ORLANDO, Florida, March 14. ANDREW Seliskar was the ironman tonight with four swims this evening. Meanwhile, RMSC's Jack Conger turned in a special night, while Clearwater's Becca Mann also showed some strength at the NCSA Junior National Championships. The swims all took place LIVE on SwimmingWorld.TV sponsored by SpeedoUSA. For complete coverage, check the event landing page.
Nation's Capital Aquatics' Janet Hu broke 24 seconds to capture the women's 50-yard fly title in 23.87. She clocked a 24.04 this morning to tie with Academy Bullets' Mary Schneider in prelims, which served as the lifetime best for Hu. Hu's previous best had been a 24.40 from the 2011 NCSA Junior Nationals. Schneider touched in 24.04 yet again tonight, just short of her personal record of 23.95 from the 2012 NCSA Juniors.
Jack Conger of Rockville-Montgomery, who is headed to Texas after his senior season, twice lowered his lifetime best in the men's 50-yad fly. Conger first posted a 21.83 in prelims before winning this evening in 21.08. His previous best was a 21.88 from the 2011 NCSAs. NCAP's Andrew Seliskar surged to second in 21.31 after posting a 21.82 this morning. USC-bound Michael Domagala of Asphalt Green placed third in 21.48 in what proved to be a strong finale.
Aguajets's Olivia Anderson, 15, cleared 29 seconds twice today in the women's 50-yard breast after coming into the meet with a lifetime best of 29.13 from last year's NCSA Junior Nationals. Anderson first posted a 28.90 in prelims before winning in 28.32 tonight. Last night's 100-yard breast victor Kennedy Lohman of Lakeside, also 15, took second in 28.37. Rae Bullinger, the prelim leader with a 28.59 for the Aquajets, took third in 28.70.
Tide's Austin Temple relegated Seliskar to silver again with a 24.86 to 24.94 victory in the men's 50-yard breast. Machine's Brandon Fiala finished in a third-place tie with Andrew Schuehler with matching 25.44s. NCAP's Carsten Vissering and Panama City's Michael Duderstadt tied for fifth with matching 25.46s.
First Colony's Simone Manuel, who took down a Dagny Knutson 15-16 U.S. National Age Group record last night in the 100-yard free, came up a bit short of Knutson's 200-yard freestyle mark of 1:42.81 tonight. Manuel did, however, clip her lifetime best with a winning time of 1:44.22. That swim edged the 1:44.86 she clocked at the 2012 U.S. Winter National Championships a few months ago. Dynamo's Kylie Stewart, who had a national age group record of her own, took second in 1:45.32, just missing her personal record of 1:45.26 from Winter Nationals. Hu earned her second podium of the night with a third-place 1:46.74.
Conger doubled up with a sizzling time of 1:34.27 in the men's 200-yard free. That swim just missed his best time of 1:34.16 set as a relay leadoff at the 2012 Tom Dolan Invitational, both times coming within a second of Troy Dalbey's historic 1987 17-18 U.S. National Age Group record of 1:33.28. Bolles' Caeleb Dressel raced into second with a 1:35.51, which along with his prelim 1:37.91, eclipsed his previous best of 1:38.25 set at the 2011 U.S. Junior Nationals. He just missed Kyle Gornay's 15-16 national age group record of 1:34.99 from earlier this year. AGUA's Michael Domagala claimed third in 1:37.28, while First Colony's Brett Pinfold also beat 1:38 with a fourth-place 1:37.64.
Clearwater's Becca Mann snared the women's 400-yard IM victory with a sterling time of 4:07.51. That time clipped her previous best of 4:08.73 from the Al Soltis Memorial in January. Delaware's Kaitlyn Jones also cleared 4:08 with a 4:07.99 for second-place honors. Her time this morning of 4:11.50 was her personal best, clearing the 4:11.67 from the 2011 Tom Dolan Invitational. Her finale time obliterating both of those efforts. Stewart podiumed for the second time tonight with a third-place 4:09.15. Stewart cleared her lifetime best of 4:13.49 twice today, first with a 4:12.77 in prelims.
After a few silvers tonight, NCAP's Andrew Seliskar crushed the breaststroke leg of the men's 400-yard IM en route to a lifetime-best win of 3:44.83. That time cut a second-and-a-half off his previous best of 3:46.13 from Winter Nationals, and moved the 16 year old close to Michael Phelps' unbelievable 15-16 National Age Group record of 3:42.08 from 2002. Northern Kentucky Clipper Max Williamson turned in a strong time of his own with a second-place 3:46.74, cutting three seconds off his previous best of 3:49.19 from last year's NCSAs. Nitro's William Licon turned in a third-place time of 3:47.75.
In one of the closest finishes of the night, NCAP's Janet Hu (48.79), Laura Branton (51.63), Kristina Li (50.69) and Hannah Baker (50.37) took the women's 400-yard free relay title with a 3:21.48. Aquajets' Kaia Grobe (50.52), Zoe Avestruz (50.50), Emma Paulson (50.90) and Rachel Wittmer (49.67) took a close second in 3:21.59. Third and fourth place also had a shot at the crown as Dynamo's Kylie Stewart, Caitlin Cooper, Katie Christy and Nicole Stafford placed third in 3:21.82. SwimAtlanta's Kaitlin Grover, Aja Malone, Rachel Muller and Kaitlin Kitchens finished fourth in 3:21.92.
NCAP swept the relays on the night as Andrew Seliskar (44.97), Chris Grimmett-Norris (45.10), Grant Goddard (45.57) and Paul O'Hara (44.81) raced to the men's 400-yard free relay win in a sterling 3:00.45. Club Wolverine's Josh Ehrman, Chris Klein, Adam Whitener and David Boland took second in 3:01.42. That's nearly the same team that broke the national public high school record for Saline High in the 200-yard medley relay earlier this week in Michigan. Rockville-Montgomery's Barrett Mangold, Jack Conger, Matt Colkett and Brady Welch rolled to third in 3:01.75 with a stunning 43.10 split by Conger.