Junior National Championships: Gillian Ryan, Allie Szekely Pick Up Third Victories; North Baltimore Lowers Meet Record in 800m Free Relay

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 16. GILLIAN Ryan of North Baltimore Aquatic Club and Allie Szekely of the Central Bucks Swim Team have quickly become the stars in Indianapolis after both swimmers earned their third victory of the meet tonight. In the final event this evening, Ryan helped her teammates lower the meet record in the 800m free relay.

Ryan grabbed the freestyle triple this evening, adding the 200m free title to her previous wins in the 400m and 800m free earlier in the meet. She was the only swimmer to break 2:00 in this evening's final, as she touched in 1:59.22 to win comfortably. Mission Viejo's Kathryn McLaughlin added another top three finish with a second place effort of 2:01.43, while Ryan's teammate, Cierra Runge, touched third in 2:01.48.

Meanwhile, Asphalt Green's Michael Domagala was the only swimmer in the men's field to crack 1:50, as he stopped the clock in 1:49.88 for the victory. That just missed Clay Youngquist's 2010 meet record of 1:49.37. Thane Maudslien of King Aquatic Club held on for second in 1:51.34, followed by SwimMAC Carolina's Peter Brumm in third (1:51.93).

Budding breaststroke sensation Allie Szekely picked up her third win of the meet in the women's 100m breast, touching in 1:10.62. Szekely turned in eighth place at the 50m mark before posting the fastest second split by more than a second and a half and overtaking the entire field. Earlier in the meet, she won the 200m breast in meet record time, and then the 400m IM one day later. Central Iowa's Katharine Ross went out first at the wall but faded to second in 1:10.85. Crow Canyon's Heidi Poppe took third in 1:11.16.

The men's 100m breast came down to the final stroke, as the top five swimmers finished within .36 of each other. Curl Burke's Carsten Vissering had just enough punch to get the victory, hitting the pads in 1:03.44. Steven Stumph of Orinda Aquatics and Gage Crosby of Razorback Aquatics posted matching 1:03.54s to tie for second.

King Aquatic Club's Hannah Weiss, the top qualifier from this morning in the women's 100m back, got the job done again tonight, holding off the rest of the field to win in 1:02.22. Irvine Novaquatics' Courtney Mykkanen stayed right with Weiss the whole way but came up short at the wall, touching in 1:02.30 for second. Bridgette Alexander of J-Hawk Aquatic Club rounded out the top three in 1:02.53.

Taylor Dale gave Carpet Capital Aquatics Club its first victory of the meet by winning the men's 100m back in 55.98, not far off the meet record of 55.46 set by Vladimir Morozov in 2010. Aaron Greene of the North Texas Nadadores claimed second in 56.31, while Orinda Aquatics' Sven Campbell and SwimMAC Carolina's Matthew Josa shared the third step of the podium with identical 56.50s.

In the women's 800m free relay, Mary Pelton, Willa Wang, Cierra Runge and Gillian Ryan joined forces to produce the fastest time ever swum at this meet, an 8:12.15. Palo Alto Stanford set the previous meet record of 8:12.40 at last summer's championships. The Pleasanton Seahawks took second in 8:16.45, followed by SwimMAC Carolina in 8:17.06.

Heading into the final day of competition tomorrow, SwimMAC Carolina held onto its lead in the team race with 259 points. The Pleasanton Seahawks remain in second, 31 points behind with 228. North Baltimore Aquatic Club has overtaken Mission Viejo for third, 196 points to 194.

Be sure to check out all of Peter Bick's photos in the Junior Nationals Photo Gallery, like the one below:

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