By John Lohn
ORLANDO, Florida, March 23. WEDNESDAY proved to be a big night for the Arizona Desert Fox, as the second day of the National Club Swimming Association Junior Nationals went in the books.
Alex Righi, an 18-year-old for the Desert Fox, obliterated the field in the 100-yard freestyle with a clocking of 44.24. Not only did Righi win the race by nearly two seconds, he broke the meet record of 44.36, set by Matt McGinnis last year.
Righi took the first 50 yards out in 21.01, allowing him to turn nearly a second ahead of the Raleigh Swimming Association's Kyle Kluba, who shared second place in 45.85 with Taylor Turner of the Desert Fox. Ann Arbor's Bryan Vessels earned fourth place in 45.90.
The Arizona Desert Fox also bested the competition in the girls’ 200 freestyle relay, as the quartet of Christa Riggins, Katherine Raatz, Alexandra Clarke and Samantha Elbert hit the wall in 1:34.39.
Elbert anchored in 23.26, allowing the Fox to narrowly edge the team from the Raleigh Swimming Association, which notched a time of 1:34.42. Ann Arbor Swim Club finished third in 1:34.42.
Curl-Burke’s Liz Kemp secured victory in the girls’ 100 freestyle, holding off Parkway's Jessica Cole at the wall. Kemp touched in 50.32, slightly ahead of Cole’s 50.35 swim for Parkway Swim Club. Christine Marshall (Typhoon Aquatics) was third in 50.42.
Parkway’s Elizabeth Smith snagged a meet record in the 200 breaststroke, thanks to a time of 2:12.90. The performance was slightly quicker than the 2:13.10 of Rockville-Montgomery's Colleen Haase and broke the competition record of 2:13.01, set by Alicia Jensen last season.
In the boys’ 200 breaststroke, Pine Crest’s Bradley Ally easily posted the fastest time of the night session, but his 1:59.70 was good for only ninth place as Ally misjudged his prelim swim and had to settle for a berth only in the consolation final. In turn, Bradley Mitchell was the 200 breast winner in 2:01.69 for the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester (New York).
Although Ally missed out on his chance to win the 200 breast, his night was far from a disappointment. After all, Ally claimed gold in the 200 backstroke in 1:46.79, nearly a second ahead of Magnus Aquatics’ Bjorn Falk (1:47.69).
Fourteen year-old Ben Decker of Blue Tide Aquatics finished fourth but his 2:02.89 set a national age group record for boys 13-14. Decker's splits: 27.74 – 58.68 (30.94) – 1:30.61 (31.93) – 2:02.89 (32.28) The former record was set in 2003.
On the female side, Michelle Parkhurst (Machine Aquatic) topped the opposition in the 200 back with her 1:59.71 outdistancing Erica Meissner’s mark of 1:59.90. Meissner (Magnus Aquatic) held the lead at the three-quarter mark, but Parkhurst closed a half-second faster in the last 50 yards.
In the 200 butterfly, Laura Leclair (Nova of Virginia) and Sven Hinrichsen (Curl-Burke) earned the top spot on the podium. Leclair clocked in at 1:58.74, finishing in front of Suburban Swim Center’s Kelly Nelson (2:00.80). As for Hinrichsen, he went 1:48.47, better than the 1:48.96 of Doug Lennox of Lake Forest.
The final event of the night was won by the Raliegh Swimming Association, as the foursome of Kluba, Jonathan Roberts, William Dove and Eric McGinnis teamed for a time of 1:23.72 in the 200 free relay.