AUSTIN, Texas, March 7. TEENAGE girls took over the competition tonight at the American Short Course Championships, while many college men continued to work on improving times with the hopes of qualifying for the NCAA championships.
Golden West’s Nora Deleske, just 15 years old, dominated the women’s 400 IM, winning by eight seconds with a time of 4:19.12. That’s a four-second drop off her lifetime best of 4:23.46, done last December at the USA Swimming junior nationals. Alyssa Shew of La Brea Aquatics was second with a 4:27.27, while Alea Skorus-Neely of Canyons took third with a 4:27.75.
Austin Vacek, a freshman at the University of Texas, posted a 3:46.42 to win the men’s 400 IM. Notably, it’s nine tenths faster than he swam to place second in the event at the Big 12 championships last week in the same pool. Vacek needed a faster time to improve his chances of being invited to swim the event at the NCAA championships, and right now his time improves his odds of getting the call to attend his first NCAA meet, but he’s still on the bubble. Vacek was not challenged after the backstroke leg, as Texas A&M’s Hayden Duplechain finished second with a 3:49.36. Mack Darragh of Missouri took third with a 3:49.86.
Canyons’ Tamara Santoyo beat Florida postgrad Sarah Bateman in the 100 fly by the slimmest of margins, 53.04 to 53.05. The two were fairly even at the 50-yard mark, with Santoyo posting a 24.57 to Bateman’s 24.64. Alexia Margett of La Brea took third with a 53.70.
Justin Lynch, who broke Michael Phelps’ national age group record in the 100 long course butterfly last summer, posted a personal best 46.42 to win the 100 fly tonight. His previous best was 47.27 from a sectional meet in 2012. With a 21.30 opening 50 yards, he held off Texas freshman Clark Smith, who was second with a 46.94. That time by Smith is a full second faster than he swam last week at the Big 12 meet, but four tenths slower than his lifetime best, which he swam this time last year and would rank him in the top 30 in the collegiate rankings this season. Texas A&M’s Henrik Lindau was third with a 47.37, while Texas postgrad Austin Surhoff posted a 48.04 for fourth.
Abbey Weitzeil of Canyons, who participated in last summer’s junior world championships, won the 200 free tonight with a 1:45.78 after a 1:45.49 in prelims. Both swims mark major time drops for the 17-year-old, who had swum a 1:47.77 at last December’s junior nationals. Kenisha Liu, a 15-year-old from La Brea placed second with a 1:49.30 to get within .15 of her lifetime best. Jenna Bauer was third with a 1:50.91.
Texas A&M’s Luke Shaw took the 200 free with a 1:36.67, four tenths lower than he swam at the Southeastern Conference meet to place 20th overall. Bobby Button of Texas led for 150 yards before fading to second at the finish with a 1:36.73, 1.2 seconds slower than he posted at the Big 12 meet. PJ Dunne of Texas rounded out the top three with a 1:37.30.
Abby Duncan, who completed her first season as a transfer at Missouri, beat Texas postgrad Laura Sogar in the 100 breast final. The two were tied at 28.23 at 50 yards, but Duncan pulled off the better second half with a final time of 59.66 to Sogar’s 59.80. Well back in third was Brooke Malone with a 1:02.78.
Imri Ganiel, the reigning Big 12 champion in the 100 breast, posted a 53.23 to improve on his 53.45 from last week. Notably, it becomes the fastest swim by a Texas Longhorn this season, beating the 53.35 posted by Matt Korman in the B final at the Big 12 meet. The two-tenth improvement is likely to get Gamiel to the NCAA meet, as it ranks in a tie for 27th nationally. Mark Conroy of Missouri posted a 53.44 for second, a bit slower than he swam at the SEC championships. Texas’ Liam Lockwood claimed third with a 53.85. Notably, Korman was fifth with a 54.23.
Weitzeil got her second win of the night, taking the 100 backstroke with a 54.63. Along with her 54.71 from prelims, it marks her first time under the 55-second barrier. Mei Lynn Colby of ATAC placed second with a 56.09, while Jenna Bauer took third with a 56.30.
Logan Mosley of Missouri captured the men’s 100 back with a 46.94, just three tenths off his lifetime best from last November but a tenth faster than he swam at the SEC championships last month. Mosley let Texas A&M’s Jacob Wallace take the lead by a tenth at the 50-yard mark, 22.91 to 23.07, but Wallace couldn’t hold on to the pace, posting a 47.89. Alexandros Theocharidis of Texas A&M placed third with a 48.11.
Canyons dominated in the women’s and men’s 800 free relay. The women posted a seven-second victory with a 7:27.56. Gulliver Swim Club was second with a 7:35.22 and North Coast Aquatics was third with a 7:42.90.
In the men’s relay, Canyons posted a 6:40.22 over North Coast’s 6:44.34 from their “A” team and a 6:54.31 from the “B” team.