The final night of the 2014 YMCA Short Course National Championships is underway from Greensboro, North Carolina. Tonight’s session kicked off with the final heats of the 1650 free, and will be followed by the 200 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 200 IM, and 400 medley relay.
Courtney Weaver of Greater Flint YMCA is looking to take home her 11th career individual title tonight in the 200 fly, while both 100 freestyles should bring great races. Alexandra Meyers (the runner-up in the 200 freestyle) and Katrina Konopka (50 free champion on night one) will try to hold off top seed Adriana Grabski and 15-year-old Ingrid Shu, while on the men’s side, national record holders Ryan Held and Zachary Molloy will be facing off in a battle of pure speed (Held) versus back-half endurance (Molloy).
All of the links you need to follow the meet, including webcasts and results, can be found here.
Women’s 200 Butterfly – FINALS
Courtney Weaver of Greater Flint YMCA, Tuesday’s 100 fly champion, got out ahead of the field early and held it all together nicely through the final 50 for her 11th career YMCA National title, touching in 1:56.51. That swim narrowly clipped the meet record of current Georgia Bulldog Hali Flickinger of 1:56.52 two years ago.
Waynesboro’s Remedy Rule had the fastest final 50 in the field, pulling away for second place in 1:57.41. Astrid Swensen of North Shore was third in 1:57.87.
Men’s 200 Butterfly – FINALS
Upper Main Line’s Benjamin Creekmore had easily the best back half in the entire field to pull away for the win in 1:47.63, just off his personal best time of 1:47.55. The future North Carolina Tar Heel was in a close race with Maxwell Dolan, Liam McKane, and John Om at the halfway point before splitting 27.84 and 28.29 over the final 100. Dolan of the Wilton Y Wahoos held tough for second in 1:48.33, over a full second ahead of the third-place McKane of Sarasota.
Brad Oberg of Middle Tyger and Justice Kramer of Downtown Boise also cracked the 1:50 barrier to finish 4th and 5th, respectively.
Women’s 100 Freestyle – FINALS
Middle Tyger sprint star Katrina Konopka flipped nearly a half second ahead of the field at the 50 mark, but Stanford-bound Alexandra Meyers of Schroeder YMCA flew home in 25.86 for the win in 49.89. Konopka, the 50 free champion from Tuesday night, was just three hundredths behind in 49.92.
After cutting nearly a full second from her seed time in the morning, Katie Kicklighter from Orlando YMCA dropped another seven tenths from her prelims time to finish third in 50.13. Kicklighter, a Colorado State University commit, was a relatively unknown swimmer until this week, but she’s really putting her name on the map with her performance this week (she also A-finaled in the 50 free).
15-year-olds Ingrid Shu of Lakeland Hills and Kira Page of Western were 4th and 5th, respectively, touching in 50.22 and 50.28.
Men’s 100 Freestyle – FINALS
The men’s 100 freestyle final was absent the 50 free runner-up Colin Ellington, who was setting his sights on the 200 IM later in the night. That left it as a battle between the 50 free winner, Ryan Held from Springfield, Illinois, and the 200 free winner Zachary Molloy of the Ocean County YMCA in New Jersey.
Advantage: Held. He coasted through prelims, but ripped a 43.31 in finals to break Josh Fleagle’s 2012 record of 43.41.
That was also a lifetime best for both swimmers by about half-a-second (not including prelims). Molloy took 2nd in 44.20, which jumped him up from 7th at last year’s meet.
Somerset Valley’s Brad Zdroik took 3rd in 44.74, as he was leap-frogged by Molloy after a runner-up finish last season.
Nick Petersen of the Schroeder YMCA, best known as a backstroker, took 4th in 45.08. Ryan Owens (45.25), Joseph Shepley (45.36), and Sebastian Lutz (45.37), and Alex Carson (45.70) rounded out the A-Final.
Women’s 200 IM – FINALS
When Meghan Small from the York YMCA won this 200 IM last year as a 14-year old, she broke the Meet Record by a narrow .05 seconds.
When Meghan Small from the York YMCA won this 200 IM on Friday night, she absolutely demolished the record, swimming a 1:56.16. That broke her old record of 1:58.85 by more than two-and-a-half seconds.
Small thoroughly dominated this race; she beat a great backstroker Sophie Catermole (2nd – 2:01.06) on the backstroke leg; she beat a great breaststroker Savanna Faulconer on the breaststroke leg (3rd – 2:01.49); and she beat everyone on every leg of this race en route to her win.
Small’s 18-year old York teammate Niki Price placed 4th in 2:01.70; she was about the only one who really matched Small on any leg of this race, finishing almost as fast on her freestyle leg (but already with a five-second deficit).
Jessica Horomanski of the Middle Tyger YMCA earned her highest finish of this meet with a 5th-place time of 2:02.70. That put her just ahead of teammate Jessi Snover (2:02.76) as Middle Tyger had three of the top six finishers in the race, and five scorers overall.
Emily Slabe of the Countryside YMCA was 7th in 2:03.61, and Lindsay Temple from Somerset Valley was 8th in 2:04.45.
Taking first in the B-Final was Waynesboro’s Remedy Rule in 2:02.65.
Men’s 200 IM – FINALS
As was mentioned above, Colin Ellington of the Triangle Area YMCA sat out the 100 free this year in favor of the 200 IM. The schedule was tweaked a little bit from last season, where the 200 IM came before the 100 free, so he wasn’t any more tired this year than last, but only dropped about a tenth of a second.
But a tenth of a second was all he needed to repeat as the champion in 1:47.32, easily topping Wilton’s Maxwell Dolan (1:48.50) and Door County’s Conner McHugh (1:48.71).
Those three will all graduate, as will 5th-place finisher Jonathan Rutter, in the next few months and head to swim in college. That will leave 4th-place finisher Paul DeLakis, a 15-year old from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, as the heavy favorite next season after a 1:49.49.
The swimmer who might best challenge him wasn’t actually in that A-Final – Countryside 15-year old Grant House, who won the B-Final in 1:49.93.
Women’s 1650 Free – TIMED FINALS
York YMCA 14-year old Courtney Harnish picked up one more individual win in the women’s 1650 free, marking her 4th individual title of the meet. That goes with a pair of relay wins, making her an obvious choice for the star of this women’s meet.
She swam a 16:09.77 to win the race with relative ease, though that was about a second away from her best time.
The runner-up is also only 14, and that’s Abbey Erwin from the Downtown Boise YMCA, who took 2nd in 16:17.67. 3rd-place went to Sarasota’s Spence Atkins in 16:25.58.
Atkins took her race out very hard, turning at 4:51.57 at the 500 and hanging with Harnish early, but as the race went on she couldn’t hold that pace.
Men’s 1650 Free – TIMED FINALS
Sarasota’s Drew Clark held his top seed to win the boys mile. The 16-year-old dropped 18 full seconds off his seed time to go 15:10.39. An even bigger drop came from second-place Ian Rainey of Wilton. Rainey cut just over 29 seconds, going 15:12.60 to push Clark.
Those two were pretty well separated from the field, as third place went to Clarks’ Sarasota teammate Carter Page in 15:23.41. He had his own close battle with Wilton’s Stephen Holmquist. The 17-year-old Holmquist went 15:24.09 to take fourth. That accounted for a drop of 25 seconds for him.
Women’s 400 Free Relay – FINALS
A tight battle in the girls relay saw York YMCA top Middle Tyger by just a tenth of a second. York went 3:20.39, with a team of Courtney Harnish, Niki Price, Emily Ilgenfritz and Meghan Small. Harnish went 50.37 leading off, Price split 49.59 on her leg, Ilgenfritz was 51.61 and Small anchored in a very-fast 48.82 to propel York past Middle Tyger.
That Middle Tyger team of Sydney Baker, Ali Galyer, Jessi Snover and Katrina Konopka went 3:20.48. Konopka was 48 herself on the anch0r leg at 48.96, but couldn’t quite hold off a surging Small. Snover set up her teammate with a 49.63 split swimming third.
Triangle Area took third place overall, riding a 49.90 Olivia Ontjes split to a 3:24.74 overall.
Men’s 400 Free Relay – FINALS
Triangle Area YMCA won the boys event, going 3:00.63 to run away from the field. Colin Ellington had the big split, closing the team in 43.80, but the rest of the crew were straight 45s – 45.73 for leadoff Alex Carson, 45.42 for Noah Franz and 45.68 for Chris Kohut.
Cheshire won a tight battle for second. Joseph Shepley split 44.92 on the anchor leg to help the team go 3:03.29. Wilton Y was just two tenths back, going 3:03.48. Tommy Kealy went 45.21 for the fastest split of the group.
Also close was Upper MainLine YMCA, which put up a 3:03.92 on Ben Creekmore’s 45.47 leadoff split.
Leading basically the entire way, the Middle Tyger girls and Wilton boys capped off their overall national titles tonight. Middle Tyger put up 484 points, 110 ahead of second-place York County. Sarasota took third for the girls, with Schroeder back at fourth and Triangle Area sneaking into the top 5 by just a half-point.
The Wilton boys won by 77, beating Sarasota. Triangle Area took third place at 241 poitns, with Middle Tyger and Somerset Valley finishing the top 5.
Top 5 Girls Teams:
1. Middle Tyger 484
2. York and York County 374
3. Sarasota 342
4. Schroeder 231
5. Triangle Area 188
Top 5 Boys Teams:
1. Wilton 357
2. Sarasota 280
3. Triangle Area 241
4. Middle Tyger 222
5. Somerset Valley 180