Nicholas Norman Becomes 3rd 15-16 in History to Clear 15-Minute Mile at Chesapeake Pro-Am

The highlight events on the final day of the 2013 Chesapeake Swim Club Elite Pro-Am meet on Sunday remained what they had been throughout: the sprint freestyles. Despite cold temperatures outside, and sprinters not generally being a fan of cold weather, the winner of each event put up an impressive swim inside the confines of the CSC pool.

Darian Townsend won the men’s 100 free in 42.50, topping Dax Hill (43.28), Alex Coville (43.43), and Aaron Wayne (44.24). That’s Townsend’s third individual win in four races at this meet, with his only stumble coming by a tight margin against Hill in the 200 free. As for Hill, even working with the sprint-gurus at SwimMAC, it seems as though he’s gravitating more-and-more toward the 200 free as his best event.

Michael Andrew was 8th in the final in 45.35, which was short of his NAG Record done on Saturday in a time trial.

In the women’s 100 free, it was Hill’s SwimMAC teammate Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace who won in 48.08, beating out Stanford post-grad Andi Murez and her 48.14.

For both swimmers, those were best times since completing their college eligibility; for Vanderpool-Wallace, it was an identical mark to the one she did at Winter Nationals, and for Murez, she continues to look more-and-more like a sprinter: something that came on really heavily for her toward the end of her college career.

14-year old Abigail Richter from the Boulder City Henderson Swim Team won the women’s 200 backstroke in 1:56.70, beating out 23-year old Alexa Harris and her 1:58.66. That time for Richter ranks her in the top 15 of the age group all-time, and is comparable to marks done by Elizabeth Beisel and Liz Pelton at that age.

Arizona senior Ellis Miller, who is one of the few collegiate swimmers at this meet, was a 1:42.56 to win the 200 backstroke. He’s a Schroeder YMCA alum, and after swimming pretty well at the Texas Invite a few weeks ago, he’s actually gotten better here in Oklahoma City, despite the famous Arizona mid-year taper. Based on historical qualifying times, this 200 back should bump him from “on the bubble” to “in” to the NCAA backstroking field, presuming this meet is accepted as an NCAA observed competition.

Fellow Schroeder YMCA-er Adam Mania took 2nd in 1:45.55, and Nick Carter from the Gulliver Swim Club was 3rd in 1:46.93. Nicholas Petersen was the top amateur in 1:48.69, making three swimmers with Schroeder ties in the race’s top 4 finishers.

The women’s 200 fly title went to Mission Viejo 16-year old Katie McLaughlin in 1:54.48, with Schroeder’s Hannah Saiz taking the pro-cash-prize by finishing 2nd in 1:56.78. For Saiz, who is testing the post-grad waters at the Schroeder YMCA as well, that’s within a second of the lifetime best she swam at last year’s NCAA Division III Championships (where she would eventually take the title).

Alexandra Buscher of the Dad’s Club took 3rd in 2:02.40, and Tiffany Futscher of the Dallas Mustangs was 4th in 2:02.45. Aside from Saiz, the entire A-Final (and most of the B-Final) in this race was 16-or younger: a microcosm of a bright future for the United States in an event where they’ve struggled internationally.

Bobby Bollier won the men’s 200 fly in 1:43.35, five seconds better than Justin Wu of the Sooner Swim Club.

That all was the setup for the meet’s two feature events. In the women’s 1650 free, where double-the-prize ($1,200) was given to the winner, the only pro entered, Ashley Steenvoorden, took the title in 16:16.94. Her future fellow Golden Gopher Brooke Lorentzen was 2nd in 16:33.33.

The men’s team’s only ‘pro’ was 37-year old Sean Justice, a former Florida swimmer who finished 8th, but 16-year old Nicholas Norman might-as-well have been one. The 16-year old Mission Viejo swimmer, who has been the biggest amateur-level story at this meet, became just the third 15-16 in history to break 15 minutes in the 1650 freestyle (the other two are Jeff Kostoff and Lars Jorgensen). He lapped the field, and then some, with a 14:58.76 for the event win.

And then, in the women’s 50 fly, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace tagged on one more victory with a 24.01, followed by Chesapeake Swim Club coach Sam Woodward (24.37) and Hannah Saiz (24.83).

The men’s 50 fly went to super-strong, super-fast Josh Schneider in 21.07. Adam Mania was a 21.37 for 2nd, and Alex Coville tied with Zach McGinnis for 3rd in 21.70. 14-year old Michael Andrew was just behind them in 21.76.

Full meet results are available here.




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bobo gigi
9 years ago

Big meet also at the New England senior championships.
I follow Kaitlin Harty since her breakout meet at the Charlotte Grand Prix last May when she won the 200 back in 2.10. She’s much more a long course swimmer but it’s interesting to see her progression since then. Last weekend she has won the 100 back and the 200 back with new best times in 53.11 and 1.55.53.
Her brother Ryan has also shined. He won the 200 back in 1.42.04, a big new PB for him.
The Harty family knows how to swim backstroke!
Other great performances I can mention came from 2 Bluefish swimmers.
17-year-old Connor Green won the 400 IM in 3.44.52.… Read more »

C Martin
Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

Yes, I too remember that conversation!

His 200 fly was a 1:52.19, and puts him tied for 27th all-time.

4:34.83 in the 500 places him 53rd all-time, as well.

He’s definitely a better long course swimmer, however his 6’4 build is really good for either distance. But it seems in the SCY format, at least, his 400 IM is better than his 200 fly. Interestingly enough, his 400 IM time is closer to the NAG record (3:54.23, as you said) than his 200 fly (1:48.24 set by Berens in 2003).

We shall see if he swims his fastest this year come March (which is highly probable, as March is the real taper time here in New England). It would be… Read more »

bobo gigi
Reply to  C Martin
9 years ago

Ok, your prediction is recorded. We’ll see next summer. 😉
Wow! 1.59 in the 200 fly at 14!
You must know that only 2 guys have swum under 2 minutes here in France this year, that the best 14-year-old Frenchman has swum 2.16.24 and that the national record for a 14-year-old boy is 2.11.88!
We are definitely not on the same planet! 🙂

C Martin
Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

Ahh yes…the old apples to oranges comparison. 🙂

Here in America, Bobo, we have had 105 14 and unders below 2:16.24 over this past summer, and 32 under 2:11.88 in the same period.

You are right, we definitely aren’t on the same planet!

But we shall see. 😉

9 years ago

Is Nicholas Norman the brother of Lucas Norman who is a senior at UCSB? Lucas was on the record setting 400 FR at 2010 Cal State CIF-SS, Div I, 3rd in 200 Free, and 4th in 100 Free.

bobo gigi
9 years ago

Impressive meet for Nicholas Norman. 8.57 in the 1000 free, 14.58 in the 1650 free.
Matthew Hirschberger will probably be the next in that age category to swim under 9 minutes and 15 minutes. He was in 9.02 and 15.14 at 14 last March!

And great overall meet for Miss McLaughlin with 1.44 high in the 200 free, 52.34 in the 100 fly or 1.54.48 in the 200 fly. She’s the world junior champion in the 200 fly and must focus on this race until 2016. It’s a very open race in USA for a few years without big stars. If she continues like that, she has big chances to qualify for Rio.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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