Blair Stoneburg Completes Total Freestyle Sweep at FL Virtual Champs Day 3

by Robert Gibbs 0

December 06th, 2020 Club, National, News, Previews & Recaps


The Stuart site of the Florida Virtual Championships wrapped up today with competition in the 1650s, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, and 200 fly. As has been the trend over the first two day, there were plenty of big drops for lifetime bests for even the top swimmers at the meet, which will count towards the USA Swimming 18&U Winter Championship rankings this year.

On the women’s side, Blair Stoneburg of Treasure Coast Aquatics actually didn’t have a lot of big time drops, but she did wrap up today by winning two events, completing a sweep of all five freestyle events contested this week. During the afternoon, the 16 year-old Wisconsin commit came within a hair of her best time in the 1650, winning with a time of 16:14.65, only 0.05s off of her lifetime best.

In the evening session Stoneburg dueled with Aspen Gersper of Saint Andrew Aquatics which may have been the race of the day. Stoneburg went out in 24.02, but Gersper out split heron the back half, 25.35 to 25.67, as Stoneburg hung on to win 49.69 to 49.73. That’s a little over half a second away from Stoneburg’s lifetime best, while Gersper swam a new best time by 0.25s.

Tennessee commit Sara Stotler hit a new lifetime best in the 200 fly, moving from 1:58.58 to 1:58.04 and winning by over two seconds. Stotler won the 100 fly and the 200 IM earlier this week.

In the 200 breast, 100 breast champion Kaitlyn Holmes led at the halfway mark, but ECAC’s Anna Auld came back on Holmes to win 2:16.69 to 2:17.21. Auld, a Florida commit, set a new best time by over a second. Auld also won the 400 IM on Friday and took 2nd in the 1650 today. Holmes was about a second off of her lifetime best. 

Indian River Aquatics’ Sarah Evans blew away her best time in the 200 back. The 16 year-old came into the meet with a best of 2:03.10. She went 1:58.89 in prelims this morning, then won with with a 1:58.44 tonight, to go along with her victory in the 100 back earlier in the meet.

On the men’s side, Flood’s Josh Zuchowski hit two more personal bests today to make it six total on the week. He won his third event of the meet in the 200 back. where he was the only man to break 1:50 tonight, and he did it by a wide margin, hitting 1:44.02. Zuchowski came into the meet with a best time of 1:44.46. Zuchowski also hit a lifetime best in the 200 fly in prelims, going 1:46.62, a best by exactly three seconds.

In the 200 fly, Mitchell Ledford won his second event of the week, winning in 1:47.09 to go along with his 100 fly victory. Ledford knocked over four seconds off of his best time today. He came in with a best of 1:51.13, before going 1:48.54 in prelims, then another second and a half faster in finals.

The 100 free was a tight race on the boys side as well. Varis Monroe of North Balm Beach got his hand to the wall first, beating Dominic Miller of Loggerhead 45.06 to 45.24. Monroe won the 200 free earlier this week.

15 year-old Rich Nguyen followed up his 100 breast win earlier this week, with a win in the 200 breast today. The Loggerhead Aquatics swimmer lowered his best time by over seconds today. Philip Moldovanu of the Wahoos of Wellington completed the distance sweep with his 15:23.27 in the 1650 today. That’s a big personal best for the 17 year-old, whose previous best was a 16:12.51 from February.

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