4 days of fast age group swimming closed in Clearwater, Florida tonight as the NASA Showcase Classic concluded. Highlights of the final day came from every age group.
In the 10 & unders, Joy Jiang won two more races to hit 10 wins for the week. Meanwhile Josh Zuchowski swept the 9-year-old heats and Lance Godard did the same for 10-year-olds.
In the 11-12 bracket, Vinny Marciano continued to rise, breaking another National Age Group record, this time in the 50 fly. He also won the 200 free in a quick time.
Michael Andrew took home three wins in the 13-14s, headlined by a quick 21.28 in the 50 fly.
Westchester’s Joy Jiang picked up two more wins to hit double digits for the weekend. Her 9th win of the meet came in the 200 IM, where her 2:18.78 topped the field by almost 6 seconds. Jiang came back just a few events later to go 1:04.05 for the 100 fly win, #10, in another big margin of victory.
Lance Godard won a trio of events for the Kansas City Blazers. The 10-year-old went 2:16.53 to beat Johnny Bradshaw for the 200 IM, then won the 100 fly at 1:02.68, with Bradshaw again second. Finally, in the 50 free, Godard put up a 25.98 to pick up win #3.
The 9-year-old heats of all three of those races went to Joshua Zuchowski of the Jupiter Dragons. He went 2:22.75 in the IM and 1:04.17 in the fly. Zuchowski also won the 50 free for 9-year-olds, going 27.04.
For 9-year-old girls, Zoe Dixon and Allie Hathaway traded blows early. Hathaway won the opening 200 IM for the Orcas of Minnesota in 2:26.55 to Dixon’s 2:30.54. But Dixon struck back for Nova of Virginia in the 100 fly, topping Hathaway 1:06.39 to 1:07.20.
Grace Olsen of Fenton Area won the 50 free, going 27.67 to beat out Dixon. In the 10-year-old heat, Reese Thompson of Delaware Swim Team went 26.61 for the title.
Vinny Marciano won two more events as he continued to rule the 11-12s. Marciano broke yet another NAG record in the 50 fly, bringing his total to 5 for the week. His 23.63 took down Michael Andrew‘s 11-12 mark.
Marciano also won the 200 free, going a very-fast 1:46.94, just about a second and a half off another NAG.
The 11-year-olds’ 50 fly was an outstanding race. The Fish’s Leo Goldblatt came up with the victory, but had to fight off Mason Makos Anthony Grimm. The two finished in 26.32 and 26.35 respectively. (Goldblatt also took a tight race in the 200 free later on, going 1:57.43 to hold off a host of challengers).
The girls 12-year-old 50 fly was a nail-biter as well. The Virginia Gators’ Olivia Bray went 25.37 to top the Mason Makos’ Alexa Cuomo and her 25.43. In the 11-year-old heat, Gabriela Pierobon Mays continued to pile up wins, going 25.91 to run away with the heat.
Pierobon Mays also won the 100 breast, going 1:09.61. The 12-year-old heat went to Westchester’s Katherine Douglass at 1:04.44, just touching out Giovanna Cappabianca of Cuyahoga Falls and her 1:04.47.
In the 400 IM, Green Bay’s Emma Lasecki pulled off the win, going 4:30.59 to beat Cappabianca. In the 11-year-old heat, Delaware’s Chase Travis won another title at 4:38.47.
For the boys, Aquastar’s Christopher Hardt took the younger heat at 4:30.32 while Poseidon swimmer Adam Kerr won the 12-year-old heat. Both wins were substantial.
Hardt also won the 100 breast in 1:04.91. The 12-year-old heat went to Nicholas Torres in 1:03.23 with Kerr second.
400 IM winner Travis doubled up in the 200 free, going 1:56.21 for the title. In the 12-year-old heat, sprinter Christina Cianciolo won for Clearwater, holding off a late charge from distance swimmer Madelyn Donohoe of The Fish. Cianciolo was 1:52.80 to Donohoe’s 1:52.97.
Michael Andrew closed out his official 13-14 career with three wins, though he broke no NAG records on the night. Perhaps Andrew’s most impressive swim was his 21.38 win in the 50 fly, a career-best by a tenth. His butterfly has been on this weekend, especially in the sprints; he broke the 100 fly NAG earlier in the meet in a very impressive 46-second swim.
Andrew also won the 400 IM and 100 breast. That IM race was 3:55.36, a solid three seconds off his personal best. The 100 breast Andrew went 54.70, an easy win but still nearly a second behind his NAG in the event. In hindsight, it appears Andrew might have showed some fatigue towards the end of this meet after spending his last few weeks at age 14 putting together a torrid pace of meets and NAG record attempts.
Kristen Romano of Town Wrecker got another win in the 400 IM. She went 4:21.50 to top Marcella Ruppert-Gomez by two seconds.
Ruppert-Gomez struck back for Clearwater, though, in the 200 free, going 1:50.53 to overcome Romano’s 1:50.69.
The 13-year-old heat was a great race as well, with third-seeded Sara Gaston swimming by the field to win in 1:53.08. Top seed Lindsey Fanz was just behind in 1:53.12.
The 13-year-old 400 IM went to Emma Muzzy of the Virginia Gators in 4:27.44. Her teammate Caroline Kulp finished second. For the boys, the Academy Bullets’ William Kamps won the younger 400 IM heat at 4:10.01.
Second was Garrett Clasen, who won two events of his own later on. Clasen won the 13-year-olds’ 100 breast in 1:00.32 for the West Chicago Sharks and also took the 50 fly with a 24.17.
Both girls 50 fly races were nail-biters. In the 11-year-old division, Katrina Marty nipped Kasja Dymek by just .02, going 25.29 for the win. Then in the older heat, Samantha Suer of Chenango Aquatic went 25.88 to knock off Chiara Pierobon Mays‘s 25.98.
They boys 200 free was one of the craziest finishes of the night. Rising sprinter Daniel Krueger ran down top-seeded Vance Sanders and touched him out by just .01 to take the final 1:39.82 to 1:39.83.
The 13-year-old heat went to William Myhre of St. Charles, who blew out the field with a 1:47.52.
Olivia Paoletti completed her sweep of the 14-year-old breaststroke races, going 1:04.49 to win the 100 breast easily. The 13-year-old heat went to Rabea Pfaff at 1:05.96, a drop of just over two seconds from prelims for the Delaware Swim Teamer.