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Circle C Age Groupers Smash Five NAG Relay Marks -- March 13, 2002

AUSTIN, March 13. COACH Randy Reese's Circle C age group swimmers broke five U.S. National Age Group relay records at last weekend’s American Short Course Championships. Four of those records came in the boys 13-14 age group, while a girls 15-16 team accounted for the fifth mark.

The team of Jerr Merritt, Maverick Smalley, Andrew Wang and Stephen Weber made up a four-man wrecking crew that made a shambles of the relay marks for boys 13-14, smashing marks that had stood for nine to 12 years. All four boys are 14.

In the 200 yard medley relay, the team of Wang (back, 25.35), Merritt (breast, 27.77), Smalley (fly, 23.63) and Weber (free, 23.20) broke through the 1:40 barrier with a time of 1:39.95. The old mark was 1:40.46 by a Cincinnati Marlins team that boasted Nate Dusing as its leadoff swimmer.

In the 200 freestyle relay, it was the 1:30 barrier that was breached for the first time, as Wang 922.41), Merrit (22.31), Weber (2316) and Smalley (21.52) combined for a 1:29.40 effort. The time was almost a full second faster than the former NAG mark of 1:30.39 set by Golden West in 1993.

The 400 freestyle record had stood at 3:17.36 since 1990, when a speedy Curl-Burke team set up a challenge that went unmet for 12 long years. Now the record has moved halfway across the nation to Austin. There the team of Wang (48.49), Smalley (47.03), Weber (51.08) and Merritt (48.99) touched home in 3:15.59.

The same team reportedly also broke the 800 free mark of 7:11.47, set by Golden West in 1993.

Circle C’s girls 15-16 team slashed more than six-and-a-half seconds from the 400 yard medley relay record of 3:50.40 set by Curl-Burke in 1996. The team of Lindsay Voles (back, 55.91), Alexi Spann (breast, 1:02.64), Andrea Axtell (fly, 54.69), and Danna Davidson (free, 50.65) stormed home in 3:43.89.

Circle C may have a faster time in the future: Spann, Axtell and Davidson are all 15.