Lakeside’s Thomas Mercer, NAC’s Blake Amlickle Highlight 2021 Music City Invite

2021 NAC Speedo Music City Invitational

Several elite-level age group performances were produced at the 2021 Music City Invite over the weekend in Nashville, with major clubs such as Carmel Swim Club, Lakeside Swim Team, Kentucky Aquatics and hosts NAC in attendance.

Lakeside’s Thomas Mercer was among the top performers, sweeping the men’s IM events and adding three more individual runner-up finishes despite being just 15 years of age.

Mercer’s top swim came in the 400 IM, where he dominated the field by 11 and a half seconds in a time of 3:53.88, becoming the 25th-fastest swimmer aged 15 in U.S. history. Mercer knocked more than nine seconds off his best time coming into the day, having entered with a PB of 4:03.12 (set just last month) and then hitting a 3:54.51 best in the prelims.

Mercer also led the 200 IM in 1:51.46, smashing his best time entering the day (1:56.15), and added more PBs in the 100 back (50.87), 100 breast (56.26), 200 breast (2:04.42) and 200 fly (1:54.68).

Another 15-year-old standout at the meet was Nashville Aquatic Club’s Blake Amlicke, who threw down personal best times in the 100 back (49.19 – relay lead-off) and 200 back (1:47.64), moving into 60th and 63rd all-time among 15-year-olds, respectively.

Amlicke also recorded new PBs in the 50 free (20.94), 100 free (45.82), 500 free (4:37.37) and 100 fly (50.21).

On the girls’ side of the competition, 13-year-olds Roos and Eva Rottink of the Memphis Thunder Aquatic Club had some noteworthy swims.

Roos placed first in the 100 back (56.12, 55.84 prelims) and 200 back (2:00.54) swimming against swimmers up to four years older than her, becoming the 57th-fastest 13-year-old girl of all-time in the 100 back.

She also took fourth in the 50 free (23.83), second in the 100 free (51.55) and third in the 200 free (1:52.62), all best times.

Eva, who was competing in the 13-14 age group rather than Roos who was in the open category, put up very solid times in the 100 back (56.98) and 200 back (2:01.47), winning the 200 and placing second to Carmel’s Kiarra Thomas (56.50), 14, in the 100.


  • Carmel swimmers Molly Sweeney, 14, and Lucy Enoch, 13, produced some quick times in the women’s breaststroke and medley events. Sweeney won four events in the 13-14 age group, highlighted by her efforts in the 100 breast (1:03.09) and 200 IM (2:03.12), though she was runner-up to Enoch in the latter. Enoch won that 200 IM in 2:02.99, and also led the 400 IM (4:26.61) and put up very strong runner-up performances in the 100 breast (1:03.86) and 200 breast (2:17.07).
  • Carmel’s 14-year-old Lewis Zhang swept the boys’ 13-14 100 free (48.04), 200 free (1:42.03) and 500 free (4:38.81).
  • Collin Holgerson, a 13-year-old out of SwimAtlanta, swam to top-three performances in the boys’ 13-14 100 back (54.36), 200 back (1:56.14), 200 breast (2:13.16) and 200 IM (1:58.99).

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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