2021 Southern Zone Age Group Championships
- July 27 – 31, 2021
- Tupelo, MS
- Tupelo Aquatics Centre
- Long Course Meters (50M)
- Results via Meet Mobile ‘2021 Southern Zone Age Group Championships’
Owen Ekk pulled off an impressive performance at the 2021 Southern Zone Age Group Championships, posting the top time in the boys 11-12-year-old 50, 100, 200, and 400 freestyle, and 50 and 100 backstroke.
Ekk is the fastest boy in his age group this season in all 0f the events that he swam except for the 50 backstroke in which he’s 2nd. In the 50 freestyle, Ekk posted a 25.78 which was more than a second faster than his entry time of 26.95 and makes him the only 11-12-year-old to swim under 26 seconds in the event this season.
In the 100 freestyle, he swam a 55.77 which is faster than second-ranked Charlie Potter (56.98) but was a bit slower than Ekk’s age group leading 55.39 from earlier this year. His 200 freestyle, however, marked a new PB by just 0.01 seconds, improving upon the 2:00.01 he swam earlier in June. As he nears the 2-minute barrier, Ekk is almost 4 seconds faster than any other 11-12-year-old this season as Sam Marsteiner sits in the #2 spot with a 2:03.93.
Like the 100 freestyle, Ekk’s 400 freestyle was just shy of his 4:14.78 PB in the event as he hit a 4:15.90 for the win. In the backstrokes, Ekk was a 29.93 and a 1:03.03. The 50 back time is second only to Blake TeBeest‘s 29.52 this season in the age group, while the 1:03.03 is a new nation-leading time.
Collin Davis also had a number of podium finishes at the meet including a 16:39.53 1500 freestyle win to get within a few seconds of his 16:33.29 PB. He managed to pick up gold in the 200 freestyle as well with a 1:56.79 best time, the 200 backstroke with a 2:09.99 in the final to follow his 2:08.93 from prelims, and the 100 freestyle in which he notched a 53.51 to out-touch Dean Wall‘s 53.54 for silver.
Dean Wall paired his 2nd place finish in the 100 freestyle with a 50 freestyle gold, hitting a 24.17 to win the final and an even faster 24.10 during the heats. Those times were both better than Wall’s 24.33 PB heading into the meet.
On the women’s side of the meet, Danka Ndubuisi took gold in the 15-18-year-old 200 backstroke, posting a 2:23.44 to get in more than a second ahead of Ansley Halbach‘s 2:24.76. She also topped the podium in the 100 backstroke with a 1:06.09 and the 200 IM with a 2:25.50. All 3 of those swims marked new PBs for Ndubuisi, improving upon her previous marks of 1:11.23 in the 100 back, 2:26.15 in the 200 back, and 2:26.15 in the 2:32.13 in the 200 IM.
Brynn Stoneburg also delivered multiple victories at the meet with her 4:31.28 PB in the women’s 400 freestyle and her 9:13.18 800 freestyle win. Stoneburg actually hit a new best time in both the prelims and finals of the 400, first getting to a 4:31.37 from a 4:32.07 entry time and then pulling off the win with a 4:31.28. The 800 freestyle for Stoneburg was also a drop from her entry time of 9:17.86.
While the distances freestyles marked her only gold medal performances, Stoneburg also reached the podium in the 200 free with a 2:08.40 for 2nd, the 100 back with a 1:07.66 for 3rd, and the 200 butterfly with a 2:27.59 for 2nd.