By Erin Quinn
Courtesy of: Erin Quinn
Courtesy of: Erin Quinn
WEBSTER, New York, March 28. While the college boys are making serious waves at NCAA D-1 Championships this weekend in Texas, here in the North East, major records have fallen amidst chilly temperatures at the 2014 Eastern Zones SCY Age-Group Championships.
Although there is still one day to go, if there were a "swimmer of the meet" award, it would certainly go to 12 year old, Alexandra Walsh of Connecticut, who has already set 3-meet records, including one of Olympic champion, Katie Hoff's 11-12 record in the 200 IM dating back to 2002! Hoff's age-group records, many of which still stand, are no easy feat to topple. But Walsh did so with a blistering 2:03.83--more than 3 seconds faster than the young-gun Hoff!
The amazing Olympic champion and swim-enthusiast, Hoff tweeted a heart-felt congratulations to Walsh on breaking her long-standing record.
Not to mention that this record was broken, shortly after Walsh decimated the 11-12 Eastern Zones 200 backstroke record, held by Emily Meilus of PVS from 2012 (2:02.89) with a awe-inspiring time of 1:58.31. Her time also cleared Kylie Stewart's 11-12 National Age Group record of 1:59.49 from 2009.
Walsh was far from done. During Friday prelims she took down a record dating back from 1993--Beth Botsford of Maryland (26.62) in the 11-12 50 backstroke with a 26.61. In finals, she still won by a large margin but went a 26:63, just a hair-off her record-setting prelim swim. Saturday, Walsh walks in with the top seed for the 11-12 girls 100 backstroke with a stunning 55.31. Will another record fall? I think barring unusual circumstances, it's safe to say that Walsh is poised to take a 4th Eastern Zone record!
While the tall, slender, shy 12 year old phenom from Connecticut certainly stood out, there were several other record-breaking swims including that of Kimani Gregory, 12 of Allegany Mountain (AM) LSC who took down the 2011, 100 freestyle record of Connecticut's Bryce Murad (49.43) with a scorching 49.23! He followed that swim up with a 1st place in the 11-12 boys 100IM--57.13, a personal best, but not the meet-record still owned by Tanner Kurz, 55.56, of Maryland from 2006.
Watch out for the sweet-spirited and beastly freestyler, Gregory as he is poised to continue to have a fantastic swimming career.
Next up would be none only than the 13 year old, Morgan Scott from Mid-Atlantic who slaughtered the 500 yard freestyle, taking down a 14 year old Eastern Zones record by Casey Wagner of Alleghany Mountain with a 4:58.33. And she's only 13 years old!
Brendan Burns, 12 years old, representing Mid-Atlantic LSC crushed his field in the 11-12 200FLY finals with a sizzling 2:05.28! Another stellar 200FLY 1st place swim by 12 year old Sarah Hardy of New Jersey in 2:10.66 with an incredible back-half to blow off the competition!
While Speedo Sectionals have siphoned off many of the all-star 13-up age-group swimmers, Eastern Zones SCY age-group Championships was hardly starved of out-of-this-world swims and will continue to tear off the barn-roofs tomorrow!
The future of swimming in all corners of the US is looking bright!