GREENSBORO, North Carolina, July 17. EIGHT different swimmers went home with individual titles, including University of Tennessee standout Faith Johnson, during the first night of finals at the Speedo Champions Series Sectional meet at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The first day of competition began with timed finals in the women’s and men’s 800 free. Hannah Moore of YMCA of the Triangle Area captured the women’s title in 8:42.16, almost eight seconds in front of the University of Kentucky’s Kelly Berger, who touched in 8:50.07. NOVA of Virginia’s Emma Nunn touched out Olympian Chloe Sutton for third, 8:51.46 to 8:51.64. The University of Kentucky’s Brandon Flynn out-distanced the men’s field with an 8:17.98, comfortably ahead of teammate Scott Crosthwaite (8:21.45). Cardinal Aquatics’ Bryan Draganosky rounded out the top three in 8:23.13.
North Carolina Aquatic Club joined the winner’s circle with Catherine Munch taking home the women’s 200 IM title. Munch finished the race in 2:17.48 to beat Lakeside’s Asia Seidt (2:18.07) by just over half a second. Munch’s teammate, Rachel Canty, placed third in 2:18.12. Queens University’s Marko Blazevski posted the quickest time in the men’s final at 2:03.65, not far ahead of Cardinal Aquatics’ Nolan Tesone (2:04.29). Justin Ress of the Marlins of Raleigh came in third with a 2:05.66.
Faith Johnson of Tennessee Aquatics proved to be the fastest sprinter on the women’s side, as she took home the 50 free title with a 25.74. No one else finished under 26 in the event as Queens University’s Melissa Gates (26.10) and Lakeside’s Brooke Bauer (26.15) finished second and third. The story turned out to be very similar in the men’s 50 free, as Wolfpack Elite’s David Williams posted the only sub-23 swim of the day at 22.76. Erik Risolvato, competing unattached, touched second in 23.05, while Marlins of Raleigh’s Scott Johnson took third in 23.51.
The final of the women’s 200 fly came down to the final touch, with three swimmers finishing within four-tenths of each other. After leading at the final turn, Kentucky’s Abby Myers nearly relinquished her lead but held on to beat Mount Pleasant’s Megan Kingsley by .01, 2:13.20 to 2:13.21. North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Meredith Hoover had the fastest final 50 of the entire field to finish third in 2:13.67. Notably, Kentucky’s Christina Bechtel had the fastest time overall at 2:11.67 from the B final. Benjamin Colley of North Carolina Aquatic Club just missed breaking 2:00 in the men’s 200 fly, but he still had plenty in the tank to defeat Tennessee Aquatics’ Kyler Van Swol, 2:00.10 to 2:02.33. Wolfpack Elite’s John Newell touched third in 2:02.66.