The first night of the 2017 Futures Championships in Geneva, Ohio brought speedy distance swims from Meghan Joram of Team Pittsburgh and Daniel Berlitz of Parkland Aquatic Club. It also saw dominating relay finishes from Empire Swimming on the women’s side and Hudson Explorers Aquatic Club on the men’s side.
The women’s 800 freestyle title was led by the fearless Meghan Joram of Team Pittsburgh, who dropped a whopping 11.87 seconds from her seed time to go 8:53.05 in the final. Behind Joram, the Portland Porpoises’ 14-year-old Emily Ecker swam a blazing 9:03.88 to top her more senior competitors.
Representing Weymouth Club Waves, Emily Appleton added three seconds to her seed time but slid in for third, just ahead of Cape Cod Swim Club’s Michelle Guo. The difference for Appleton was her more consistent progressions of 100 splits, which built in time for her to hold of Guo’s late charge in the final 100 meters. Appleton was good for 9:04.69, while Guo finished in 9:05.12.
Meanwhile, in the men’s distance event of the night, the 1500 meter freestyle, Daniel Berlitz of Parkland Aquatic Club had a time drop that topped even Jorma, shaving off 24.78 seconds to go 15:57.31 and take home the gold medal. Berlitz maintained complete control over his race, as he was unafraid to take it out but stayed steady in the middle hundreds to come back quickly.
Scarlet Aquatics’ Kyle Iorizzo swam a textbook race but failed to find the same kind of back half speed as Berlitz; nonetheless, Iorizzo had a 10.68 second time drop himself to earn silver in 16:01.74. The University of Pittsburgh’s Ryan Schonbachler attempted to hold pace with Berlitz but fell off the pace in the end; he rounded out the podium with a 16:09.50.
In the women’s 800 freestyle relay, victory belonged to Empire Swimming, who brought together Madison Hartigan, Kate Amar, Josephine Panitz, and Georgia Panitz for their first title of the meet in 8:31.36. The next closest finisher was Delaware Swim Team, who came in as the fourteenth seed with a yard time but surprised the field.
The real race proved to be for third, as Bluefish Swim Club and Victor Swim Club matched up. Despite a valiant effort from Victor’s Alyssa Helak (2:06.29), Bluefish Swim Club’s Abigail Maguire managed to get her hand to the wall first for her team. The third-place finishing team stopped the clock in 8:38.23, while Victor touched just behind in 8:38.96.
On the men’s side, Hudson Explorer Aquatic Club topped Empire Swimming with a time of 7:49.85. Both relays had a blazing 1:55 200 split by one of their swimmers; Hudson propelled Jay Johnson (1:55.61) in the lead-off, while Empire boasted Liam Bogart (1:55.27). Thanks to Bogart’s swim, Empire took a convincing second in 7:52.84. In the mean time, North Penn Aquatic Club snatched up third with a 7:55.84.
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