NOVA Senior Holiday Championships
- November 18-21, 20201
- NOVA Aquatics Center, Richmond, Virginia
- Short Course Yards (25 yard) pool
- Results (PDF)
NOVA of Virginia hosted a meet featuring three of the best teams in the Virginia Swimming LSC last weekend in a prelims/finals meet. Along with the hosts, Quest Swimming and the Tide Swim Team converged upon the NOVA Aquatics Center for 4 days of racing to wrap up the year of competition.
16-year old Tide swimmer Kayla Wilson won the girls’ 200 free running-away in 1:44.90. Not only is that a lifetime best by 1.3 seconds, but it also breaks a 33-year old LSC Record in the event.
The prior record of 1:46.05 was set by Whitney Hedgepeth on March 12, 1987. Hedgepeth went on to win an NCAA title in the 200 free, as well as a trio of Olympic medals at the 1996 Games: gold as part of the American 400 medley relay, and silvers in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes individually.
The time for Wilson jumps her into 15th place all-time in USA Swimming 15-16 history.
Wilson also picked up a win in the 100 free in 49.49, taking the win in a much tighter competition: Nikki Venema, who is on the varsity team at Princeton but is home training with Tide, finished 2nd in 49.44, while another Tide 16-year old Emily Claesson was 3rd in 49.98. Tide took the top 5 finishers in that race.
Wilson, a high school junior, has not yet announced a college commitment yet.
Venema, the defending Ivy League Champion in the 100, 200, and 500 freestyles, won the 100 fly in 52.86. That cut almost a second off her best time of 53.80 done midseason last year for Princeton.
The girls put up most of the highlights swims at the meet. Senior Samantha Tadder, a Stanford commit, swam 3 new lifetime bests among her 7 events at the meet.
In the 200 breast, she swam 2:10.85, which improved her old lifetime best of 2:11.76; In the 200 fly, she swam 1:57.85, which improves her prior best time of 1:58.71; and in the mile, she shaved .02 seconds off her best to go 16:13.03. The 200 breast and 1650 freestyle were both wins; she also topped the field with a win in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.64) and 500 free (4:44.34) as well.
Twins Grace Sheble and Caroline Sheble were the two that finished ahead of her in the 200 fly. Grace Sheble won in 1:56.38, while Caroline placed 2nd in 1:56.52, which is a best time for her. Both Sheble sisters are committed to NC State next fall.
Other Meet Highlights:
- 14-year old NOVA swimmer Eric Lambert placed 4th in the 100 back in 52.04 and 3rd in the 200 back in 1:50.67. His prelims time in the 200 back, which was slightly faster in 1:50.62, was a new best, moved him into the top 100 all-time in 13-14 age group history, and broke the NOVA team record.
- 16-year old NOVA swimmer Claire Dafoe won the 1000 free in 9:45.45, which also breaks a NOVA team record and lands her about 2 seconds short of another Hedgepeth team record.