The final night of NCSA Junior Nationals kicks off in Orlando tonight, with Andrew Seliskar and Janet Hu each coming in with a pair of top seeds. In addition, Michael Andrew will chase more National Age Group records and Simone Manuel will lead the 50 free field after blasting out a 17-18 NAG in the 100 free several nights ago.
Tonight’s events will include the 50 back, 200 IM and 50 free as well as the 400 medley relays to close things off.
Full results are available on Meet Mobile under “2014 NCSA Spring Championship.”
Girls 50 Back
In a heat where almost everyone dropped time, it was the youngest swimmer who rose to the top of the 50 back to open up Saturday night’s action. Beata Nelson of Wisconsin went a lifetime-best 24.02 to blow away the field by almost half a second. Dynamo’s Kylie Stewart was 24.41 for second, just eking out the runner-up spot over top-seeded Janet Hu (24.46 for NCAP).
St. Croix Swim Club’s Mickayla Hinkle was the last swimmer under 25, going 24.93 for third. Fellow Minnesotan Zoe Avestruz took fourth, once again right on the edge of 24 at 25.09 (she was 25.07 this morning though her lifetime-best is 24.44 from last year’s NCSAs).
Kristina Li touched out Gabrielle Sims for 6th 25.11 to 15.12, and SwimAtlanta’s Megan Bestor took home 8th.
Boys 50 Back
Baylor Swim Club senior Luke Kaliszak blasted to a 21.43 to win the boys event, topping Andew Seliskar by three tenths. Kaliszak was 21.43 after hovering just above 22 at prelims. Seliskar dropped time himself, going 21.73.
Team Suffolk’s Justin Plaschka was 22.18 for third, just beating Indie Swimming’s Michael Andrew (22.25) and NCAP’s John Shebat (22.27).
Jack Walsh of Plymouth-Canton (22.43), Brennan Balogh of Lincoln Select (22.52) and Alexander Martin from the Jersey Wahoos (22.77) filled out the rest of the “A” heat.
Girls 1650 Free
NCAP took home a 1-2 finish in the girls mile, with incoming 14-year-old Isabella Rongione taking the win in 16:09.48. (Rongione is currently swimming unattached, but is making the switch to NCAP). That’s a drop of almost three seconds off her lifetime-best. Second was 15-year-old Megan Byrnes in 16:15.29, also a lifetime-best.
Chenoa Devine took third in 16:20.33, just a tick ahead of Kirsten Jacobsen of the Barrington Swim Club, who went 16:21.08.
Cougar Aquatic’s Cailley Silbert was fifth (16:25.62), and Dynamo’s Julia Durmer nipped Ariel Finke of Sienna Plantation 16:27.69 to 16:27.97. 13-year-old NCAP-er Sinead Ecksteen closed out the top 8 with a 16:30.03.
Girls 200 IM
Janet Hu took home the girls 200 IM, shaving a couple tenths off her lifetime-best with a 1:57.10. That beat a hard-charging Beata Nelson, who cut a second and a half to go 1:57.88 and pass Ozaukee’s Katherine Drabot for second place.
Hu lead very narrowly after butterfly, but Nelson took over the lead on back. Drabot, running third most of the way, jumped into the hunt on breaststroke with the fastest split of the trio. But Hu took over from there, roaring home to beat out Nelson for the title. Drabot wound up third in 1:57.97.
Dynamo’s Kylie Stewart was just behind that crew, going 1:58.39 for fourth. From there, the field dropped off, with the next four swimmers coming in above two minutes. Jessica Antiles of Cougar Aquatic was 2:00.84 with Heidi Miller (2:01.09), Eireni Moshos (2:01.32) and Sydney Lofquist (2:02.43) following.
Boys 200 IM
NCAP won this 200 IM as well, with 17-year-old Andrew Seliskar putting up a 1:43.76 to easily outpace the field. That’s still a half-second off a PR for Seliskar, who is working to close in on David Nolan‘s 17-18 NAG record.
Gunnar Bentz took second, coming from behind to top Baylor’s Sam McHugh 1:46.45 to 1:46.64. Jacob Miller went 1:47.47 for Redbird Swim Club of Illinois. Behind him, Jae Park of the NASA Wildcats touched out unattached Alex Lebed for fifth, 1:47.91 to 1:47.93.
Michigan high school state champ Nick Arakelian was seventh for Kingfish and Hudson Explorer Aquatic’s Ross Palazzo eighth.
Girls 50 Free
Swimming a more spread out meet schedule than some of the big names here, Simone Manuel continued to make the most of her opportunities, winning the 50 free in a blazing 21.70 that broke the National Age Group record, her second sprint free record of the week.
The now-former record-holder was NCAP’s Janet Hu, who took second in this race. Hu was 22.27, and both she and Manuel will join forces next season at Stanford, making a formidable young sprint combo for the Cardinal.
Beata Nelson once again picked up a high finish, going 22.56 for third, with Dynamo’s Caitlin Cooper just behind in 22.68.
Another swimmer with a busy schedule tonight was Georgia-bound Dynamo star Kylie Stewart. Stewart took fifth in this race at 22.80, just ahead of Wisconsinite Katherine Drabot (22.83). Caroline McTaggart and Casey Fanz took 7th and 8th, respectively.
Boys 50 Free
With some big names assembled in the boys splash-and-dash, it was NCAP’s James Jones who rose to the top. The 16-year-old went 19.99 to out-power the field, dropping almost a half-second from his prelims swim.
His teammate Andrew Seliskar was 20.06 to make it a 1-2 Nation’s Capital sweep. That just beat out 14-year-old Michael Andrew, who wasn’t quite able to break his own NAG of 19.85, winding up 3rd in 20.09.
The res of the field came in in a pack. Justin Plaschka was 20.40 for Team Suffolk, Steven Tan 20.42 for Delta Aquatics and Tabahn Afrik 20.56 for Michigan Lakeshore. Townley Haas was 8th in 22.28.
The fourth-fastest time of the night came out of the B final, where Paul O’Hara of NCAP went 20.26 to take 9th overall.
Boys 1650 Free
17-year-old Patrick Ransford of the Pack Swim Team of Pittsford took the boys mile convincingly, putting up a 14:46.40. That’s an amazing drop for Ransford – almost 34 seconds faster than his previous best and his first time under 15 minutes. Townley Haas, coming off the 50 free which he cruised, went 14:59.94, a lifetime-best of his own and his first sub-15 swim.
Unattached 15-year-old Matthew Hirschberger went 15:05.49 for third, dropping just under 9 seconds, and Blake Maczka had a big drop to go 15:16.44, cutting almost 20 seconds to take fourth.
Fifth went to Liam Egan in 15:17.97, and NCAP’s Gavin Springer went 15:23.70 for sixth. His teammate Brian Tsau (15:24.73) and Rockville Montgomery’s Brennan Novak (15:26.90) snuck into the top 8.
Girls 400 Medley Relay
The Aquajets of Minnesota closed out the girls meet with a NCSA title in the 400 free relay. The team of Zoe Avestruz, Olivia Anderson, Kaia Grobe and Rachel Wittmer went 3:38.99 to top the field. Avestruz was 53.88 leading off and Wittmer closed the team out in 49.27.
Nation’s Capital was just a half-second back at 3:39.42 – they were closing hard with anchor Janet Hu’s 48.52 split, but Hu ran out of pool before she could catch the Aquajets. Cassidy Bayer was also 53.63 swimming butterfly on that relay.
Dynamo took third in 3:40.53. Kylie Stewart put her team in the lead early with a 52.35 backstroke split, and they also closed hard on anchor Caitlin Cooper‘s 49.63.
Boys 400 Medley Relay
NCAP closed out the meet with one last NAG record, taking down the 15-18 NAG record with a 3:12.58. The team was made up of John Shebat (17), Carsten Vissering (16), Andrew Seliskar (17) and James Jones (16). Vissering and Seliskar each put up huge splits: Vissering was 52.87 on breast, while Seliskar split 46.32 on his butterfly leg. In addition, Shebat swam backstroke, going 49.22 and Jones was 44.11 on freestyle.
Baylor Swim Club took second with a 3:15.63. Luke Kaliszak led off in 47.53 and Sam McHugh was 47.42 on the butterfly for Baylor.
Dynamo closed out the top three, getting a 46.93 butterfly leg from Gunnar Bentz to go 3:17.80. Knox Auerbach was also 44.88 on the freestyle.