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Final Night of CeraVe Invitational -- January 16, 2011

By Swimming World High School Interns Valerie Podeliski, Gabrielle Drillich, Madeline Weber and Joe Cusmano

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, January 16. THE final night of the CeraVe Invitational is in the books after a moment of silence for Fran Crippen and the first annual Fran Crippen Memorial 1500-meter race.

Women Open 1500 LC Meter Freestyle

Winning the first race of tonight's finals was Germantown Academy Aquatic Club's Rachel Zilinskas, who clocked in at 16:51.45 to win the women's 1500 freestyle. Zilinskas commented on her race noting, "We had a training trip at the end of December, so we've only trained a week of long course." Zilinskas, as well as second- and third-place finishers Lauren Morford (16:59.22) of Hydroaquatics and Kelly Johansen (17:06.91) of Badger Swim Club swam 2011 national championship qualifying times.

Women Open 200 LC Meter Breaststroke Senior
In tonight's women's 200 breaststroke, Abby Fisher was the dominating champion. Fisher dropped a total of 7.45 seconds off her prelim time to win with a 2:35.37, qualifying her to compete in the 2012 Olympic Trials. When asked how she felt after the race Fisher stated, "I'm tired but extremely excited. My whole mindset was to do better tonight and that's what I came here to do." Following Fisher in second place was Kristine Ng from the Scarlet Aquatic Club. Ng finished with a time of 2:42.67. In third was Madeline Maher of the Germantown Academy Aquatic Club with a time of 2:43.11. Both Ng and Maher are qualified to compete in the Scholastic All-American meet.

Men Open 200 LC Meter Breaststroke
After an exciting four laps, the men's 200 breaststroke was won by Andrew Reimon from Cougar Aquatic Team. With a time of 2:29.67, Reimon touched out his neighbor in lane seven, Sean Sullivan from Long Island Aquatic Club. Sullivan finished with a time of 2:30.34, which beat out lane eight, Scott Huang from Scarlet Aquatic Club. Huang finished with a time of 2:31.31, when he just touched out opponent Victor Luo from Somerset Valley YMCA. Sullivan had control of most of the race, but in the last 50 meters Reimon picked up speed and amazed everyone by winning the event. Interestingly, Lovre Bilonic, from Bayonne Unattached, who was in the second heat, actually would have come in first. With a time of 2:29.09, Bilonic's time was the fastest of the night in the 200 breaststroke.

Women Open 200 LC Meter Backstroke
Coming off a three-day sickness, hardly any long-course training, and barely being in the pool for the past three days, Daphne Skelkos had her work cut out for her. A strong race and a great finish, 22-year-old Skelkos of Long Island Aquatic Club finished with a time of 2:19.65, just edging out second-place finisher Courtney Ciardiello (2:19.92) of Badger Swim Club. Swimming in for third with just a few minutes of rest from her prior win, Zilinskas clocked in at 2:22.89.

Men Open 200 LC Meter Backstroke Senior
Only Pat Myers could start and finish the 200 backstroke with such intensity and determination. "I'm really tired," was his first statement after finishing the race in 2:04.57. Myers also commented, "I made the national time back in August so I'm really proud that I'm getting closer to my personal best." What Myers would soon find out is that not only did he qualify for the national time, but he is also qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials. Coming in second and qualifying for nationals with a 2:06.24 was Luke Papendick, a member of the Lakeland Hills YMCA. In a close third place time was Christian Yeager from the Long Island Aquatic Club. He qualified for the junior nationals with a final time of 2:06.32.

Women Open 100 LC Meter Freestyle
After two crazy laps, the winner was Carolyn Fittin from Peddie Aquatic Association. With a time of 58.71, Fittin managed to touch out her opponent, Megan Lydzinski from X-Cel Swimming. Lydzinski finished with a time of 58.95. In third, from Bluefish Aquatic Association, was Blake Zeiger with a time of 59.12. Lydzinski, who touched first after the beginning 50 meters, lost the lead when Fittin came up from behind to win the race. All three swimmers qualified for the Scholastic All-American meet.

Men Open 100 LC Meter Freestyle Senior
Michael Smit, 25 years old from the Hydroquatics team, placed first in the men's 100 freestyle with a time of 51.81. After the race Smit stated, "I am really happy with the time I got in this point of the season. I've had a lot of hard training and I'm getting closer to getting my best time. I am just very happy with this time altogether." The second place winner, Adam Sjohom from the Germantown Academy Aquatic Club, finished the race in 53.59 and third place winner Luca Spinazzola finished in 53.97. Both Sjohom and Spinazzola are qualified for the SAAT, or the Scholastic All American meet.

Women Open 200 LC Meter Butterfly
In an exhausting race of total endurance, Bridget Casey from Germantown Academy Aquatic Club cinched the win with a time of 2:17.77. Casey also managed to get the junior national time in this event. From the start Casey lead the heat to an intense finishing lap, which culminated with the close finish of the girls in second and third places. In second, Rachel Kessler from Badger Swim Club touched out her teammate and opponent with a time of 2:19.88. Courtney Ciardiello, also from Badger Swim Club, came in third with a time of 2:20.57. Both Ciardiello and Kessler qualified for the Scholastic All-American time cut.

Men Open 200 LC Meter Butterfly Senior
Placing first for the second time in the day was Michael Smit. Smit had previously won the 100 freestyle and somehow found the strength to come back and win the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:07.37. After the race, Smit immediately hopped into the next lane to get into position for the 1500 Meter Freestyle, where he placed 12th out of 32. With just a hundredth of a second behind Smit was second place winner Pat Myers from the Bluefish Swim Club. Myers previously took first place in the 100 backstroke and was able to finish this race with a time of 2:07.38. Myers will also be advancing to the junior national meet later this year. Third place winner Sean Sullivan from the Long Island Aquatic Club, finished the race in 2:10.93, allowing him to advance into the 2011 East Zone North competition.

Men Open 1500 LC Meter Freestyle
Smashing his meet record from last year by seven seconds, Arthur Frayler did not disappoint. Frayler finished with a time of 15:29.34, which is not his best time but still qualified him for the 2012 Olympic Trials. Frayler blazed ahead of all his opponents, leaving only two whom he did not lap. Frayler trains for Germantown Academy Aquatic Club, along with many other champions that we have witnessed here at this meet. Coming in second was Michael Lennon from Long Island Aquatic Club with a time of 16:25.10. Third to the finish was Charles Barry from Badger Swim Club with a time of 16:37.08. Both Barry and Lennon made the Scholastic All-American cut. It was an exciting spectacle, with such strong athletes competing in this event, and especially with Frayler's outstanding performance

Women Open 400 LC Meter Freestyle Relay Senior
Coming back for day two are winners Meagan Dollard, Natalie Dowzicky, Bridget Casey and Rachel Zilinskas from the Germantown Academy Aquatic Club. These four girls won yesterday's relay race and have succeeded in winning the 400 freestyle relay today. With a final time of 3:57.90, the girls have qualified to enter the junior national meet. In second place with a time of 4:00.45 is the Badger Swim Club. The girls from this team, as well as third place winners, the Lakeland Hills YMCA team, will move onto the 2011 East Zone North meet. Lakeland Hills finished the race in 4:03.47 and dropped 8.24 from their preliminary time.

Men Open 400 LC Meter Freestyle Relay
With an astonishing finish, the Bluefish Swim Club (Louis Arruda, Pat Myers, Aaron Gustafson and Luca Spinazzola) won the men's 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:39.45. Though the Bluefish boys were in second for most of the race, behind Germantown Academy Aquatics Club, they managed to touch them out. However, the boys from Germantown were disqualified, leaving the boys from Somerset Valley YMCA, with a time of 3:41.74, to earn second place. In third were the boys from Lakeland Hills YMCA, who finished with a time of 3:44.63. All three teams made the Eastern Zone qualification cut.

Final Day of CeraVe Age Group Swimming Showcases Some of New Jersey's Best
With snow on the ground and NFL football playoffs capturing the attention of most in New Jersey, the next generation of swimmers churned the water at Rutgers University's Aquatic complex.

Women 11-12 100 LC Meter Freestyle
The winner was Long Island Aquatic Club's Cara Treble. Treble won the Women's 11-12 100 freestyle with a time of 1:02.64, a ZONE qualifying time. Also achieving ZONE qualifying times were second through sixth place finishers Kaitlin Stearns, Sophie Halper, Anina Lund, Katelyn Mann and Ana Lucia Espinosa-Dice, respectively.

Men 11-12 100 LC Meter Freestyle
Justin Torres from Scarlet Aquatic Club placed first in the 11-12 100 freestyle with a time of 1:00:57, beating his seed time by 1.9 seconds. Lenny Grant and Dylan VanManen, both from Long Island Aquatic Club, finished in second and third, respectively, each beating their seed times. All three swimmers had Zone qualifying times.

Women 13-14 400 LC Meter Freestyle
Long Island Aquatic Club took first, second and third place in the 13-14 400 freestyle. Kelly Giovanniello finished first with a time of 4:38.24, just edging out teammates Jessica Arana (4:38.30) and Kylie Danin (4:42.06). All three girls, including the fourth through 13th finishers, swam ZONE qualifying times.

Men 13-14 400 LC Meter Freestyle
Finishing first in the 13-14 400 freestyle was Ryan Sebastian of Elite Swim Club with a final time of 4:26.71, a Zone qualifying time and 7.1 seconds faster than his seed time. Behind him were Declan Kennon and Matthew Lantin, both from Badger Swim Club, placing second and third respectively, both with Zone qualifying times as well.

Women 10 & Under 50 LC Meter Backstroke
Alice Yee out swam the competition by more than a second to win the 's 10 & Under 50 backstroke with a time of 37.86. The Long Island Aquatic Club swimmer achieved a ZONE qualifying time with this swim. Placing second through fourth all with ZONE qualifying times were Eastern Express's Madeline Hoedmaker (38.88), Elite Swim Club's Claire XU (39.06), and Long Island Aquatic Club's Claire McNeary (39.43).

Men 10 & Under 50 LC Meter Backstroke
Ryan Lee placed first in the Men 10 & Under 50 backstroke, finishing with a time of 36.92 seconds, beating his seed time by 0.63 seconds. Finishing in second and third were Hiroki Kaneko and Stephen Gray, respectively. All three swimmers were from Westchester Aquatic Club, and each finished with a Zone qualifying time.

Women 11-12 50 LC Meter Butterfly
The 11-12 50 butterfly was won by Long Island Aquatic Club's Cara Treble. Treble swam a ZONE qualifying time of 31.23. This was Treble's second race of the day, as well as her second first-place finish. Swimming in for second was Lakeland Hills YMCA's Katelyn Mann who also achieved a ZONE qualifying time of 31.88. Tied for third place were Westchester Marlin's Jamie Lee and Berkeley Aquatic Club's Tatum Lawson. Both girls have ZONE qualifying times of 32.67.

Men 11-12 50 LC Meter Butterfly
First place in the 11-12 50 butterfly was Kevin Doo of Scarlet Aquatic Club, who finished with a time of 30.70 seconds, 1.01 seconds faster than his seed time and a Zone qualifying time. Anton Khrystenko of Long Island Aquatic Club finished second with a time of 30.75 seconds, only 0.05 seconds behind Doo, earning himself a Zone qualifying time as well. Joe Mo from Badger Swim Club then finished third, with a time of 31.87 seconds, which also qualified him for Zones.

Women 13-14 100 LC Meter Butterfly
Elite Swim Club's Lindsay Stearns secured a first-place finish in the 13-14 100 butterfly. Stearns swam a ZONE qualifying time of 1:07.05. Kylie Danin of Long Island Aquatic Club and Natalia Rincon of Tidal Wave Swim Team finished second and third with ZONE qualifying times of 1:07.88 and 1:07.92, respectively. This was not only Danin's second race of the day, but it was also her second time finishing in the top three.

Men 13-14 100 LC Meter Butterfly
David Stewart from Badger Swim Club claimed first in the 13-14 100 butterfly with a Zone qualifying time of 1:03.00, beating his seed time by 0.07 seconds. Declan Kennon, who also placed second in the 400 freestyle, finished right behind Stewart at 1:03.23. Finishing third with a time of 1:04.38 was Sebastian Ryan of Elite Swim Club, who previously placed first in the 400 freestyle. Both boys finished with a Zone qualifying time as well.

Women 10 & Under 100 LC Meter Freestyle
Alice Ye of Long Island Aquatic Club won the gold medal for the second time today by finishing first in the 10 & Under 100 freestyle. She clocked in with a ZONE qualifying time of 1:11.14, almost a whole second faster than her seed time. Madeline Hoedemaker swam more than four-and-a-half seconds faster than her seed time to secure second place with a ZONE qualifying time of 1:12.12. This was Hoedmaker's second time finishing in the top three today. Also swimming ZONE qualifying times were third and fourth place finishers Grace XU (1:12.96) of Elite swim Club and Kathleen Duong (1:14.14) of Long Island Aquatic Club, respectively.

Men 10 & Under 100 LC Meter Freestyle
Finishing in first for the second time, Ryan Lee won the 10 & Under 100 freestyle with a final time of 1:08.98. In second was Hiroki Kaneko with a final time of 1:09.77, and finishing third was Stephen Gray. All three finished with Zone qualifying times and all three beat their seed times as well.

Women 11-12 100 LC Meter Backstroke
Dropping more than five full seconds from her seed time, Scarlet Aquatic Club's Julien Zhu swam a ZONE qualifying time of 1:13.43 to take first place in the 11-12 100 backstroke. Swimming in for a close second and third place finishes were Westchester Marlin's Jamie Lee (1:13.68) and Montclair YMCA's Hannah O'Halloran (1:13.81). The top nine finishers of the event all achieved ZONE qualifying times.

Men 11-12 100 LC Meter Backstroke
Lenny Grant from Long Island Aquatic Club finished in first place with a 1:06.80 in the 11-12 100 backstroke, not only beating his seed time and finishing with a Zone qualifying time, but also beating the meet record of 1:07.89, set by Phillip Kang in 2008. Anton Khrystenko, also from Long Island Aquatic Club, came in second with a time of 1:11.85, followed by Justin Torres of Scarlet Aquatic Club with a time of 1:13.41, beating his seed time by 1.45 seconds. They placed second and third respectively, and both finished with Zone qualifying times as well.

Women 13-14 200 LC Meter Backstroke
Sarah Slepian of Elite Swim Club, 13, swam the first sectional qualifying time of the afternoon session for the girls. Slepian clocked in at 2:28.56 to win the 13-14 200 backstroke. Kylie Danin and Jess Gorham placed second and third in the event with ZONE qualifying times of 2:29.21 and 2:31.63, respectively. Danin finished in the top three for all of her events this afternoon.

Men 13-14 200 LC Meter Backstroke
In the 13-14 200 backstroke, Declan Kennon of Badger Swim Club finished first with a time of 2:18.14. Ronan Corgel of Lansing Cats followed in second place with a time of 2:19.84, and Ryan Sebastian of Elite Swim in third with a time of 2:22.96. All three swimmers finished with a Zone qualifying time.

Women 10 & Under 100 LC Meter Butterfly
Alice Ye of Long Island Aquatic Club is 3-for-3 today. She locked up her third win in the 10 & Under 100 butterfly. Ye crushed the competition by more than six seconds, finishing with another ZONE qualifying time of 1:16.52. Second and third place finishers Claire McNeary of Long Island Aquatic Club and Juliette Garofolo of Westchester Marlins also swam ZONE qualifying times of 1:22.92 and 1:27.92, respectively.

Men 10 & Under 100 LC Meter Butterfly
Ryan Lee from Westchester Aquatic Club, who also placed first in the 10 & Under 50 backstroke, won the 100 butterfly with a final time of 1:17.46. Michael Gregorace of Long Island Aquatic Club finished right behind Lee with a time of 1:17.74, followed by Ethan Anderson of Eastern Express with a time of 1:19.87. All three swimmers finished with a Zone qualifying time.

Women 11-12 200 LC Meter IM
Scarlet Aquatic Club's Julien Zhu placed first in the 11-12 200 IM. Zhu's ZONE qualifying time of 2:36.01 out-edged Long Island Aquatic Club's Giorgia Piantanida and Cara Treble, who finished second and third with times of 2:37.57 and 2:38.57, respectively. This was Zhu's second finish in the top three as well as Treble's third time finishing in the top three this afternoon.

Men 11-12 200 LC Meter IM
Finishing with a time of 2:28.06, Justin Torres from Scarlet Aquatic Club placed first in the 11-12 200 IM , beating his seed time by 4.01 seconds. Lenny Grant of Long Island Aquatic Club finished second with a time of 2:31.38, then followed by Kevin Doo of Scarlet Aquatic Club with a time of 2:34.67. All three swimmers finished with a Zone qualifying time.

Women 13-14 100 LC Meter Breaststroke
To wrap up the girls afternoon session, Erin Barry of Berkeley Aquatic Club won the 13-14 100 breaststroke. Barry was one of only two girls two achieve a sectional qualifying time in today's afternoon session. Barry's time of 1:18.14 was about two seconds faster than second and third place finishers Lauren Ho (1:20.05) of New Jersey Wave and Sarah Sepian (1:20.06) of Elite Swim Club.

Men 13-14 100 LC Meter Breaststroke
Harold Choo of New Jersey Wave won the 13-14 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.47, beating his seed time of 1:12.80. In second place from Long Island Aquatic was Delaney Hall, finishing with a time of 1:14.64, and in third place was Christopher Aventuro from Badger Swim Club with a time of 1:15.92. All three swimmers finished with a Zone qualifying time.

Behind the CeraVe Invitational Meet
By Madeline Weber - Swimming Worldhigh school intern

The Olympic-sized swimming pool at Rutgers University's Sonny Werblin Recreation Center in Piscataway, N.J., was filled with hundreds of hopeful swimmers and watchful spectators at the CeraVe Invitational. Held this year over the course of three days, the meet consisted of a total of 100 events, with all of the swimmers meeting specific time qualifications to compete in the races.

Sponsored by CeraVe for the past three years and hosted each year by the Berkeley Aquatic Club, the 20th annual CeraVe Invitational, formerly the Bergdorf Invitational, is one of the three required meets swimmers must compete in to be eligible for the New Jersey SC Zone Championship Team. Through the invitational, the swimmers are able qualify for East Zone North Sectionals, Scholastic All-American Team, Junior Nationals, Nationals, and the 2012 Olympic Trials.

Everyone working at the CeraVe Invitational, from the hospitality workers to the head officials, consistently pull together each year to make sure the meet runs smoothly for the competitors, and this year was no exception. The Metro Swim Shop also set up a small shop this year, selling all kinds of swimming merchandise. "Even though it's a really competitive place, everyone likes to have fun", commented one swimmer.

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