Ryan Lochte Starts off Day 1 of the Florida Virtual Champs in Sarasota

Florida Virtual Championships – Site 1 (Sarasota)

Another weekend of competition kicked off in Sarasota, Florida today with the Florida Virtual Championships. While some competitors are over the age of 18 and ineligible to have their results count toward the USA Swimming 18&Under Winter Championships, many swimmers will contribute to it in this final weekend of its competition.

Olympic medalist and world record-holder Ryan Lochte competed in the 200 free and 100 fly during the prelims session, gliding into the finals as the top seed in both events with ease. He posted a 1:39.16 in the freestyle, not a great time for Lochte but plenty enough to skate through prelims. He finished the 100 fly with a time of 49.21, nearly 4 seconds off of his best time from the NC Speedo Championships in March of 2014.

Lochte ended the session with the fastest split on Gator Swim Club’s 200 free relay at 20.23. The relay of Florida alumni Enzo Martinez Scarpe (20.63), Lochte (20.23), ASU sophomore Julian Hill (21.60), and Florida alumni Grant Sanders (21.50) touched 1st at 1:23.96.

Earlier, Sanders snagged 2nd in the 200 free ahead of 16-year-old Liam Custer, with both swimmers adding over 3 seconds to their best times. The roles reversed later when Custer touched 1st in the 400IM with a time of 3:48.97, right on his best time. This ranks him #21 out of the all-time fastest 15-16 year-olds in the event. Sanders finished in 2nd place at 3:57.61, adding 17 seconds to his best, but making it into finals easily.

Another 18&Under standout on the men’s side this morning was 18-year-old Hayden Kwan who is the 2nd seed going into the 100 fly final behind Lochte after he posted a time of 49.45. This is a slight add for Kwan who swam a 48.31 at the 2019 Florida Spring Senior Championships. Kwan is ranked 1st going into finals in the 50 back (22.95), and 5th in the 200 free (1:41.44), the latter of which is a best time for Kwan by .35.

South Carolina post grad Nils Wich-Glasen took the 100 breast in a time of 55.52, 4 seconds off his best from 2017 SEC Championships. His Gator Swim Club teammate Jonathan Tybur snagged the 2nd place spot going into finals at 57.30. 15-year-old William Heary will be a part of that finals race tonight, ranked 4th after he swam a 58.22 which adds nearly 2 seconds to his best time from November.

On the women’ side, U.S. National Team member Emma Weyant posted 2 best times this morning, including her 200 free win in a time of 1:47.06. She finished with a 1 second lead over 16-year-old Natalie Mannion who touched in 2nd. Their Sarasota Sharks teammate Michaela Mattes snagged another top-3 finals spot, with a 1 second time drop of 1:48.54.

Weyant’s second lifetime-best time came in the last event of the prelims session, the 400IM. She touched in 1st by 10 seconds, with a time of 4:05.83. This shaves nearly 2 seconds off of her previous best from the YMCA SCY Nationals in April of 2019. 15-year-old Mattes snagged 2nd with a best time of 4:15.89, crushing her previous best from February, 2019 by 2.69 seconds.

Mannion later tied for 2nd place with 16-year-old Lydia Hanlon in the 100 fly with a time of 54.74. This was a 1 second add for Hanlon whose best is from the Florida FHSAA 3A Swim and Dive Championships last month. For Mannion this swim was a best time for by .43, while her previous best was also from November. 16-year-old Jordan Agliano snagged 1st with a time of 54.56, .62 off of her best. One of the youngest swimmers in the 100 fly finals tonight will be 14-year-old Addison Sauickie who is in 5th at 56.42, close to her best time.

16-year-old Katherine Sammy of Gator Swim Club touched 1st in the 50 back with a best time of 26.97, ahead of her teammate Georgia Bates (27.49). 13-year-old Taylor Schwenk dropped half a second to snag a top-3 spot going into finals with a time of 27.86.

Weyant’s younger sister, 15-year-old Gracie Weyant, is the top seed going into the 100 breast final after she swam a 1:04.05 this morning. This is about 2.5 seconds off of her best from the Florida FHSAA 4A Swim and Dive Championships last month where she won the event. 16-year-olds Eliza Brown and Hayley Clark are not far behind at 1:04.82 and 1:06.31 respectively. Both swimmers were slightly off of their personal best times.

The Sarasota Sharks ended the session with a win in the 200 free relay as their ‘A’ relay of Mannion (23.83), Sauickie (23.70), Emma Weyant (23.57), and Sarah Sensenbrenner (24.31) touched the wall 1st at 1:35.41.

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The urchin whisperer
6 months ago

Splits for Lochte
200 free
100 fly

Reply to  The urchin whisperer
6 months ago

Wow. Glad his endurance is there. Hope for some big drops tonight

Reply to  The urchin whisperer
6 months ago

Final 100 split is within 1.5 seconds of both Haas and Farris last 100 from ’18 & ’19….took it out a bit slower of course

Reply to  PhillyMark
6 months ago

A bit slower? Yes indeed:) Farris was 42.9 and Haas 43.1 Lochte was 51.5

Irish Ringer
Reply to  The urchin whisperer
6 months ago

That was a warm up swim no doubt judging that first 100 on the 2free and almost even splitting the fly.

Reply to  The urchin whisperer
6 months ago

Jumped straight to the comments. Quick scan of the opening splits, thought this was LCM, my heart nearly leapt out of my chest as I read the subsequent splits.

Mark Usher
6 months ago

Lochte and Gregg Troy debriefing after the 200 free relay. He looked a lot sharper than when he swam here at the US Open last month. Also have to consider that today was SCY vs LCM at the US Open.
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6 months ago

Taylor Schwenk is the daughter of Olympian Trip Schwenk.

Reply to  Mark
6 months ago

I understand Trip is a police officer? If so, thank you for your service Mr. Schwenk.