On Sunday, after the dust had settled at the record-breaking North Coast Section Championships, several of the stars from the prior-day’s affairs stuck around for the NCS “Walk-On” meet, hosted by the Walnut Creek Aqua Bears and the Pacific Swimming LSC.
While this meet is predominantly to capture the tapers of the local high school swimmers, there were a few other athletes thrown in, and the chief among those is the homeschooled Justin Lynch, who got his shot at racing the NCS stars.
The big battle came in the 100 free, where Lynch stepped up against Pleasanton Sea Hawk/Granada sophomore Maxime Rooney. The two were almost dead-even at the turn, but the older Lynch tore home for a three-tenths of a second victory 44.53-44.83.
That was one of three very strong swims for the Cal commit Lynch. He was also a 20.35 in the 50 free and a 46.78 in the 100 fly. All three of those swims are within a couple of tenths of his lifetime bests, and he’s probably saving his best for the long course season.
That was Rooney’s only swim on the day, but his high school, and club, teammate Nick Silverthorn, another Cal commit, had some nice results. He was a 1:57.83 in one of his two shots at the 200 breaststroke, which included going out in a big 56.55 front-half.
Silverthorn also turned in a 1:50.40 in the 200 IM, and a 21.28 in the 50 free.
On the girls’ side, there were two swimmers who really stood out across a number of events. Brittany Usinger swam four races and performed well in all of them. She was a 23.82 in the 50 free and a 51.80 in the 100 free: two events that are right in her wheelhouse.
Her best swim of the day, though, came in the 200 fly. Usinger is a very good 100 butterflier, but a 1:58.92 showed that she’s a way better 200 butterflier than we knew. That’s an improvement of almost four seconds from her previous lifetime best, and also goes down as just her second Summer Juniors cut (after the 100 fly in long course).
The one swimmer faster than Usinger in the 50 free was Erika Brown, who put in a 23.50, plus a 50.27 in the 100 free and a 1:49.18 in the 200 free: the fastest on the day in all three events. That’s a lifetime-best in the 100 free for the 15-year old from the Pleasanton Seahawks.
- On the boys’ side, Brandon James had a nice swim in the 200 backstroke, going a lifetime best of 1:46.90 (by half-a-second).
- Mary Ashby put in a 55.54 in the girls’ 100 backstroke. That’s a best time by a tenth.
- Samantha Coloma was an equally-impressive 1:58.11 in the 200 back. That’s a four-second drop for her, and a first U.S. Open cut as well.
- Marie-Claire Schillinger from the hosts Walnut Creek showed that she’s just as good of a 200 breaststroker as she is a 100 breaststroker; her 2:12.99 in the longer race was well ahead of the field, and took two seconds off of her lifetime best. She now has a Summer Nationals cut in that event. The junior has had an incredible breakout season – she’s improved her 200 breaststroke time by more than 8 seconds in total, going from a modest AAAA time to a Summer Nationals cut.
- Sarah Wang, another Pleasanton swimmer, was a 55.95 in the girls’ 100 fly.
Full meet results available here. Note that the results look a little odd because the same lineup was swum in the morning and again in the afternoon.