AAC Day 2: Kearsey Breaks De Lucca’s 50 FR Record, Houston Women Sweep Races

2020 AAC SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2020 AAC Championships in Houston, Texas continued on Thursday with the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, and 200 free relay. The Houston women have won every event of the meet so far. Zarena Brown repeated as champion in the 500 free with a breakthrough swim. She hadn’t swum her best since 2017, but crushed it by over 2 seconds tonight in 4:41.89. That took down the former record, set by Cincinnati’s Jacqueline Keire in 2015, by nearly a second.

Tulane freshman Lilly Byrne was just a tenth off the former Meet Record as she took silver in 4:42.78. She dropped 5 seconds from her best throughout the day. Teammate Olivia Johnson was 4th as she dropped 2 seconds in 4:45.06. Another freshman, Kristen Stege of East Carolina, broke 4:45 for the first time to take bronze in 4:43.85. SMU freshman Frederica Kizek demolished her old best by over 6 seconds. Her 4:46.71 to win the B final was the 5th fastest time of the night.

In the 200 IM, Houston’s Ioanna Sacha got out to the early lead ahead of teammate Peyton Kondis. Through the back half, Kondis closed the gap, but Sacha was too far ahead to be caught as she won in 1:57.23 to Kondis’ 1:57.85. Tulane’s Katherine McDonald (1:58.01) pulled ahead of Houston’s 2019 champion Laura Laderoute (1:58.34) on the breat leg to edge ahead for bronze.

Mykenzie Leehy dropped a lifetime best 22.42 in prelims and went on to win gold in 22.51. Teammate Kathryn Power and SMU’s Erin Trahan, the 2019 champion, tied for silver in 22.91. East Carolina’s CJ Johnson was just off the podium in 23.03. Shortly after the 50 free, swimmers returned for the 200 free relay. Power (22.51) and Leehy (22.22) took on the back half of Houston’s relay as they won in 1:30.51.

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 2 – WOMEN

  1. Houston, University of          388.5   2. Southern Methodist University   279.5
  3. Cincinnati, University of         212   4. East Carolina University          183
  5. Tulane University                 149   6. Connecticut, University of        133

On the men’s side, UConn’s William Kearsey took down a 6-year-old Meet Record in the 50 free. The former mark of 19.58 was set by Louisville NCAA Champion Joao De Lucca in 2014. Kearsey took it down as he clocked a 19.47 in prelims. He was just a hundredth shy of breaking it again when he defended as champion in 19.48. Kearsey then re-broke his record on the 200 free relay leadoff leg in 19.40. He’s hundredths shy of what it took to qualify for last season’s NCAA Championships.

East Carolina freshman Pedro Gueiros took silver in 20.05. Teammate James Ward claimed bronze with a 20.08. It was a close battle between teammates for the silver and bronze, as they also took 4th place with Gustavo Santos‘ 20.13. Their depth paid off in the 200 free relay, as they won in 1:19.28. Gueiros led off in 20.15, followed by a 19.87 on the 2nd leg from Eric Hinderup. Santos threw down a 19.74 on the 3rd split, while Ward anchored in a field-best 19.52.

Cincinatti swept the top 3 in the men’s 500 free. Din Selmanovic clocked a 4:19.27 to repeat as champion. Freshman teammates Noah Smith and Michael Balcerak rounded out the podium. Smith dropped 5 seconds from his time coming into the meet to earn the silver in 4:20.84. Balcerak swam his lifetime best 4:22.06 in prelims and took bronze in the final with a 4:22.57.

The Bearcats also got a win in the 200 IM. Dominic Polling defended his title in 1:45.58, again just 2 tenths shy of the AAC Meet Record set by Louisville’s Nolan Tesone in 2014. East Carolina’s Marek Osina (1:45.81) repeated as the silver medalist, closing the gap with Polling on the back half and moving ahead of UConn’s Emils Jurcik (1:45.93). That was a best by a second for Jurcik. SMU freshman Colin Feehery also knocked a second off his best to take 4th in 1:46.28.

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 2 – MEN

  1. East Carolina University          292   2. Cincinnati, University of         267
  3. Connecticut, University of        224   4. Southern Methodist University     212

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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