NASHVILLE, Tenn., December 5. AMANDA Weir once again showed why she is one of the world's greatest swimmers winning the night's marquee event, the Open Women's 200 yard Freestyle.
The A-Final was made up entirely of women who have competed at the National Championships and featured 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Julia Stowers of Pilot-Knoxville. Weir swam away from the field in a National Championship Qualifying Time of 1:47.32.
While the 200 Free was perhaps the best collection of great swims, the individual performance of the night goes to 17 year old Margo McCawley of Memphis Thunder Aquatic Club. McCawley, a member of the 2002-2003 National Junior Team, swam to a 1:56.64 in the Women's 200 yard Backstroke, more than four seconds under the National Time Standard. The swim also set new Southeastern Swimming LSC Records in the 17-18 and Open Women's category, records that were set by Tracy Caulkins of Nashville Aquatic Club in 1981 (1:57.02).
Not to be outdone by the women, there was some fine swimming performances turned in by the men tonight. Kevin Nead of Anderson Barracudas swam to a National Championship Qualifying Time of 3:55.26 in the Men's 400 yard Individual Medley.
Closing the night of swimming was Michael Gilliam who anchored Nashville Aquatic Club's 400 yard Freestyle Relay to a 3:03.51, well under the National Championship Standard. Gilliam, who claimed two hard fought individual victories in the 200 yard Freestyle and 200 yard Backstroke earlier in the evening, was joined by brother Craig, Tyler Johnson, and Clark Henson on the Relay.
National Championship Qualifying Times were also turned in on Friday night by Caroline Burckle of Lakeside Seahawks (100 yard Breaststroke-1:03.57), Elmwood Sharks' David Maras (100 yard Breaststroke-56.21), as well as Swim Atlanta's (3:26.00) and Nashville Aquatic Club's (3:31.33) Women's 400 yard Freestyle Relays.
Nashville Aquatic Club has opened a 309 point lead over Swim Atlanta after the first day of competition. Pilot-Knoxville and Lakeside are just behind in what is sure to be a down-to-the-wire team battle. Competition continues tomorrow with preliminaries beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Results and scores can be found at: http://www.swimnac.com/MusicCityInvite03_main.html