Tess Cieplucha Swims 400 IM in 4:45.56 Winning by Over 6 Seconds at Greensboro Sectional


Day 2 of the Greensboro Speedo Sectionals saw the finals of the 200 free, 100 back, 400 IM, and the 4×100 Medley Relays. Much like day 1, college swimmers dominated the top of many of the podiums.

Louisville junior Paige Hetrick, fresh off of her 50 free trials cut from day 1, improved upon her bronze medal from last night with a win in the 200 free tonight. Her time in finals, 2:00.37, was more than half a second faster than her entry time of 2:00.97 and marks her second Olympic Trials cut of the meet.

The women’s 200 free cut is 2:00.89.

Finishing 2nd and 3rd in the A-final were Savannah Barr of Hurrican Aquatics (2:01.24) and Tac Titans’ Keelan Cotter (2:02.96).

Joining the party atop the podium for the Louisville Cardinals in the men’s 200 free was Louisville rising sophomore Guy Brooks. The Durban, South African native, who placed 19th in the 200 free at NCAAs, swam to 1st place with a best time of 1:50.52. Joining him on the podium was his teammate Ilia Sibirtsev, who finished in a time of 1:53.36. Between the two Cardinals was 16-year-old SwimMac Carolina swimmer Norvin Clontz who won silver in a time of 1:51.85.

Keeping the streak of Cardinals atop the podium in the 100 back was Tristen Ulett. The Louisville rising senior swam to the win in a time of 1:02.35. Rounding out the podium was SwimMAC’s 17-year-old Kayman Neal in a time of 1:03.03 and Stringrays’ Adaline Bullock who finished in a time of 1:03.37.

Going four for four atop the podium was Dalton Lowe. Lowe improved upon his 2nd place in the 200 IM by finishing first in the men’s 100 back. Lowe’s time of 55.73 was a drop of .04 from his seed. Unsurprisingly, the runner-up was also from Louisville. Rising sophomore Jackson Millard touched a second behind in a time of 56.77.

The penultimate individual event, the women’s 400 IM, saw the first non-Louisville winner in Tennessee Aquatics’ Tess Cieplucha. Her time of 4:45.56 won by over six seconds. The Canadian and defending Pan-American Games champion in this event has a personal best of 4:37.26 from the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials. Finishing behind Cieplucha for 2nd was 16-year-old Tac Titans swimmer Nicole Zettel, who swam a time of 4:52.49.

The last individual event saw the first non-collegiate club winner of the meet. SwimMAC’s Ben Delmar finished first in a time of 4:29.06, the only time under 4:30 in the men’s 400 IM and a personal best by .18. Runner-up was his teammate Caleb Maldari, who touched in 4:31.16.

The women’s 4×100 Medley Relay saw the SwimMAC team of Molly Donlan (1:03.60), Avery Klamforth (1:11.79), Kayman Neal (1:02.57), and Clarke Neace (57.74) win in a time of 4:15.70. Donlan and Neace were both members of the winning 4×100 Free Relay from day one.

The last event of the evening saw the Tac Titans A team take the win in a time of 3:47.61. The team consisted of Abhay Tharakan (59.46), Grayson Nye (1:03.46), Colin Whelehan (55.48), and Jerry Fox (49.35). Fox, an NC State commit, has an individual personal best of 50.15 in the 100 free.

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10 months ago

Golden strokes glide,
Tess dominates the water,
Seconds left behind.

10 months ago

And why is Tess not at worlds 2023 Japan? Good swimming Tess just continue to getterdone

Reply to  BillP
10 months ago

She didn’t have a good meet at Trials – nothing was reported or told to us, but her times indicated maybe sick or injured. She was 4:48 in the 400 IM. Wasn’t one of the chosen few who got special selection (originally, it appeared that McIntosh and Pickrem were going to occupy the 400 IM slots, so she wouldn’t have gotten a discretionary add for that – though now we know Pickrem isn’t going).