TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 15. EVEN on the day when Arizona State and the University of Arizona were having their annual battle for state collegiate bragging rights down in Tucson, the biggest in-state swimming new story of the year is taking place over the weekend in Tempe.
The annual Lost Dutchman meet is being held at the Mona Plummer Pool on the ASU campus.
The meet began last night (Friday), but we had a gem of a race on this, the second evening of competition. Misty Hyman, back on the comeback trail, held off two determined youngsters to win the 200 yard butterfly … barely.
Hyman, the Olympic champ, led by an arm's length, about 0.3 seconds, at the half-way mark over a couple of high school seniors, former 800 meter National Champion Kalyn Keller (Sun Devil Aquatics) and Caitlin Connealy, a teammate of Hyman’s at AFOX. Keller and Coneally will be college teammates next year as USC Trojans, swimming for recently named U.S. Olympic Women’s Coach, Mark Schubert.
With Connealy on one side and Keller on the other, Misty maintained about the same margin over both of her challengers through 150 yards. And then, inexorably, it appeared that Keller and Connealy began to draw Misty in. Closer and closer, all three showing they are champions. At the wall you couldn’t tell the winner without an electronic scoreboard.
And the winner was … Misty, at 2:00.79, with Keller at 2:00.83 and Connealy, the 5A Arizona High School champion in the 100 Butterfly and better known for her sprinting, dropping from a personal best over 2:03 coming into the meet to 2:00.87. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, as was this race.
Also performing well on this first full day of competition was former ASU All-American and US World University Games relay Gold Medalist Scott Von Schoff. He won the 200 Freestyle in 1:39.16, 0.67 seconds ahead of his old Sun Devil teammate and Olympian from Great Britain, Gavin Meadows.
While the race was better in the 200 butterfly, perhaps the most outstanding swim turned in on the women’s side was Katy Houston of Reno who improved over 5 seconds to win the 400 Y Individual Medley in 4:19.31, winning by nearly 16 seconds..
The only double-winner in the Senior meet was Sam Masson from Boise YMCA in Idaho. Sam won the 100 Backstroke at :50.23 and the 200 Butterfly at 1:54.17. Interestingly, Masson joined Keller, Connealy and 800 Meter American Record holder Larsen Jensen as Schubert’s only signees for USC in the early signing period in November.
Lacy Nymeyer of Tucson Ford Dealer’s Aquatics swam an excellent 1:49.87 to win the Women’s 200 Freestyle. Skye Elbert, AFOX, touched out Molly Houlton, FORD, 56.97 to 57.05 to win the 100 Backstroke. Houlton was named the “Rookie of the Meet” at last summer’s National Championships.
While not as empirically excellent, it was a nice human interest touch to see PSC Coach's Dennis Pursley’s son, David, improve from 4:28.99 and a 16th place seeding to 4:16.62 and a silver medal in the Men’s 400 IM won by Michael Omara of Reno at 4:10.24. Coach Pursley even had a family impact on the ASU / UofA meet earlier in the day as daughter Lisa is a freshman for the Wildcats and helped them get off toward their win over the Sun Devils as the butterflyer on the 200 Medley Relay team won by UofA to open that meet.
Age Group record setters:
Katherine Raatz, AFOX 13-14 200 Freestyle 1:53.27
Mark Dylla, ACES (Colorado) 13-14 100 Backstroke :52.59 (Would have placed 3rd in Sr. Meet)
13-14 200 Butterfly 1:54.80 (Would have placed 2nd in Sr. Meet)
Also anchored his team to 4×100 Freestyle Relay win!