texas, 30 minutes before the start of the meet that featured the top 14-and-under swimmers in the western region.
“This meet became more about overcoming adversity ... it took a few days to recover,” said Team Alaska coach and Amaya’s mom Maggie Rocheleau.
Rocheleau, 14, persevered and produced three personal-best performances, going 29.08 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle, 32.46 seconds in the 50 backstroke and 1:12.85 in the 100 backstroke.
The 50 backstroke time came during the leadoff swim of Team Alaska’s fourth-place finish in the 14-and-under 200 medley relay (2:05.86), while the 100 backstroke time was from the leadoff spot in the 400 medley relay that placed 15th (4:56.34).
Rocheleau’s 50 freestyle time earned a 27th place finish — her top individual placing.
She added a 36th in the 100 backstroke (1:14.63), a 38th in the 200 backstroke (2:49.56), a 47th in the 100 butterfly (1:21.98) and a 61st in the 100 freestyle (1:09.44)
Rocheleau, an incoming freshman at Kodiak High School, was also part of the 200 freestyle relay that placed 13th (1:58.17) and the 400 freestyle relay that placed 23rd (4:41.83).
This was Rocheleau’s fourth time competing at Western Zones. She attended the meet in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“She’s achieved qualifying times every year since she was 10, which is particularly impressive when at the bottom of the age group (11 and 13),” Maggie Rocheleau said.