Following a fairly uncharacteristic few weeks of multiple snowstorms, the Potomac Valley LSC senior championship meet was condensed into a timed finals format. Despite (or maybe due to) the change, day one saw several significant swims.
Women’s 200 Free
Once upon a time Amanda Kendall was one of the fastest rising stars in American swimming. Then, after winning four medals at the 2011 Pan American Games, a series of incidents seemed to derail her swimming career. She resurfaced in the 2013-2014 year, earning Summer National cuts while swimming in a few Grand Prix (now Pro Series) events, but she did not swim at the 2014 Summer Nationals, and at least according to the USA Swimming database, she hadn’t swam in any meets this year.
But she showed up today, swimming for her old club team, the Mason Makos, and she showed up in a pretty big way, taking the victory in the first event of the evening in a time of 1:47.39. While that’s nowhere near the times that have been making headlines in this event recently, it is a 2015 Winter Nationals cut. Also finishing under that was Rachel Burnett (Machine), in a time of 1:47.51. In third was was Junior National Team member Megan Byrnes (NCAP) with a time of 1:49.09.
Men’s 200 Free
17 year-old James Murphy, of Machine Aquatics, placed first with a time of 1:36.82. Murphy, a high school junior, has won this event at the Virginia public school state championship meet all three years of high school career, swimming for Robinson Secondary (same high school Kendall attended). In second place was his Robinson teammate, James Jones (NCAP), who finished nearly four seconds behind with a 1:40.72. Jones is more of a sprinter, having gone sub-20 in the 50 free last year at the NCSA Junior Nationals. In third was George Mason University swimmer Vadim Jacobson, officially swimming unattached, with a time of 1:42.12.
Women 100 Breast
Nation’s Capital swept the top three spots in this event. In first was Annalee Johnson with a time of 1:03.38. Johnson finished nearly a second and a half ahead of her closest competitor, Eireni Moshos (1:04.94). In third was Lauren Freeman with a time of 1:05.93.
Men’s 100 Breast
While today saw Kevin Cordes and Chuck Katis dueling it out at the Pac-12 conference championship meet, the fastest swim of the day actually belonged to NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar. He dropped over a second off of his personal best to win with a 52.05. That time would have been good enough for fifth overall at the 2014 NCAA championships. It also gives Cal Bears coach Dave Durden an interesting choice about where to use Seliskar next year, especially when it comes to the medley relays, as Seliskar is also quite the accomplished butterfly swimmer, having swam the third-fastest 100 fly in high school history a few weeks ago.
In second place was Arlington Aquatic Club’s Ben Gorksi, who set a new personal best with a 54.49. That time was 0.27 that the time he swam when he won the Virginia private school (VISAA) state championship meet a few weeks ago. Gorski will be headed to swim at Notre Dame in the fall. Third place went to another NCAP swimmer, Texas Longhorns commit John Shebat, who also set a new personal best with a 55.62.
Women’s 100 Fly
Kendall returned to win her second event on the evening, the 100 fly, in a time of 53.39, which is just off the qualifying time for Summer Nationals. Once again Moshos finished in second place, this time with a 55.63. In third was Caroline Heilbrun (56.25).
Men’s 100 Fly
Former national high school record holder Sean Fletcher, also representing the Mason Makos, finished first in this event with a 46.25. James Jones again finished second (50.08), with NCAP’s Samuel Pomajevich finishing in third (50.37).
Women’s 400 IM
NCAP actually took the top eight spots in this event today. In first was Meagan Byrnes (4:15.52). Second place went to Kylie Jordan (4:18.05), and in third was Sinead Eksteen (4:23.98).
Men’s 400 IM
As great as Seliskar’s win in the 200 breast was, his win in this event tonight was arguably even more impressive. His 3:37.52 was the fourth-fastest swim all-time in this event, broke Chase Kalisz’s 17-18 National Age Group record, and also took down the pool record formerly held by Michael Phelps. It also would have placed second at last year’s NCAA’s. Second and third places also went to NCAP swimmers. Virginia Tech commit Nathan Pawlowicz finished in 4:01.51, while Lane Stone dropped over eight second from his seed time to swim a 4:01.74.
For those of who you aren’t keeping track at home, if Seliskar was a NCAA swimmer this year, he would have A cuts in the 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 400 IM, joining a very small list of swimmer with A cuts in that many events. He’d also be safely under last year’s invite times in the 200 back, 100 fly, and 200 IM. Those are just based on his times from this season and don’t take into account all of his best times, and you have to figure he’ll have a couple more great swims in over the next few days at this meet.
Women’s 1650 Free
The distance events were actually swam in an earlier morning session. Finishing in the top three places were three teammates from the Fish swim team. Tuching first this morning was 13 year-old Madelyn Donohoe in a time of 16:22.83. That time should be the third-fastest this year in the 13-14 age group nationwide. In second was Michelle Owens (17:12.95) and in third was Danielle Garrett (17:22.87).
Men’s 1000 Free
The 200 free was actually James Murphy’s second win of the day, as he had already won the 1000 free earlier, in a time of 9:13.18. In second was RMSC swimmer and Harvard-commit Brennan Novak (9:20.49). Vadim Jacobsen placed third with a 9:26.58.
800 Free Relays
On the women’s side, Kristen Toth, Suzanne Dolan, Chloe Hicks, and Lea Gwennap combined for Machine Aquatics to win in 7:38.55. In second was Snow Swimming with a 7:48.36, and in third was the York Swim Club (7:58.28). Arlington Aquatics Club took the win for the men. Ben Gorski, Ryan Baker, Chris Outlaw, and Jacob Larsen went a combined 6:57.49. NCAP finished second (6:58.40) and Snow finished third (7:00.74).