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By Katie Wingert, Swimming World College Intern.
Carmel Swim Club and Drew Kibler owned the first night of the Indianapolis Speedo Sectionals. Kibler racked up two individual gold medals, as well as one relay victory, while the women showed off their depth across all individual events and collected gold and bronze with their A and B relay squads, respectively.
A competitive men’s 200 freestyle relay, championed by Carmel jumpstarted the meet. Carmel’s squad claimed the gold in 1:35.20, thanks in part to a strong third leg from Wyatt Davis (23.56) as well as a particularly impressive anchor leg from Drew Kibler (22.97). Not far behind, Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics garnered the silver in 1:36.71. Bluefish Swim Club was good for third in 1:36.86.
The meet, and Carmel’s victory campaign, continued with the women’s 800 freestyle, in which Emma Nordin executed a textbook 8:51.58. Melissa Pish of Waves Bloomington also swam a solid race in 8:54.73. Lakeside Swim Team’s Bryn Handley swam a particularly strong final 100 meters (1:05.63) for third place and for her 8:57.28.
Regan Smith dropped an impressive 2:09.79 in the 200 back, good for the seventh-fastest 200 back of all time for fifteen- and sixteen-year-old girls. Grace Ariola of Waves Bloomington had a strong second 100–a tenth faster than Smith–but she ultimately finished two and half seconds behind Smith and about one second off of her personal best time, in 2:12.21. Vien Nguyen, swimming unattached, nabbed third in 2:14.75.
In an exciting, three-leader men’s race, Carmel Swim Club’s Drew Kibler ultimately came away with the gold in 2:00.18. Paul Le of Missouri State University initially led the way, taking out his first 100 meters in 59.02, and Kibler’s teammate, Wyatt Davis, held the second spot with a 1:00.17. Kibler flipped third in 1:00.24 after the first one hundred meters, but in the second hundred, he accelerated. Meanwhile, Davis surpassed Le with a solid second hundred of his own, to ultimately touch the wall in 2:01.10. Le felt the effects of his aggressive first hundred and settled for third in 1:03.99.
In the 50 freestyle, veteran sprinter Anyamarie Goeders of Mako Swim Club and Waves Bloomington Normal’s Ariola, fresh off of the 200 back, dueled it out. Goeders swam a controlled 25.72, while Ariola commanded silver in 25.86. Carmel Swim Club’s Kelly Pash led off the rest of the field and a long line of 26-second fifties, in 26.22.
Drew Kibler, like Ariola before him, attacked the 200 and 50 turn-around. The gamble paid off for Kibler, who earned his second gold of the night in 23.24. Carmel Swim Club’s Andrew Couchon was not far behind in 23.94, and David Fitch of Bluefish Swim Club grabbed the bronze in 24.03, just ahead of Paul Le, also just out of the warm-down pool from the 200 back.
In a shift of the meet pace, Skyler Cook-Weeks of Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics swam a calculated 1500 in 16:03.35. His closest competitor proved to be Carmel Swim Club’s Jacob Mitchell in 16:06.45. Scarlet’s Jackson Karofsky, the top seed in the event, rounded out the podium in 16:09.04.
The 200 breast brought a decisive top finish and four-second drop from the morning for Emily Weiss of Cardinal Community Swim Club, in 2:31.39. Top seed Vien Nguyen, swimming unattached, followed behind in 2:35.28, while Lauren Edelman, also swimming unattached, took third in 2:37.01, just ahead of Carmel’s Grace Estabrook.
In the men’s event, Nils Wich-Glasen, the top seed from the morning swimming unattached, took away the gold and established a new meet record of 2:15.45. Wich-Glasen entered the race with a vengeance; as he pulled away considerably from the field at the start of the second 100, it became apparent that he was going to demolish his time of 2:15.45 from the morning. Maxwell Reich, the 15-year-old from Phoenix Swimming, stayed in the thick of the field throughout the race and made a determined dash for silver and 2:21.96 at the end. Meanwhile, Club Wolverine’s Michael Macgillivray stayed strong throughout the event and took third in 2:22.37.
The women’s 800 freestyle relay saw Carmel Swim Club, the meet’s current team leader, seeded under the meet record with high expectations surrounding them. The A-relay team of Gertrude Rothrock, Kelly Pash, Samantha Burchill, and Emma Nordin blew away the competition with a well-rounded effort and time of 8:32.67. The real race in this event turned out to be for the second and third spots on the podium. Thanks to a strong back half of the relay, with Grace Ariola as the third leg and Melissa Pish as anchor, Waves Bloomington hit the touchpad in 8:29.45. Behind Bloomington, Carmel Swim Club’s B-relay squad eeked out third in 8:32.23, only a few tenths ahead of Scarlet Aquatics, in 8:32.69.
Results are available on Meet Mobile: 2017 Speedo Sectionals at Indianapolis.