All The Links, Races To Watch At The 2021 NCAP Invitational

2021 NCAP Invitational

Running in conjunction with the upcoming Speedo Winter Junior Championships this weekend will be the Nation’s Capital (NCAP) Invitational in Maryland, where seemingly all of the country’s best junior swimmers not racing in either Greensboro or Austin will be.

The meet will kick off on Thursday evening with timed final heats in the 1650 freestyle, plus the 500 free for 12 & unders and 13-14s and the 200 back for 12 & unders. Friday through Sunday will then feature full prelims/finals sessions for the 13 & over swimmers with a 12 & under timed final session in the afternoon. You can find the full schedule in the meet information package here.

Psych sheets for the meet can be found here, and sessions are expected to be streamed live on Nation’s Capital’s YouTube channel here.

RACES TO WATCH

Women’s 200 Freestyle

The women’s 200 free is absolutely stacked with six swimmers, all 16 or 17 years old, seeded sub-1:48 and 11 total swimmers entered under 1:50.

Leading the pack is Tide’s Kayla Wilson, who is entered with her best time of 1:44.90 set last December when she broke a 33-year-old LSC Record at the NOVA of Virginia Holiday Meet.

Wilson, a Stanford commit, will be joined in the event by fellow U.S. Olympic Trials (Wave II) 200 free semi-finalist, Long Island Aquatic Club’s Cavan Gormsen, who set a best time of 1:45.93 just last month.

The field will also be headlined by the NCAP duo of Erin Gemmell and Camille Spink, who were both ‘A’ finalists in the LCM 200 free at the US Open last week. Gemmell placed second behind Katie Ledecky, setting a new best time of 1:58.61. That indicates she may have a drop in store from her 1:45.96 SCY lifetime best.

The fifth seed is Gormsen’s LIAC teammate, Tess Howley, who holds a best time of 1:47.19 from last December. Howley, 16, is also the top seed in the women’s 100 fly (52.55) and 200 fly (1:53.95), with seven total events on her schedule.

Women’s 100 Freestyle

Though it’s admittedly redundant to have both the women’s 100 and 200 free on the “races to watch” list, the 100 free promises to be a great one with seven swimmers seeded under 50 seconds.

Spink leads the way in 48.93, and she’s followed by Wilson, Emily Claesson, Gemmell, Howley, Tatum Wall and Gormsen, who are all seeded within a half-second of another (excluding Spink).

Spink is also the top seed in the 50 free, while Gormsen comes in ranked first in both the 500 and 1650 free.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

NCAP’s Landon Gentry is the top seed in six events (and second in the 50 free), and in the majority of them, he’s well ahead of the pack. However, the 100 free is a bit of a different story, with the five top swimmers all entered within seven-tenths of another.

Gentry sits at 45.16, and he’s followed by Machine Aquatics’ Noah Dyer (45.26), LIAC’s Alvin Tsai (45.73), NCAP’s Ben Stankovich (45.82) and Greenwich YMCA Dolphins’ Alexander Hazlett (45.87).

Gentry, 17, also is the top seed in the 200 free (1:37.87), 100 back (48.66), 100 fly (46.41), 200 fly (1:43.03) and 200 IM (1:46.73).

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

NCAP’s Eleanor Sun leads a quartet of swimmers seeded sub-1:04 in the women’s 100 breast, having set her PB of 1:03.54 back in October.

Sun, who raced at the US Open last week, is joined by Suburban Seahawks’ Ashley Kolessar (1:03.57), AGUA’s Bella Gary (1:03.81) and Machine Aquatics’ Regan Hau (1:03.90).

Hau, like Sun, set her PB at the NOVA Senior Classic Invitational at the end of October.

Other Names To Watch:

  • Zoe Dixon – The 17-year-old NOVA swimmer is the top seed in the women’s 200 back and 200 IM by over two seconds and the 400 IM, and also sits second in the 200 fly (and third in the 100 free as mentioned above).
  • Reid Oconnell – Just 12, Oconnell has been rising up the age group ranks every time he swims. Oconnell is the top seed across five boys’ 11-12 events, including an 11-second gap in the 200 IM.
  • Sophie Duncan – Duncan, entered in seven events, is one to watch in the women’s 400 IM, where she’s the top seed by over four seconds in 4:09.80

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Swammmeer
1 month ago

Sleeping on Ryan Branon…….

flygirl
Reply to  Swammmeer
1 month ago

I mean can you really sleep on a kid who’s not even swimming in the meet that this article is about? Should the just mention him to stay awake?

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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