INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 13. ALLIE Szekely set a new meet record and gave Amanda Beard's 13-14 National Age Group Record in the 200m breast a scare tonight, while Gillian Ryan and Jordan Wilimovsky also set meet records during the first night of competition at the Speedo Junior National Championships.
Tualatin Hills' Michelle Cefal brought home the first individual event title of the meet, capturing the women's 200m fly in 2:10.35, a time that would've placed sixth at Trials in June. Madison Wright of Kingfish Aquatics came in second in 2:11.28, while Mission Viejo's Kathryn McLaughlin rounded out the top three in 2:12.92.
Denver Swim Academy's Clark Smith lowered his personal best in the 200m fly by more than half a second to claim victory in 1:58.64. He entered the meet with a 1:59.33. James Yoder of the Stingrays nearly broke the 2-minute mark for the first time but came up just short, touching second in 2:00.41. Blue Devil Swim Club's Matthew Conway, the top seed coming into finals, wound up third tonight in 2:00.58.
Fourteen-year-old Allie Szekely of the Central Bucks Swim Team crushed the field in the women's 200m breast on her way to a new meet record of 2:26.35, lowering Emma Schoettmer's record of 2:27.99 from last summer. Had she swam that time at Trials, she would've placed fifth, just in front of 2004 Olympic gold medalist Amanda Beard. Szekely needs a 2:25.75 to break Beard's 13-14 National Age Group Record in the event, which she posted at the 1996 Olympics. Second place finisher Bethany Leap of the Sarasota YMCA Sharks was way behind in second in 2:33.78, while Lakeland Hills' Abigail Fisher rounded out the top three in 2:34.55.
Top-qualifier Steven Stumph of Orinda Aquatics solidified his top ranking in the men's 200m breast by collecting the title with a 2:15.24. Gage Crosby of Razorback Aquatics, the fifth place qualifier this morning, surged into second with a 2:17.17. Nicolas Hatanaka of Loveland Swim Club rounded out the top three finishers in 2:17.89.
North Baltimore's Gillian Ryan, last summer's national champion in the women's 800m free, had no trouble dispatching the competition tonight, winning by 14 seconds in 8:30.84. That lowered Lauren Driscoll's 2010 meet record of 8:35.43 by almost five seconds. Ryan's winning time last summer was an 8:27.64. Brooke Lorentzen of Mission Viejo recorded a new personal best to finish second in 8:43.92. Allison Brown of the Pleasanton Seahawks also lowered her seed time with an 8:47.31 for third.
Team Santa Monica's Jordan Wilimovsky continued the meet record-breaking trend in the men's 1500m free, posting a 15:23.01 to slice two seconds off Will Freeman's 2009 record of 15:25.44. Mission Viejo's David Heron dropped seven seconds to take second in 15:28.50, while Clifford Goertemiller of the Dayton Raiders cut 14 seconds off his personal best to take third in 15:30.39.
Mission Viejo leads the combined team standings after day one with 79 points. The Sarasota YMCA Sharks are second with 66 points, while the Dayton Raiders sit third with 43 points.
Check out more of Peter Bick's photos from the Junior Nationals Photo Gallery, like the one below: