BALTIMORE, Maryland, December 15. NORTH Baltimore closed out its annual Christmas meet with several more individual victories on the night, including two by Cierra Runge, bringing her weekend total to six. Sierra Schmidt, Andrew DeFriece, Connor Kalisz, Andrew Sanchez, Paige Kaplan and Cole Buese also picked up wins during tonight's finals session.
The 1650 freestyles led off the final night of action at the NBAC Christmas meet, and with no Gillian Ryan or Yannick Agnel in either the women's or men's race, the door opened to other young up-and-comers. Germantown's Sierra Schmidt took full advantage, pulling away from Long Island's Molly Treble around the 700-yard mark to take the win in 16:24.62. Treble came in second at 16:32.18, followed by Germantown's Karlee Carminati at 16:34.91. Germantown made it a sweep of the mile as Andrew DeFriece overwhelmed the men's field with a 15:23.25, almost 30 seconds ahead of Long Island's Connor Brown (15:52.82). Spencer Lafata of Badger rounded out the top three in 15:53.15.
NBAC's Cierra Runge continued her domination this weekend, picking up her fifth win of the meet with an outstanding performance in the 200 back. Runge cruised to a time of 1:54.55, cutting three seconds off her previous lifetime best of 1:57.74 from last year's Christmas meet. Lauren James, who earlier in the meet won the 100 and 200 breast, finished second in 2:00.96, while Mary Pelton finished third in 2:02.43 to give NBAC a sweep of the top three spots. The men's 200 back look awfully similar, as host North Baltimore again swept the top three spots. Connor Kalisz led the way in 1:47.76, while Cole Buese (1:49.56) and Jason Ewart (1:49.81) also cleared 1:50. Kalisz dropped about a second and a half off his previous best in the event, a 1:49.30 from the same meet last year.
As if five individual wins wasn't enough, Runge got to the wall first yet again, this time in the 100 free. Her time of 49.32 just missed her lifetime best of 49.24 from this meet last year. Germantown's Shannon McKernan almost cracked 50 with a 50.21, while NBAC's Mary Pelton slipped in for third at 51.79. The men's 100 free title went to Andrew Sanchez of the Retrievers, as his 45.82 was comfortably in front of Carter Center's Ben Kennedy (46.29) and Naval Academy's Noah Yanchulis (47.32).
Long Island's Paige Kaplan won the final individual event on the women's side, posting a 2:01.61 to win the 200 fly. Germantown grabbed second and third behind strong swims from Hayli Randolph (2:02.25) and Karlee Carminati (2:04.99). After finishing in the top three several times already this weekend, North Baltimore's Cole Buese finally got himself a victory in his final try. Buese swam a 1:48.37 to win the men's 200 fly, ahead of Carter Center's Maicoll Gomez (1:50.45) and North Baltimore's Gavin Colley (1:53.12).
North Baltimore's quartet of Mary Pelton (57.82), Lauren James (1:03.76), Korby Simpson (57.74) and Cierra Runge (49.99) swam away with the final event of the meet, posting a 3:49.31 to win the women's 400 medley relay. Carter Center took second in 3:51.88, followed by Chesapeake Bay (3:53.41). The North Baltimore men also closed out the meet on a winning note, as Jason Ewart (51.57), Connor Kalisz (57.76), Cole Buese (50.20) and Evan Sherkness (46.86) topped the heat in 3:26.39. The Retrievers (3:31.67) and Carter Center (3:32.89) rounded out the top three.
Results: NBAC Christmas Meet, Day Three