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 available via Meet Mobile
The third day of the spring Western Sectionals meet featured another new meet record as Arizona State swimmers continued to pick up wins. ASU, which has red-shirted the 2020-2021 NCAA season, has sent a substantial roster to this meet. The meet features a unique scheduling wrinkle as preliminary heats are being held at three different venues across the greater Phoenix area while finals are at one location.
Kennedy Noble of the YMCA Westside Silver Fins picked up her second win of the meet. Noble was out ahead early, flipping at the 50 nearly a second ahead of the next swimmer. Her lead would lengthen during the second 50 as she finished in 52.07, about half a second off her best of 51.51 from February. Greer Pattison of the Scottsdale Aquatic Club was second in 53.90 and Riley Lexvold of ASU was right behind with a 54.00 for third place.
In the men’s 100 back, Sam Tenhulzan of Cougar Aquatics was the only swimmer under 24 seconds at the 50 turn. The rest of the field caught up over the second half of the race. 16-year old Keaton Jones of Swim Neptune, the top seed from the morning, got his hand to the wall first to win in 49.61. Jones’s prelims time of 48.74 was within a tenth of his best of 48.67. Tavis Siebert, a freshman at Cal, took second in 49.70, breaking 50 for the first time. Parker Hughes of SAC was third in 49.97.
Emma Nordin, the winner of the 1650 on Friday, led a 1-2-3 finish for Arizona State. Nordin’s teammate, Erica Laning, staked the early lead as she led the pack at both the 50 and 100 mark. Nordin, whose 50 splits were all within 1.25 seconds of each other, used a well-paced swim to pull ahead over the second half to win by over a second in 1:44.72. Laning was second in 1:45.80 and Lindsay Looney placed third in 1:48.50. Ashley Strouse of SAC won the consolation final in 1:47.01.
As in the men’s 100 free from yesterday, the 200 final featured all eight lines occupied by Sun Devils. Grant House picked up his third win with a meet record time of 1:32.21. This was a personal best for House whose previous best of 1:32.29 came nearly two years ago at the 2019 Men’s NCAA Division I Championship. Julian Hill (1:32.93) and Cody Bybee (1:33.46) placed second and third respectively, both with personal best times.
Mia Rankin of the Phoenix Swim Club had a dominant swim as she won her first event of the weekend. Rankin, who placed second in both the 1650 free and 200 IM this weekend, dropped over five seconds in this event. Her best time coming into this meet was a 4:15.63 from 2019. Rankin swam a 4:14.98 in prelims before dropping an additional four seconds to finish in 4:10.28. Nora Deleske of ASU took second in 4:14.78, about three seconds off her best time. Noble would have her second top-3 finish of the night, placing third in 4:17.00
Arizona State would again place two swimmers in the top three in the men’s 400 IM. Sun Devil Alexander Colson had the lead after the butterfly leg at 50.80. Colson’s lead would be nearly 1.5 seconds at the halfway point. Jarod Arroyo of ASU would make his move during the third 100. Arroyo out split Colson by over three seconds on the breaststroke leg to take the by 0.16 over Colson at the 300. Arroyo would pull ahead during freestyle to earn the win in 3:45.81, dropping .12 from his previous best of 3:45.93 from earlier this March. Colson’s second place time of 3:46.46 was a best time by over six seconds. Rounding out the top three was Daniel Matheson of SAC who broke 3:50 for the first time to finish in 3:47.69.
Camryn Curry, the runner-up in yesterday’s 100 free, used her speed to win by over .50 seconds with a time of 22.33, just a tenth off her best of 22.23. Meredith Smithbaker of Team Vortex placed second in 22.95, just off her best of 22.77. Morgan Brophy of SAC took third in 23.19, dropping .09 from her previous best of 23.28 set two weeks ago.
House would earn his fourth win of the meet with a personal best of 19.46, dropping two tenths from the 19.66 he swam two weeks ago. House’s ASU teammate Jack Dolan was second in 19.81, off his best of 19.40 from last year’s Pac 12 meet. Jeremy Graunke of Rio Salado crashed the Sun Devil party to take third place in 19.82. Graunke dropped .15 seconds from his previous best of 19.97 from November.
400 Medley Relay
SAC used the same foursome that won the 200 medley relay on Friday to win the women’s 400 medley relay by over four seconds. Pattison (53.98), Sydney Blackhurst (1:01.72), Brophy (53.95), and Strouse (49.57) combined to swim a 3:39.22, the second best time in the country this season in the 15-18 age group. Tualatin Hills and the YMCA Westside Silver Fins battled for second and third. Tualatin Hills, who trailed the Silver Fins through the first three legs, used a 50.83 freestyle split from Lily Gardner to finish in second in 3:43.46. The Silver Fins were third in 3:44.13.
In the men’s race, Rio Salado used a strong backstroke and breaststroke legs to lead by over a second at the halfway point. SAC used the fastest butterfly and freestyle splits of the field to move up over the second half. Rio Salado held their own as Evan Nail (51.30), Nathan Kempiak (54.69), Graunke (48.86), and Christian Osterndorf (45.01) won in 3:19.86. SAC was second in 3:21.25 and PSC took third in 3:22.37.