Editor’s note: to avoid confusion for some of our readers less familiar, or who are internationals, this meet is an American Championship largely in name only, and is not sanctioned by USA Swimming, the NCSA, or the YMCA that we’re aware of as an actual national championship meet.
The American Short Course Championship, which functions as a combination college last chance meet and big age group invite meet, definitely was geared more toward the latter description on the first day of this year’s meet with, high school swimmers taking five of the six individual events, although the sixth event may have made the difference in securing a NCAA invite.
The night opened with the girls of the Carmel Swim Club taking the women’s 200 free relay with a time of 1:33.69, highlighted by a 22.76 leadoff swim by Kelly Pash. The 16 year-old, who swam for Team USA at this past summer’s World Junior Championships, was the individual star on the women’s side. After that leadoff split, she proceeded to win the women’s 500 free with a time of 4:44.80, and then she jumped back in the pool not much later to swim a 1:58.48 in the 200 IM and earn the win in that event as well.
Austin Swim Club’s Quinn Schaedler won the 50 free with a 22.98, and then the Kamehameha Swim Club took the 400 medley relay in 3:53.31, just beating the Gulliver Swim Club.
On the men’s side, the team from University of Wisconsin finished just ahead of the team from Texas A&M, 1:19.43 to 1:19.80. Wisconsin featured the same four men who swam the event at the Big Ten championships, but they were still over a second off of their time of 1:18.25 from last week, which fell under the NCAA B cut, but not the A cut.
Indiana commit Michael Brinegar took the men’s 500 in 4:19.30, a new personal best time for him. Matthew Willenbring, another Team USA representative at the World Junior Championships, knocked over two seconds off his prelims time to win the 200 IM in 1:44.14. He was swimming in what will be his home pool next year, as he’s a Texas commit. That 1:44 is a fast time for any high school senior, but especially for one who’s roughly 6’11 and anchored the USA’s medley relay in a sub-49 second swim last year at those World Junior Championships.
Willenbring tried going for the 200 IM/50 free double, but neither he nor future Longhorn teammate Drew Kibler could pull out the win. Instead, that went to Yale’s Aaron Greenberg, who won in 19.34. His previous season-best time was a 19.36, but that 0.02s drop looks like it might’ve made the difference in securing a NCAA invite, even taking into account the times from tonight’s Pac-12 championships.
Finally, Texas A&M won the 400 medley relay in 3:10.80.