By John Lohn
ORLANDO, Fla., March 24. THE NCSA Junior Nationals are quickly becoming the Bradley Ally Show. One night after winning the 200 backstroke, Ally picked up crowns in the 50 breaststroke and 400 individual medley Thursday night.
Ally (Pine Crest) earned his first triumph of the evening with a clocking of 25.69 in the 50 breast. That effort was followed later in the program with a meet-record breaking swim of 3:49.65 in the 400 I.M.
The national scholastic record holder in the 200 I.M., Ally lowered the Junior Nationals standard in the 400 I.M. by nearly two seconds. The previous mark was set in 1993 by Greg Dolniak (3:51.42).
While Ally added two more championships, Alex Righi (Arizona Desert Fox) picked up win No. 2. Righi followed up a Wednesday night triumph in the 100 free with a decision in the 50 butterfly (21.99).
On the female side, Laura Leclair secured her second gold of the competition, as she bested the field in the 400 I.M. Coming off a win in the 200 butterfly, the Nova of Virginia swimmer checked in at 4:14.91. She was followed to the wall by Jessica Schmitt (North Coast) in 4:17.34.
North Coast’s Blake Hayter and SCAT’s Noah Copeland were the victors in the 200 freestyle events. Hayter won the women’s race in 1:48.40, narrowly holding off Kristen Frost (1:48.48) of Sonoco Swim Club. Copeland, meanwhile, won his race in 1:38.59.
Atlantis’ Dana Christ prevailed in the women’s 50 butterfly (24.75) and the 50 breast on the female side went to Alia Atkinson of the City of Pembroke in 28.61.
In the 800 freestyle relays, North Coast Aquatics used the efforts of Jenna Wesley, Molly Houlton, Schmitt and Hayter to win in 7:20.89, easily a meet record. The former record of 7:24.71 was set by Highlander in 2000.
For the men, Irvine Novaquatics blasted the opposition with a winning time of 6:43.67. The Irvine foursome consisted of Sean Boyle, Aaron Casey, Robert Hansen and Scott Spansail. Boyle led off in 1:39.10.