BALTIMORE, Maryland, December 13. THE 2013 edition of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club Christmas Meet got underway earlier today at St. Mary's College of Maryland with a dominating performance by the host team. NBAC teammates Conor Dwyer, Yannick Agnel and Cierra Runge each won two individual events apiece and contributed legs on the winning 400 free relays to highlight the first night of finals.
Courtesy of: Joan Marc Bosch
Courtesy of: Joan Marc Bosch
NBAC's Cierra Runge kicked off the evening with a solid showing in the 1000 free. Runge, who recently committed to attend Cal in the fall, posted a 9:25.79 in the event; not too shabby for her first attempt at the 1000. Teammate Gillian Ryan took second in 9:40.60, well off her best time of 9:26.50, which she posted at this meet last year. Germantown's Sierra Schmidt took third in 9:47.96.
In the men's 1000, French Olympic champion Yannick Agnel put on a clinic. Agnel, who has been training at NBAC, won the event handily in 8:42.58. U.S. Olympian Matt McLean, who also moved to Baltimore recently to continue his post-graduate training, took second in 9:00.00. McLean has been under 9:00 before, with a best time of 8:46.50 from the 2009 ACC Championships. Germantown picked up another podium finish, as Andrew DeFriece placed third in 9:18.52.
North Baltimore then picked up its third straight win in the senior division, as Lauren James edged Carter Center Aquatics' Annie Lane, 1:03.50 to 1:03.74, to win the women's 100 breast. Germantown earned its third-straight third-place finish, as Emily Erwin posted a 1:04.84 for third in the event.
Although he's better known for his talents in freestyle and IM, North Baltimore's Conor Dwyer is also a world-class breaststroker. Dwyer dominated the field in the men's 100 breast, winning by more than five seconds in 53.01. That cut more than a second and a half off his previous lifetime best of 54.68 from his college days at Florida. Connor Kalisz, the younger brother of U.S. National Team member Chase, took second in 58.38, while Carter Center Aquatics' Maicoll Gomez rounded out the top three in 58.65.
After finishing second in the 1000 free earlier, NBAC's Gillian Ryan moved up a spot on the podium with a convincing win in the 200 free. Ryan hit the pads in 1:46.63 to easily outdistance Germantown teammates Shannon McKernan (1:48.93) and Meagan Dollard (1:50.56). Meanwhile, in the men's 200 free, Yannick Agnel snagged his second victory of the night, cruising to a time of 1:36.73. NBAC swept the top three spots in the event, as Cole Buese (1:39.56) and Connor Kalisz (1:40.85) rounded out the top three.
Long Island Aquatic Club's Paige Kaplan became the first swimmer not from NBAC to win an event in the senior division, winning the women's 100 fly in 55.93. Germantown's Hayli Randolph took second in 56.67, while Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Club's Mairyn Branaman touched right behind in 56.70 for third. Conor Dwyer picked up his second win of the night in the men's race, touching a second in front of teammate Tom Luchsinger, 47.19 to 48.37. NBAC's Cole Buese earned another top-three finish, as he stopped the clock in 49.89 to complete NBAC's sweep of the top three places.
NBAC's Cierra Runge added a second win to her victory in the 1000 earlier in the night, dominating the women's 200 IM with a 1:57.96. That cut over two seconds off her previous lifetime best of 1:59.98, set in March at the Maryland state championship meet. Carter Center Aquatics' Annie Lane finished second for the second time tonight with a 2:03.70, while NBAC's Mary Pelton rounded out the top three in 2:03.76.
Not long after finishing second in the 100 fly, NBAC's Tom Luchsinger used a strong fly leg to distance himself from the field and pull away to win the men's 200 IM in 1:49.41. Despite a strong breaststroke leg, NBAC's Connor Kalisz was unable to close the gap and took second in 1:51.57, while Cole Buese picked up another top-three finish with a 1:52.22.
The 400 freestyle relays closed out tonight's finals session. North Baltimore's quartet of Gillian Ryan (50.09), Korby Simpson (51.88), Mary Pelton (51.42) and Cierra Runge (49.95) overwhelmed the field with a 3:23.34. Carter Center (3:31.51) and Long Island (3:32.11) took second and third. On the men's side, the North Baltimore all-star squad of Conor Dwyer (42.94), Tom Luchsinger (45.58), Matt McLean (44.15) and Yannick Agnel (42.53) destroyed the field with a 2:55.20. North Baltimore's B team came in second at 3:08.75, followed by UMBC at 3:08.89.
Results: NBAC Christmas Meet, Day One