YMCA Long Course Nationals kicked off Monday night at the storied IUPUI (Indiana University – Purdue University Indiana) Natatorium in Indianapolis.
With just two distance races on the first night, Kishwaukee’s Caitlynn Moon and Rock Hill’s Brandon Sweezer picked up wins to open up their national championship meets, with Moon breaking a national YMCA record in the 1500 free.
Moon, who competes out of DeKalb County, Illinois, went 16:40.05 to take home the mile crown, absolutely obliterating the old national record in the process. The old mark, set by Middle Tyger’s Laura Simon, was 16:59.47.
Moon was incredibly consistent. After the opening 200, she put up 33s on 22 of her next 23 splits, going up to 34.0 just once through the middle of the 1500. In fact, aside from the opening 200 and closing 100, every one of the future Texas A&M Aggie’s splits was a 33 apart from a pair of 34.0s.
Second place went to Wilton’s Verity Abel at 17:01.61, not far off the old record herself. From there things dropped off a bit to 14-year-old Leah Braswell, who went 17:09.32 for York.
On the boys’ side, Sweezer put together an amazing comeback – at the 500-mark, Sweezer trailed 8 different swimmers, taking into account splits from earlier heats. But he managed to run down the entire field over the final 1000.
Countryside’s Kevin George led early, jumping out in under a minute for the opening 100 and leading up until the 400 before giving way to Middle Tyger’s Heyward Brown. George and Brown battled back and forth for a few hundred meters until George retook the lead. Things stayed that way until Sweezer suddenly kicked it into gear around the 1000-mark, reeling in the top two. The Cornell commit passed Brown at the 1100, then George at the 1300, and cruised home for the win in 16:02.58.
Brown wound up retaking second place from George, finishing in 16:05.67, and Cheshire’s Karl Bishop put together a furious comeback run to nab third in 16:06.17. George ended up fourth in 16;06.64.
Full results are available here. The meet continues through Friday night from Indianapolis.