The Short Course YMCA National Championship meet continues to be a showdown between the girls of Middle Tyger YMCA and the girls of York Y. On Thursday night, Middle Tyger had the upper hand, breaking two national records.
Katrina Konopka had a hand in both records. The 17-year-old was the anchor in the 200 medley relay to open the night, and brought Middle Tyger back from a half-second deficit to seal a national title and a new national record.
Konopka was 22.12 on her anchor leg as the relay went 1:40.99. That broke their own record from a year ago.
Also on the squad: Ali Galyer (25.72 back), Savanna Faulconer (28.67 breast), and Jessi Snover (24.48 fly). York was second in 1:41.97, getting a 27.91 breast split from the versatile Meghan Small and a 23.90 on fly from Courtney Harnish.
Konopka earned her individual national title in the 50 free, blasting a big 22.19 for the win. That took three tenths off her own national record from a year ago. Wilton’s Ky-lee Perry tied the old record, going 22.46.
York struck back with their own national record, winning the 800 free relay to close the night. Small crushed a 1:45.48 leadoff leg, and the 15-year-old Harnish anchored in 1:45.51 as York went 7:10.06. Also on the winning relay: Emily Ilgenfritz (1:50.02) and 14-year-old Leah Braswell (1:49.05).
Middle Tyger was second in 7:16.23, with Konopka splitting 1:46.65 on the anchor leg.
Harnish won an individual race of her own, going 4:40.11 to take the 500 free with teammate Braswell (4:43.71) in tow. Harnish was just about a second off of her own national record from last year.
National records fell in 4 of 5 girls events – Western North Carolina’s Alyssa Arwood joined the party with a 1:01.40 win in the 100 breast through the middle of the meet. Arwood’s prelims time of 1:01.18 actually already cleared the record, and after finals she owned the two fastest swims in YMCA Nationals history (the old record was 1:01.43).
On the boys side, 1 national record fell, and it was in the very last event. Sarasota, leading the team points race, took home the title and record in the 800 free relay with a 6:37.01. A team of all 16- and 17-year-olds put up straight sub-1:40 splits for the win: Carter Page (1:39.82), Austin Katz (1:38.93), Daniel Erlenmeyer (1:38.76) and Drew Clark (1:39.50). Page, Erlenmeyer and Clark are all 17; Katz is 16.
16-year-old Grant House out of Ohio’s Countryside YMCA picked up the win in the 500 free. House was 4:23.57 to beat York’s Zach Snyder (4:24.04).
The other relay win went to New Jersey’s Somerset Valley. Brad Zdroik once again came up big on a relay for Somerset Valley, going 22.81 on the backstroke leg to stake his team to a lead. Winston Chu (26.10 breast), Joseph Delbuono (22.21 fly) and Samuel Hendrix (20.21 free) capped off the relay, which went 1:31.33.
Their New Jersey rivals Somerset Hills were second in that race, but took home the 50 free title. Sebastian Lutz had the field’s best fly split with a 21.26 on the medley, then followed it up with a 20.08 to beat Zdroik (20.31) for the 50 free win.
The other individual win went to Door County (WI) 15-year-old Max McHugh. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, YMCA national record-holder and current Minnesota Golden Gopher Conner, McHugh went 54.89 to take home the 100 breast win for Door County.
- Middle Tyger – 357
- York – 324
- Sarasota – 258
- YMCA of the Triangle – 187.5
- Northwest North Carolina – 152
- Sarasota – 358
- Somerset Valley – 184
- Countryside – 175
- YMCA of the Triangle – 169
- Westport/Weston – 167