Sandpipers Lead After Night 3 of California Sectionals

by Laura Rosado 1

December 16th, 2023 Club, News, Previews & Recaps


  • December 14-18, 2023
  • Huntington Beach, CA
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Meet Mobile: 2023 CA Dec CA CV Speedo Sectionals at GWSC
  • Live Results

The 500 freestylers stole the show on night 3 of the Huntington Beach Sectionals, but there were a number of other big swims that highlighted the session.

Luka Mijatovic beat a legion of Sandpipers in the men’s 500 free. Joshua Brown touched second in 4:16.62, followed by Luke Ellis (4:17.02) and Gabriel Manteufel (4:18.91). It was all three swimmers’ first time sub-4:20. Dillon Wright, who like Grimes and Gwinn also took on the 200 fly-500 free double, finished 5th (4:23.31).

Before posting the #2 time for 17-18 girls in the 500 free, Katie Grimes opened the session with a win in the 200 fly, clocking 1:54.46. While she was off her best time by over two seconds, she still cleared the field by over four seconds. She slots in at #28 in the 17-18 age group; her best time would place her #5.

Two other swimmers got under 2:00. Zara Masud of Aquazot Swim Club clocked 1:59.13 for 2nd while Grimes’ Sandpiper teammate Applejean Gwinn placed 3rd, getting under 2:00 for the first time (1:59.89).

It was a Sandpiper sweep as Dillon Wright won the men’s event. The UVA commit lowered his best time to 1:46.37, holding off a charging Ryan Makouar (1:46.44).

Behind Katie Grimes and Claire Weinstein, Gwinn hit her second best time of the night to finish 3rd in the women’s 500 free (4:46.87). That was her first time sub-4:50.

Other Noteworthy Results

  • The women’s 100 back was won by seven-hundredths of a second, as Beach Cities Swimming’s Delaney Herr (54.35) held on to take the win over Sandpiper Rebecca Diaconescu (54.42).
  • Edward Huang, who will swim at Cal starting next fall, won the men’s 100 back (48.03), just over half-a-second off his best time.
  • The women’s 50 free went to Ava De Anda of Riverside Aquatics, who shaved one hundredth of a second off her best time to take the win (22.44). Behind her, Diaconescu picked up her second runner-up finish of the night (22.58).
  • Sofia Szymanowski won the women’s 200 breast, lowering her best time to 2:13.75.
  • In the men’s 200 breast, 34-year-old Brandon Fischer hit a best time, clocking 1:52.08 to take over a second off his previous best set last March. Evan Yoo (1:55.06) and Pavel Romanov (1:57.13), who both represent Alpha Aquatics, were the only other two swimmers to get under 2:00.

Team Scores After Day 2

Girls Top 5

  1. Sandpipers of Nevada – 730
  2. Mission Viejo – 373.5
  3. Pleasanton Seahawks – 284
  4. Riverside Aquatics Association – 252
  5. Canyons Aquatic Club – 240

Boys Top 5

  1. Sandpipers of Nevada – 799
  2. Alpha Aquatics – 427
  3. Rose Bowl Aquatics – 348
  4. Evolution Racing Club – 302
  5. Pleasanton Seahawks – 293

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5 months ago

Brandon Fischer going 51.9/1:52.0 at 34 years old is quite impressive. Could definitely sneak into a semifinal or even a final at Trials if on form.