Cooper Lucas Holds Off Teammate Maximus Williamson in 200 BR Battle at Southern Premier

by Riley Overend 1

March 06th, 2023 Club, News, Previews & Recaps


Charlotte Crush’s mind-boggling record in the 100 back wasn’t the only highlight from Sunday’s action at the 2023 Speedo Southern Premier meet.

The men’s 200 breast final featured an exciting battle between 17-year-old Cooper Lucas and 16-year-old Maximus Williamson, who train together at Lakeside Aquatic Club (LAC) as well as the Junior National Team. Both swimmers clocked new lifetime bests, with Lucas (1:57.29) edging Williamson (1:57.70) by less than half a second. Lucas dropped more than a second from last March to pull off his fourth individual victory of the week (100 breast, 200 IM, 400 IM).

Williamson’s personal-best 200 breast time was a 2:03.31 before he went 2:01.36 in prelims. Now his 1:57.70 ranks 31st in the boys’ 15-16 national age group (NAG) rankings. He also won the 100 free on Sunday, but his 42.73 was slightly off his lifetime best from December (42.49). It was Williamson fifth individual win of the meet after previously placing first in the 200 free (1:33.36), 200 back (1:43.99), 50 free (19.65), and 500 free (4:16.84).

In the women’s 100 free, 16-year-old Haley McDonald collected her fourth individual win of the weekend with her first-ever sub-50 time. The Lakeside (Kentucky) standout posted a 49.64, lowering her previous-best 50.43 from last March by nearly a second. McDonald also won the 200 free (1:46.47), 500 free (4:48.37), and 200 IM (1:58.67).

Crush, McDonald’s 14-year-old Lakeside (Kentucky) teammate, tallied another victory in the 100 fly (52.06) to go along with her NAG record in the 100 back (50.44). Crush’s winning time of 52.06 was about half a second slower than her personal-best 51.46 from last year’s Southern Premier, which ranks her as the No. 2 performer in her age group behind Claire Curzan (50.64).

Other Event Winners

  • Cal sophomore Evan Petty picked up a victory in the men’s 100 back with a 46.57, just a blink off his personal-best 46.55 from December.
  • LAC 16-year-old Avery Collins won the women’s 200 breast in 2:12.54, two seconds behind her best time of 2:10.42 from December.
  • Virginia commit Spencer Nicholas took home the men’s 100 fly title in 46.95, just off his personal-best 46.74 from February.
  • Lakeside (Kentucky) and LAC enjoyed a fun battle in the men’s 400 medley relay. The Lakeside (Kentucky) quartet of Johnny Crush (47.10), Will Scholtz (54.25), Thomas Mercer (48.29), and Alex Thiesing (44.19) combined for a 3:13.83, edging LAC’s team by just .21 seconds. Williamson (47.54), Branden Beladi (56.16), Lucas (46.62), and River Paulk (43.72) totaled 3:14.04 for LAC’s runner-up squad.
  • In the women’s 400 medley relay, the Dynamo Swim Club quartet of Catie Choate (53.34), Evelyn Entrekin (1:01.00), Ella Jones (55.83), Sophie Brison (50.57) cruised to victory in 3:40.74.

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8 months ago

Cooper Lucas will be a great addition to the Longhorns down the road. And, as for Maximus, I guess time will tell where he actually lands.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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