Samantha Ai Highlights Fast Swimming on Night One of Maryland State Champs

By Wynne Kirchner

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, March 7. MARYLAND swimmers came ready to race at the Naval Academy’s Lejeune Hall as there were many extremely quick performances on the first night of the Maryland LSC State Championships.

Women’s 13-14 800 Free Relay
North Baltimore Aquatic Club won the race handily, winning with a time of 7:40.47, which was faster than what won the Open girls 800 Free Relay. Easop Lee produced an anchor leg of 1:49.40 to power the team to the finish, while Lauren Poole (1:57.24), Elizabeth Fry (1:56.85), and Chase Kalisz’s younger sister, Cassie (1:56.98) set it up for win. Eagle Swim Team, powered by a 1:55.81 second leg by Alayna Nielson, finished 2nd overall with a 7:54.02. Monocacy Aquatic Club rounded out the top 3 with a 7:58.76.

Men’s 13-14 800 Free Relay
NBAC and Naval Academy Aquatic Club went head to head for the first 3 legs with both teams separated by only .13 headed into the final leg. Dylan Arzoni from North Baltimore then dropped the hammer with a 1:45.16 split to pull from Zach Dean of Naval Academy, who himself went a speedy 1:46.9. NBAC finished with an overall time of 7:18.49, while Naval Academy was 2nd with a 7:20.38. Monocacy Aquatic Club finished 3rd with a 7:28.09, thanks in large part to Zach Althoff splitting a 1:46.6 on the anchor.

Women’s 800 Free Relay
It was a tight 3-team race between Loyola Blakefield, Arena Club Aquatics, and NBAC. Loyola Blakefield’s team of Kendall Krumenacker, Hannah Gouger, MaryKate Clancy, and Johnna Hock held off the field for a 7:42.74 victory. Arena Club finished second with a 7:43.52 thanks to big 1:50.8 split from Megan Cowan. NBAC tried to steal it at the end with a 1:51.6 from Korby Simpson, but fell short with a 3rd place 7:44.21.

Men’s 800 Free Relay
Arena Club Aquatics pulled off an upset and dominated the race from start to finish. Dan Golczewski got out with a blistering 1:40.07 leadoff, followed by David Gross who split a staggering 1:39.7, Brian Wilson kept the hammer down with a 1:44.9, and defending state champ in the 200 breast, Kyle Paxton, brought it home with a 1:45.7, as the team finished with a 6:50.52. (Here is the link to an interview with the team.) Naval Academy touched out Loyola Blakefield at the end, with Naval Academy finishing with a 6:54.99, while Loyola was 9-hundreths back with a 6:55.08.

Girls 10 & Under 500 Free
NBAC proved why they are still one of the top age-group programs in the country as Caroline Benda dropped 16 seconds to win with a 5:53.95. Ella Martin of Naval Academy finished second also thanks to a 16 second drop finishing in 5:58.19. Nelle Ray of Chesepeake Bay Aquatic Club finished 3rd with a 5:59.28.

Boys 10 & Under 500 Free
Alex Lakatta of NBAC was all alone in the race, winning handily with a strong 5:28.03. Gavin Currie of Monocacy Aquatic Club swam a big personal best to nab second with a 5:46.67, while Alan Cherches of JCC-MD, was 3rd with a 5:54.81.

Girls 11-12 500 Free
Samantha Ai of NBAC had one of the swims of the night with an unbelievable 5:07.05 to win by a full pool length. Ai, who is only 11, dropped 18 seconds off her previous best tonight. If she has a similar drop next year, she could threaten Sippy Woodhead’s NAG record of 4:49. Tori McCullough of Naval Academy finished 2nd with a very impressive 5:23.93. Abigail Selnick of Retriever Aquatic Club rounded out the top 3 with a 5:25.67.

Men’s 11-12 500 Free
The boys tried to top Ai’s winning time and came close, but ultimately fell a little short. David Gostomski of Eagle Swim Team produced a big personal to win in 5:08.95. Conor Vienneau of Chespeake Bay was 2nd with a 5:11.28. Timothy Van Netta of Retriever Aquatic Club was 3rd with a 5:17.60.

Women’s 1000 Free
Megan Fields of NBAC was 1st in the 14 & under category going 10:24.95, with her teammate Lexi Kolodgie finishing second with a 10:29.57. Jessie Williams of Monocacy was 3rd with a 10:34.73.
In the Open category, Dani Potis of NBAC was 1st with a 10:05.72 and teammate Maddie Runge was 2nd with a 10:12.83. Erin Dougherty of Naval Academy captured 3rd with a 10:17.86.

Men’s 1000 Free
In the 14 & under age group bracket, Zach Dean took first with the only sub-10 swim, going a 9:58.30 for the win. Sean Twomey of Annapolis Swim Club wasn’t far behind with a 10:01.02 and Kevin Lin of Monocacy took 3rd with a 10:12.74.

Ben Lawless of PEAK and David Gross of Arena Club destroyed the 1000 free, with both going senior national qualifying times. Lawless took first with a blazing 9:05.22, with Gross not far behind in 9:07.00. Lawless showed remarkable ability with pace, holding 27’s the entire way before busting a 25.6 on the last 50. Billy Cadigan of NBAC was 3rd with a 9:15.10. It is worth noting Paralympic champion Ian Silverman was 4th with a best time of 9:17.78.

Women’s 13-14 200 Free Relay
Fielding almost the same group as the winning combo on the 800 Free relay, NBAC surged home at the end to win in 1:38.65. Elizabeth Fry (24.83), Lauren Poole (24.50), Megan Fields (25.45) and Easop Lee (23.6) held off Eagle Swim Team, who also had a fantastic anchor with Alayna Nielson going 23.7. Eagle Swim Team finished in 1:39.45 for 2nd place. Naval Academy Aquatic Club nailed down 3rd in a 1:41.53.

Men’s 13-14 200 Free Relay
NBAC’s team of Dylan Arzoni (22.13), Peter Difurio (22.68), Hamed Hudhud (23.08), and William Pelton (22.72) destroyed the event with a winning time of 1:30.61. Annapolis Swim Club beat out Monocacy Aquatic Club for 2nd with a 1:33.65, while Monocacy finished in 1:34.75.

Women’s 200 Free Relay
Monocacy Aquatic Club provided some outside smoke winning the 200 free relay with a 1:36.84. Jacy Igard (24.04), Sarah Wilson (23.98), Kimmy Cummings (24.91) and Eliza Manning (23.91) combined for the win. NBAC managed to take 2nd in a tight battle with a 1:37.80, while Retriever Aquatic Club was just a tenth behind with a 1:37.90 for 3rd.

Men’s 200 Free Relay
Retriever Aquatic Club dominated from start to finish, as the team of Andrew Sanchez (20.90), Philip Adejumo (21.67), Jared Vance (21.30), and Collin Turner (20.97) turned in a very fast 1:24.84 to win by nearly 3 seconds. Loyola Blakefield eked out 2nd with a 1:27.51, while Naval Academy was right behind with a 1:27.57 for third.

Results For: Maryland State Championships: Day One

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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