Dean Ottati is a lifelong competitive swimmer of no real note. He and his wife Chris are the proud parents of an NCS swimmer. Dean is the author of The Runner and the Path: An Athletes Quest for Meaning in Postmodern Corporate America, and is currently suffering a massive case of procrastination-through-distraction while his manuscript, Swimming and the Meaning of Life: A Father, A Son, A Philosophy, and A Sport, sits alone on the corner of his desk, starving for attention.
The big story going into the NCS Championships was the speed and depth of this year’s senior class, and so far the meet is holding to script. In today’s preliminaries 6 NCS records were broken, one national record was tied, and it would appear that at least a few swimmers were saving a little something extra for tomorrow’s finals, so there could be more to come.
The men of Granada set the tone right away by breaking Campolindo’s 2012 NCS 200 Medley Relay record by .04, going 1:32.95. Campolindo settled for a 3rd seed (1:34.12) in the finals behind Amador Valley (1:33.8). Notably, Sven Campbell (Sr. Campolindo, Cal) did not anchor Campolindo’s Relay today, so in tomorrow’s finals Campolindo may be looking to take the record right back. Campbell led all qualifiers in the individual 50 Free with a 20.36.
Campbell also broke his own NCS record in the 100 Back, posting a 47.65 to lead the field into tomorrow’s finals.
Steven Stumph (Sr. Campolindo, USC) had the biggest first day of anybody. As reported earlier on SwimSwam, Stumph recorded a 53.67 in the 100 Breast, breaking his own meet record from last year, and tying the national public high school record held by the legendary Olympian, Branden Hansen. As one Campo parent in the stands put it, “I’ve never seen him swim slower in the finals than in the prelims.” So stay tuned. Before the meet, the men’s 100 breast was advertised as the marquee race. And so far, it sets up according to script. Nick Silverthorn (Jr. Granada) qualified second in 54.47 and Charlie Wiser (Sr. Miramonte, Stanford – Water Polo and Swimming) posted a 54.84 for the third seed.
Stumph also broke the NCS record in the 100 Fly (47.91), taking the top seed ahead of a field with six men that all broke 50, and two others that might break that mark in the final. All-world freshman Maxime Rooney (Fr. Granada – 48.97) qualified second, but he his closely followed by Dillon Williams (Sr. Monte Vista, Cal – 49.06) and Kenneth Castro Abrams (Sr. San Marin, Harvard – 49.27).
Today’s preliminaries closed with a pair of new NCS records in both the 400 Free Relay’s. Carondolet, led by Chelsea Chenault along with Natalie Amberg, Madelyn Murphy, and Madison White, set the new women’s standard with a 3:23.96. And the men of Campolindo, Sven Campbell, Steven Stumph, JD Ratchford, and Grant Sivesind, posted a 3:02.97 to break the record Campolindo set last year by exactly one second. The men of Granada are not too far behind (3:04.68) heading into tomorrow’s final.
The men’s 500 free appears to be a game of cat and mouse. Clayton Young (Sr. San Ramon Valley, UCSB 4:27.26) goes in as the top seed, followed by Jackson Miller (Sr. Las Lomas, Indiana, 4:28.76), Talbot Jacobs (Jr. College Prep 4:30.22) and Maxime Rooney (Fr. Granada, 4:32.61). Expect to see some time drops in the finals.
The men’s 200 Free shapes up the same way. Nick Silverthorn goes in as to the top seed, followed by Jackson Miller. Both went 1:38’s, and both have been much faster. They lead a field that includes five swimmers that broke 1:40 in qualifying.
Chelsea Chenault, as expected, goes into the finals as the top seed in both the 200 Free (1:44.98) where she leads a field of five women who all posted sub 1:50’s, and in the 500 Free (4:40.59). Neither time is a record, but they aren’t far off. We’ll have to wait and see what she can go in the finals tomorrow.
Iris Brand (So, Amador Valley) leads the field in both the sprint freestyles (50 Fr — 23.2, and 100 Fr – 50.40). Right behind Brand are Mary Ashby (So. Campolindo) in the 50 (23.68) and defending NCS title holder Madison White (Sr. Carondolet, UCLA) in the 100 (50.60). White, the pre meet favorite in the 100 Back also goes into the final as a second seed behind Sidney Cooke (Sr. Monte Vista) who posted a 54.70 to White’s 54.77.
The great Celina Li (Sr. Foothill, Cal 54.38 ) goes into the 100 fly final as a surprising second seed behind sophomore Ariana Safhafi for Albany who dropped 3 seconds from her seed time to lead the field with a 54.17 . Li goes into the 200 IM as the top seed (1:58.92), ahead of Taylor Young (Sr. Cardinal Newman) who posted a really nice 2:02.03 in the prelims.
As all schools, large and small, compete directly in the NCS Swimming Championships, today’s small school shout out goes to the girls of Marin Academy. Madeleine Salesky, Isabelle Kitze, and Tai Hallstein all finished in the top 14 in the 50 free, and all will be enjoying their second swims tomorrow.
Every year the NCS prelims are intense, and just when you think the swimming can’t get any better, the finals are even more electric. Look for some even more amazing swimming ahead.
Tomorrow’s finals will be held at the Concord Community Pool in Concord, California. Racing begins at 10:30 AM.
Live Results can be viewed by following the links on the NCS website: