March 18, 2014 Updated: March 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm
Mid-March doesn't typically produce personal-best swimming times.
For Rampart's Andrew Weiss, however, the time was right to break through in a big way Tuesday in an early-season home dual meet Tuesday against Coronado.
His time of 1 minute, 1.11 seconds not only took the top spot in the 100-yard breaststroke during the Rams' 114-69 loss to Coronado, it also eclipsed the personal-record he recorded at the 5A state meet last season.
"I was surprised to get a best time, and that was a good surprise," said Weiss, a sophomore who qualified for state in the 200 medley and 100 breaststroke as a freshman. "Now that I got that out of the way, I can focus on just going fast instead of just trying to beat a certain time. That can be a mental barrier."
Now he can place his efforts on other parts of his game, like the 100 freestyle that he won Tuesday but failed to achieve a state-qualifying time in.
"I just got back from Florida at the sectional meet, and I think the altitude got to me on that one. I got a little tired at the end of that one, but I think I'll get that cut by the end of the season. I'm really looking forward to what lies ahead. Everybody is getting faster, and I notice everyone really working hard and driven to improve. "
Weiss represented Rampart's only individual event champion, as Coronado won behind nine total triumphs. He also finished first in the 100 freestyle, but missed a state-qualifying mark by 0.61.
Cougars senior Kyle Allison touched first in the 200 individual medley and later led a victorious 200-freestyle relay team. Ben Topper took first in the 500 free with a state-qualifying time of 5:19.49 and helped Coronado finish the day in style with a nine-second victory in the 400-free relay.
Allison placed fourth in the 200 IM at last year's 4A state meet on a senior-laden Cougars team that place third in the team standings. He is tasked with helping a young team make its mark.
"Everyone wants to do their best, but the times really don't matter right now," Allison said. "Of course, people are trying to qualify for state. For a couple of our freshmen, it was their first dual meet, so they're getting to see what this is all about."
Also for the Cougars, Will Cheney won the 50 free in a state-qualifying time of 22.76, while teammate Dimas Gutierrez won the 200 free and Greg Shaw recorded a state cut by winning the 100 butterfly in 57.63.
Chandler Fulks didn't qualify for the 4A state meet in the 100 backstroke, but he did win the event in 1:06.11.
"Right now, it's a chance for the kids to get a feel for a dual meet," Coronado coach Bob Bell said. "We have a lot of solid kids back, but guys like Danny and Will will have to pick up the slack since we lost a diver and three seniors from last year's state team. Overall, at this time of the year, we're looking OK."