Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, March 15. JUNIOR swimmers from SwimMAC-Carolina impressed in the first full day of competition at the Speedo East Section Southern Zone Sectional championships, winning seven events and setting a national age group record in the men's 400 free relay.
SwimMAC made it a relay sweep tonight with a victory in the men's 400 free relay in 2:56.15.The time swum by individual event winners Matthew Josa, Jack Manchester, Michael Chadwick and Kyle Darmody breaks the 17-18 national age group record of 2:57.69 these four swam at the 2012 junior nationals, and a SwimMAC-held 15-18 record of 2:56.73 from 2011 that featured Darmody.
Though the Bolles School has put up 400 free relay swims much faster than 2:56.15 this season, those relays do not count for national age group records, because swimmers on those relays are not American citizens. USA Swimming rules dictate that national age group records can only be set by American citizens.
If the SwimMAC foursome went to the same high school, they would have the second-fastest time ever swum by a high school team, behind the 2:54.43 posted by Bolles in November.
Claire Donahue, who placed seventh in the Olympic 100 fly final, won the short course yards version handily in Nashville with a 52.74. Her lifetime best is a 51.68 from the 2011 NCAA championships. The Western Kentucky graduate won by seven tenths of a second over SwimMAC-Carolina's Kathleen Baker, who swam a 53.07. Baker's teammate Elsa Welshofer was third with a 53.93.
The 100 fly was Baker's second event of the night. The 16-year-old started the session with a win in the 200 freestyle with a 1:46.22, a lifetime best by three seconds, though still a few seconds behind top swimmers in her age group, such as Katie Ledecky, Becca Mann and Simone Manuel. Baker's fellow SwimMAC-Carolina teammate Nora McCullagh was second with a 1:47.28, while Stingrays' Rebecca Postoll took third with a 1:47.37. The oldest swimmer in the field was 17-year-old Stephanie Peters, who was fifth with a 1:49.83, showing promise among younger swimmers in this sectional meet.
Kip Darmody, the younger brother of Texas NCAA champion Kip Darmody, made it two-for-two with lifetime bests for event winners with a 200 free victory in 1:36.83. His best time was a 1:38.97 from the 2011 junior nationals. Matthew Josa and Jack Manchester made it a 1-2-3 sweep for SwimMAC-Carolina with times of 1:36.95 and 1:37.88, respectively, both also swimming lifetime bests. For Josa, it was his first time under 1:40.
The women's 100 breast featured another SwimMAC-Carolina 1-2-3 sweep with Alexa Martelle (1:01.66), Maija Roses (1:02.42) and Caitlin Casazza (1:02.50) taking the podium spots.
In the men's 100 breast, DeKalb Aquatics' Devyn Hughes held off SwimMAC's Michael Chadwick for the win with a 55.71 to Chadwick's 55.96. Both swimmers skipped right over the 56-second barrier for lifetime best times and first swims in the 55-second range. Garrett House of duke was third with a 56.51.
After finishing second in the 200 free, Josa got a big win in the men's 100 fly with a 46.92, dropping six tenths off his lifetime best from the 2012 winter junior nationals. Jimmy Yoder was second with a 48.60, while Kyle Darmody came back from a 200 free win with a 48.88.
SwimMAC-Carolina featured six swimmers in the championship final of the women's 400 IM, led by Nora McCullagh's winning time of 4:16.02. She built her lead from the start and increased it to win by three seconds over Alexa Martelle's 4:19.67. Currie Murch Elliot touched third with a 4:20.03.
Koya Osada, a 16-year-old from Duke Aquatics, won the men's 400 IM with a 3:52.41, ahead of Zach Bunner of GOLD, second with a 3:53.27 and Garrett House of Duke, placed third with a 3:55.91.
Consistent 50-second relay legs gave SwimMAC-Carolina the clear win in the women's 400 free relay, in a time of 3:21.38 over the Stingrays, who were second with a 3:27.28. The TS swim team from Kentucky placed third with a 3:29.30.