The first night of the 2014 American Short Course Championships in Austin, Texas is in the books, and Texas A&M sophomore Cory Bolleter has come away as the winner of the day’s biggest race: the 50 free.
Editor’s note, and one we’ll continue to make all week: this meet is a combination of a club meet and a college last chance meet; it is neither limited to Americans, nor on the level of the USA Swimming National Championships, but still it is an entertaining meet.
In prelims, Bolleter’s teammate Kyle Troskot sealed up his NCAA qualification with an NCAA Automatic Qualifying mark. In finals, Troskot sort of fell off the back and abdicated the top spot to Bolleter, who improved from a 19.41 to a 19.38. That may seem trivial, but it moves him from being tied for 20th (excluding Pac 12 times) to being 17th alone, which is three steps closer to an NCAA individual swim.
Missouri’s Logan Mosley was 2nd in 19.68, and SMU’s Ramon Melo took 3rd in 19.77. The highest placing pre-collegiate swimmer is Justin Lynch, a Junior National Teamer from the Terrapins Swim Team, who was 8th in 20.46.
That was the one race that will have an impact on NCAA invites, but there other good swims. Texas post-grad Sarah Bateman won the girls’ 50 free in 22.12. That’s not only one of her 10 fastest times ever, it’s the best she’s been since completing her NCAA eligibility at Florida two years ago.
Canyons 17-year old Abbey Weitzeil wasn’t quite able to improve upon her prelims time, but was a 22.16 for second-place. Her teammate Tamara Santoyo broke 23 seconds for the first time with a 22.94. She’s been one of the biggest beneficiaries of new coach Coley Stickels, who is a great sprint coach, taking over that program. Since he was hired there in December of 2012, she’s gone from a 24.4 to a 22.9 – and that’s between ages 16 and 17 where a lot of swimmers of this caliber plateau rather than drop a second-and-a-half.
ATAC’s Mei Lynn Colby and Wyoming’s Danielle Badger tied for 4th in 23.36.
Jenna Bauer of Neptune Swimming won the 500 free in 4:50.03, pulling away early from Namilla Sanchez (4:55.90).
The men’s 500 free went to Missouri’s Eegan Groome in 4:20.35; North Coast Aquatics’ Jason O’Brien was 2nd in 4:21.41, which is a bit slower than he was in prelims but still a very good time; and 15-year old rising distance star Brad Gonzales took 3rd in 4:26.34.
A pair of pros split the 200 IM’s. Laura Sogar was a 1:58.47 in the 200 IM to beat Missouri’s Abby Duncan (2:00.81) and Brea Aquatics 15-year old Kenisha Liu took 3rd in 2:01.85.
The men’s 200 IM went to Austin Surhoff, who was a 1:46.90 to beat a couple of Texas undergrads – Grant Rogers and Ian Lemaistre. Those three were in a great race until Surhoff pulled away on the freestyle leg at the end.
In the 200 free relays, the A&M men were a 1:18.49 to beat Texas’ men (1:18.64). Texas got a 19.04 second leg from John Murray, who scratched the individual 50 free final. Canyons girls swam a 1:33.44 to win the women’s 200, including a 22.2 Wietzel lead-off.
Canyons also won the 400 medley relay, swimming a 3:43.47 including a 47.75 Weitzeil anchor. SMU won the men’s 400 free relay in 3:16.10, which is a slight improvement upon their season best though they’re still not close to the NCAA Qualification Standard.