2017 SOUTHERN ZONE SECTIONALS – AUSTIN
Friday’s finals session at the Austin Sectionals lacked the cachet of an appearance by Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling, who won the 100 free on Thursday and is scheduled to swim the 100 fly on Saturday, but still had excitement for Longhorn fans. One Texas undergrad, Joanna Evans, swam a lifetime best in the 200 free, while another Jeff Newkirk, got very close to a best time of his own.
Evans, a Bahamian national, won the 200 free in 1:59.91. That counts as her first time ever under two minutes and improves upon her own previous best of 2:00.37 done at the Arena Pro Swim Series stop in Atlanta. It also makes her the first Bahamian woman under 2 minutes in the race, and breaks her own National Record.
In the very next race, the men’s 200 free, her male colleague Jeff Newkirk swam a 1:49.92, which is his second-best time ever in the event. He was only faster at last year’s Olympic Trials where he swam 1:49.33. He didn’t race at last week’s World Championship Trials.
The state’s two best college programs, Texas and Texas A&M, split the wins on Friday. The one exception was the women’s 200 meter medley relay, which was won by the Lakeside Aquatic Club in 1:58.49.
Other Day 2 Winners:
- Mexican National/Texas A&M Aggie Esther Medina Gonzalez, who’s not racing at Mexico’s Long Course National Championships this week, won the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:32.91.
- The men’s 200 breaststroke went to another Aggie, Ben Walker, in 2:16.65. That’s his lifetime best in the event by nearly 2 seconds.
- Texas A&M’s Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo won the women’s 400 IM in 4:49.25. That leaves her just 2 seconds short of Susana Escobar’s Mexican National Record in the event.
- Longhorn Aquatics’ Sam Stewart won the men’s 400 IM in 4:25.11 – finishing almost 6 seconds ahead of University of Utah commit Grant Thompson (4:30.91).
- An Aggie Swim Club relay, made up of 4 Texas A&M college swimmers, won the men’s 200 medley relay in 1:41.32. Adam Koster anchored that relay in 22.29. Matthew Willengbring of the Austin Swim Club split 24.76 on the fly leg of Austin Swim Club’s second-place relay. The high school senior-to-be is verbally committed to Texas.
- Making his annual sectionals appearance, 56-year old Masters’ World Record holder David Guthrie qualified for the D final of the men’s 200 breaststroke, swimming a 2:33.53 in the morning.
Top 5 Women’s Teams:
- Lakeside Aquatic Club – 300
- Austin Swim Club – 288
- Aggie Swim Club – 197
- Texas Ford Aquatics – 159
- Rice Aquatics – 136
Top 5 Men’s Teams:
- Longhorn Aquatics – 252
- Nitro Swimming – 214
- Austin Swim Club – 206
- Lakeside Aquatic Club – 172
- Alamo Area Aquatics Association – 152