By Phillip Whitten
ORLANDO, Florida, March 22. THE fourth edition of the NCSA Junior National Short Course Championships opened with a bang tonight at the YMCA Aquatic Center, as meet records fell in three of the four events contested.
Irvine NOVA's Scott Spansail, 18, got the record breaking going when he clocked 9:05.10 — almost 10 seconds under his seed time — to take the men's 1000-yard freestyle. Equally impressive was 14 year-old Brennan Morris, who finished second in 9:12.96.
Spansail's time broke a 12 year-old junior record — 9:05.89 by the Express' Andy Potts.
Spansail built up a six-and-a-half second lead on his young challenger at the halfway mark, then held on to win by 7.86 seconds. Spansail split 4:29.57 – 4:35.53, while Morris swam an even-split 4:36.02 – 4:36.94.
The men's 200-yard medley relay saw the two top teams blast the meet mark of 1:34.16 set by Magnus Aquatics last year. Rockville-Montgomery wound up with the gold in 1:33.09, followed closely by the Raleigh Swim Association in 1:33.42.
Rockville's Josh Hafkin gave his team more than a two-second lead on the backstroke leg with his 23.08. At that point, Raleigh was mired in 20th place out of the 46 teams competing. The fastest backstroke split was 22.63 by Yale-bound Alex Righi of AFOX.
Raleigh kept chipping away at R-M's lead, posting faster splits for each of the next three legs of the relay, but Rockville held on for the win and the record.
Kristen Frost of Sunoco SC in Connecticut was anything but frosty in the women's 1000 free. In fact, the 17 year-old was blazing hot, as she smoked the field with a 9:46.44, 11 seconds under her seed time and almost five seconds ahead of Kristen Beales, 9;51.27. Frost split 4:51.10 – 4:55.34 as she just missed Keegan Walkley's eight year-old junior record of 9:45.27. Walkley, swimming for Swim Atlanta, went on to an illustrious career at the University of Georgia.
Wisconsin's Lake County Swim Team and the Ann Arbor SC waged a seesaw battle in the women's 200 medley relay as both teams slashed the junior record of 1:44.34 set last year by the Raleigh Swim Association.
Lake County led by 1.50 seconds at the halfway mark, but a 24.08 butterfly split by Ann Arbor's Ilene Lesch gave the Michigan team a split-second lead. Then LK's Kylsie Grimes anchored in 23.10 to give Lake County the win in a record 1:43.36. AA followed in 1:43.88.