15-Year-Old Aspen Gersper Picks Up Two Trials Cuts at Florida Sectionals

by Spencer Penland 0

February 15th, 2021 Club, News, Previews & Recaps

SOUTHERN ZONE SOUTH SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – SITE 1 & 2 COMBINED

  • February 11-14, 2021
  • Sarasota, Florida
  • Long Course Meters (50m)
  • Complete results

On the final two days of the meet, Saint Andrew’s Aquatics 15-year-old Aspen Gersper thrived, posting 5 huge lifetime bests. Gersper, swimming at Site 2, started off her Saturday with a 1:02.52 in prelims of the women’s 100 backstroke. The time shredded Gersper’s previous best, which stood at 1:05.71 from August of 2018. The swim also marked Gersper’s first Olympic Trials cut, coming in just under the Wave I cut of 1:02.69. She would go on to swim a 1:03.75 in finals, marking her 2nd-fastest performance ever. It was Indian River Aquatics’ 16-year-old Sarah Evans who won the 100 back, swimming a 1:03.16. Evans’ swim was also a big drop, coming in well under her previous mark of 1:05.19.

Gersper would go on to grab another Trials cut, this time in the 100 free. She finished 3rd in finals with a 56.24, shedding over a second off her previous best of 57.33, which was swum in July of 2019. Gersper again edged in just under the Olympic Trials Wave I cut of 56.29. Alia Atkinson won the race in 55.96.

Gersper also swam the 50 free, taking 4th with a 26.40 in finals. That marked yet another best time for the 15-year-old, as she came into the meet with a personal best 26.81, which was established in August 2019. 27-year-old Marina Spadoni won the event with a 25.97, after swimming a 25.94 in prelims.

Gersper concluded her meet with another massive drop, posting a 2:18.70 in prelims of the 200 back. That marked a personal best of well over 6 seconds. Her previous best of 2:25.01 was from August of 2018. Gersper would go on to swim a 2:20.36 in finals, marking her 2nd-fastest performance of her career. She also swam a personal best in the 50 backstroke, leading off the 200 medley relay in 29.88 on Satruday.

Planet Swim Aquatics 17-year-old Sara Stotler posted a trio of personal bests in on Saturday and Sunday of the meet. She took 2nd in the 200 IM, although she won the race at Site 2, swimming a 2:17.59 to finish behind Emma Weyant (Site 1), who won the race in 2:17.10. Stotler, a butterfly specialist, took the race out fast, splitting 28.58 on the first 50 of the race. The swim marked a 2-second drop for Stotler.

Stotler would then go on to win the 200 fly on Sunday, clocking a 2:13.74. That was a personal best by nearly 4 seconds, blowing her previous mark 2:17.32 out of the water. Stotler also picked up an Olympic Trials cut with that swim, coming in under the Wave I cut of 2:14.59.

She also swam a personal best in the 100 free, posting a 56.63. That swim marked a significant drop for Stotler, coming in well under her previous best of 57.38.

31-year-old Brazilian Olympian Bruno Fratus swam the men’s 50 and 100 free on the last two days of the meet. Fratus first swam the 50 free, clocking a 22.60 in prelims, before winning the race with a 22.10 in finals. Fratus has been as fast as 21.27 in the event, which he swam in 2017, and is currently the 19th-fastest performance all-time in the world.

Fratus then went on to swim only prelims of the 100 free, where he clocked a 50.12. That was the fastest time of the meet in prelims or finals, although it was well of Fratus’ personal best of 48.50.

Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team 15-year-old Evan Keogh posted 3 best times on the last 2 days of the meet. Keogh won the men’s 200 back with new personal best of 2:03.94, marking a massive drop from his 2:11.13 personal best. He also swam a personal best in the 200 fly, clocking a 2:04.14, dropping big from his 2:09.34 previous best. Keogh swam a 57.58 in the 100 back, coming in well under his 59.58 best time.

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