2022 SwimMAC LC-SC Invite
- November 19-20, 2022
- SwimMAC Swim Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
- LCM (50 meters) prelims, SCY (25 yards) finals
- Full Meet Results (PDF)
The weekend before Thanksgiving, SwimMAC Carolina held a uniquely-formatted two-day meet in Charlotte.
The competition had two quirks that separated it from most mid-season club invites. One is that prelims were held in long course meters and finals in short course yards. The other is the way that swimmers advanced to finals. Specifically, there were four finals: the A-Final had the top two swimmers race yards head-to-head, the B-Final had the next four best swimmers, the C-Final had the next six-best swimmers, and the D-Final had a more traditional eight swimmers.
The result was a fun weekend of racing and new personal best times for two US Junior National Team members.
SwimMAC 15-year old Norvin Clontz won a single final in the meet, the men’s 200 yard freestyle. After a 1:53.20 in long course in prelims, Clontz swam a 1:38.79 in finals. For the high school sophomore, that took about four-tenths of a second off his previous best time in the event from March.
That first final of the meet set the stage for an exciting weekend, as he won an exciting head-to-head battle against his SwimMAC teammate Alex Ayers. Ayers was 2nd in 1:38.91.
While that wasn’t a best time for him, he did go best times on the weekend in the 1000 yard free (2nd place – 9:15.47) and 200 yard fly (3rd place – 1:49.95).
Clontz had the fastest time in the 800 meter free in prelims (8:16.76), but was 4th in the 1000 yard free in finals.
Another SwimMAC’er on the Junior National Team, Ben Delmar, put up three wins on the weekend, swimming lifetime bests in six different races, including long course prelims and short course finals events.
Among his wins was the event that put him on the National Junior Team, the 200 breaststroke. After a 2:19.34 in prelims, he posted a 1:58.41 in finals – winning the race by five seconds and taking seven-tenths off his previous lifetime best. In the last 12 months, he has dropped his short course best time in this race from a 2:03.66 to a 1:58.41.
Delmar also won the 100 breaststroke, with a yards-best of 55.43 in finals; and the 400 IM with a prelims long course best of 4:34.92 and a finals short course best of 3:51.89. That 400 IM time is a six-and-a-half second drop for him and gives him a new Summer Junior Nationals cut.
Further expanding his repertoire into the IMs, he was 3rd in the 200, swimming a 2:10.46 (meters) in prelims and a 1:50.57 (yards) in finals. Both were big time drops.
Delmar was a relatively-late class of 2023 commit to North Carolina, not committing until April of this year. That is turning into a boon-of-a-signing for the Tar Heels: his 200 breaststroke would be the fastest on the Tar Heel team this season. His IM shift fits with what UNC is doing well right now: they have the #2 and #3 swimmers in the ACC this season in the 400 IM.
The winner of that 200 IM where Delmar took the B Final was Caleb Maldari. While not his personal best, he swam 1:48.95 to win the 200 yard IM (after a 2:09.05 in prelims).
Maldari also won the 100 fly (48.93), 200 back (1:45.19), and 100 back (48.46). Ironically, the only event where he swam a personal best was also the only event he didn’t win: the 100 free, where he finished 2nd in the final in 45.59. Granger Bartee won that 100 free in a personal best of his own of 45.30.
Maldari is committed to Florida, while Bartee is just a high school sophomore. Bartee is in the same class as Clontz and they both swim at rival North Carolina private schools, which led to a freshman head-to-head at last year’s North Carolina Independent School State Championships in the 200 free. Bartee won that race by two-tenths.
All of the swimmers mentioned above are racing at next weekend’s long course US Open Championships, so the split format gave them an opportunity to touch on long course racing in the middle of the traditional US short course season.
In girls’ racing, the big winner was SwimMAC’s Grace Rainey, who took five titles in two days. Rainey, a high school senior and Florida commit, won the 100 breast (1:00.72), 200 breast (2:11.02), 100 fly (54.86), 200 fly (2:00.07), and 200 IM (1:59.51).
One of the most versatile swimmers in the class, Rainey is best-known as a breaststroker, but that 100 yard fly time was her best time by half-a-second. Her previous best time was done in July 2021 in her first meet back to racing after the COVID-19-pandemic-break.
In the 100 breaststroke final, she beat Nova of Virginia 15-year old Elle Scott. Scott, who is only 15, was 2nd in 1:01.17. That ties her lifetime best from October. Both swims are better than her season-ending 1:01.98 from last year’s NCSA Championships. She is currently the 3rd-ranked 15-year old nationally this season, just .05 seconds behind the national leader Raya Mellott from California.
A 1:01.66 from 15-year-old Avery Klamfoth won the B-Final. That ranks her 5th nationally at the age this season.
Klamfoth was 2nd to Rainey in the 100 breaststroke in 2:13.67. That’s #2 nationally for 15-year-olds behind only Mellott (2:10.16); Scott swam 2:14.47 for 4th in that ranking.
NOVA’s Kate Hotem, 15, and SwimMAC’s Molly Donlan, 17, had a great battle in the 200 yard backstroke final. Donlan took a big lead and was nine-tenths ahead as the two turned for the final lap. Hotem split 30.31 in the last 50, though, to close most of that gap.
Donlan ultimately touched 1st in 1:57.84 and Hotem 2nd in 1:57.94. Hotem’s time was a personal best, one of five she swam in the meet, and ranks her 3rd nationally among 15-year-olds.