FMC AQUATIC SPEEDO GRAND CHALLENGE
- November 17-19, 2023
- FMC Aquatic Center, Westmont, Illinois
- Short Course Yards (25 yards)
- Results on Meet Mobile: “2023 IL FMC HSC Speedo Grand Challenge” (or search “Westmont”)
US National Teamer Leah Hayes won two events, nearly marking a best time in the 100 free, and moving up the all-time rankings in the 100 IM, on Friday at the FMC Aquatics Speedo Grand Challenge.
Hayes opened the day with a 53.58 in the 100 yard IM. While not a traditional event in the US, meaning that historical tracking is imperfect (and competition is infrequent for elite swimmers), the fastest 100 IM on record in the US is Kate Douglass’ 51.97. Gretchen Walsh has been 52.09, and Alex Walsh has been 53.21. She’ll join that group at Virginia next fall.
Later in the session, Hayes picked up her fourth win of the day, winning the 100 free in 48.48. That’s just-off the 48.34 that she swam at the 2021 Illinois High School Girls’ State Championship meet as a sophomore. She now has four individual wins in the meet after claiming titles in the 200 IM and 200 fly on Friday.
2nd in the 100 free was 16-year-old Tierney Lenahan in 50.60, beating out Isabella Chow (50.65) and Becky Rentz (50.66). That time for Lenahan, a high school junior committed to Duke, was a new personal best.
That swim was Lenahan’s second personal best of the day. Just a few heats earlier, she won the 200 back in 1:56.75, which beat her own best of 1:57.06 from two weeks ago. In total, she’s dropped more than three seconds off her personal best already this season.
That now ranks her as the 3rd-fastest 16-year-old in the US this season behind Junior National Teamer Charlotte Crush (1:52.53) and senior National Teamer Alex Shackell (1:56.13).
At Duke in two years, she’ll join current freshman Ali Pfaff, who on Saturday broke their school record in the 200 back, touching in 1:53.48, in what should be a very good backstroke group.
In the boys’ 200 backstroke, winner Szymon Mieczkowski of the host FMC Aquatic Club had an even bigger drop to win. He lowered his previous best of 1:45.72 to 1:43.64. He’s now the second-fastest high school 200 backstroker in the country this season, behind only Quinlan Gould from the Lake Oswego Swim Club in Portland, Oregon (.02 faster).
That swim for Mieczkowski is four seconds better than any Kentucky Wildcats swam at their midseason invite this weekend. Mieczkowski is headed to Lexington in the fall and will be a big part of the rebuilding process for new head coach Bret Lundgaard.
Other Notable Results
- Josh Bey, a breaststroker committed to Indiana, popped off a 4:30.48 in the 500 free. That’s his best time by 24 seconds, improving over his previous best from a month ago.
- Elizabeth Nawrocki won the 200 breast in 2:14.16. Just behind her was 13-year-old phenom Grace Koenig-Song in a best time of 2:14.28. She was earlier the runner-up in the 200 IM (2:01.82), 100 breast (1:01.94), and finished 3rd in the 100 IM (56.28).
- Annika Parkhe won the girls’ 50 fly in 24.06. With a good rolling start, that puts her in contention for a freshman medley relay spot at Stanford next fall.
- Aiden Musso won the boys’ 50 fly in 21.73 ahead of Aiden Musick (22.01). The two flipped in the 100 free, with Musick winning in 45.19 to Musso’s 45.51. That’s a new personal best for Musick, who is the defending Illinois State Champion in the 100 fly.
- Arizona State commit Brady Johnson had another big swim, this time on a medley relay. He split 23.63 on the breaststroke leg for FMC, who won in 1:27.66. That’s almost as fast as the 23.51 that a (sick) Len Marchand split for the Sun Devils this weekend on the same relay. Mieczkowski led off in 22.80, followed by Johnson, Jeffrey Hou in 21.45 on the fly leg, and Musso anchoring in 19.78. That’s about 1.2 seconds from the National Age Group Record.
- 14-year-old Lia Roggi from New Trier Aquatics was 11th in the 100 free in 51.36, a new best time by .18 seconds. That ranks her 7th nationally among 13-14s so far this season.