ATLANTA, Georgia, April 1. THE 2012 East Coast Swim Club Championship came to an exciting conclusion today at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The Colorado women and Florida men both held sizable leads after day two, and Colorado entered the final day with a good lead in the overall team standing.
In the first individual championship final, Casey Cooper took home the first national title for the NC State Wolfpacks in 50 Backstroke with a final time of 27.71. Jeff Reardon from University of Florida took gold in the men's 50 Backstroke, with a final time of 23.43, cutting Colorado's lead in the overall team standing by 16 points. The women's 100 Butterfly championship final featured three Buffaloes from CU-Boulder, but in the end Caitlin Conner of Missouri out touched CU's Ellesse Spaeth by 0.25 seconds, winning gold with a final time of 59.67. Missouri's Kyle Renne won the men's 100 Fly with a final time of 50.50, out touching USC-Aiken's Cyril Bougard by eight-hundredth of a second. The men's 100 Fly saw three Gators place in the top 10, narrowing Colorado's lead in the overall standing to just 71.5 points.
Florida's Nathalie Bijlsma and Eric Rohrs cut the lead even further by taking both 50 Breaststroke golds. Eric finished with a final time of 25.74 while Nathalie broke the oldest meet record set by Allison Lloyd in 2006, posting a time of 31.17.
Colorado briefly widened the gap by putting three ladies in the 100 Free Championship final, placing second, fourth, and sixth, behind Missouri's Caitlin Conner. Florida took the momentum right back from the Buffalos with a 1-2 finish in the men's 100 Free, with Mufu Kadibhai and Noah Hackney taking home the gold and silver for the Gators. With their swims, Florida narrowed the lead to 41.5 points.
Florida put four Gators in the championship finals of the women's 100 IM, with Nathalie Bijlsma taking home the gold with a 1:01.53. Florida also put three Gators' in the championship finals of the men's 100IM, and Will Walters took the gold home for Florida with a record time of 51.23. With only two events to go, Florida took the overall team championship lead from Colorado, 1428.5 to 1409.
In the final two events of the day, Colorado women won the 200 Freestyle relay just ahead of Missouri and Florida, with a final time of 1:41.21. The CU ladies won gold in all but the 200 Medley relay, which has eluded them for two consecutive years. Florida men completed the relay sweep over the weekend, capping with a 1:23.95 in the 200 Free Relay. Abdul Yacubu took home the men's 1-meter spring board title, while the Diedra Gustafson took home the women's. Without any help from the diving competition, University of Florida relinquishes their lead in the overall team standing back to Colorado. The final margin of victory for Colorado was only 90 points.
Florida's Will Walters, with his 5 individual gold medals, won the most valuable male swimmer of the meet award, scoring the maximum possible 125 points for the Gators. Missour's Caitlin Connor won the most valuable female swimmer of the meet award with her 4 gold and 1 bronze performance, edging out Colorado's Ellesse Spaeth by 1 point.
Women's team champion trophy easily went to the University of Colorado. The girls from Boulder repeat as women's champions with plenty of impressive swims, scoring 938 points to swim the 2012 women's title, while University of Missouri finished second, and Florida third. University of Florida took home the men's team champions trophy with 937 points, while Colorado took second, and the Missouri placed third.
With help from the diving events, the University of Colorado took home the overall team champion trophy, scoring a combined point total of 1,664 points, while University of Florida took second with 1518.50 points, University of Missouri finishes third second year in a row with 1227 points.
The 2012 East Coast Swim Club Championship had 56 teams and 1,175 swimmers and divers from all over the country. 44 events were swum, and 25 records were broken. With varsity swimming programs being eliminated across the country, the East Coast Swim Club Championships and collegiate swim clubs around the country gives swimmers an opportunity to compete at the highest level outside the NCAA. For more information regarding the East Coast Swim Club Championships, please visit our website at, http://www.gtswimclub.com/ecc.php.
For full results, please visit http://www.gtswimclub.com/ecc-results.php.
The 2013 East Coast Swim Club National Championships is tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 29 to Sunday, March 31, 2013.
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