ORLANDO, Florida, March 22. WHEN a field of talented swimmers with no apparent weak strokes step up to behind the blocks to take on the 200 IM, you know it’s going to be a can’t-miss race. Such was the case on the final night of the NCSA Junior National Championships.
Women’s 200 IM:
It was anyone’s race as the A final field dove in for the 200 IM. Nations Capital’s Janet Hu was to the top qualifier from the morning and the only one under the 2-minute mark with a 1:59.77. But with 50 backstroke champion Elizabeth Nelson and 100 and 200 backstroke champion Kylie Stewart in the hunt, it was set to be anyone’s race.
Hu was out first after the butterfly, turning with a 24.13. Stewart took over the lead at the 100, splitting a 53.94. But the lead was handed back to Hu going into the freestyle, and she only extended her lead from there. Hu won with a 1:57.10, taking two tenths off her best time. Elizabeth Nelson touched second with a 1:57.88.
Men’s 200 IM:
The men’s A final was stacked with talent, like World Junior Teammates Gunnar Bentz and Andrew Seliskar. However, after the first 50 was completed, the race was securely in Seliskar’s hands. Seliskar was a 22.21 after the butterfly, half a second ahead of the field. By the 100 Seliskar had extended his lead to a bodylength, turning at a 47.62. Seliskar was two bodylengths ahead at the 150 with his 1:43.76 split and surged to the finish, touching the wall for the win at a 1:43.76.
Bentz, who is swimming the championship meet unshaved, and previously won the 400 IM, touched second with a 1:46.45. Sam McHugh was a close third at a 1:46.64.