Though place by individual age at the 2013 Showcase Classic in Clearwater, Florida, the timed finals are swum in the more traditional combined age groups.
That is a fortunate fact, because it meant we got to see Michael Andrew and Grant House go head-to-head in one epic battle before heading home from Florida.
Neither swimmer had been better than 4:09 coming into the meet. Both swimmers leave the meet with 3:58’s.
But among the two stars of the event on the boys’ side of the meet, it was the 14-year old House from the Cincinnati Marlins who came away with the victory by margin of 3:58.78-3:58.85.
Andrew opened up a huge lead in this race after 300 yards, leading by more than three seconds headed into the freestyle leg. There, however, House’s endurance (he’s a very good distance swimmer) kicked in, and he began to run Andrew down. By the 350, the lead was down to two seconds, and by the end, it was a photo-finish that gave the margin to House.
That puts both swimmers into the top 10 in age group history.
The women’s race was settled by a much larger margin. There, Nitro’s Regan Barney won in 4:21.99: almost six seconds faster than anyone else in the field. That’s a personal best for her; she really excelled in the long-axis backstroke and freestyle legs, which is where she made up most of her ground on the field.
In other action, Lauren Stigler from Wisconsin won the girls’ 14-year olds 100 breaststroke in 1:06.97. The state of Wisconsin is moving further-and-further up the rankings for best breaststroker states.
In the boys’ 100 breaststroke, Andrew bounced back from his grueling battle earlier in the race with a 58.72 to easily win the 13-year old race, though Clearwater’s Jabari Ramsey was still a very impressive 1:01.11.
Andrew’s time did, though, show some signs perhaps of an incredibly challenging four days of competition, as it was the furthest he was from a best time at this meet.
Vance Sanders, another Clearwater hometown swimmer, won an Andrew-less 200 free final in 1:47.24; House was a 1:39.87 in the 14-year olds race. This might be House’s best race, and even after such a tough week of swimming, that swim is among the top 10 in age group history (though, it’s actually not quite his personal best.)
Madeleine Hadd won the girls’ 200 freestyle in 1:51.78, and Sarah Chambliss took the top seed among 14-year olds in 1:51.83.
Among top results from the younger age groups:
- Giovanna Cappabianca won the girls’ 11-year olds 100 breaststroke in 1:08.74 That time would have won the 12-year old division and placed top three among both 13’s and 14’s.
- Shane Blinkman won the 12-year old boys’ 200 free in 1:51.65.
- William Kamps from the Academy Bullets won the 12-year olds 400 IM in 4:25.47