ORLANDO, Florida, March 20. THERE was a strong showing in the men’s and women’s 200 yard backstroke to kick off the first official night of finals at the 2014 NCSA Junior National Championships. Dynamo’s Kylie Stewart became just the seventh woman in history to break the 1:50 mark in the event.
Girl’s 200 Backstroke:
All eyes were on top qualifier Stewart who cruised to a 1:54.72 in the prelims, but had a previous lifetime best at a 1:50.66. Stewart set a NAG in the event at the meet last year. Stewart first split a 25.78 at the 50 and by the 100 (53.43), she was a body length ahead of the competition. Stewart touched first with a 1:49.85, making her just the seventh woman in history to swim under the 1:50 mark in the event. This means Stewart joins the ranks of American record holder Elizabeth Pelton, British Olympian Gemma Spofforth, Olympic champion Missy Franklin, the legendary Natalie Coughlin, Olympic medalist Elizabeth Beisel and NCAA champion Kate Fesenko.
Boy’s 200 Backstroke:
Top qualifier Tristan Sanders of Palm Harbor YMCA Piranhas went into the finals with a 1:44.19. He smashed his time in the final with a 1:41.84 for the win, nearly two seconds ahead of second place finisher Sam McHugh of Baylor Swim Club (1:43.82). McHugh placed second in the 1000 freestyle on the first night of finals. Sanders made his move at the 100, splitting a 49.80 to the feet. Third place went to Lincoln Select’s Brennan Balogh with a 1:44.08.