CeraVe Invitational: Bluefish Swim Club Wins Team Title

For full results, recaps, live broadcast of finals and photos from the meet, go to the CeraVe Invitational Event Landing Page

Reporting by special Swimming World student reporters Elan Bird, Joey Cusmano, Regan Fink, Jackie Korey and Zach Miller

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, January 11. THE final session of the 2009 CeraVe Invitational finished with the Bluefish Swim Club capturing the team title for the first time.

Women's 1500 free
After a long battle between teammates Daniela Rueda (17:13.62) and Lauren Morford (17:15.94) of Agua Swim Team, 15-year-old Rueda pulled it out in the end for the win, dropping her seed time by 26 seconds. Both Rueda and Morford qualified for Junior Nationals.

"I am close friends with her and all I was trying to do was to keep up with her," Rueda told Swimming World when asked about swimming against top-seeded teammate Morford.

15-year-old Kelly Johanson (17:27.74) from Badger Swim Club, swimming in lane eight, swam 19 seconds faster than her seed time to finish in third.

Men's 1500 free
15-year-old Arthur Frayler (15:45.16) from Germantown Academy Aquatic Club improved upon his third-place seed in prelims in the men's metric mile. Dropping more than 30 seconds, he swam a World Championship Trials time.

"I went after practice to prepare for the race. I just wanted to get a WCT cut," Frayler said when asked about his preparation for the race.

Top-seed Jonathan Derlath (16:10.94) from Long Island Aquatic Club making a junior national cut and placing second. One of the leading competitors, Sean Minderlein (16:26.52) from Delaware Swim Team, took nearly 17 seconds off his seed swim to secure third.

Women's 200 breast
Top-seed Annie Zhu, 14, (2:34.07) of Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics defeated her opponents yet again during Saturday's finals, earning herself another World Championship Trials cut.

"Sometimes I do [amaze myself]," Zhu said when asked about her swims. "[I'm] still feeling energized [for my next race]."

Emma Jackson (2:40.02) of Bluefish Swim Club took second, while 14-year-old Kristine Ng (2:40.54) of Scarlet Aquatic Club finished third.

Men's 200 breast
Top-seed Robert Power (2:24.76) of Suburban Swim Center maintained his lead to win race.

"My main competitor Eric Materniak and I go way back to when we were 9 or 10 years old, so he really pushes me," Power told Swimming World when asked about any pressure he had for the race. "I saw that Connor Signorin was close to me out of the corner of my eye, so I really wanted to get home and finish the race."

Connor Signorin (2:25.81), of Peddie Aquatic Association, dropped nearly eight seconds from his swim in prelims to secure second place. Materniak (2:26.00) of Delaware Swim Team placed third, and Mike McVicker (2:27.47) of Badger Swim Club finished fourth. All four swimmers posted junior national cuts.

Women's 200 back
Lili Shiota of Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics dropped more than five seconds from her prelims time this morning to win the event and achieve a U.S. Open cut.

"I really wanted to win since I lost last night's 100 backstroke," Shiota said. Her drive certainly showed as she touched with a time of 2:17.66.

Westchester Marlins' Kim Holden (2:18.17) also dropped a substantial amount of time from her prelim time. Holden swam a U.S. Open qualifier. Kaitlyn Jones of the Delaware Swim Team placed third 2:20.95.

Men's 200 back
Suburban Swim Center's Ian Clark (2:00.79) had no competition tonight, capturing the first-place title and a meet record. Royce Sharp held the previous record with a time of 2:02.36. Clark dropped six seconds from his morning swim and qualified for the World Championship Trials.

"It's more than the meet record," Clark told Swimming World when asked about setting a meet record. "It feels real good to go out and get a time that is just a second more than my career best at a time of year where I'm training hard and not so well rested."

Jack Wagner (2:08.83) of Long Island Aquatic Club placed second, while Connor Signorin (2:08.90), originally seeded sixth, finished immediately behind Clark while dropping four seconds from his morning time. Both Wagner and Signorin qualified for junior nationals.

Women's 100 free
Bluefish Swim Club's Alex Forrester (57.62) finished first in the event, swimming a solid junior national time and turning her second-place seed into a victory.

"I got sleep, a lot of sleep, and food," Forrester said when asked about how she prepared for this race after winning the 50 free yesterday.

Peddie Aquatic Association's Carolyn Fittin (57.97) finished second, securing a junior national time, as well. The third-place finisher in this event, X-Cel Swimming's Megan Lydzinski (58.54) also qualified for junior nationals.

Men's 100 free
Louis Arruda, 25, of the Bluefish Swim Club swam a time 52.93 in tonight's final. The effort was just more than a second off the meet record of 51.90 set by John Miranda.

"My goal is to just go out and have fun and go as fast as I can go," Arruda said about his race.

Jack Wagner of the Long Island Aquatic Club took second in 53.60, while T.J. McCarthy of the Peddie Aquatic Association placed third in 54.26.

Women's 200 fly
Not long after winning the 100 free, Alex Forrester of Bluefish Swim Club again out swam her opponents with a World Championship Trials cut of 2:15.96, dropping nearly four seconds from her prelim time.

"I wasn't really thinking about a race strategy since they were so close together," Forrester said when asked about how she prepared to swim the race not long after the 100 free. "We practice racing at practice and a race is a race no matter what stroke it is."

Top-seeded Kaia Simmons, also of Bluefish Swim Club, settled for second place with a junior nationals cut time of 2:17.95. Megan Northshield of Delaware Swim Team came in third in 2:20.40.

Men's 200 fly
Peddie Aquatic Association's Nimrod Hayet (2:00.93), originally seeded fourth, dominated tonight's race. He dropped his prelim time by 12 seconds and qualified for the World Championship Trials. Two teammates, Wesley Mullins (2:10.37) and Connor Signorin (2:09.66), also swam with Hayet in the final heat.

"Yes, it really helped," Nimrod Hayet said when asked if having teammates in the race aided in his success, "It shows how strong our team is and every time that I'm out there with my teammates I know that a win is no guarantee."

Long Island Aquatic Club's Nicholas Cerra (2:08.85) touched second, finishing three seconds faster than this morning. Bluefish Swim Club's Pat Myers (2:09.26) placed third and cut two seconds from prelims.

Women's 400 free relay
The Bluefish Swim Club's team of Anna Senko, Alex Frasier, Kaia Simmons and Alex Forrester won its third relay of the weekend with junior nationals time of 3:58.30.

Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics (4:04.10), composed of Annie Zhu, Daniela Rueda, Lauren Morford and Lili Shiota took second, while Berkeley Aquatic Club's Elizabeth Floyd, A.J. Van Nispen, Rebecca Delafuente and Kate Toth scored third in 4:05.12.

Men's 400 free relay
Even though the Bluefish Aquatic Club's Louis Arruda, John Vatkevich, Jeffrey Thomas, and Timmy O'Neill missed breaking the meet record by less than a second, the squad achieved a first-place finish with a time of 3:40.34.

They were followed by Lansing Cats' Matthew Heise, Adam Zelehowsky, Pat O'Donovan and Lucas Zelehowsky with a time of 3:47.40. The Berkeley Aquatic Club relay team, composed of Chris DeLafuente, John Werner, Paul Soley and Sam Peterson, placed third with a time of 3:47.97.

Team Title
Bluefish Swim Club finished with the highest team ranking in the 2009 CeraVa Invitational with a score of 1,039.5 points. Success for Bluefish was largely in part to dominant relay teams, as Bluefish swept the relays. Alex Forrester and Louis Arruda were the top individual performers for Bluefish, as Forrester won four races and Arruda won two over the course of three days.

After Bluefish, Berkeley Aquatic Club stormed to a second-place finish with 935 points. Long Island Aquatic Club won the men's title and came in third-place with a score of 771. Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics won the women's title and took fourth place with 692.5 points, thanks in part to a great performance by 14-year-old Annie Zhu, who won four races.

Badger Swim Club finished in fifth with 591 points just ahead of Peddie Aquatic Association (567.5) and Westchester Marlins (544.5).

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