2021 Speedo Sectionals Western Region
- Friday March 19 – Monday March 22, 2021
- Prelims: Phoenix Country School; Cactus Aquatics and Fitness Center; Chander High School
- Finals: Phoenix Day School
- Short Course Yards
- Results via Meet Mobile
The spring Western Sectionals meet has a unique format this year. Preliminary heats are being held at three different venues across the greater Phoenix area while finals will be on one location.
The meet kicked-off last night and featured some unique logistics as the session was a timed finals format at the three prelims locations. Not only that, the three different sites had different meet starting times so teams had to wait until results were compiled to determine their finishing place.
The Friday night session featured the 1650 freestyle sandwiched between the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay.
200 Medley Relay
On the women’s side, the Scottsdale Aquatic Club raced to victory as Greer Pattison (24.71), Sydney Blackhurst (28.54), Morgan Brophy (23.61), and Ashley Strouse combined to swim a 1:39.53, taking a half second off of their seed time and winning the race by over a second. According to the USA Swimming database, SAC is now 4th this season in the 15-18 age group for this event.
Second place went to Tualatin Hills Swim Club of Oregon in 1:40.76. TSC had a blistering 26.58 breaststroke split by Jessica Maeda, the fastest split in the field by over 1.5 seconds. TSC now ranks 6th this season in this relay. YMCA Westside Silver Fins jumped up from their seed of seventh to take third in 1:41.12.
On the boy’s side, Rio Salado Swim Club used the fastest butterfly and freestyle legs of the field to move up seven places from their seed and finish first overall. Evan Nail (23.15), Nathan Kempiak, (24.72), Jeremy Graunke (21.28), and Christian Osterndorf (19.79) combined to finish in 1:28.94. Rio Salado now sits at second the 15-18 age group in this relay for the season. Scottsdale’s second place time time of 1:29.43 moves them into #4 in the event. Bellevue Swim Club finished in third in 1:31.54.
Emma Nordin, a current senior at Arizona State, won this race in dominant fashion as she finished over a minute and a half ahead of the field. Her time of 15:48.34 is a new personal best for her as she dropped about four seconds from her previous best of 15:52.27. That was a significant swim from Nordin, who isn’t swimming in the NCAA this year as ASU has red-shirted their entire team this season. Nordin, the runner-up at last year’s Pac 12 meet, would have placed comfortably in first place at this year’s Pac 12 meet where the winning 1650 time was 16:03.27 from Morgan Tankersley of Stanford. Additionally, Nordin’s time was under this year’s NCAA “A” cut as well.
Mia Rankin of the Phoenix Swim Club set a new best time for the first time in three years. Rankin, who will be headed to Ohio State in the fall, swam under 16:30 as she finished in 16:21.46, which would have placed 12th at this year’s Big Ten meet.
14-year-old Danielle Gleason, a teammate of Rankin’s at PSC, dropped over ten seconds from her previous best to finish in 16:55.98. This time moves Gleason into the top-10 in the 13-14 age group this season as she now sits at ninth overall.
Arizona State led the way on the men’s side of the 1650 as they placed two swimmers in the top-3. Lleyton Plattel, a freshman at ASU, led from start to finish as he took the race in 15:06.90. This is Plattel’s second best time ever, just three seconds off his 15:03.81 from December 2019. His 15:06 from yesterday would have placed him 8th at this year’s Pac 12 meet and is under the NCAA “B” cut of 15:26.19.
The race for second and third featured two different approaches to the race. Plattel’s teammate, Gordon Mason, went out fast with Plattel. Mason, an open water specialist, kept up through the 1000 as he was just a second behind Plattel. Meanwhile, Thomas Joswiak of PSC was over ten seconds behind Mason in third place at the 1000 mark.
Over the last third of the race, Joswiak held pace while Mason fell off. At the 1450 point, Joswiak moved ahead of Mason and pulled away to finish in 15:20.25 with Mason in third at 15:29.08. Joswiak dropped over 20 seconds from his previous best of 15:44.27 from December.
200 Free Relay
The Scottsdale women led the way featuring the only sub-23 second splits of the field to win by over a second. Pattison (23.38), Riley Courtney (23.29), Brophy (22.56), and Strouse (22.58) combined to finish in 1:31.81. Elevation Athletics of Colorado moved up three places from their seed to finish second overall in 1:32.91. Tualatin Hills came in third in 1:33.23.
All three teams now rank in the top-10 this season for the 15-18 age group in this relay with Scottsdale at #1, Elevation at #4, and Tualatin Hills at #6.
For the men, Rio Salado won their second relay event of the night. Osterndorf (20.35), Graunke (19.80), Nathan Kempiak (20.07), and Nail (20.51) won by over a second in a time of 1:20.73. This time ranks Rio Salado at #3 in the 15-18 age group this season.
Scottsdale used a 20.12 anchor split from Edward Stoddard to finish in second in 1:22.05, placing them at #5 this season for the event. Phoenix Swim Club rounded-up the top-3 as they swam a time of 1:23.13.