2015’s edition of the annual Bill Nixon Memorial Swim Meet came to a close yesterday, with solid swims from both age groups and pros alike.
Sunday’s action was highlighted by the new 50 Free Shootout format, which, for the first time, included a cash prize. Prelims for the 15 and over 50 free was on Saturday morning, with the top 32 female and top 32 male finishers moving on to Saturday evening’s quarterfinals. Then, the top 16 female and top 16 male finishers from that quarter-final round moved onto the semi-finals, which took place Sunday morning. From, there, the top 8 women and top 8 men were decided and moved into the final shootout race, which took place during Sunday evening finals.
Amanda Kendall threw down a speedy 25.08 to take the 15 and over women’s title, bettering her time of 25.46 50 free mark from the previous round. Kendall’s performance is a personal best, as she eclipsed her previous number one time of 25.50 from the 2014 Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa (then called the Mesa Grand Prix). 24-year old Liliana Ibanez Lopez was the night’s 15 and over 50 free runner-up with her time of 25.72 and was closely followed by 3rd place finisher, Bulgaria’s Nina Rangelova, who also scored her best time of 2015 in a solid 25.77.
The men saw USA National Teamer Jimmy Feigen come out on top, swimming away with the title in a time of 22.45. This was just over a tenth slower than the 22.35 Feigen clocked at the Austin stop of the Arena Pro Swim Series this past January. North Texas Nadadores’ Brett Ringgold earned 2nd place in the race, touching the wall in 22.93, his best time since the 22.97 he registered at 2013 Junior Nationals. 17-year old Jeremy Nichols settled for 3rd in the race in a time of 23.80.
Other 15 and over winners on the night included Lakeside Aquatics Club’s Lauren PItzer, who wrangled in the victory in the 200 freestyle in a time of 2:03.14. Pitzer’s best time of 2015 thus far is the 2:01.98 she pulled out at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Charlotte just last month. For the men, it was Mansfield Aquatic Club’s Cory Loria who took home the win, topping the field in a time of 1:57.79.
Professional swimmer Megan Romano won the 15 and over 100 backstroke in a comfortable 1:03.31, while Texas Ford Aquatics’ Jacob DeMercurio edged out the men’s field in a time of 58.19 for first place. For DeMercurio, this marks just the 2nd time the 17-year old has dipped beneath the 1:00-threshold, having previously clocked a best time of 57.82 at Speedo Sectionals in March of this year.
On the under 15 scene, Andrew Rogers claimed additional victories to bring his meet’s total individual wins to 7 in all. Rogers closed out his monster competition with a 200 freestyle first place finish in 2:16.40, along with a 100 backstroke win in 1:11.64. Texas Ford Aquatics’ Abigail Koczo wrangled in two wins herself on the final session, topping the field in both the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, registering times of 2:08.72 and 1:06.73, respectively.