Amidst A Night Of Scratches Kirsty Coventry Takes Advantage In Final Night Of Greensboro

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Alan Karickhoff, Swimming World College Intern

Night four, the final night of the Speedo Sectional Championship in Greensboro, was the night of scratches. Numerous top eight swimmers from multiple events in the preliminaries skipped out on the chance to swim again at night. Because of the early departures, many swimmers moved up to the A final, but close competition for the gold medal was limited. Perhaps the most obvious withdrawal was Bridgette Alexander from Kentucky Aquatics, the number one seed after prelims in the 200 back. Zimbabwean swimmer and former world record holder, Kirsty Coventry of SwimMAC Carolina swam within half a second of Alexander in prelims, but blew away competition in finals by nearly eight seconds without her in the running with a time of 2:10.99. Brooke Forde from Lakeside powered into second in 2:18.21 and Kathryn Ford of North Carolina Aquatics touched soon after in third place with a time of 2:19.51.

In the girls 200 breast, there were two more top eight finishers from prelims who scratched, but Kendra Crew of Kentucky Aquatics and University of Kentucky record holder looked untouchable regardless of the scratches. Crew finished in 2:31.28, followed by two DYNA swimmers: Julia Shuford in 2:36.87 and Allie Reiter in 2:38.08.

The girls 100 freestyle lost four of the top eight finishers, giving second chances to swim in the A final to four more who initially qualified for the B final. Alexia Zevnik, the prelim winner from NC State University, drove into first again with a time of 56.20. She was trailed by two Lakeside swimmers finishing in second and third. Brooke Bauer, the third place finisher in the 50 free, came in at 57.54 barely out touching Monica McGrath who finished with a time of 57.61.

Swimming for NC State University, Hannah Moore’s race in the 1500 was unstoppable. Off every wall she pulled further ahead. She was clearly racing the clock after pulling in a time of 16:19.65 for first, while Kathryn Painter of Kentucky Aquatics finished in second with a 17:08.94.

Like Hannah Moore’s 1500, Anton Oerskov Ipsen’s 1500 was uneventful besides the fleeting moments when he lapped his competitors. Ipsen, representing NC State University, powered into the wall with a time of 15:19.01. Thomas Bretzmann of North Carolina Aquatics was the only other swimmer under 16 minutes, finishing in 15:59.89.

The organization of boys 200 breaststroke podium was open game in night four’s finals. After a close preliminary competition, and the scratch by Adam Linker, an unattached swimmer and top seed, Keefer Barnum from Lakeside, Austin Haney from Kentucky Aquatics, and Benjamin Slate from Enfinity Aquatics placed in the top three. Barnum finished in 2:21.38 edging out Haney who finished in 2:21.74. Slate finished shortly after in 2:23.72.

In the boys 100 free, Simonas Billis from North Carolina Swimming pulled ahead quickly and held the lead the entire race finishing first in 50.54. Lucas Popp from North Carolina Aquatics raced William Torvestad of Triton Swimming into the wall, and touched second with a time of 51.30. Torvestad’s time read 51.84.

Christopher Thames from MAAC took out the 200 backstroke fast and never showed any signs of slowing down. He won with a time of 2:04.94. Jeffrey Durmer of DYNA ran down Coley Sullivan of Lakeside in the last 50 of the 200 to snag second place by almost half a second. Durmer finished with a 2:05.98 and Sullivan went a 2:06.43.

Though SwimMAC Carolina was in the lead after Alexis Souther’s scorching first 100 back leg of the 400 medley, Lakeside proved dominant with potent breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle legs. Lakeside’s Hannah Fuchs, Brooke Forde, Cameron Brown, and Brooke Bauer touched first with a time of 4:22.51. Representing SwimMAC’s second place finish in 4:24.71 was Souther, Cape Murch Elliot, Charlotte Hylinski, and Katie Corbi.

Lakeside’s boys also fought off SwimMAC Carolina, touching in 3:56.92 to SwimMAC’s 3:59.50. Coley Sullivan brought Lakeside into a lead over SwimMAC with his backstroke leg that they weren’t worried about losing as Keefer Barnum, Clayton Forde, and Aldan Johnston finished the relay with strength. Though Dynamo Swim Club had the lead after the first two legs, they couldn’t match Lakeside and SwimMAC’s final two legs. On SwimMAC’s side were Hernan Gonzalez, William Chan, Scott Lyons, and Jeffrey Murray. They held off DYNA by .12 with a time of 3:59.50. Representing DYNA’s 3:59.62 was the team of Cade Anderson, Brooks Merkle, Jeffrey Durmer, and James McGuire.

Full results can be found here.

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