For complete coverage of the 2012 CeraVe Invitational, including intern-produced recaps, interviews, on-demand videos and photos, go to the Event Landing Page. A LIVE stream of finals will also be available at the Event Landing Page.
By student interns Celeste Cirillo-Penn and Valerie Podbelski
PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, January 13. THE opening evening of the 2012 CeraVe Invitational featured an incredible outing by Germantown's Arthur Frayler. Frayler not only won the men's 800-meter freestyle, he also demolished Fran Crippen's 2002 record in the process. Meanwhile, Michael Domagala of AGUA doubled up with triumphs in the men's 100 fly and the 200 IM.
Frayler clocked a time of 8:02.01 in the distance event, cutting more than five seconds from Crippen's 8:07.16 from 2002.
"[My strategy was] really just to kind of keep it strong the whole time. I think it was a pretty good time for where I am in training right now, and I hope to get better," Frayler said.
Bryan Draganosky placed second with a time of 8:24.82 and Michael Lennon third with a time of 8:26.09.
Friday night's finals consisted of determination, strength, and ability. Starting with the first race, women's 800 meter freestyle Rachel Zilinskas, from Germantown, earned the win. Finishing the race with a final time of 8:44.16, Zilinskas cleared the Trials cut. After her race, Zilinskas stated, "I'm in the middle of heavy training and I just wanted to get the experience of today to help my training. I wanted to get a sold 800 time." In second place was Annie Zhu with a final time of 8:50.72 and finishing in third was Isla Hutchinson-Maddox with a time of 8:58.49.
In the men's100 meter breaststroke, Forrest Davis finished first with a time of 1:05.76. Lovre Bilonic finished out the race in second with a time of 1:05.98 and Victor Luo took third with a time of 1:06.11.
"[My goal] was just to hold on and try to get out better in the first 50," Davis said of the race.
The women's 100 meter breaststroke went to Colleen O'Neil from Weymouth Waves. Ending the race with a time of 1:13.71, she eclipsed the junior cut. Before her race today, O'Neil always tries to get in a proper warm-up.
"I napped before I came here, listened to music, and just got excited for my race," stated O'Neil.
Finishing shortly after was second place winner Madeline Maher from Germantown with a time of 1:13.81. Third place winner was Brooke Zeiger of Bluefish Swim Club-NE with a final time of 1:14.37.
Thomas Duvall won the men's 200 meter freestyle final in a close victory with a time of 1:54.41. Frayler took a close second with a time of 1:54.43, just 0.02 seconds off Duvall's mark. Ryan Signorin came in third with 1:55.64.
"My strategy was to go for the win and hold my position. It was a fun race and I think any of us could have won it," Duvall said after the race.
After "taking it slow this morning and relaxing," first-place winner, Lia Neal from Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics, finished the 200 meter freestyle race with a time of 2:01.90.
"I wanted to hold on and bring the win home," stated Neal after the race. Coming in second was Meagan Dollard from Germantown with a time of 2:03.73 and third-place winner was Annie Zhu from Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics with a final time of 2:04.05.
In the men's 100 meter butterfly, Michael Domagala finished first with a time of 55.38. Roger Dent took second with 56.27 and Patrick Park placed third with a time of 56.63.
"The strategy was to try to back half," Domagala said. "I just came from altitude…but I felt pretty good."
Caitlin Casazza, from the YMCA of Northwest NC riptide-NC team, finished her 100 meter butterfly with a Junior National time of 1:02.43.
"Today I made sure I ate breakfast and lunch so I could focus on my race," stated Casazza. Also ending the race with a Junior National Meet cut was second place winner Lia Neal. Neal, who had previously won the 200 meter freestyle, ended this race with a time of 1:02.61. From the Central Jersey Aquatic Club, was third place winner, Helen Grossman with a time of 1:03.13, which was a record for the Scholastic All American time.
In his second victory of the night, Domagala took the 200 meter IM title with a time of 2:08.03. Alex Lebed finished out the race with 2:08.35 and Christian Yeager placed third with 2:08.70.
"I tried to take it out faster than this morning because I didn't go that fast," Domagala said. "I was hoping to go into trial cut, but after fly I was hurting a lot."
From Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics was first place winner Annie Zhu. Ending the race with a time of 2:17.58 she beat the record of the 2012 Junior National time. Second place winner was Kaitlyn Jones from the Delaware Swim Team-MA who finished with a time of 2:20.76. Coming in only .07 seconds behind her was third place winner Rachel Zilinskas, who had previously came in first place in the 800 meter freestyle. Both Jones and Zilinskas beat the Junior National time.
In the final men's event of the night, Badger Swim Club won the men's 800 meter freestyle relay with a time of 8:01.54.
"I was trying to think about my own race," team member, Brian Hogan said of the race. "The team can't do anything unless you swim well so you gotta make sure you do your part."
Ending the day with a win was the Long Island Aquatic Club team. The members who ended the race with a time of 8:44.18 were Cara Treble, Lindsay Schlichte, Cady Zawatson, and Molly Treble.
"We are in the middle of intense training and we are all working really hard. We wanted a good, strong finish and to keep a great time," stated Cady Zawatson. The team was able to beat the 2012 East Zone North time by more than 65 seconds. Coming in second place with a time of 8:46.12 was the Cougar Aquatic Team-NJ and in third was the Bluefish Swim Club-NE, with a time of 8:48.09. Both teams beat the East Zone North time as well.