SGSA Eastern Invitational
- June 16-19, 2022
- LCM (50 meters)
- Greensboro, NC
Some of the University of Virginia’s swimmers traveled down to North Carolina to compete in a club swimming meet, also clashing with some of the best club swimmers out there.
Highlighting the women’s side of the meet was rising Virginia sophomore Gretchen Walsh. Walsh competed in what can be considered her “on” events as well as a few extra events she might not normally fit in a high-level meet. Walsh swam a 25.31 50 freestyle which was slightly off of her personal best of 24.53 which she swam at US International Team Trials in April 2022. Walsh finished third at Trials, just 0.01 off of making the Worlds team.
Walsh also competed in the 100 freestyle, swimming a 55.33. This was a season best for Walsh as she swam a 55.57 in April. She holds a best time of 53.74 from August 2019. She also swam the 100 butterfly, swimming a time of 59.30. Walsh has a best time of 57.43, swam a 58.46 at last year’s 2020 Wave II Olympic Trials, but did not compete at the event in April.
Another event featuring another Virginia rising sophomore was the 100 backstroke. Walsh won the 100 backstroke in a time of 1:00.64 which was a season best as she swam a 1:01.25 at International Team Trials. This weekend’s time was also just off of her best time of 1:00.26 which is swim August 2019. Finishing second behind Walsh was fellow Virginia swimmer Reilly Tiltmann. Tiltmann swam a time of 1:01.31. That time was just off of what Tiltmann swam at International Team Trials as she swam a best time of 1:00.87 there. Notably, Walsh and Tiltmann are both members of the Virginia 400 freestyle relay that set an American Record at NCAAs in March.
Highlighting the men’s side of the meet was rising teenager Thomas Heilman of Cavalier Aquatics. Heilman swam a 23.39 50 freestyle leading off his relay, although the 50 freestyle is not one of Heilman’s “on” events. He also competed in the 100 and 200 butterflys. He swam a time of 54.24 in the 100 fly which is slightly off of his 52.87 which he swam in prelims of International Team Trials. He also went a 2:02.40 in the 200 fly. His best time stands at a 1:58.01 which he swam in prelims back in April.
Rising Virginia sophomore Jack Aikins highlighted numerous events. Aikans swam the 50 freestyle in a 22.61 just off of his 22.36 from International Team Trials. He also swam the 100 freestyle in a 50.16 just off of his best of 49.98 which he swam at Wave II Trials last summer.
Aikins continued to show his backstroke strength swimming a 55.62 in the 100 backstroke. He swam a 53.95 to finish 6th at International Team Trials in April. He also swam a 2:01.92 in the 200 backstroke. In April, he swam a 1:56.29 to finish third in the event missing the Worlds team by less than a seconds.
15 year old Jason Zhao of Mason Manta Rays had multiple notable swims. Zhao swam best times of 51.94 in the 100 freestyle, 1:54.06 in the 200 freestyle, and 1:06.27 in the 100 breaststroke.
Other notable swims: