Ryan Lochte, Kathleen Baker Cruise At Charlotte Sectionals

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, March 15. RYAN Lochte and Kathleen Baker continued to roll Saturday night in Charlotte, as both swimmers picked up wins during the third night of racing at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center.

After setting a new sectional record in the women’s 200 fly this morning with a 1:54.78, Mount Pleasant’s Megan Kingsley couldn’t quite match her time in finals but still put up a solid 1:55.06 for a commanding victory in the event. Golden Isles’ Lauren Case finished second in 1:57.64, with SwimMAC’s Elsa Welshofer right on her heels in 1:57.91. In the men’s 200 fly, Hungarian Laszlo Cseh took down Ricky Berens’ 2006 sectional record of 1:45.60 by more than two seconds with a 1:43.42, which topped second place finisher Matthew Beach (1:47.02) of Excel Aquatics by three and a half seconds. North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Will Macmillan touched in 1:48.00 to take third.

SwimMAC Carolina completely dominated the women’s 50 free final, with seven of the eight competitors in the championship heat. Madison Kennedy led the way with a new sectional record of 22.05, lowering Maritza Correia’s 22.31 from 2006. Kennedy’s teammates took second and third, as Catherine Meili touched second in 22.56 and Kelsi Hall hit the wall in 22.58. Meanwhile, Ryan Lochte and Cullen Jones provided the crowd a thrill with an epic battle in the men’s 50. Jones just got to the wall first ahead of Lochte, 19.58 to 19.66. Jones broke the sectional record of 19.98 set by Alexei Puninski in 2005. Mark Weber, also of SwimMAC, took third in 20.04.

In the women’s 200 breast, SwimMAC’s Catherine Meili lowered the sectional record of 2:10.29 set by Dynamo’s Melissa Klein in 2002 with a 2:09.95. She finished five seconds in front of ET’s Mauela Sampaio, who swam a 2:14.99 for second. SwimMAC’s Maija Roses rounded out the top three in 2:15.02. Cardinal teammates Todd Owen and Carlos Almeida, the top two finishers in last night’s 100 breast, finished in a dead heat in the longer breaststroke event tonight. After Almeida turned with a slight lead at the halfway point, Owen had the faster second half and the two swimmers tied for first with matching 1:56.31s. They’ll share the new sectional record, as the previous mark had stood at 1:58.10 by Dave Denniston. Jeremiah Bohon of Mount Pleasant finished third in 2:01.63.

SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker, who has already had an outstanding meet with two individual wins last night, added another to her collection after breaking the sectional record en route to a win in the 100 back. Baker posted a time of 51.51 to take down her own record of 52.30 from prelims. Madison Kennedy, who won the 50 free earlier in the night, took second in 53.60, while another SwimMAC teenager, Nora McCullagh, rounded out the top three in 53.86.

Ryan Lochte continued what has been an exceptional meet on the road to recovery with a dominating swim in the 100 back. Lochte won the event by more than four seconds, touching in 45.34 to lower his own sectional record of 47.48 from this morning. Garrett Simpson of SwimMAC finished second with the only other sub-50 swim of the final heat at 49.78. Nathaniel Murray, also of SwimMAC, rounded out the top three in 50.06.

Thirteen-year-old Madison Homovich of North Carolina Aquatic Club put her stamp on the women’s 500 free, taking charge of the race after 100 yards and cruising to a 4:44.99. Anna Jahns of Gwinnett Aquatics also broke 4:50 with a 4:47.50, while Rebecca Postoll of SwimMAC placed third in 4:52.44. Dion Dreesens, the second place finisher in the 200 free last night, upgraded to first with the fastest swim in the men’s 500 free tonight. Dreesens won by eight seconds in 4:20.10, well ahead of Hungarian Laszlo Cseh (4:28.41) and North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Chip Peterson (4:29.39).

Going into the final day of racing tomorrow, SwimMAC has a gigantic lead in the combined team standings with 1,354 points. North Carolina Aquatic Club is second with 374 points, while Chattahoochee Gold is third with 326 points.

Results For: Speedo Champions Series – Charlotte, Day Three

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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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