Southern Zone Championships: Florida Swimmers Dominate Second Night; Younger Swimmers Shine

By David Rieder

ATLANTA, Georgia, July 28. SWIMMERS representing the Florida LSC won half of the races on the second night of long course meters racing at the Southern Zone championships, while another Floridian from the Gold Coast LSC won a fourth race of the six total contested.

North Carolina's Lillian Gordon opened the night with a win in the girls' 200 free, posting 2:06.37, just ahead of Florida's Rachel Harrington, who won the 800 free on Tuesday night, finished second in 2:06.54. North Carolina's Katy Stringfield finished a close third, clocking 2:07.08. Notably, 13-year-old Michelle Turek ended up with the fastest time of the night, recording a 2:06.17 in the 13-14 200 free.

In the boys' 200 free, Florida went 1-2 with Ty Rocca and Justin Kaisrlik posting respective top times of 1:55.18 and 1:55.61, beating out Louisiana's Brian Carr, who ended up third in 1:56.37. Similar to the girls' event, two 13-14 swimmers bested the winning time: Georgia's Jimmy Yoder (1:54.88) and Florida's Alex Katz (1:55.04).

Florida's Ashley Reid held off Kentucky's Carolina Lee to take the girls' 200 breast, 2:39.48 to 2:39.62. Georgia's Katie Evans finished third in 2:42.08. In the boys' event, Louisiana's Walter Loop won by more than a second in 2:23.86, while Alabama's Christian Carbone out-swam Florida's Zack Metka for third, with respective times of 2:35.06 and 2:35.31. Once again, a 13-14 swimmer posted the top time of the night, as Georgia's Gunnar Bentz clocked 2:23.56.

Florida's Angela Algee took the girls' 100 fly in 1:03.20, ahead of Gulf Coast's Haley Clark (1:04.00) and Georgia's Lydia Jones (1:04.13). However, Georgia's Taylor Weiss, 14, broke 1:03 for the top time of the evening (1:02.90). Swimmers from Gold Coast (Florida) rounded out the session with a sweep in the men's 100 fly, with Evandro Silva winning in 56.38, ahead of Luke Torres (56.78) and Andres Reyes-Capo (57.83).

In many cases, the 13-14 winners clocked faster times than the 15-18 winners because swimmers who own junior national time standards do not compete in Zones. Since that includes top swimmers from both the 13-14 and 15-18 age groups, the winning times in the two age groups are usually similar.

Swimming World high school intern David "The Swim Geek" Rieder is a high school swimmer in Charleston, S.C. He swims for the Southern Marlins Racing Team and often negative splits his races. He can be found on the web at swimdr549.blogspot.com and twitter.com/david2swim.

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