Liberty Clark, Bailey Hartman, & Aiden Hammer Close Out Mesa Spring Cup With Impressive Wins


The 2024 18 & Under Spring Cup meets concluded yesterday in Mesa (Arizona), Fort Lauderdale (Florida), and Elkhart (Indiana). The final session in Mesa was highlighted by just six events: the 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 IM, 1500 freestyle (women only), and 800 freestyle (men only).

In the women’s 100 free, 16-year-old Liberty Clark grabbed victory ahead of Sophia Sunwoo (56.60) and Amelia Mason (57.05). Clark, who represents the Crow Canyon Sharks, narrowly missed her best time of 56.29 by 0.17. Clark is committed to swim at the University of Indiana in the fall of 2025. Princeton commit Sunwoo also missed her lifetime best by a narrow margin, as she checked-in outside of it by 0.08. She won the 100 back yesterday in 1:03.47, which was also a near career best performance.

Saturday’s 50 free winner, 14-year-old Stella Canoles, settled for 4th with a time of 57.40. She was marginally quicker in prelims where she clocked-in at 57.31. On Saturday, she won the 50 free (25.71), which eclipsed her previous lifetime best of 26.11. Her winning 50m time was just 0.02 outside of the U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying standard of 25.69. Canoles swims for the Orinda Aquatics Swim Team, which is located about 11 hours away in California.

The men’s 100 free saw four swimmers dip under 52 seconds. 18-year-old Marre Gattnar led the charge ahead of August Vetsch (51.31), John Thumann (51.73), and Jason Sugihara (51.91).

Although Gattnar has been faster at 50.80, it marks his 2nd sprint free win of the weekend. The North Bay Aquatics athlete cranked out a swim of 23.28 to win the 50 free on Saturday.

Virginia commit Bailey Hartman picked up her 5th win in Mesa, courtesy of her 2:15.88 clocking in the women’s 200 back. The Crow Canyons swimmer split 32.51, 34.06, 34.84, and 34.47 en route to the win, which put her 0.83 outside of her fastest-ever swim.

Hartman’s other four wins came on Friday and Saturday, where she took on doubles. On Friday, she won the 200 free (2:01.86) before tackling the 100 fly (1:00.59). She proceeded to bag wins in the 200 fly (2:14.67) and 400 free (4:18.91) on Saturday, which was one of the toughest doubles on the schedule.

16-year-old Aiden Hammer of the King Aquatic Club was dominant in the men’s 200 back. He got to the wall 1st with an outing of 2:06.23, which was a bit shy of his lifetime-best 2:02.43. However, Hammer opened the session with another win in the 800 free (8:17.88), so it was a tough double for the rising star.

18-year-old Camden Doane, who trains alongside Hammer, made it a sweep of the IMs with her 200m win. She touched the wall in 2:18.61 to defeat the field by nearly five full seconds. She’s been as quick as 2:15.48 in her young career, which has her pre-qualified for the Olympic Trials next month in Indianapolis. Emma Sayers (2:23.02) hit the wall for runner-up status before Piper Enge (2:23.19) finished 3rd. King Aquatic Club’s Doane (4:56.01) and Scottsdale’s Sayers (4:56.85) had an electric battle during Friday’s 400 IM, and you can read more about it here.

Earlier this weekend, Enge swept the breaststroke races. She won the 100 on Friday with a winning time of 1:08.19, which checked-in about a second off her 1:07.27 best time from the Federal Way Sectionals in March. She then won the 200m distance on Saturday in 2:34.43, about 7 seconds shy of her career fastest mark.

Enge, who specializes in the 50 and 100 breast sprints, has been a staple for Team USA on the international level. She recently secured a bronze medal at September’s World Junior Championships in the 50m breast. She then competed at the senior World Championships in February, where she placed 6th in the same distance.

After a 5th place finish in the 800 free on opening night, Sofia Wyzga scored victory in the women’s 1500 free. She paced herself to the wall in 17:55.61, which cleared the field by 11 seconds.

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