90th Ohio Valley Championships
Known as the oldest running invitational in the United States, the 2018 OVC meet kicked off Thursday for the 90th consecutive year. Day one saw action from prominent University of Louisville swimmers Mallory Comerford, Nicholas Albiero, and Zach Harting as well as Carmel Swim Club and University of Texas commits Drew Kibler and Kelly Pash.
Comerford was the top performer of the night posting wins in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:59.90 and 100 fly with a 1:00.38. That 200 free swim is about half-a-second short of where she was at this meet last year, though that could be explained by the later timing of Nationals: her swims at the Pro Swim Series stop in Indy last month were relatively very fast for her for in-season swims (1:58.17).
After a stellar 2017 season that saw massive success with an American Record in the 100 freestyle (albeit temporary), she has been on record this summer talking about how training in the 200 has been coming along to match her 100.
Comerford wasn’t the only Cardinal flying high on Thursday night as Zach Harting also swam a 200 free/100 fly double – taking 3rd in the 200 with a 1:52.19 and edging out teammate Nicholas Albiero for the win in the 100 fly 54.21 to 54.34. Albiero turns 19 on Friday.
Outside of the college ranks, the aforementioned Kibler – U.S. National Junior Team member – proved he is in solid form with a 1:51.26 to win the 200 freestyle. He followed up that performance with 3rd place finish in the 100 fly (55.91). With a lifetime best of 1:49.04 in the 200, Kibler has an outside shot of earning a relay spot on this summer’s Pan Pacific Championship team if he can drop down into the 1:47-mid range.
Other notable event winners: