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By Elle Meinholz
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, July 19. ANOTHER outstanding night of swimming went down at the Minneapolis Speedo Sectional Meet. Standout swimmers Nicholas Caldwell, Gia Dalesandro, Connor Black, and Kathering Drabot continue to excel putting up impressive times.
In the women's 200 meter backstroke, Kelly Ryan from WEST-Illinois won the event with a time of 2:16.88. Although several seconds from her best, Ryan dropped more than two seconds from her morning swim and had a great finish as she touched out second place by only three tenths. Right behind Ryan was Schroeder YMCA's 14-year old Ashlyn Schoof with a best time of 2:17.18, a full second faster than her morning swim. Fifteen-year old Erin Falconer was a close third place with a time of 2:17.74. Falconer's race was her best time by more than four seconds.
In the men's 200 meter backstroke, second seed Drew teDuits scratched his 2:05.11 from prelims leaving the field wide open for first seed and winner Sean Lehane. Lehane won the event destroying the field by almost four seconds with a time of 2:00.52. Second place went to Wisconsin Aquatics' Austin Byrd who went a personal best of 2:04.48. Byrd has come a long way since coming to Wisconsin a year ago, and it's safe to say that the swimming world can expect great things from him as he continues his swimming career. Behind Byrd came Peter Grumhaus in third place with a time of 2:06.63.
The women's 400 free was dominated by young talent in 15-year olds Katherine Drabot and Hannah Boyd. This sectional is no stranger to the talent of young Drabot who placed third in the 200 meter breast, second in the 200 meter free, and second in the 400 meter IM. Drabot crushed the heat and her best time with a 4:16.80. Second place Boyd came in behind Drabot with a 4:18.61, a little off her best. Although her focus is U.S. Open, third place Ally Loper has been having a phenomenal meet, dropping significant time in her 100, 200, and now 400 meter freestyles. Loper went a 4:19.42, her personal best by more than five seconds.
The winner of the men's 400 meter free is now a three-time sectional champion. Caldwell, winner of the 200 and 800 free, won the final heat by almost two full seconds with a time of 3:59.27, several hundredths faster than his morning swim. Michael Wolfe earned himself second place in the event with a personal best of 4:02.07, a notable drop of more than five seconds. Third place went to Clayton Smith of Minnesota who was right behind Wolfe with a time of 4:02.22.
The 200 meter breaststroke champion Anna Meinholz of Wisconsin Aquatics won the women's 100 meter breaststroke in a tight race with Katharine Ross. After being right on her best time in her morning swim, Meinholz came back to finals ready to race. Meinholz went a personal best of 1:10.42. Second place Ross raced tough, finishing right behind Meinholz by only six one-hundredths with a time of 1:10.48. Third place was first place seed, Minnesota's Haley Spencer with a time of 1:11.12.
In the men's 100 meter breaststroke Josh Hall of Minnesota won the event with a time of 1:02.94, about seven tenths off his best time. Second place was Wisconsin Aquatics's Nick Schafer with a 1:03.27, a couple tenths faster than his morning swim. Schafer will be representing Australia at the U.S. Open in a few weeks. Third place in the event was Edward Mapel who went a personal best of 1:04.61, just touching out fourth place by 0.01.
Gia Dalesandro continues to excel at this sectional meet. Dalesandro won the women's 100 meter butterfly with a best time of 1:00.23. Right behind her were two Wisconsin Aquatics swimmers, Rebecka Palm and Ivy Martin. Palm was right on her best time with her 1:01.35. Martin was right behind her with her best time of 1:01.41. Two really great performances from the Wisconsin Aquatics girls who are focused on U.S. Open. Dalesandro, meanwhile, is headed to Indiana University this fall.
The winner of the men's 100 meter butterfly, Connor Black, crushed the final heat by almost three full seconds. Black, an incoming freshman at Stanford, went his best time of 52.72. In second was Schroeder YMCA's Nic Petersen at 55.61, right on his best. Third place Matthew Conway came in right behind Petersen with a 55.76, his personal best.
Friday finals finished with the 800 freestyle relays. For the women, Schroder YMCA's A team took first place with a final time of 8:27.04. Their team consisted of Carolyn Jungers, Alex Meyers, Ashlyn Schoof, and Abigail Raatz. The Patriot Aquatic Club A team of Cheryl Xiang, Erin Falconer, Julia Wawer, and Morgan Dickson took second place. The PATS girls finished with a time of 8:27.36. In third place came Wisconsin Aquatics with a final time of 8:28.14. The Wisconsin A team consisted of Aja Van Hout, Rebecka Palm, Katie Delaney, and Shelby Wilson.
On the men's side, Minnesota Aquatics took first place with a final time of 7:42.12. The Minnesota men were Danny Brebrick, Logan Redondo, Garin Marlow, and Clayton Smith. Behind Minneaota were the Wisconsin Aquatics men, T.J. Thompson, Damon Zito, Tyler Hines, and Austin Byrd. Wisconsin's final time was 7:44.48. About six seconds behind second place was the New Trier Swim Club team of Denver Freeman, Murphy McQuet, Connor Fotsch, and David Tao. The New Trier men's final time was a 7:50.75.
Results: Speedo Champions Series, Minneapolis: Day Three