ORLANDO, Florida, March 22. A national age group record by Michael Andrew woke up the crowd today in the last prelims session at the NCSA short course junior nationals.
With plans to scratch from the 200 IM finals, Andrew went after his 13-14 national age group record of 1:47.44 in the event. With Nation’s Capital Andrew Seliskar pacing Michael Andrew in the 29th heat, Andrew was able to post a 1:47.42 to get the record. It was his fifth NAG record of the meet. Andrew scratched from the final, moving ninth-place finisher Jacob Miller of Redbird up to the championship final. Seliskar posted the top time in the field with a 1:46.62. Sam McHugh of Baylor moves up to the second spot with a 1:48.10, with Jae Park of NASA Wildcat in third with a 1:48.80.
Seliskar is also the top seed in the 50 back with his 22.06 from this morning. Lucas Kaliszak, the 100 back champion, qualified second with a 22.11 while John Shebat of Nation’s Capital qualified third with a 22.67.
Seliskar also finds himself in the championship final of the 50 freestyle, qualifying fourth with a 20.41. Andrew took the top seed with a 20.33 and will chasing his national age group mark of 19.85. Justin Plaschka, who was third in the 50 free last night, posted a 20.36 for second qualifying position and James Jones of Nation’s Capital will be the third-fastest qualifier with a 20.40. It’s a lifetime best for Jones, while Seliskar and Plaschka both have times in the 20.0 range for lifetime bests.
Like Seliskar, Hu will be busy tonight with three individual event finals, not to mention the 400 medley relay to conclude the meet. Hu is top seed in the 50 backstroke thanks to a 24.75, just holding off Elizabeth Nelson and her 24.79. Nelson has been second or third numerous times this week, and is still hunting for her first victory. Zoe Avestruz of Aquajets is also looking for her first win, and qualified third with a 24.79 to put her in position for the gold medal tonight.
Hu posted the only sub-2:00 swim in 200 IM prelims today with a 1:59.77. She has a lifetime best 1:57.31 to her credit and might need that to hold off 400 IM winner Katherine Drabot, who qualified second with a 2:00.23. Nelson will be in the hunt as well with a 2:00.78, and don’t count out Kylie Stewart of Dynamo, who will be seeded fourth with a 2:01.17. Her best time is a 1:58.04.
Hu was unable to grab the top seed in the women’s 50 freestyle, as First Colony’s Simone Manuel nabbed that spot with a 22.22. Hu will be the second seed with a 22.49. The future Stanford teammates will be eyeing Hu’s 17-18 national age group record of 21.82, which she set last December. Manuel’s best time is 22.04, so she’s looking to break through the big barrier tonight after claiming the 100 free national age group record on Wednesday.
Tonight’s competition will also feature the fastest timed-final heats of the women’s and men’s 1650 freestyle, as well as the fastest two heats of the 400 medley relays.