Estonian Nationals is throwing the spotlight on the nation’s best young swimmers, and day 2 was a huge redemption curve for 16-year-old Kregor Zirk.
Zirk is already the Estonian record-holder in the 800 and 1500 frees, but he was upset for the 1500 title on day 1 by Mihhail Stseglov. But Zirk came back in a big way on day 2, picking up three individual wins to lead all swimmers.
Two individual finals in each gender went off in the morning session, and Zirk picked up the first of his wins there. Zirk popped a 55.33 in the 100 fly, winning the overall event from the 16 & under class and finishing just about a second off his national age record.
Later in that morning session, national record-holder Martin Liivamaegi blasted to a dominant 200 IM win, going 2:05.96. The next-best finisher was just 2:08 as Liivamaegi was unstoppable, putting up the best split in every stroke.
Another young swimmer starred in the morning, as 15-year-old Margaret Markvardt broke her own age record in the girls 100 fly. Markvardt was 1:03.60 to win the race by half a second, and got under the record by two tenths.
The other women’s event from the morning went to Maria Romanjuk, who won the 200 IM in 2:21.49.
The 16-year-old Zirk would come back to take two wins in the evening session. First, his 1:54.56 beat out the 200 free field by almost two seconds. Then towards the end of the night, he would go 2:08.90 to win the 200 fly, leading wire-to-wire.
Maybe the swim of the night was Endri Vinter‘s 50 back, where he came within a breath of taking down Ralf Tribuntsov‘s national record. Vinter was 25.77, with the USC standout Tribuntsov’s record standing at 25.74.
Romanjuk added another win to her total after taking that 200 IM in the morning. She went 1:11.19 to pace the women’s 100 breast.
Other day 2 winners:
- Women’s 50 back: National record-holder Sigrid Sepp won in 30.01, but was still a half-second off her Estonian record. The young Markvardt was second in 30.26.
- Men’s 100 breast: Martin Allikvee topped 200 IM champ Martin Liivamaegi 1:03.01 to 1:04.21.
- Women’s 200 free: Kertu Ly Alnek was 2:08.50 to run away from the field.
- Women’s 200 fly: Gerda Pak crushed the rest of the event by over 10 seconds, going 2:21.28.