When we last checked in on Jack DesCombes, he was prepping for this week’s North American Challenge Cup as part of the U.S. team.
In the meantime, he had a huge week at last week’s Junior Olympics swimming for the Mission Viejo Nadadores. When the five-day JO meet was over, Jack swam away with a pair of individual gold medals, three relay golds, four individual silver medals and one relay silver and a relay bronze medal.
He also set new Mission Viejo team records in both the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle. His 100-meter record time of 55.08 shattered Matt McCluskey’s previous mark of 55.28 that stood for 28 years. And his time of 24.68 is the sixth fastest 50-meter freestyle time in the nation this season and the fastest in Southern California. That broke the old record set by Philippe Demers in 1993. Both of the previous record-holders trained with the Mission Viejo team on the way to earning Olympic team berths for countries other than the United States. Demers also was an All-American swimmer at USC
Jack’s 100 free performance was good for a silver medal on the opening day of the meet, as he chopped 2 seconds off his previous best time. In Thursday’s 200-meter freestyle, he came in to the event seeded eighth, but qualified fourth and finished second, erasing 6 seconds from his previous best clocking over the two races that day.
With two silvers in the first two days, he added two more on Friday in the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. In three of those races, Michael Haney from the Claremont Club was the winner, while Mission Viejo teammate Mason Wong edged Jack in the 200 IM by .16.
In the last day of individual events, Jack was seeded fifth in the 100 backstroke coming into the meet, but dropped more than 4 seconds and out-touched two swimmers to take his first individual gold.
In the final showdown of the meet, Jack qualified third in the 50-meter freestyle. From lane 3, next to Haney in lane 4, Jack swam a perfect race and beat Haney by .06 seconds for his second gold medal, in a blistering time of 24.68. This was a time drop of 1.5 seconds from Jack’s previous best time.
Jack helped the Nadadores win the Junior Olympics meet by anchoring the gold medal-winning 4 X 50 and 4 X 100 free relay teams and also providing the fly leg in the gold medal-winning 4 X 50 medley relay team. His 13-14-year-old relay teams also took silver in the 4 X 100 medley and bronze in the 4 X 200 free.
Good luck this week!