Ryan Lochte took home a pair of events on the final day of Speedo Sectional meet in Charlotte, while his SwimMAC teammate Kathleen Baker dominated the 200 IM.
Lochte, touched out by his training partner and close friend Cullen Jones in the 50 free, finally broke through with a sprint freestyle win, taking the 100 free in 42.31. He topped some big names in that field, including Dax Hill (43.36), Dion Dreesens (44.31), Mark Weber (44.55) and Konstantinos Siokos (45.02).
Lochte came back only a few events later to put up perhaps his most impressive time of the weekend, a 1:39.18 win in the 200 backstroke. Lochte showed great second-half strength, splitting 22.5/25.0 in the first 100 and 25.8/25.8 in the second 100.
17-year-old Baker has spent her weekend showing off her versatility, so why not close things out with a 200 IM win? The junior star took nearly two seconds off her lifetime-best to go 1:54.50. That time included a 27.9 on backstroke as well as a fast 24.8 going out on butterfly. Baker blew away a field of well-known names: Katie Meili (1:57.21) was second, Nora McCullagh (1:59.31 and a lifetime-best for the 16-year-old) third and Megan Kingsley (2:02.50) fourth.
Kingsley pulled a tough double in that race, coming directly off a 200 backstroke win. The Mount Pleasant 17-year-old was 1:55.88 in crushing that field, a career-best by over two seconds.
The 200 IM was the second runner-up finish for Meili on the night. The SwimMAC pro opened the meet with a second place showing in the 100 free, going 48.77. Her teammate Madison Kennedy won the race with a 48.23, and McCullagh came in right behind Meili at 49.07.
13-year-old Madison Homovich continued her impressive string of distance races, winning the women’s 1650 with a 16:18.37 – that counts as an astounding 37-second drop for the rising North Carolina Aquatic swimmer, who’s been shedding time lately like there’s no tomorrow.
Hungarian star Laszlo Cseh ended his SCY-crossover weekend with a win, taking the final individual event of the night, the men’s 200 IM. Cseh put up a 1:46.46 to head up the field.
The men’s mile went to North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Charles Peterson, making it a 1650 sweep for NCAC. The 26-year-0ld went 15:22.42 after his teammate Homovich paced the women’s event.
The 17-18 girls of SwimMAC also broke another National Age Group record on Sunday night – the team of Kathleen Baker, Caitlin Casazza, Elsa Welshofer and Rebecca Postoll went 3:37.83 to take another second and a half off the NAG mark in the 400 medley relay.
Full results are available on Meet Mobile under “2014 ESSZ Speedo Championship Series.”