Michael Andrew Takes Down Two NAG Records on Final Night of Junior Nationals

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By David Rieder

IRVINE, California, August 9.

Women’s 1500 Free
Sarasota Y’s Danielle Valley opened the final night of action with a commanding victory in the women’s 1500. She quickly jumped out to a bodylength lead and pulled away to take the win in 16:24.44. Sandpipers’ Erin Emery tried to stay with Valley early on while swimming from lane one, but she couldn’t hang on to the blistering pace of the race leader. Germantown’s Sierra Schmid ended up winning a tight race with Emery for second, touching in 16:32.90 to Emery’s 16:33.69.

Swim Florida’s Kendall Brent took fourth in 16:39.83, and Denver Hilltoppers Lauren Abruzzo grabbed fifth in 16:40.33. Mission Viejo’s Brooke Lorentzen led the way out of the early heats, and she cut more than 17 seconds off her previous best to move up to sixth place, clocking 16:41.32. Frisco Aquatics’ Gabrielle Kopenski (16:47.57) and Somerset Hills’ Regan Kology (16:49.16) also finished among the top eight.

Women’s 200 IM
Socal’s Ella Eastin used a strong backstroke leg to build a lead on the field in the final of the women’s 200 IM, maintained her lead on breaststroke, and she held on for the freestyle to complete the IM sweep at the meet. Eastin touched in 2:13.66, holding off Bluefish’s Brooke Zeiger, who touched second in 2:14.03. Meanwhile, York YMCA’s Meghan Small roared home with a 30.99 free split, but she couldn’t catch the top two. Small settled for third in 2:14.15.

Lubbock’s Madisyn Cox beat out Firestone’s Katelyn Miller on the free leg to win the B-final of the event, 2:17.45 to 2:17.66, while Redlands’ Sonia Wang dominated the C-final, winning in 2:18.03.

Men’s 200 IM
In one of the best races of the meet thus far, Nation’s Capital’s Andrew Seliskar held off Dynamo’s Gunnar Bentz after an epic head-to-head race in the men’s 200 IM. Seliskar touched just behind Aquazot’s Corey Okubo at the 100 split but he established a lead on breast. Bentz closed fast on breast and free, but Seliskar held on to win in 2:00.21, while Bentz clocked 2:00.46. Seliskar’s time took down a Michael Phelps National Age Group record, beating the 2:00.86 Phelps set back in 2001 for the 15-16 boys. Palo Alto Stanford’s Curtis Ogren grabbed third in 2:03.45. Okubo, meanwhile, ended up sixth in 2:04.18.

Kingfish’s Nick Arakelian put up a blistering 28.68 free split to pass Duke Aquatics’ Koya Osada and take the consolation final. Arakelian clocked 2:03.93, while Osada touched at 2:04.43. In the bonus final, College Area’s Thomas Anderson took the win in 2:05.05, while Island’s Michael Andrew finished second in 2:05.13. Andrew’s time crushed the 13-14 National Age Group record in the event, a 2:06.50 that swimming legend Michael Phelps set back in 2000.

Women’s 50 Free
Just over a half second separated the field entering the final of the women’s 50 free, but Canyons’ Abbigail Weitzeil held a quarter-second lead after prelims. That exact margin held up in the final, as Weitzeil picked up a dominant victory with a time of 25.27. Mission Viejo’s Katie McLaughlin made yet another podium, finishing second in 25.52 after she had won both fly events earlier in the week. SwimMAC Carolina’s Nora McCullagh finished third in 25.72.

Both the B and C finals featured blanket finishes in which the winner edged the runner-up by just hundredths of a second both times. North Mecklenberg’s Emily Allen beat Ozaukee’s Samantha Senczyszyn, 26.13 to 26.17. Bolles Kasey Schmidt won the C-final in 26.04, just ahead of Delaware’s Lily Dubroff, who touched in 26.07.

Men’s 50 Free
Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel starred in prelims of the 50 free with a 22.39, breaking his own 15-16 National Age Group record, but teammate Santo Condorelli stepped up in the final to take the win in a swift 22.32. Dressel ended up touching second in 22.66, completing his impressive week in Irvine, while Splash Aquatic Club’s Paul Powers came in third at 22.92. North Texas Nadadores’ Brett Ringgold ended up taking fourth in 22.96, rounding out the sub-23 times.

Island’s Michael Andrew lowered his second 13-14 National Age Group record of the night with the win in the B-final. Andrew clocked 23.38, edging his previous mark of 23.47 from earlier this year. Duneland’s Blake Pieroni and Peddie’s Patrick Park ended up tying for the C-final win with both clocking 23.58.

Men’s 800 Free
Sarasota Y’s Alexander Katz picked up his second win of the meet, dominating the final heat of the men’s 800. He closed strongly to touch in 8:04.77, which ended up being just enough to beat out Santa Clara’s Aidan Burns, who had established the top time out of the early heats with an 8:05.35. Davie Nadadores’ Christopher Wieser, also swimming the afternoon heats, finished third in 8:06.68.

Crimson’s Liam Egan finished fourth in 8:08.52 after finishing second to Katz in the final heat. North Texas Nadadores’ Jonathan Roberts backed up his win in the 1500 with a fifth-place finish in the 800, clocking 8:08.54, while Dayton Raiders’ Brock Turner (8:10.33), Mission Viejo’s Nick Norman (8:10.47), and Sandpipers’ Logan Houck (8:10.65) rounded out the top eight.

400 Medley Relay
SwimMAC Carolina took first in the women’s 400 medley relay. Nora McCullagh, Maija Roses, Alyssa Marsh, and Jessica Merritt combined to swim 4:10.32 for the win. The Aquajets finished second in 4:11.39, and Dynamo grabbed third in 4:12.89. For the men, Nation’s Capital put together a strong team consisting of John Shebat, Carsten Vissering, Andrew Seliskar, and Graham Baird. That foursome grabbed the medley relay win in 3:46.23, while Palo Alto Stanford finished second in 3:47.2, and the Dayton Raiders touched third in 3:48.66.

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