GREENSBORO, North Carolina, April 3. MIDDLE Tyger won another combined team title to cap a successful week at the YMCA short course nationals, which concluded tonight with four more national records.
Women 200 fly
Courtney Weaver and Remedy Rule battled for the win in the 200 butterfly at the YMCA short course nationals, with a tough national record on the line as well.
Though challenged throughout the race by Rule, Flint’s Weaver stayed in control and won with a 1:56.51, breaking Hali Flickinger’s meet mark of 1:56.52 and eclipsing her lifetime best of 1:57.24. Rule, representing Waynesboro, placed second with a 1:57.41 as she attempted to overtake Weaver on the final 25 yards. Rule has a personal best of 1:56.50 from last December’s USA Swimming junior nationals. Astrid Swensen of North Shore took third with a 1:57.87 to beat her lifetime best by a second.
Men 200 fly
Ben Creekmore defended his YMCA short course national title in the 200 butterfly by building his race through each 50 and charging hard in the final 50 yards.
Creekmore, representing Upper Mail Line YMCA, finished in 1:47.63, just eight hundredths of a second off his personal best from last year’s YMCA nationals. Maxwell Dolan took second with a 1:48.33 while Liam McKane finished third with a 1:49.48.
Women 100 free
A tight field of eight swimmers charged to the finish of the women’s 100 free at the YMCA short course nationals, with the electronic timing system needed to determine the close outcome.
Alexandra Meyers of Schroeder got her first win of the meet with a 49.89, just beating out 50 free champion Katrina Konopka. Konopka, representing Middle Tyger, notched a 49.92 for second, while Katie Kicklighter was third with a 50.13. The top eight was separated by just 1.1 seconds.
Men 100 free
Springfield’s Ryan Held capped off an impressive meet with another meet record, this time smashing the mark in the 100 free to dominate the race from start to finish.
Held won by a body length with a 43.31, beating Josh Fleagle’s meet record of 43.41 from 2012. It’s also a personal best for the future member of the NC State Wolfpack, taking down his 43.91 from this meet last year. Zachary Molloy of Ocean County took second with a 44.20, a lifetime best by six tenths of a second. Brad Zdroik of Somerset Valley placed third with a 44.74 to match his prelim time.
Women 200 IM
Meghan Small of York and York County had no peer in the final of the 200 IM at the YMCA short course nationals, winning by seven yards and breaking her own meet record.
Small posted a 29.33 backstroke split and a 33.73 breaststroke leg to pull away from the field and post a final time of 1:56.16. That demolished her meet record and lifetime best of 1:58.85 from last year. Sophie Cattermole of Sarasota placed second in a time of 2:01.06, while Middle Tyger’s Savanna Faulconer placed third with a 2:01.49.
Men 200 IM
Colin Ellington had some challengers in his quest to defend his 200 IM title at the YMCA short course nationals, but the 17-year-old got the win with a strong backstroke leg to ensure a victory.
Ellington, representing Triangle Area, posted a 1:47.32 to just miss Woody Joye’s meet record of 1:47.09 from 2009. Maxwell Dolan of Wilton was the chief rival, posting a time of 1:48.50 for second, while Conner McHugh of Door County took third with a 1:48.71.
Women 1650 free
York’s Courtney Harnish won her fourth title of the meet with another wire-to-wire victory, taking the 1650 freestyle to close out a prosperous YMCA short course nationals.
Harnish’s time of 16:09.77 helped the 14-year-old win by eight seconds, but it did not eclipse her personal best of 16:08.57. Harnish had a blistering open half of the race to distance herself from Downtown Boise’s Abbey Erwin, then stayed in the 29-second range for most of her 50-yard splits. Erwin was also mostly consistent in her splits, posting a 16:17.67 that beat her personal best by 17 seconds. Spence Atkins of Sarasota took third with a 16:25.58.
Men 1650 free
Sarasota’s Drew Clark came oh-so-close to the meet record in the 1650 freestyle, posting a 15:10.39 that missed Nick Caldwell’s standard of 15:10.16 from 2011.
Clark’s time beat his personal best by a whopping 19 seconds as he battled Wilton’s Ian Rainey for most of the race. By outsplitting Rainey by a few tenths in each 50, Clark was able to take the win by two seconds over Rainey’s 15:12.60, a lifetime best by an astonishing 29 seconds.
Well back in third was Sarasota’s Carter Page with his 15:23.41.
Women 400 free relay
With Middle Tyger sealing up the wins in the women’s and combined team races, the women’s 400 free relay could have essentially been a victory lap for Middle Tyger. But the race turned out differently.
Middle Tyger and York battled for the win in the final event, with superstars Meghan Small and Katrina Konopka racing to the finish. York’s foursome of Courtney Harnish (50.37), Niki Price (49.59), Emily Ilgenfritz (51.61) and Small (48.82) posted a 3:20.39 to beat out the Middle Tyger squad of Sydney Baker (51.73), Ali Galyer (50.16), Jessi Snoyer (49.63) and Konopka (48.96), who combined for a 3:20.48.
Well back in third was Triangle Area, who swam a 3:24.74.
Men 400 free relay
Triangle Area nearly broke the three-minute barrier to win the men’s 400 free relay at the YMCA short course national championships.
Alex Carson (45.73), Noah Franz (45.42), Chris Cohut (20.98) and Colin Ellington (43.80) posted a 3:00.63 to smash the meet record of 3:01.23 that a Triangle Area team posted in 2011. Cheshire, Wilton and Upper Main Line battled for the next spots, with Cheshire taking second in a 3:03.29, Wilton third in 3:03.48 and Upper Main Line fourth with a 3:03.92.
Middle Tyger (507) dominated in the women’s team scoring, beating out York and York County (382) and Sarasota (336). In the men’s scoring race, Wilton took the team trophy with 357, followed by Triangle Area (281) and Sarasota (234). Middle Tyger just missed out on top three with 231 points.
Middle Tyger took the combined team trophy with 738 points over Sarasota’s 570 and Triangle Area’s 501.