Ryan Murphy
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
Speedo Champions Series editorial coverage this summer is proudly sponsored by SpeedoUSA. For all the latest coverage from sectionals this summer, check out our Summer of Speedo page.

By David Rieder

ATHENS, Georgia, July 14. THE final night of the Speedo Sectionals meet in Athens featured another strong performance from Ryan Murphy as the highlight among strong performances from high schoolers, collegians, and post-grads based throughout the southeast.

After already picking up wins in the 200 IM, 100 back, and 100 fly, Bolles' Murphy added a title in his best event, the men's 200 back. Murphy crushed the field by more than six seconds, finishing in 1:57.21. That fell just about a second short of his personal best time of 1:56.37 that he swam at U.S. Nationals to finish third, an effort which ranks him seventh in the world this year. Meanwhile, Dynamo's Jay Litherland finished comfortably in second in 2:03.40, while Duke Aquatics' Koya Osada touched third in 2:04.87.

Lakeside's Sydney Sell finished with the win in the women's 200 back. The 16 year old clocked 2:14.99, an improvement of more than 2.5 seconds over her seed time, to take the win. Dynamo's Emily Ranzau challenged Sell at the halfway point, but she ended up fading to third. Stingrays' Melissa Postoll touched out Ranzau for runner-up honors, 2:15.99 to 2:16.02.

Cardinal's Carlos Almeida picked up the win in the men's 200 breast. The runner-up behind Nic Fink in the 100 breast, Almeida blistered the field to win in 2:15.80. Lakeside's Andrew Braun grabbed second in 2:18.23, and Duke Aquatics' Garrett House came in third at 2:20.70. Lakeside's Brooke Forde, 14, won the women's 200 breast, lobbing more than 6.5 seconds from her personal best over the course of the day to finish in 2:35.27. North Carolina's Cari Blalock, meanwhile, overtook Bolles' Olga Lapteva on the final lap to earn second in 2:36.51, while Lapteva settled for third in 2:37.14.

Swim Atlanta's Karl Krug couldn't quite break 50 in the men's 100 free, but the former Auburn star touched in 50.00 for the win. Cardinal's Caryle Blondell clocked 50.32 to finish, while Georgia Tech's Andrew Kosic finished ahead of Tennessee's Troy Tillman in a tight battle for third, clocking 51.29 to Tillman's 51.34. Stingrays' Rebecca Postoll took the women's 100 free in a tight finish over Kristen Wilson, 57.01 to 57.18, while Swim Atlanta's Katie Grover grabbed third in 57.45.

After 30 laps in the women's 1500, only seven one-hundredths of a second separated the Marieta Marlins' Stephanie Peters and Americus Albany Area's Nicole Fye. Peters withstood Fye's late charge over the final 500 meters to hold on for the win, 17:08.96 to 17:09.03, while Gwinnett's Anna Jahns touched third in 17:10.52. Marlins of Raleigh's Adam Linker won the men's 1500 free in 15:55.67, while Swim Atlanta's Nick Hogsed joined Linker under 16:00 with a 15:57.57 for second. LTP's James Koval finished third in 16:12.59.

The Marlins of Raleigh team of Victoria Mitchell, Charlsie Lincoln, Hannah Lincoln, and Cameron Brown took top honors in the women's 400 medley relay in a time of 4:19.08. Stingrays took second in 4:19.47, and Lakeside grabbed third in 4:23.06. Stingrays' Alec Cohen, Ben Hendrickson, Jimmy Yoder, and Michael Dugan won the men's race in 3:52.18, while Bolles took second in 3:54.35, and Dynamo touched third in 3:54.92.

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